I was given a free copy of The Memoirs of ‘I’ by the author in exchange for an honest review, which reads as follows:
Title: The Memoirs of ‘I’
Author: Yolanda De Iuliis
Publisher: Lumphanan Press
Release Date: April 29th 2016
Genre: Nonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir
(Side note: I normally place a picture of the book in the review, but the author requested a picture of me and the book, which I have yet to take. I will add the photo when I can!)
To make one think is to change a generation, to build one thought is to grow a better world.
In The Memoirs of ‘I’, De Iuliis covers the years 2014 to 2015, providing a daily encounter with her writings, visions, dreams and thoughts, allowing you to see the world from a different perspective. Philosophical and soulful, these memoirs offer an account of a character struggling to self reflect on a daily basis, presenting a wonderful insight into the mind of a thinker.
This is a book that should be read by anyone who wishes to see through another’s eyes, or by those who want to look anew at the simple and extreme thoughts lying behind our existence.
My First Thoughts:
I don’t normally read nonfiction books; they’re rarely about subjects that I’m truly interested in. So I’ve never read a memoir before, I’ve read biographies written like stories, but never a memoir. I decided to take a leap, the author was rather nice in her review request and I’m always looking for new things to try.
I’m rather pleased that I decided to step outside the norm for me and read my first memoir! It was quite the experience and I believe that I have gained more from this book than the author will gain from this review. Words utterly fail me in describing how wonderful and unique The Memoirs of ‘I’ was, but I owe it to the author to give it my best.
I absolutely loved this book and the experience that it gave me. It is not often that a book makes me stop and think, but The Memoirs of ‘I’ gave me pause almost every time I picked it up to read. Yolanda asks her readers many questions, some of which I have thought of myself and could answer right away, most though, threw me off and made me take a step back to think. I love it when books do this; I love it when an author challenges their readers to reconsider their way of thinking. Some of the questions were so simple that I felt stupid for not thinking of them first, others were rather frightening because their answers could change your entire perspective, and change is always scary for creatures like us. And not only does she ask you questions, but she allows room for you to write down your thoughts. Yolanda dedicates a few blank pages for all of your thoughts, and honestly, if you write small enough you can write your thoughts between entries or along the sides. I have never before encountered a book that gave room for reader’s notes, and that really stood out to me while I was reading.
Reading this book was an eye opening experience. It was interesting to follow another person as they live their lives, to see the thoughts running around their head, and the trials they can go through in a single year. It was the closest I could do to ‘live in someone else’s shoes’ and it was eye opening. And what really spoke to me was the advice that Yolanda gives her readers as she goes through her hardships. She never really explained what her trails were, just gave enough information for the reader to understand and connect, but she gave some of the best advice that I’ve ever heard. Her advice especially regarding relationships, whether romantic or friendships, really hit me hard, they were words I needed to hear. I loved her words of advice so much that I marked all of them with little post-it notes!
“We tend to fight with love and against love and we make excuses for this, and we also make convincing argument for and against love, yet instead of convincing yourself to be with someone you should remember that love should not have to be persuaded, it simply is what it is.”
As a poet myself, I enjoyed the occasional poem that she would throw into the entries. They were never truly specific, but they were powerful and beautifully written. Some of the poems resonated with me and others made me cry. For sure I’m looking forward to her book of poetry; I’ll snap it up the next chance I get.
“It may seem scary to try something new, to jump into the sea, jump out of a plane, to fall in love, to trust something you do not know that you can really trust, to do whatever makes you panic, but you must overcome this and if you suffer you suffer. You must take risks in life because if you do not then you will always feel disappointment within yourself. You may just miss out on the most beautiful things.”
I would recommend this book to any reader, especially any individual feeling glum about their lives and need a pick-me-up. Through The Memoirs of ‘I’ Yolanda shows that anyone can hit a rough patch in their life and come back stronger for it. It is a book that challenges the reader to think outside their box, to consider things that has never occurred to them. And it gives a person an opportunity to learn and grow through the experiences of another, an opportunity to ‘live in someone else’s shoes’. I recommend that everyone should read this and share what they got from the book, because I’ll make a bet that it will be different, in some ways, to anyone else. I know that what I gained from this book is more than I’ve ever gained from reading, and will be different than what a friend would gain from it.
Just stop and think! That’s what this book is begging its readers to do and I love it! I haven’t found many books that question or challenge a reader as much as The Memoirs of ‘I’ does. The questions are both broad and very specific. Some are frightening to think about because they may cause your perspective to change, even drastically. Others seem so simple that it surprised me that many people aren’t asking the same thing. The experience of reading about someone else’s life for a year is worth more than the price of the book, and all the poetry, questions, and sound advice makes this book even more priceless! Now, I will probably never read this book cover to cover again, but I will keep it close to me for whenever I need to read the passages that I’ve marked. I’ll keep it close and reread all the advice and poetry, and the parts of the book that spoke the loudest to me.