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Best Autobiographies

These are the top autobiographies and memoirs according to the web’s most popular book blogs. Ranked by how often they were featured.

Recommendations from 37 articles, Barack Obama, Rihanna, Selena Gomez and 151 others.
Best Autobiographies
94 books on the list
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Becoming book cover
Michelle Obama - 2018-11-13
Goodreads Rating
This powerful memoir takes readers on a journey through Michelle Obama's life, from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her time as First Lady of the United States. With unflinching honesty, Obama recounts both the triumphs and disappointments of her life, offering insights into her advocacy work for women and girls and her efforts to create a more inclusive White House. Her inspiring story is a testament to the power of perseverance and the importance of staying true to oneself.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings book cover
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Maya Angelou - 1993-11-01 (first published in 1969)
Goodreads Rating
This poignant memoir follows Maya and her brother as they are sent to live with their grandmother in a small Southern town, facing abandonment and prejudice. After a traumatic incident and years of struggle, Maya learns to liberate herself through self-love, the support of others, and great literature. Poetic and powerful, this book is a timeless standout in the genre of memoir.
The Year of Magical Thinking book cover
The Year of Magical Thinking
Joan Didion - 2007-02-13 (first published in 2005)
Goodreads Rating
This memoir delves into the intensely personal yet universal experience of loss and grief, exploring the portrait of a marriage and a life in good times and bad. After losing their only daughter, Joan Didion and her husband face a series of traumatic events that challenge their understanding of death, illness, marriage, and memory. This book is an act of literary bravery, offering electric honesty and passion that will speak to anyone who has loved deeply.
When Breath Becomes Air book cover
When Breath Becomes Air
Paul Kalanithi - 2016-01-12
Goodreads Rating
This memoir follows a neurosurgeon's journey through the diagnosis of stage IV lung cancer, leaving him to confront his own mortality. Proceeding with honesty and raw emotion, he poignantly explores life's meaning when faced with death and the challenges of being a new father while nurturing a new life as another fades away. A must-read for those seeking insight into life's profound questions.
Educated book cover
A Memoir
Tara Westover - 2018-02-20
Goodreads Rating
Discover the inspiring story of a young girl born into the harsh wilderness of Idaho and raised by survivalists who shunned modern medicine and education. Despite lacking any formal schooling, she taught herself enough to gain admittance into Brigham Young University, leading her on a journey of self-invention that took her across oceans and continents to prestigious universities. Educated is a powerful memoir about the transformative power of knowledge and the struggle for self-discovery.
Long Walk to Freedom book cover
Long Walk to Freedom
The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela - 1995-10-01 (first published in 1994)
Goodreads Rating
Experience the powerful story of one of the world's greatest political leaders as he fights against racial oppression and leads his nation towards multiracial government and majority rule. Raised in the traditional, tribal culture of his ancestors, he learns the modern reality of apartheid and becomes instrumental in the African National Congress and the fight for racial equality. This memoir tells the story of his impoverished beginnings, slow political awakening, 27 years in prison, and ultimate release and negotiations that led to his freedom and the end of apartheid.
The Glass Castle book cover
The Glass Castle
A Memoir
Jeannette Walls - 2006-01-17 (first published in 2005)
Goodreads Rating
This moving memoir chronicles the author's upbringing with unconventional, nomadic parents who pushed their four children to embrace life and learn fearlessly. As dysfunction and financial troubles escalate, Jeannette and her siblings must rely on each other to survive and ultimately escape their tumultuous home. Despite their flaws, the author deeply loves and respects her complex parents, making this an uplifting story of triumph against all odds and unconditional familial love.
Recommended by
Hannah Hart
The Diary Of A Young Girl book cover
The Diary Of A Young Girl
Anne Frank - 1993-07-01 (first published in 1947)
Goodreads Rating
Discover a world classic and timeless testament to the human spirit in this extraordinary diary, written by a teenage girl who hid with her family from Nazis for two years in Amsterdam. With new passages originally withheld by her father, meet Anne Frank: stubbornly honest, touchingly vulnerable, in love with life, and facing hunger, fear, death, and frustrations few teenagers have ever known. Explore her secret world of soul-searching, rebellious clashes, romance, newly discovered sexuality, and candid observations of companions. Imparting adult wisdom beyond her years, Anne's story is that of every teenager.
Angela's Ashes book cover
Angela's Ashes
Frank McCourt - 2005-10-03 (first published in 1996)
Goodreads Rating
This memoir tells the story of Frank McCourt's upbringing in Depression-era Brooklyn and the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Despite poverty, near-starvation, and the casual cruelty of his surroundings, Frank's survival relies on his father's beguiling stories and his own hunger for storytelling. Angela's Ashes is a luminous and classic book, written with elegance and remarkable compassion.
The Liars' Club book cover
The Liars' Club
A Memoir
Mary Karr - 2005-05-31 (first published in 1995)
Goodreads Rating
This award-winning memoir takes you on a hilarious yet heartbreaking journey through Mary Karr's childhood in an east Texas oil town, filled with darkly comedic characters and family secrets that threaten to tear them apart. Considered a masterpiece of the memoir genre, this book will leave you both deeply moved and unable to put it down.
Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward
Just Kids by Patti Smith
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
Bossypants by Tina Fey
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
Hunger by Roxane Gay
Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah
Sam Walton by Sam Walton
H Is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald
On Writing by Stephen King
Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama
Full Body Burden by Kristen Iversen
Heavy by Kiese Laymon
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner
In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado
Pour Your Heart Into It by Howard Schultz
The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin
Boy Erased by Garrard Conley
In the Country We Love by Diane Guerrero
Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot
Night by Elie Wiesel
The Choice by Edith Eva Eger
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Once More We Saw Stars by Jayson Greene
West with the Night by Beryl Markham
Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant by Ulysses S. Grant
Upstairs at the White House by J. B. West
Cash by Johnny Cash
The HP Way by David Packard
Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby
Let's Take the Long Way Home by Gail Caldwell
Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen
This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay
Miracles Happen by Mary Kay Ash
Jack by Jack Welch
Negroland by Margo Jefferson
The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom
More Than Enough by Elaine Welteroth
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors
Born Standing Up by Steve Martin
Wild Swans by Jung Chang
Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller
Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham
Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan
Fire Shut Up in My Bones by Charles Blow
In Pieces by Sally Field
Know My Name by Chanel Miller
Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala
Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb
Untamed by Glennon Doyle
First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung
Personal History by Katharine Graham
My Experiments with Truth by Mahatma Gandhi
Drinking by Caroline Knapp
Blackout by Sarah Hepola
The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
Iacocca by Lee Iacocca
Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson
Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl
My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf
Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance
Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
Direct from Dell by Michael Dell
Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton
The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron
Orange Is the New Black by Piper Kerman
Delancey by Molly Wizenberg