Glennon Doyle's new memoir, Untamed, describes her life today with her current spouse, soccer star Abby Wambach. Below, the ex–mommy blogger and best-selling author of Love Warrior recommends "soulful, life-changing" works of nonfiction.
Know My Name by Chanel Miller (2019).
I sat down to read this memoir intending to bear witness to the story of a survivor of sexual assault. Instead, I found myself falling into the hands of one of the great writers and thinkers of our time. Miller is a philosopher, a cultural critic, a deep observer, a writer's writer, and an artist. If we are lucky, this will be the first of many world-changing pieces of art that this woman produces.
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (2014).
Just Mercy affected me more deeply than anything I've read in the past decade. It broke my heart, widened my perspective, and deepened my conviction. Stevenson and his colleagues at the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice he created to defend the poor and unjustly accused, are American heroes.
Everything Happens for a Reason by Kate Bowler (2018).
Bowler's writing is naked, elegant, and gripping. Halfway through, I closed the book, turned to my wife, and said, "I have to call someone to find out how this ends. I need to know before I keep reading if she's OK." I don't think she wrote this book to save anybody; she was just telling the truth about her life. Yet I finished her story feeling more present, grateful, and much less alone. Which, for me, is art in its highest form.
Native by Kaitlin B. Curtice (2020).
Curtice is a vital poet, storyteller, and unapologetic truth teller, and this forthcoming book is required reading for all those committed to learning the truth about the land we live on and its institutions. It both stretched me and comforted me, and will remain on my shelf forever.
I'm Still Here by Austin Channing Brown (2018).
With this book, Brown introduces herself as a master memoirist, delivering a manifesto that will live on shelves beside Ta-Nehisi Coates and Michelle Alexander. It has the power to break open hearts and minds.
The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd (2020).
I kept having to close this novel and breathe deeply, again and again. A radical reimagining of the New Testament that reflects on women's longing and silencing and awakening, it is a true masterpiece.
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