The best 100 Memoirs books

Memoirs offer intimate glimpses into individual experiences, emotions, and challenges, allowing readers to connect deeply with the storyteller's personal narrative. Dive into our carefully compiled list of gripping memoirs!

Explore diverse perspectives, resilience stories, and raw authenticity in our collection. Ready to immerse yourself in the power of real-life storytelling? Start exploring these captivating memoirs now!

The best 100 Memoirs books
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1
Memoirs Books: The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama

The Audacity of Hope

Barack Obama
Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream
4.5 (119 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Audacity of Hope about?

The Audacity of Hope is based on a keynote speech Barack Obama delivered at the 2004 Democratic Convention, which launched him into the spotlight of the nation. It contains many of the subjects of Obama’s 2008 campaign for the presidency.

Who should read The Audacity of Hope?

  • Anyone interested in American politics and international affairs
  • Anyone who wants to find out about Obama’s core values

2
Memoirs Books: Business Adventures by John Brooks

Business Adventures

John Brooks
Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street
4.3 (125 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Business Adventures about?

Business Adventures comprises twelve riveting case studies of key developments in business, economics and finance. While they concern events and companies you may never have heard of, the case studies are highly entertaining and the lessons learned from them are still applicable today.

Who should read Business Adventures?

  • Anyone interested in the highlights of modern economic history
  • Decision-makers in the private or public sector who want to avoid the follies of those who came before them

3
Memoirs Books: Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Bird by Bird

Anne Lamott
Some Instructions on Writing and Life
4.5 (140 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Bird by Bird about?

Told from the personal perspective of author Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird is a guide toward becoming a better writer and improving your life along the way. Lamott’s distinctive approach, honesty and personal anecdotes make this book a must for writers or anyone who wants to become one.

Who should read Bird by Bird?

  • Aspiring and professional writers
  • Anyone interested in learning about the writer’s life
  • Anyone who wants to learn how to establish a creative routine

4
Memoirs Books: The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks

Rebecca Skloot
4.3 (119 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks about?

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks tells the story of a poor tobacco farmer who died from cervical cancer, and her cell strand, HeLa, which scientists used to develop a cure for polio and other diseases. In a fascinating and revealing investigation, author Rebecca Skloot uncovers the history of Henrietta and her family, of the exploitation of black Americans by the medical industry, and of Henrietta’s immortal cells.

Who should read The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks?

  • Anyone interested in the history of medicine
  • Anyone interested in the history of the relationship between black Americans and the US medical industry

5
Memoirs Books: The Education of a Value Investor by Guy Spier

The Education of a Value Investor

Guy Spier
My Transformative Quest for Wealth, Wisdom and Enlightenment
4.3 (148 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Education of a Value Investor about?

In The Education of a Value Investor (2014), Guy Spier recounts his transformation from greedy hedge-fund manager on Wall Street to a successful value investor. Sharing the incredible story of his career and the wisdom he acquired along the way, Spier has some surprising insights concerning, what he sees as a false choice between leading an ethical life and a financially successful one. With great admiration, Spier also names the people who were most influential to his professional life, explaining the specific effect each of them had on his mindset and career.

Who should read The Education of a Value Investor?

  • Anyone working as a hedge fund manager and frustrated with traditional business practices
  • Anyone interested in the value-investing philosophy
  • Anyone interested in the personal transformation of Guy Spier

6
Memoirs Books: Fukushima by David Lochbaum, Edwin Lyman, Susan Q. Stranahan and the Union of Concerned Scientists

Fukushima

David Lochbaum, Edwin Lyman, Susan Q. Stranahan and the Union of Concerned Scientists
The Story of a Nuclear Disaster
3.9 (74 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Fukushima about?

Fukushima (2014) tells the story of how one of the biggest tsunamis in Japan’s history combined with government neglect, corporate interest and propaganda to create the most serious nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. The book was written by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit that brings together science and political advocacy.

Who should read Fukushima?

  • Anyone who believes nuclear energy is “safe”
  • People who want to know more about the Fukushima disaster

7
Memoirs Books: The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

The Art of Asking

Amanda Palmer
or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help
3.4 (74 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Art of Asking about?

The Art of Asking (2014) is Amanda Palmer’s personal account of how she developed her philosophy of asking, sharing and connecting. Through these blinks you’ll gain an in-depth understanding of how to accept help, reciprocate the generosity of others and build a tight-knit, family-like fanbase to support you in whatever you do.

Who should read The Art of Asking?

  • Fans of music sensation Amanda Palmer
  • People who struggle to ask for help
  • Artists striving to create a highly connected and helpful fan base

8
Memoirs Books: A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah

A Long Way Gone

Ishmael Beah
Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
4.3 (33 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's A Long Way Gone about?

A Long Way Gone (2007) is a story of how, as a young boy in Sierra Leone, the author found himself caught in a civil war and recruited as a child soldier. You’ll travel alongside during his harrowing journey, eventual rescue and recovery guided through the kindness and grace of loving people.

Who should read A Long Way Gone?

  • Anyone interested in modern history of Sierra Leone
  • Students of history exploring civil wars and warfare
  • People curious about the ongoing plight of child soldiers in Africa

9
Memoirs Books: Vagabonding by Rolf Potts

Vagabonding

Rolf Potts
An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel
4.3 (67 ratings)
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00:00

What's Vagabonding about?

A vagabond himself, Potts details his travel adventures in Vagabonding (2002). Informed by firsthand experience, he outlines what to do and not to do in order to get the most out of hitting the road for the long haul.

Who should read Vagabonding?

  • Anyone seeking a life less ordinary
  • People looking for an alternative approach to traveling
  • Anyone interested in the accounts of a long-term traveler

10
Memoirs Books: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood

Truman Capote
4.2 (77 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's In Cold Blood about?

In Cold Blood (1966) tells the true story of a multiple murder that baffled both police and the public in 1959. These blinks recount how investigators gradually unraveled a meticulous yet simple plan devised by two criminals without scruples or remorse.

Who should read In Cold Blood?

  • Fans of suspense or crime novels
  • Anyone interested in criminal psychology
  • Readers curious about how the true crime genre got started

11
Memoirs Books: On the Move  by Oliver Sacks

On the Move

Oliver Sacks
A Life
4.5 (78 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's On the Move about?

On the Move (2015) is a poignant memoir that tells the story of how Oliver Sacks became an acclaimed writer and neurologist. Published the year of his death, it provides a wistful account of his turbulent young adulthood – detailing his struggle with addiction and addressing his sexuality for the first time in print.

Who should read On the Move ?

  • Fans of Oliver Sacks   
  • Readers interested in medical writing
  • Anyone who likes a good coming-of-age story

12
Memoirs Books: Catch Me If You Can by Frank Abagnale and Stan Redding

Catch Me If You Can

Frank Abagnale and Stan Redding
The True Story of a Real Fake
4.6 (73 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Catch Me If You Can about?

Frank Abagnale’s story of swindling millions of dollars from unwitting victims while posing as a pilot, lawyer and professor is the stuff of legend. In Catch Me If You Can (1980), he tells his tale.

Who should read Catch Me If You Can?

  • True-crime nerds
  • Bank tellers or airline industry workers
  • Fans of the movie adaptation of this thrilling story

13
Memoirs Books: Buffett by Roger Lowenstein

Buffett

Roger Lowenstein
The Making of an American Capitalist
4.5 (154 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Buffett about?

Buffett (1995) tells the tale of Warren Buffett, from his humble beginnings as a boy with a paper route for the Washington Post to his success as one of the newspaper’s largest shareholder. But of course, that’s not all. Today, Warren Buffett is one of the world’s wealthiest people and one of its biggest philanthropists. Find out how he got there, and how he applies his unique mix of hard work, consistency and frugality.

Who should read Buffett?

  • Investors and traders looking for a role model
  • Stock market junkies
  • Students of business or management

14
Memoirs Books: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

Born to Run

Christopher McDougall
A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
4.4 (187 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Born to Run about?

Born to Run (2009) delves into the human capacity for long-distance running. First-hand accounts, an encounter with a secretive ultra-running tribe and cutting-edge research combine to argue for the idea that we may well be born to run.

Who should read Born to Run?

  • Runners and anyone training for a marathon
  • Armchair athletes
  • Health-conscious people

15
Memoirs Books: The Missionary Position by Christopher Hitchens

The Missionary Position

Christopher Hitchens
Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice
3.6 (120 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Missionary Position about?

The Missionary Position (1995) tells the true story of the famous nun known as Mother Teresa. These blinks explain how a convincing yet false myth formed around this historic icon whose work and motivations weren’t as noble as we’ve been led to believe.

Who should read The Missionary Position?

  • People interested in Catholicism
  • Students of religion or modern history
  • All readers interested in the story the mainstream isn’t telling

16
Memoirs Books: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

When Breath Becomes Air

Paul Kalanithi
4.2 (180 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's When Breath Becomes Air about?

When Breath Becomes Air (2016) tells the incredible story of Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon and neuroscientist who was diagnosed with and died from cancer in his mid-thirties. These blinks detail his extraordinary journey in search of the meaning of life in the face of death.

Who should read When Breath Becomes Air?

  • Philosophers and thinkers
  • Medical students and those interested in the field
  • Anyone who has ever lost a loved one

17
Memoirs Books: Secondhand Time by Svetlana Alexievich

Secondhand Time

Svetlana Alexievich
The Last of the Soviets
4.2 (69 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Secondhand Time about?

These blinks give some revolutionary insights into an epoch-making time in Russia’s history. The author presents an oral history of Russia’s transition from Stalinism to capitalism in which she lets people who were there tell their stories. In Secondhand Time (2016), her witnesses tell us what it means to be Russian, then and now. All of them lived through this transitional period, but some did not survive.

Who should read Secondhand Time?

  • Cultural historians
  • People who want to know more about Russia and the Cold War
  • Readers curious about the Russian reaction to capitalism

18
Memoirs Books: String Theory by David Foster Wallace

String Theory

David Foster Wallace
On Tennis
3.7 (68 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's String Theory about?

String Theory (2016) is a collection of essays about tennis by David Foster Wallace. The best players in the world sacrifice their lives so that they can entertain us, but their sacrifice elevates them to a level of greatness that the rest of us lowly mortals will never achieve.

Who should read String Theory?

  • Tennis players who wonder if there is really such a gap between them and the best players
  • Sports enthusiasts who are looking for an incisive analysis of what makes a great athlete
  • David Foster Wallace fans who want to see another side of his brilliant mind

19
Memoirs Books: Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

Option B

Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy
4.3 (109 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Option B about?

Option B (2017) is based on the personal experiences of Sheryl Sandberg who, after losing her husband, fell into a period of deep mourning. However, Sheryl’s story is not one of despair; it’s one of perseverance, and of emerging from a horrible experience even stronger than before. Discover what Sheryl learned about the grieving process and how she was able to reclaim her joy, find meaning in life – and death – and move on.

Who should read Option B?

  • Grief counselors
  • Readers experiencing personal hardship and mourning
  • Parents, friends and lovers who want to be supportive

20
Memoirs Books: The Snowball by Alice Schroeder

The Snowball

Alice Schroeder
Warren Buffett and the Business of Life
4.6 (462 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Snowball about?

"By age eleven he’d saved up $120, which was a whole lot of money in 1941. He used that money to make his first investment. He bought six shares of the company Cities Service Preferred – three for him and three for his sister Doris."

The Snowball (2008) offers a revealing look at the life and times of one of modern America’s most fascinating men: Warren Buffett. Find out how this shy and awkward man earned his first million dollars and how following a few fundamental rules enabled him to become the world’s wealthiest man.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

“Warren Buffet is one of those people who seems to have a magic touch. It’s almost as if he’s aware of certain universal secrets that nobody else is privy to! I love learning more about what made him so successful (he memorized textbooks?!) and trying to figure out what makes him tick.” – Ben S., Head of Audio at Blinkist

Who should read The Snowball?

  • Investors
  • Philanthropists
  • Anyone looking for an inspiring story

21
Memoirs Books: My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor

My Stroke of Insight

Jill Bolte Taylor
A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey
3.9 (43 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's My Stroke of Insight about?

My Stroke of Insight (2008) is about Jill Bolte Taylor, a neuroscientist who suffered a stroke in her mid-thirties. These blinks detail her personal story from medical school to experiencing a stroke to learning how to walk, talk and even identify colors again.

Who should read My Stroke of Insight?

  • Medical students
  • Friends and relatives of individuals with mental illnesses or brain traumas
  • Anyone interested in learning more about the human brain

22
Memoirs Books: What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars by Jim Paul, Brendan Moynihan

What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars

Jim Paul, Brendan Moynihan
4.3 (108 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars about?

What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars (1994) is the story of a trader’s rise to the top and the bad decisions that cost him a fortune. It examines the psychological and behavioral dimensions of market trading and asks why traders sometimes abandon all reason and allow losses to keep mounting until they become unmanageable. It explains not only how losses can be avoided but also why avoiding them is far more important than making money if you want to succeed.

Who should read What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars?

  • Traders who want to understand how psychology might affect their decision-making
  • People who want to understand how we rationalize and justify loss
  • Anyone interested in getting rich by trading

23
Memoirs Books: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Born a Crime

Trevor Noah
Stories from a South African Childhood
4.4 (110 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Born a Crime about?

Born a Crime (2016) is about Trevor Noah's childhood and adolescence in apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa. A child of mixed heritage, Noah details the challenges he faced and the peculiarities that existed when he was growing up.

Who should read Born a Crime?

  • Trevor Noah fans
  • Those interested in life during and after apartheid in South Africa
  • Anyone after an inspiring personal story

24
Memoirs Books: The Story of My Life by Helen Keller

The Story of My Life

Helen Keller
4.5 (51 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Story of My Life about?

The Story of My Life (1903) chronicles the early years of Helen Keller, a young woman who became both deaf and blind at a young age. The book explores the challenges she faced growing up as a child with disabilities, and introduces the amazing people who helped her along the way.

Who should read The Story of My Life?

  • People looking to be inspired
  • Students with disabilities
  • People who interact with anyone with special needs

25
Memoirs Books: The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956 by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
An Experiment in Literary Investigation
4.6 (263 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956 about?

The Gulag Archipelago (1973) is a literary chronicle of the Soviet work camps known as gulags, which existed between the years 1918–56. Drawing from his own experience as a prisoner, as well as the reports, memoirs and letters of hundreds of others, author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn provides a chilling account of the constant dread and horror of life in the gulags, while also charting the psychology and organization behind the government-sanctioned prison system.

Who should read The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956?

  • Students of Soviet history
  • Advocates and critics of communism
  • Freedom fighters

26
Memoirs Books: Educated by Tara Westover

Educated

Tara Westover
A Memoir
4.3 (166 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Educated about?

Educated (2018) is the memoir of Tara Westover, who grew up in a Mormon family in rural Idaho, and, despite never attending school, was able to earn a PhD from the University of Cambridge. However, she had to pay a high price to achieve her academic dreams. Indeed, she lost her family in the process.

Who should read Educated?

  • Readers who love astonishing memoirs
  • Anyone interested in a peek inside a Mormon family
  • Teachers and anyone curious about higher education

27
Memoirs Books: Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson

Notes from a Small Island

Bill Bryson
An Affectionate Portrait of Britain
4.2 (77 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Notes from a Small Island about?

Notes from a Small Island (1995) was written by American-born author Bill Bryson as he was preparing to leave the small Yorkshire village in which he’d lived for 20 years, and head back to the United States. Before departing, he decided to bid a fond adieu to his adopted island, Great Britain. This travelogue documents his farewell tour of Britain’s landscape, culture, mores and wonderful eccentricities, which he’d come to love so dearly.

Who should read Notes from a Small Island?

  • Brits looking for a humorous depiction of their own culture
  • Non-Brits curious about this eccentric island
  • Lovers of travelogues and memoirs

28
Memoirs Books: What I Know for Sure by Oprah Winfrey

What I Know for Sure

Oprah Winfrey
4.3 (171 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's What I Know for Sure about?

What I Know for Sure (2014) outlines the moments that shaped Oprah Winfrey into the phenomenally successful person she is today. Oprah shares her experiences and insights on overcoming hardship and how she used that strength to forge a path toward reaching her full potential.

Who should read What I Know for Sure?

  • People who want to improve their self-esteem
  • Anyone looking for tips to overcome childhood trauma
  • Oprah fans who are interested in her backstory

29
Memoirs Books: Why Religion? by Elaine Pagels

Why Religion?

Elaine Pagels
A Personal Story
3.8 (46 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Why Religion? about?

Why Religion? (2018) is a personal answer to the question its title poses. Rather than explaining why anyone should adopt or eschew religious belief, Elaine Pagels’s moving memoir shows how her life experiences led her to the study of religion, and how that study has helped her cope with the difficult events of her life.

Who should read Why Religion??

  • Atheists who were once religious
  • Students wondering how study can affect life
  • Bereaved individuals trying to cope with loss

30
Memoirs Books: Maid by Stephanie Land

Maid

Stephanie Land
Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive
4.1 (135 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Maid about?

Maid (2019) is a memoir that tells a powerful story about a low-income single mother’s experience raising her daughter, working as a maid and struggling to get by in the United States today. A deeply personal account, it also has broader implications, providing insight into the social, cultural and psychological dimensions of poverty.

Who should read Maid?

  • Those interested in learning about poverty in the United States  
  • Professionals wondering what it’s like to be trapped in a menial job
  • Whoever wants to hear an honest story of resilience

31
Memoirs Books: The Dichotomy of Leadership by Jocko Willink & Leif Babin

The Dichotomy of Leadership

Jocko Willink & Leif Babin
Balancing the Challenges of Extreme Ownership to Lead and Win
4.4 (145 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Dichotomy of Leadership about?

The Dichotomy of Leadership (2018) chronicles the extraordinary experiences of two ex-Navy SEAL commanders. While stationed in Baghdad and Ramadi during the Iraq War, Jocko Willink and Leif Babin collected experiences which helped them become effective leaders. After returning to civilian life, they realized these leadership skills were equally effective in the business world. They figured out that, in both combat and non-combat contexts, you can only overcome the dichotomies of leadership and effectively run an organization by finding a sense of balance between opposing forces.

Who should read The Dichotomy of Leadership?

  • Business leaders looking to up their leadership chops
  • Anyone interested in the valuable lessons war can teach us
  • Military buffs looking for riveting accounts of close combat and guerilla warfare

32
Memoirs Books: Imperfect Courage by Jessica Honegger

Imperfect Courage

Jessica Honegger
Live a Life of Purpose by Leaving Comfort and Going Scared
3.5 (38 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Imperfect Courage about?

In Imperfect Courage (2018), Jessica Honegger shares inspiring stories from her purposeful life as an entrepreneur. She describes how she built a hugely successful fair-trade jewelry and fashion business by connecting artisans in developing countries with women across the United States. She also shares how, in doing so, she broke out of her comfort zone, found new reserves of courage and is pursuing a fulfilling, purposeful life.

Who should read Imperfect Courage?

  • Anyone who believes in global sisterhood
  • Entrepreneurs with a purpose
  • People who want to test the limits of their own courage

33
Memoirs Books: Zucked by Roger McNamee

Zucked

Roger McNamee
Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe
4.3 (249 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Zucked about?

Zucked (2019) is one early Facebook investor’s personal warning about the dangers of the platform. It vividly describes how Facebook is damaging both public health and the health of our democracies. From manipulating public opinion to building our addiction to technology, the picture painted in Zucked is of a business unmoored from civic or moral responsibility.

Who should read Zucked?

  • Everyone who uses Facebook
  • People concerned about data privacy, the manipulation of public opinion or tech-addiction
  • Anyone interested in the future of social media and tech-giants

34
Memoirs Books: Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins

Can’t Hurt Me

David Goggins
Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds
4.2 (976 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Can’t Hurt Me about?

Can’t Hurt Me (2018) is the inspirational true-life story of David Goggins, one of the world’s fittest men. The blinks explore the key life events of this inspirational athlete and military man and provide a fascinating insight into a truly focused and unbreakable mind.

Who should read Can’t Hurt Me?

  • Fitness freaks looking for fresh insights
  • Those wanting tips on how to triumph over adversity
  • Anyone interested in inspirational life stories

35
Memoirs Books: Becoming by Michelle Obama

Becoming

Michelle Obama
4.5 (624 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Becoming about?

Becoming (2018) tells the story of Michelle Obama, née Robinson. Born to loving parents in a working-class Chicago neighborhood, she grew into a strong, independent woman, who just happened to meet and fall in love with a man named Barack Obama. This is the life story of a woman who didn’t expect to become the first African-American First Lady, yet found a way to continue exercising her own unique voice under the most unusual and trying of circumstances.

Who should read Becoming?

  • People who enjoy an inspirational story
  • Working moms
  • Anyone eager to make a difference

36
Memoirs Books: Maybe You Should Talk To Someone by Lori Gottlieb

Maybe You Should Talk To Someone

Lori Gottlieb
A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed
4.6 (254 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Maybe You Should Talk To Someone about?

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone (2019) is a unique memoir in which the author, a psychotherapist, tells the story of how she herself ended up on a therapist’s couch after descending into a personal crisis of her own. By reflecting on her experiences as both a therapist and a patient, and by relating them to the stories of four of her patients, she came to a better understanding of both her profession and herself.

Who should read Maybe You Should Talk To Someone?

  • Curious minds interested in how therapy works in practice   
  • People suffering from personal, emotional or psychological problems  
  • Those who are feeling lost and looking for some direction

37
Memoirs Books: How to Fail by Elizabeth Day

How to Fail

Elizabeth Day
Everything I’ve Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong
3.9 (160 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's How to Fail about?

How to Fail (2019) is an honest and revealing look at the abundant rewards that come from making it through the toughest of times. Author Elizabeth Day takes us through many of the formative events in her life that some could call failures, yet she is nonetheless grateful for. Many fear failure like the plague, but it is often unavoidable – and for good reason too, because if we didn’t fail, we wouldn’t learn the many important lessons that make us smarter and better at living life.

Who should read How to Fail?

  • Anyone going through a tough time
  • People looking to rebound from a failed project
  • Women thinking about starting a family

38
Memoirs Books: Hit Refresh by Satya Nadella

Hit Refresh

Satya Nadella
The Quest to Rediscover Microsoft’s Soul and Imagine a Better Future for Everyone
4.4 (116 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Hit Refresh about?

Hit Refresh (2017) charts the journey of Satya Nadella, from his childhood as a cricket-obsessed boy in Hyderabad, India, to working at the very top of global tech powerhouse Microsoft. Packed full of illuminating reflections on everything from the psychology of the cricket field to what parenthood can teach us about business, these blinks provide a rare insight into the life and thoughts of one of the world’s most influential men.

Who should read Hit Refresh?

  • Tech-heads and computer whizzes
  • Business students and entrepreneurs
  • Anyone interested in the past, present or future of Microsoft

39
Memoirs Books: Furious Hours by Casey Cep

Furious Hours

Casey Cep
Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee
4.4 (57 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Furious Hours about?

Furious Hours (2019) shines a light on the twin mysteries of a 1970s serial killer and the career of the celebrated author Harper Lee. By exploring the shocking case of the alleged serial killer William Maxwell and his victims, these blinks retrace Harper Lee’s steps and finally tell the true crime story that Lee always wanted to write.

Who should read Furious Hours?

  • True crime addicts looking for their next scare
  • Bookworms who want to learn more about the life of a celebrated author
  • Law enthusiasts interested in courtroom dramas

40
Memoirs Books: The Unwinding of the Miracle by Julie Yip-Williams

The Unwinding of the Miracle

Julie Yip-Williams
A Memoir of Life, Death, and Everything That Comes After
4.4 (169 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Unwinding of the Miracle about?

As a blind child, Julie Yip-Williams escaped from the poverty of war-torn Vietnam to the peaceful abundance of Los Angeles. For most people, this would have been their life’s most remarkable event – but Julie wasn’t destined for a normal life. In her candid memoir, The Unwinding of the Miracle (2019), Julie takes us on an extraordinary journey through her equally extraordinary time on Earth – from her birth and blindness to her world travels and battle with terminal cancer.

Who should read The Unwinding of the Miracle?

  • Cancer patients feeling alone in their fight
  • Compassionate souls who want to feel another person’s pain
  • Anybody wanting to be told an uncanny tale 

41
Memoirs Books: How to Be a Capitalist Without Any Capital by Nathan Latka

How to Be a Capitalist Without Any Capital

Nathan Latka
The Four Rules You Must Break to Get Rich
4.2 (185 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's How to Be a Capitalist Without Any Capital about?

How to Be a Capitalist Without Any Capital (2019) unlocks the secrets of the capitalist system to show budding entrepreneurs how to make big bucks without burning the candle at both ends. Packed with creative hacks and actionable advice, self-made multimillionaire Nathan Latka demolishes the myth that you need a ton of money or a dazzlingly original idea to get rich. So what do you do need? Simple: a willingness to break established rules and chart your own course.

Who should read How to Be a Capitalist Without Any Capital?

  • Entrepreneurs and self-starters 
  • Financial and business experts
  • Anyone looking for a new career

42
Memoirs Books: The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

The Year of Magical Thinking

Joan Didion
3.9 (89 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Year of Magical Thinking about?

The Year of Magical Thinking (2005) is a poignant memoir about loss and grief. It tells the deeply personal story of Joan Didion’s experiences with the life-threatening illnesses of her daughter and the death of her husband. But more than that, it’s also a thought-provoking philosophical exploration of the meaning of mortality, the fragility of life and the mutability of everything that surrounds us.

Who should read The Year of Magical Thinking?

  • Anyone who’s felt anguish over another person’s life-threatening illness 
  • Those who have experienced the loss of a loved one
  • Anyone who wants to understand the nature of grief 

43
Memoirs Books: With the End in Mind by Kathryn Mannix

With the End in Mind

Kathryn Mannix
Dying, Death and Wisdom in an Age of Denial
4.3 (89 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's With the End in Mind about?

With the End Mind (2017) provides a powerful antidote to the fear, ignorance and misunderstanding that surrounds death in contemporary culture. Through observations and personal reflections, it tells the poignant stories of some terminally ill patients with whom the author has worked over her three-decade career as a palliative care doctor. 

Who should read With the End in Mind?

  • Friends and family members of people with terminal illnesses
  • Fans of emotionally moving medical stories 
  • Anyone with a fear of death

44
Memoirs Books: Poor Charlie's Almanack by Peter D. Kaufman

Poor Charlie's Almanack

Peter D. Kaufman
The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger
4.3 (312 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Poor Charlie's Almanack about?

Poor Charlie’s Almanack (2005) delves into the life and investment philosophies of one of the world’s most reclusive billionaires: Charles Munger. As vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Munger has been instrumental in investment decisions that have yielded profits in the billions of dollars. But Munger isn’t only interested in money. In these blinks, you’ll learn about his inspiring ethical investment philosophy, how he espouses the importance of paying taxes, and how he is a devoted philanthropist, donating money to educational institutions and causes like Planned Parenthood.

Who should read Poor Charlie's Almanack?

  • Investors wanting some tips about how to pick the most lucrative stock 
  • Economic historians interested in the career of one of the most successful capitalists of our time
  • Psychology buffs curious about the mental processes behind investment decisions

45
Memoirs Books: The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger

The Ride of a Lifetime

Robert Iger
Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company
4.4 (176 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Ride of a Lifetime about?

In The Ride of a Lifetime (2019), Robert Iger charts his career from the backrooms of an American TV network to CEO of Disney. As Iger himself emphasizes, reaching the top wasn’t always smooth sailing – in fact, Disney’s future was anything but secure when he landed his dream job back in 2005. So how did he turn things around? Well, that’s what we’ll be exploring in these blinks as we look at the strategy, vision, and leadership style of one of the world’s most innovative CEOs. 

Who should read The Ride of a Lifetime?

  • Insight-hungry leaders
  • Tech-heads fascinated by innovation 
  • Movie-goers interested in what happens behind the scenes

46
Memoirs Books: Drop the Ball by Tiffany Dufu

Drop the Ball

Tiffany Dufu
Achieving More by Doing Less
3.6 (63 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Drop the Ball about?

Drop the Ball (2017) is a guide to living that makes the simple argument that you don’t have to do it all to have it all. Part memoir and part manifesto, the title provides a new approach to life for modern women.

Who should read Drop the Ball?

  • Young women breaking into the working world
  • Mothers still striving for professional success
  • Anyone interested in advocating gender equality

47
Memoirs Books: Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker

Cork Dork

Bianca Bosker
A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste
4.4 (74 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Cork Dork about?

Cork Dork (2019) explores the world of wine through the eyes of one aspiring wine-expert. Bianca Bosker quit her job in journalism and set herself an ambitious goal: to become an expert sommelier. Despite having little prior knowledge of wine, she achieved this in just eighteen months. Along the way, she learned everything there is to know about wine – making it, serving it, tasting it, and talking about it.

Who should read Cork Dork?

  • Drinkers curious about wine
  • Aspiring sommeliers
  • Diners unsure of what to drink

48
Memoirs Books: Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

Reasons to Stay Alive

Matt Haig
4.4 (324 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Reasons to Stay Alive about?

Reasons to Stay Alive (2015) tells the story of Matt Haig’s struggle with depression and anxiety, which was so severe that he had constant panic attacks and feared leaving the house. It reveals how Haig learned to channel his natural intensity into the creation of art and developed some unusual techniques for easing his distressed mind.

Who should read Reasons to Stay Alive?

  • Memoir lovers who want to read a heartfelt story of personal growth
  • Social workers and psychologists who want a glimpse of what’s going on in their clients’ heads 
  • People struggling with depression and anxiety who want to borrow some faith and optimism

49
Memoirs Books: Untamed by Glennon Doyle

Untamed

Glennon Doyle
Stop Pleasing, Start Living
3.8 (202 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Untamed about?

Untamed (2020) is a story of unexpected love. In it, Glennon Doyle reveals how falling in love with Abby Wambach completely derailed all her plans for her life – but allowed her to become fully herself. Doyle had spent her life repressing her true spirit, trying to please other people, and be the perfect wife and mother. But, eventually, she learned to tune into her deepest desires and start building a life around who she truly is.

Who should read Untamed?

  • Restless women who suspect their lives are smaller than their ambitions
  • Romantics who can’t resist a story about sparks at first sight
  • Spiritual seekers interested in a social-justice-centered approach to Christianity

50
Memoirs Books: Questions I Am Asked About The Holocaust by Hédi Fried

Questions I Am Asked About The Holocaust

Hédi Fried
4.6 (103 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Questions I Am Asked About The Holocaust about?

Questions I Am Asked About The Holocaust (2019) is a survivor’s account of the darkest moment in recent European history. Hédi Fried has spent her life educating young people about the Holocaust and answering their questions. In this book, she considers those questions one by one, and paints a picture of her nightmarish experience that should act as a warning from history.

Who should read Questions I Am Asked About The Holocaust?

  • Anyone worried about the rise of racism and nationalism today
  • Those with relatives affected by the Holocaust
  • People interested in modern European history

51
Memoirs Books: The Greater Freedom by Alya Mooro

The Greater Freedom

Alya Mooro
Life as a Middle Eastern Woman Outside the Stereotypes
3.7 (32 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Greater Freedom about?

The Greater Freedom (2019) chronicles one British-Egyptian woman’s struggle to forge her own identity from the two cultures that raised her. Using stories from her own background, detailed research, and interviews with fellow women of the Arab diaspora, author Alya Mooro examines issues including sexuality, Islam, beauty standards, and immigration. She ultimately finds that there is freedom in choosing to exist in-between established tropes of culture, nationality, and identity.

Who should read The Greater Freedom?

  • Modern women reckoning with their conservative upbringing
  • Anyone who has ever felt self-conscious about their appearance
  • Anyone whose family is more religious than they are

52
Memoirs Books: A Promised Land by Barack Obama

A Promised Land

Barack Obama
4.5 (439 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's A Promised Land about?

A Promised Land (2020) is the first volume of the memoirs of Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States. The memoir chronicles Obama’s journey from teenage Honolulu ne'er-do-well to Chicago community organizer and on to one of the most beloved – and mistrusted – figures in American history.

Who should read A Promised Land?

  • Anyone wanting to understand modern American politics
  • Lovers of deep-dive biography
  • Those looking to learn college-age Obama’s strategy for picking up girls

53
Memoirs Books: Eat a Peach by David Chang

Eat a Peach

David Chang
A Memoir
4.4 (14 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Eat a Peach about?

Eat a Peach (2020) is a candid memoir that follows American chef David Chang’s rise to culinary stardom. It’s a raw and honest account of Chang’s struggles with mental illness, his thoughts on culture and identity, and how he enacted his vision of a new way of eating in America.

Who should read Eat a Peach?

  • Foodies
  • Aspiring chefs
  • Memoir-lovers

54
Memoirs Books: The Biggest Bluff by Maria Konnikova

The Biggest Bluff

Maria Konnikova
How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win
4.1 (198 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Biggest Bluff about?

The Biggest Bluff (2020) follows writer Maria Konnikova’s journey to becoming a poker champion under the guidance of Poker Hall of Fame inductee Erik Seidel. Applying her background in psychology to the world of poker, Konnikova reveals the game as a metaphor for life and shares lessons that can be applied on – and off – the tables.

Who should read The Biggest Bluff?

  • Game enthusiasts
  • Psychologists
  • Novices who want to master a new skill

55
Memoirs Books: Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey

Greenlights

Matthew McConaughey
4.3 (263 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Greenlights about?

Greenlights (2020) is a guided tour into the life and mind of award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey. These blinks tell his story as only he could tell it, full of “outlaw logic” that has informed a wildly original personal philosophy for how to live life to its utmost.

Who should read Greenlights?

  • Fans of the McConaissance
  • Anyone eager to generate their own greenlights
  • People interested in the inner workings of a creative mind

56
Memoirs Books: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

The Diary of a Young Girl

Anne Frank
4.8 (177 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Diary of a Young Girl about?

The Diary of a Young Girl (first published 1952; this edition 1977) tells the story of Anne Frank, a Jewish girl who went into hiding with her family during the Second World War. It offers a remarkable portrait of a maturing young woman forced into an unbelievable situation but rising to the occasion. In her diary, Anne shares her thoughts and dreams, revealing a remarkable talent that was tragically taken from the world, along with millions of other lives during the Holocaust.

Who should read The Diary of a Young Girl?

  • People interested in stories of life during wartime
  • Anyone who likes true stories of resilience and survival
  • Young women looking for inspirational figures

57
Memoirs Books: Unapologetically Ambitious by Shellye Archambeau

Unapologetically Ambitious

Shellye Archambeau
Take Risks, Break Barriers, and Create Success on Your Own Terms
4.1 (117 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Unapologetically Ambitious about?

Unapologetically Ambitious (2020) follows Shellye Archambeau’s journey to becoming one of the very few African American female CEOs in Silicon Valley. These blinks outline some of the valuable lessons, attitudes, and strategies that helped her achieve her goals.

Who should read Unapologetically Ambitious?

  • Driven professionals looking to advance their careers
  • Highly ambitious women of color seeking inspiration
  • Anyone who wants to better manage their personal and professional life

58
Memoirs Books: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

Into the Wild

Jon Krakauer
4.3 (58 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Into the Wild about?

Into the Wild (1996) is an unflinching account of the extraordinary life and death of Christopher McCandless. McCandless gave up a life of privilege to roam the American West. He lived rough, made friends, and took risks – and for the thrill of adventure, he paid the ultimate price.

Who should read Into the Wild?

  • People fascinated by the thrill of outdoor adventure
  • Anyone bored by their humdrum life
  • Those looking to understand why some people take risks others find unthinkable

59
Memoirs Books: The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

The Last Lecture

Randy Pausch
4.4 (225 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Last Lecture about?

The Last Lecture (2008) is a heartfelt and insightful rumination on life, death, and the value of pursuing your dreams. In this unique text, computer scientist Randy Pausch reflects on mortality after receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis. 

Who should read The Last Lecture?

  • New parents looking for sage advice
  • Friends and family of terminally ill individuals
  • Anyone seeking a little inspiration

60
Memoirs Books: Sex for One by Betty Dodson

Sex for One

Betty Dodson
The Joy of Selfloving
4.2 (197 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Sex for One about?

Sex for One (1987) is a part-memoir, part-guidebook by Betty Dodson, a pioneering pro-sex feminist and masturbation advocate. Dodson recounts her own erotic journey and offers a step-by-step approach to embracing self-love.

Who should read Sex for One?

  • Anyone who masturbates
  • People interested in sexual politics and feminist history
  • Anyone who wants to learn how to embrace pleasure and sex positivity

61
Memoirs Books: The Happiest Man on Earth by Eddie Jaku

The Happiest Man on Earth

Eddie Jaku
The Beautiful Life of an Auschwitz Survivor
4.7 (431 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Happiest Man on Earth about?

The Happiest Man on Earth (2020) is the true story of one man, who survived inconceivable horrors during the Holocaust, and afterward made it his mission to change the world for the better. Eddie Jaku saw first-hand how a Fascist regime could spark anti-Semitic hatred, and turn former friends and neighbors into killers. In talking about what happened, he shares how love and kindness helped him to survive one of the worst atrocities in human history.

Who should read The Happiest Man on Earth?

  • History buffs interested in the Holocaust and fascism
  • Memoir-lovers excited to hear the story of an extraordinary man
  • People who want to learn more about surviving complex trauma

62
Memoirs Books: The Comfort Book by Matt Haig

The Comfort Book

Matt Haig
4.7 (690 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Comfort Book about?

The Comfort Book (2021) is a compendium of practices, philosophies, stories, and encouragements to help you get through tough times. Matt Haig shares the insights he gained while experiencing years of severe anxiety and depression, as well as his own unconventional strategies for developing a sense of self-worth and looking after your mental health. 

Who should read The Comfort Book?

  • Fans of Matt Haig’s honest and unconventional approach to discussing mental health
  • Anyone looking for strategies to build emotional resilience 
  • People grappling with pandemic-related uncertainty

63
Memoirs Books: Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard

Finding the Mother Tree

Suzanne Simard
Discovering How the Forest Is Wired for Intelligence and Healing
4.5 (210 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Finding the Mother Tree about?

Finding the Mother Tree (2021) is a vivid blend of science and memoir that describes the breathtaking personal and professional journey of renowned ecologist Suzanne Simard. It unearths the strange and surprising secrets buried deep in the forests of British Columbia –⁠ and, in the process, forever alters our understanding of the natural world. 

Who should read Finding the Mother Tree?

  • Lovers of the natural world
  • Fans of memoir and biography
  • Anyone yearning to escape the city for the wilderness

64
Memoirs Books: Things No One Else Can Teach Us by Humble the Poet

Things No One Else Can Teach Us

Humble the Poet
Turning Losses Into Lessons
4.6 (694 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Things No One Else Can Teach Us about?

Things No One Else Can Teach Us (2019) is a part-memoir, part-unconventional self-help book. Full of revealing personal stories and philosophical musings, it will inspire you to question your beliefs about failure, success, and what really makes life meaningful.

Who should read Things No One Else Can Teach Us?

  • Would-be creatives looking for encouragement to follow the life of their dreams
  • Self-development and personal growth seekers
  • Fans of Humble the Poet who want to learn more about his life

65
Memoirs Books: Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

Tuesdays with Morrie

Mitch Albom
An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life's Greatest Lesson
4.4 (302 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Tuesdays with Morrie about?

Tuesdays with Morrie (1997) chronicles an important relationship in Mitch Albom’s life – the one between himself and his old college professor, Morrie. As they reconnect during the professor’s final months of life, they discuss everything from greed and forgiveness to death and a meaningful life. 

Who should read Tuesdays with Morrie?

  • Anyone who feels lost 
  • Individuals actively searching for meaning and purpose
  • People contemplating how to live a good life

66
Memoirs Books: The Rise by Mike Sielski

The Rise

Mike Sielski
Kobe Bryant and the Pursuit of Immortality
4.3 (238 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Rise about?

The Rise (2022) provides an intimate account of the early years of Kobe Bryant’s career. It explores the influences that helped Bryant become so passionate about basketball and shows how his remarkable talent helped transform his suburban high school team into a state championship winner. It also reveals how Bryant carefully crafted his legacy from an early age, displaying an advanced media savvy he would employ throughout his career.

Who should read The Rise?

  • Fans of Kobe Bryant interested in the early influences that shaped his career
  • Memoir lovers curious to find out more about the formative years of a sports icon

67
Memoirs Books: Will by Will Smith with Mark Manson

Will

Will Smith with Mark Manson
3.8 (283 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Will about?

Will (2022) is a firsthand account of one of Hollywood’s greatest careers. Will Smith doesn’t just tally up his many successes, though. He also opens up about his struggles, shortcomings, and the help he received along the way.

Who should read Will?

  • Film buffs 
  • Hip-hop aficionados 
  • Anyone who loves inspiring true stories

68
Memoirs Books: My Life in Full by Indra Nooyi

My Life in Full

Indra Nooyi
Work, Family, and Our Future
4.1 (121 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's My Life in Full about?

My Life in Full (2021) is the memoir of former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi. She reflects on her rise to success and the juggling act it required as she struggled to make time for her family.

Who should read My Life in Full?

  • Working parents
  • Women aspiring to leadership positions
  • Anyone interested in the story of a uniquely successful career

69
Memoirs Books: The Beatles Anthology by The Beatles

The Beatles Anthology

The Beatles
4.5 (132 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Beatles Anthology about?

The Beatles Anthology (2000) is the story of the Beatles, told in their own words. Through original and archive interviews, the band and those closest to them recount the tale of their spectacular and influential career.

Who should read The Beatles Anthology?

  • Beatles fans, old and new
  • Memoir lovers who enjoy the inside story
  • Cultural history enthusiasts interested in the 1960s

70
Memoirs Books: Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry

Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing

Matthew Perry
A Memoir
4.5 (505 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing about?

Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing (2022) is the intimate memoir of critically acclaimed actor Matthew Perry. From his troubled childhood to his meteoric rise to fame in the hit sitcom Friends to his lifelong struggle with substance abuse and addiction, Perry holds nothing back as he reveals his life, thoughts, and soul.

Who should read Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing?

  • Friends fans looking for a deeper insight into one of the show's strongest comedic voices
  • People curious about the darker side of celebrity lives
  • Anyone struggling with addiction

71
Memoirs Books: Good Arguments by Bo Seo

Good Arguments

Bo Seo
How Debate Teaches Us to Listen and Be Heard
4.6 (432 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Good Arguments about?

Good Arguments (2022) is one part memoir, one part guide to the art of speaking. It introduces us to the thrilling and eccentric subculture of competitive debate and distills its secrets into timeless principles for effective communication. If we can only learn to disagree better, it argues, we can improve our relationships and revitalize our democracies.

Who should read Good Arguments?

  • Couples who want to communicate more effectively
  • Introverts who want to climb out of their shell
  • Anyone who wants to speak more persuasively

72
Memoirs Books: Spare by Prince Harry

Spare

Prince Harry
4.1 (661 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Spare about?

Spare (2023) is Prince Harry’s highly anticipated memoir, which offers unprecedented insight into life as a royal. With remarkable candor, Harry reflects on his mother’s death, his complex relationships with other family members, and his battles with the press.

Who should read Spare?

  • Fans of the British royal family
  • People who have mixed feelings about the royal family
  • Anyone who wants to know Harry’s side of the story

73
Memoirs Books: I Know why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

I Know why the Caged Bird Sings

Maya Angelou
4.8 (69 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's I Know why the Caged Bird Sings about?

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969) is the first part of a critically acclaimed seven-volume autobiography by the American writer and poet Maya Angelou. A vivid account of growing up in America during the Depression, it documents Maya’s life between the ages of three and sixteen. Hailed for its unflinching portrayal of displacement, discrimination, and trauma, it is also a life-affirming study of how hope can prevail amidst death and despair. 

Who should read I Know why the Caged Bird Sings?

  • History buffs fascinated by the United States
  • Fans of true-life stories and larger-than-life memoirs
  • Anyone who loves classic literature

74
Memoirs Books: Everything I Know about Love by Dolly Alderton

Everything I Know about Love

Dolly Alderton
A Memoir
3.5 (20 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Everything I Know about Love about?

Everything I Know About Love (2018) is Dolly Alderton’s very funny and painfully honest recollection of her early twenties, and all the bad dates, heartbreaks, grimy flat shares, and steadfast friendships this period of her life entailed. In 2022, the book was adapted for television by the BBC.

Who should read Everything I Know about Love?

  • People on the cusp of adulthood wondering what their twenties will bring
  • Those on the other side of 30, still trying to work out what their twenties meant
  • Anyone who’s a romantic at heart

75
Memoirs Books: Sully by Chesley B. Sullenberger III & Jeffrey Zaslow

Sully

Chesley B. Sullenberger III & Jeffrey Zaslow
My Search for What Really Matters
4.5 (149 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Sully about?

Sully (2009) chronicles the remarkable life journey of the pilot who landed US Airways Flight 1549 on New York's Hudson River, ensuring the safety of all on board. The memoir sheds light on his unwavering dedication, the significance of readiness, and the profound lessons from his military and aviation careers. Through his experiences, the book emphasizes the enduring values that can guide individuals through times of adversity and uncertainty.

Who should read Sully?

  • Fans of aviation and heroic true stories
  • Autobiography enthusiasts
  • Readers seeking inspiration in challenging times

76
Memoirs Books: The River of Doubt by Candice Millard

The River of Doubt

Candice Millard
Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey
4.2 (54 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The River of Doubt about?

The River of Doubt (2005) is about former US President Theodore Roosevelt's perilous 1913–1914 expedition into the Amazon rainforest alongside Brazilian explorer Cândido Rondon. It chronicles the challenges they faced, from disease and dangerous wildlife to potential mutiny, as they navigated an uncharted river. The journey pushed every member to their limits and nearly cost Roosevelt his life.

Who should read The River of Doubt?

  • History buffs interested in Roosevelt's post-presidential adventures
  • Explorers fascinated by the Amazon
  • Anyone looking for tales of human endurance

77
Memoirs Books: The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel

The Stranger in the Woods

Michael Finkel
The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit
4.3 (46 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Stranger in the Woods about?

The Stranger in the Woods (2017) recounts the extraordinary story of a man who chose to leave behind the comforts and social aspects of modern life – and instead opt for a solitary existence in the woods of Maine. 

Who should read The Stranger in the Woods?

  • Psychology lovers looking for stories of extraordinary people 
  • True crime buffs curious about what’s behind the headlines
  • Anyone fascinated by unusual tales of survival against the odds

78
Memoirs Books: Thirteen Days by Robert F. Kennedy

Thirteen Days

Robert F. Kennedy
A Memoir Of The Cuban Missile Crisis
3.4 (94 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Thirteen Days about?

Thirteen Days (1969) offers an inside look into the Cuban Missile Crisis, revealing the intense deliberations and decision-making processes of the U.S. government at the time. It chronicles the 13-day standoff between the U.S. and the Soviet Union that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. Through its pages, readers gain insight into the high-stakes diplomacy and behind-the-scenes actions that took place during this critical period.

Who should read Thirteen Days?

  • History buffs eager to delve deeper into the Cuban Missile Crisis
  • Political enthusiasts curious about U.S. decision-making during crises
  • Those intrigued by pivotal moments in twentieth-century history

79
Memoirs Books: Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! by Richard P. Feynman

Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!

Richard P. Feynman
Adventures of a Curious Character
3.3 (123 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! about?

Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! (1985) shares amusing and illuminating anecdotes from the life of Nobel Prize–winning physicist Richard Feynman. From his unorthodox problem-solving methods to his rejection of pomp and pretense, it offers an insightful look at Feynman's iconoclastic personality and approach to science. 

Who should read Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!?

  • Aspiring physicists and scientists
  • Readers interested in humor and adventure
  • Those seeking an unconventional memoir

80
Memoirs Books: The Pursuit of Happyness by Chris Gardner

The Pursuit of Happyness

Chris Gardner
An NAACP Image Award Winner
3.3 (6 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Pursuit of Happyness about?

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) tells the harrowing yet uplifting journey of a man who, along with his young son, endures homelessness and severe financial challenges in his quest to become a stockbroker. It’s an inspiring tale of resilience, highlighting the power of determination and the human spirit in the face of overwhelming adversity.

Who should read The Pursuit of Happyness?

  • Aspiring entrepreneurs facing personal and financial challenges
  • Social workers and advocates for the homeless
  • Fans of rags-to-riches, success-oriented narratives

81
Memoirs Books: 12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

12 Years a Slave

Solomon Northup
4.8 (6 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's 12 Years a Slave about?

12 Years a Slave (1853) is a harrowing tale of Northup's abduction into slavery and his fight for freedom. It's a raw account of the brutalities of slave life and an insightful documentation of the American slave trade's inhumane practices.

Who should read 12 Years a Slave?

  • History enthusiasts
  • Abolitionist supporters
  • Human rights advocates

82
Memoirs Books: Daniel Deronda by George Eliot

Daniel Deronda

George Eliot
2.7 (3 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
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What's Daniel Deronda about?

Moving between love and duty, Daniel Deronda (1876) explores the life of its eponymous protagonist, torn between his loyalty to his past and an unfamiliar Jewish heritage. It navigates through societal expectations, morality, self-realization, and the idea of destiny in Victorian England.

Who should read Daniel Deronda?

  • Fans of classic literature
  • Students of Victorian England
  • History and society enthusiasts

83
Memoirs Books: Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

Moll Flanders

Daniel Defoe
4.1 (105 ratings)
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What's Moll Flanders about?

Moll Flanders is an exploration of a woman's relentless quest for survival and prosperity in 17th-century England, weaving through her numerous marriages and criminal endeavors.

Who should read Moll Flanders?

  • Classic novel aficionados  
  • Social history enthusiasts  
  • Students of feminist literature

84
Memoirs Books: Becoming Myself by Irvin D. Yalom

Becoming Myself

Irvin D. Yalom
A Psychiatrist's Memoir
3.8 (136 ratings)
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What's Becoming Myself about?

Becoming Myself (2017) is a rare peek behind the curtain at the personal and professional life of one of the world’s most prominent psychotherapists. Weaving intimate anecdotes with therapeutic insights, it offers a unique, strikingly candid perspective on the human condition and the transformative power of psychotherapy. 

Who should read Becoming Myself?

  • Practicing psychotherapists and psychiatrists 
  • Individuals curious about a therapist’s personal and professional experience
  • Those interested in existential psychotherapy and self-discovery

85
Memoirs Books: Happy Sexy Millionaire by Steven Bartlett

Happy Sexy Millionaire

Steven Bartlett
Unexpected Truths about Fulfillment, Love, and Success
4.4 (353 ratings)
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What's Happy Sexy Millionaire about?

Happy Sexy Millionaire (2021) is part unfiltered memoir, part practical guide, and part desperate plea to today’s connected generation. Challenging pervasive narratives around what we “should” be chasing, it posits that fulfillment, genuine relationships, and intrinsic success are the true markers of a life well lived, and offers a range of strategies to get you on your way. 

Who should read Happy Sexy Millionaire?

  • Those feeling they may be chasing the wrong things 
  • Entrepreneurs carving out their own definition of “success” 
  • Individuals interested in self-discovery and personal development

86
Memoirs Books: Be Useful by Arnold Schwarzenegger

Be Useful

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Seven Tools for Life
4.4 (363 ratings)
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What's Be Useful about?

Be Useful (2023) is an inspirational journey through the life and principles that have propelled Arnold Schwarzenegger to unparalleled heights. It encapsulates the wisdom and tools he developed from a young age to transcend the limitations of his humble beginnings, emphasizing the power of a clear vision, resilience, and a steadfast commitment to being useful. Through a blend of personal anecdotes and practical advice, it encourages others to forge their own paths – highlighting the intrinsic capability within each individual to shape their destiny and make a meaningful impact. 

Who should read Be Useful?

  • Individuals seeking personal growth and self-improvement
  • Fans of Arnold Schwarzenegger who are eager to learn from his experiences
  • Anyone looking for inspiration to persevere and thrive in spite of setbacks

87
Memoirs Books: Astor by Anderson Cooper & Katherine Howe

Astor

Anderson Cooper & Katherine Howe
The Rise and Fall of an American Fortune
4.3 (199 ratings)
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What's Astor about?

Astor (2023) chronicles more than two centuries of family lineage, tracking the ambition that built America's first great fortune, as well as the excess and missteps that led to its decline. An intimate portrait of intergenerational wealth, it is both an engrossing family saga, and a broader commentary on shifting class privilege in America. 

Who should read Astor?

  • Anyone interested in the history of New York and the Gilded Age
  • Business buffs looking for stories about the great figures of the past
  • Those curious about the rise of an elite family, and the changing times that challenged them

88
Memoirs Books: The House of Morgan by Ron Chernow

The House of Morgan

Ron Chernow
An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance
3.5 (160 ratings)
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What's The House of Morgan about?

The House of Morgan (1990) chronicles the influential Morgan dynasty, who shaped the course of modern finance through their shrewd financial acumen and keen understanding of world economic currents. This portrait, spanning four generations, details the rise of the Morgans from Victorian London to their pinnacle during the 1987 financial crisis. 

Who should read The House of Morgan?

  • Financial enthusiasts
  • History buffs
  • Corporate professionals

89
Memoirs Books: Poor Things by Alasdair Gray

Poor Things

Alasdair Gray
A Novel
4.2 (64 ratings)
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What's Poor Things about?

Poor Things (1992) is an award-winning postmodern novel that takes readers on a whirlwind tour through the monstrous and gothic world of late-Victorian Glasgow. A Frankenstein-esque tale of a dubious scientific experiment, it playfully subverts genre conventions to provide a fresh perspective on the representation of women in literature.

Who should read Poor Things?

  • Fans of satirical postmodern literature
  • History buffs who love all things Victorian 
  • Sci-fi enthusiasts interested in a modern take on Frankenstein

90
Memoirs Books: Thicker Than Water by Kerry Washington

Thicker Than Water

Kerry Washington
A Memoir
3.7 (87 ratings)
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What's Thicker Than Water about?

Thicker than Water (2022) is an intimate memoir by acclaimed actress Kerry Washington, who opens up about the childhood experiences, activism, and personal challenges that shaped her groundbreaking career. With courageous vulnerability, Washington shares her winding journey to amplify underrepresented voices and make an impact as an artist, mother, and role model.

Who should read Thicker Than Water?

  • Those interested in uplifting marginalized voices in arts, culture and storytelling
  • People intrigued by behind-the-scenes Hollywood stories and celebrity memoirs
  • Anyone facing struggles with mental health, infertility, or overcoming adversity looking for inspiring biographies

91
Memoirs Books: The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Remains of the Day

Kazuo Ishiguro
4.0 (101 ratings)
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What's The Remains of the Day about?

The Remains of the Day (1989) features one of contemporary literature’s most unforgettable narrators, Stevens, a butler who reminisces on his life in service at one of England’s stately homes in the years leading up to World War II. 

Who should read The Remains of the Day?

  • Fans of contemporary literature
  • History lovers interested in a literary take on the interwar years in England
  • Period drama devotees seeking a look at life in a stately home

92
Memoirs Books: The Storyteller by Dave Grohl

The Storyteller

Dave Grohl
Tales of Life and Music
4.3 (7 ratings)
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00:00

What's The Storyteller about?

The Storyteller (2021) captures Dave Grohl’s journey through the highs and lows of a life in rock music, from his formative years in the punk scene to superstardom with Nirvana and the Foo Fighters. Grohl shares candid stories of fame, music, and fatherhood, offering a window into the life of one of rock’s most enduring figures. Through his personal anecdotes, Grohl reveals the passion and perseverance behind his legendary career.

Who should read The Storyteller?

  • Fans of the music, Nirvana and Foo Fighters
  • Aspiring musicians and songwriters seeking inspiration
  • Anyone interested in rock music history

93
Memoirs Books: Endgame by Omid Scobie

Endgame

Omid Scobie
Inside the Royal Family and the Monarchy's Fight for Survival
3.5 (131 ratings)
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What's Endgame about?

Endgame (2023) is a penetrating investigation into the British monarchy's current state, grappling with challenges such as an unpopular king and a power-hungry heir. It examines the monarchy's struggles in a rapidly modernizing world, especially following Queen Elizabeth II's death, and the institution's conflicts with antiquated views on race, class, and money.

Who should read Endgame?

  • Royal family enthusiasts and history buffs
  • Followers of British politics and governance
  • Fans of biographies and investigative journalism

94
Memoirs Books: My Name Is Barbra by Barbra Streisand

My Name Is Barbra

Barbra Streisand
3.5 (16 ratings)
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What's My Name Is Barbra about?

My Name Is Barbra (2023) is an intimate and inspiring memoir from one of the entertainment industry’s most enduring icons. Candid and exhaustive, it traces Streisand’s journey from her challenging childhood in working-class Brooklyn to her status as the groundbreaking cultural legend she is today. 

Who should read My Name Is Barbra?

  • Die-hard Streisand fans
  • Aspiring entertainers and performers
  • Those keen to get a peek into the entertainment industry

95
Memoirs Books: Oath and Honor by Liz Cheney

Oath and Honor

Liz Cheney
A Memoir and a Warning
4.1 (73 ratings)
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What's Oath and Honor about?

Oath and Honor (2023) is an insider account of the events leading up to the riots at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, and the long investigation that followed. In it, Cheney exposes this coordinated assault on American democracy and sounds a dire warning about safeguarding the nation's future from ongoing threats.

Who should read Oath and Honor?

  • American history buffs and political enthusiasts looking for insight into pivotal recent events
  • Memoir lovers wanting an inside look into events behind the news
  • Anyone curious about contemporary American politics, and the personalities that are reshaping democracy

96
Memoirs Books: The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride

The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store

James McBride
A Novel
3.3 (84 ratings)
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What's The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store about?

The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store (2023) is the richly-textured story of a small, diverse community centered around the Jewish-owned Heaven and Earth Grocery store in Pottstown Pennsylvania in the 20s and 30s, and of the big events – love, death, murder, kidnapping – that mark the lives of the people connected to it.

Who should read The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store?

  • Lovers of historical fiction
  • Fans of contemporary American literature
  • Anyone who likes a tale full of twists and turns

97
Memoirs Books: Hearts of Darkness by Jana Monroe

Hearts of Darkness

Jana Monroe
My Life Breaking Barriers in the FBI and Fighting the Evil Among Us
4.3 (9 ratings)
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What's Hearts of Darkness about?

Hearts of Darkness (2023) is a gripping memoir that details Jana Monroe’s career as one of the first female profilers in the FBI’s Behavioral Sciences Unit. It provides a riveting account of her encounters with some of history’s most notorious criminals and her explorations into their dark psychology. Far from just a chronicle of her professional achievements, it also delves into the psychological toll of her job and the challenges she faced as a woman in a male-dominated field. 

Who should read Hearts of Darkness?

  • True-crime enthusiasts
  • Women pursuing or working in law enforcement
  • Fans of The Silence of the Lambs interested in the inspiration for Clarice Starling

98
Memoirs Books: Choosing to Run by Des Linden

Choosing to Run

Des Linden
A Memoir
3.0 (13 ratings)
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What's Choosing to Run about?

Choosing to Run (2023) explores the world of professional marathon running, offering a unique perspective on the challenges and triumphs of long-distance racing. It delves into the mental and physical preparation required to excel in such a demanding sport, highlighting the resilience and dedication needed for success. By blending personal experiences with broader themes of perseverance and determination, it provides a captivating look at the journey of a top-tier marathon runner.

Who should read Choosing to Run?

  • Amateur and professional marathon runners
  • Individuals seeking motivation and perseverance strategies
  • Fans of inspirational athlete biographies

99
Memoirs Books: The Maniac by Benjamín Labatut

The Maniac

Benjamín Labatut
4.3 (12 ratings)
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00:00

What's The Maniac about?

The Maniac (2023) traces Hungarian polymath John von Neumann’s singular legacy on the dreams and nightmares of the twentieth century and our current age of artificial intelligence. A foray that spans the nuclear age and showcases the brilliant minds who helped define it.

Who should read The Maniac?

  • Technology enthusiasts interested in the impact it has on humanity
  • Those fascinated by mathematicians and scientists who transformed scientific thinking
  • Seekers of answers to moral questions surrounding innovation and discovery

100
Memoirs Books: The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese

The Covenant of Water

Abraham Verghese
4.3 (9 ratings)
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00:00

What's The Covenant of Water about?

The Covenant of Water (2023) follows a family in southern India across three generations as they grapple with a chilling affliction – the death by drowning of at least one member of every generation. Spanning almost the entire twentieth century, this masterful literary novel is a poignant tale of love and loss, chronicling the evolution of a family as well as India's turbulent passage into modernity.

Who should read The Covenant of Water?

  • Fans of literary fiction interested in emotional resonance and the human experience
  • People intrigued by the traditions and everyday lives of families in southern India
  • Those fascinated by India's culture and history, especially the changes in Indian society throughout the 1900s

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 FAQs 

What's the best Memoirs book to read?

While choosing just one book about a topic is always tough, many people regard The Audacity of Hope as the ultimate read on Memoirs.

What are the Top 10 Memoirs books?

Blinkist curators have picked the following:
  • The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
  • Business Adventures by John Brooks
  • Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
  • The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  • The Education of a Value Investor by Guy Spier
  • Fukushima by David Lochbaum, Edwin Lyman, Susan Q. Stranahan and the Union of Concerned Scientists
  • The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer
  • A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah
  • Vagabonding by Rolf Potts
  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Who are the top Memoirs book authors?

When it comes to Memoirs, these are the authors who stand out as some of the most influential:
  • Barack Obama
  • John Brooks
  • Anne Lamott
  • Rebecca Skloot
  • Guy Spier