The day ended with me laughing so hard I thought my appendix would burst. -- Haven Kimmel, A Girl Named Zippy
My earliest memory is of a wolf in my baby bed.
Somehow my first wig and my first really excellent pair of slippers arrived simultaneously.
So, here's the truth: I'm not much of a "memoir person." I've begun a few, trying to branch out in my reading life, but they were so hopeless and so depressing I had to stop.
And then I read A Girl Named Zippy, by Haven Kimmel. And I loved it so, so much.
It's a brilliantly-written memoir about Kimmel's quirky, astonishing, hilarious childhood in Mooreland, Indiana. It's full of wonderful stories about her family, friends, her adventures in that small town, and all the unusual things that made up "Zippy's" life.
Even so, it's not a saccharine story: there are still moments of difficulty and sadness. But overall, it's so funny and so full of warmth, it makes me want to do childhood over again. And be a little more like Zippy.
(And I'm serious about the hilarity: that last quote about the wig and slippers? It's the first line in a chapter called "Hair," which is so amazingly funny, it made my sisters and I nearly sick with laughter.)
Recommendation: I love the idea of reading books about childhood while having tomato soup. Could anything be better? So that's what I'd say: a sunny afternoon, tomato soup, and this fabulous memoir.