Each month, Beyond The Page: A WGBH Book Clubfeatures a notable author, who takes part in a live Q&A with a WGBH personality to discuss the intricacies of that month's novel. With each monthly book selection, we also ask the author for a list of reading recommendations. For its August edition, Beyond The Page selected Maya Shanbhag Lang’s What We Carry, a memoir about mothers and daughters, lies and truths, receiving and giving care, and how we cannot grow up until we fully understand the people who raised us.

5 recommended memoirs:

Shanbhag Lang: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. Because I never set out to write a memoir, writing What We Carry was a leap of faith. "I only know how to write fiction!" I told my editor. "Read The Glass Castle," she replied.

The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston. When I read this in grad school, it made me think about my Asian heritage and my cultural inheritance in a way I hadn't before. It gave me courage to write into that space—to tell my story my way rather than change it for a white audience.

Good Talk by Mira Jacob. I'm still astonished by how much Mira Jacob is able to accomplish with a single line. Good Talk took me back to my childhood, to parts of my immigrant upbringing I didn't even know how to name.

This Boy's Life by Tobias Wolf. My beloved eighth grade English teacher gave me a copy of this as a gift. It taught me about the importance of vulnerability and honesty in writing—to write into the fear.

Fierce Attachments by Vivian Gornick. Every woman with a fraught mother/daughter relationship should read this memoir. Every New Yorker should read this memoir. Gornick is fiercely intelligent and offers a wealth of observation and insight. Her writing crackles with vitality, like Manhattan itself.

What are you currently reading?

Shanbhag Lang: The Vexations by Caitlin Horrocks

What’s up next on your reading list?

Shanbhag Lang: Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

Maya Shanbhag Lang is the author of What We Carry: A Memoir, a New York Times Editor’s Choice Book highlighted on “Good Morning America” and others, and The Sixteenth of June, a novel. Her work has been featured in The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Philadelphia Inquirer. She holds a Ph.D. in Literature and is the daughter of Indian immigrants.

Looking for more? Then join the club. Don't miss out on the next selection and virtual session by joining the Beyond The Page Facebook Group and signing up for the e-mail newsletter.