The best 100 Memoirs books

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Memoirs Books: The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama

The Audacity of Hope

Barack Obama
Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream
4.5 (111 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: Business Adventures by John Brooks

Business Adventures

John Brooks
Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street
4.3 (122 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: The Man Who Fed the World by Leon Hesser

The Man Who Fed the World

Leon Hesser
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Norman Borlaug and His Battle to End World Hunger
4.4 (32 ratings)

What's The Man Who Fed the World about?

The Man Who Fed the World tells the story of Norman Borlaug, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and his work in fighting world hunger. The past and future of world agriculture and hunger are examined.

Who should read The Man Who Fed the World?

  • Anyone curious about how one man saved a billion people from starvation
  • Anyone interested in how agriculture underwent its own “green revolution”

Memoirs Books: Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Bird by Bird

Anne Lamott
Some Instructions on Writing and Life
4.5 (123 ratings)

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

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

The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks

Rebecca Skloot
4.3 (102 ratings)

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

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 (139 ratings)

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

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


David Lochbaum, Edwin Lyman, Susan Q. Stranahan and the Union of Concerned Scientists
The Story of a Nuclear Disaster
3.9 (64 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth

Chris Hadfield
What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything
3.9 (70 ratings)

What's An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth about?

Test pilot and astronaut Chris Hadfield was the first Canadian to space walk, and this is his story. He offers insight into life in the space business, from training and lift-off to space research and coming home. He outlines the surprising challenges astronauts face, both off and on this planet, and offers some of the wisdom he gained from leaving our natural home and coming back down to Earth. Even if you never make it to the stars, you’ll find that we have a lot to learn from spacemen.

Who should read An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth?

  • Anyone interested in astronauts
  • Anyone who wants to know what an astronaut actually does
  • Anyone interested in space exploration

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
3.5 (63 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: How Music Got Free by Stephen Witt

How Music Got Free

Stephen Witt
What happens when an entire generation commits the same crime?
4.7 (24 ratings)

What's How Music Got Free about?

How Music Got Free (2015) tells the remarkable story of the mp3 file, from its inception in a German audio lab to its discovery by a man working in a North Carolina CD-pressing plant, who would eventually team up with a piracy group to bring the entire music industry to its knees.

Who should read How Music Got Free?

  • Musicians and music consumers
  • Anyone interested in copyright law
  • Anyone interested in internet freedom

Memoirs Books: A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah

A Long Way Gone

Ishmael Beah
Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
4.4 (27 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World by Francis Wheen

How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World

Francis Wheen
A Short History of Modern Delusions
3.3 (72 ratings)

What's How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World about?

How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World (2004) takes a detailed look at irrational tendencies and how they have come to pervade and pervert the modern world. These blinks walk you through bogus philosophies, from neoliberal political and economic dogma that predominated in the 1980s to New Age gurus peddling hollow advice and false hope.

Who should read How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World?

  • Students of history or politics
  • People who feel that there’s something amiss in the world today

Memoirs Books: The Sunflower by Simon Wiesenthal

The Sunflower

Simon Wiesenthal
On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness
4.1 (19 ratings)

What's The Sunflower about?

The Sunflower (1969) is an important exploration of forgiveness – both its possibilities and its limitations. We join the author as he attempts to find an answer to an extremely complex question: Can a Jewish concentration camp prisoner forgive a Nazi soldier on his deathbed? There is a range of opinions – from people like Primo Levi and the Dalai Lama – but is there a right answer?

Who should read The Sunflower?

  • Humanitarians seeking to understand humanity’s potential for good and evil
  • Skeptics who may not believe in the power of forgiveness
  • Pacifists wondering how to end our history of violence

Memoirs Books: Vagabonding by Rolf Potts


Rolf Potts
An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel
4.3 (59 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood

Truman Capote
4.2 (67 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: On the Move  by Oliver Sacks

On the Move

Oliver Sacks
A Life
4.6 (72 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

The Devil in the White City

Erik Larson
Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
3.7 (42 ratings)

What's The Devil in the White City about?

The Devil in the White City (2003) takes you to Chicago in the 1890s, when the growing city was the host of the World’s Fair amid a time of social upheaval and serious crime. These blinks blend a story of exciting American innovation with the unspeakable acts of one of the world’s first serial killers.

Who should read The Devil in the White City?

  • Readers with a taste for the creepy
  • True-crime fans
  • American history buffs

Memoirs Books: Buffett by Roger Lowenstein


Roger Lowenstein
The Making of an American Capitalist
4.5 (148 ratings)

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

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
4.3 (180 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: The Missionary Position by Christopher Hitchens

The Missionary Position

Christopher Hitchens
Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice
3.6 (108 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

When Breath Becomes Air

Paul Kalanithi
4.2 (152 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: Secondhand Time by Svetlana Alexievich

Secondhand Time

Svetlana Alexievich
The Last of the Soviets
4.2 (62 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: String Theory by David Foster Wallace

String Theory

David Foster Wallace
On Tennis
3.7 (63 ratings)

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

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 (95 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: The Snowball by Alice Schroeder

The Snowball

Alice Schroeder
Warren Buffett and the Business of Life
4.6 (420 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: Ghost in the Wires by Kevin Mitnick

Ghost in the Wires

Kevin Mitnick
My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker
4.4 (49 ratings)

What's Ghost in the Wires about?

Ghost in the Wires (2011) is the wild story of one of the greatest hackers and social engineers of all time: Kevin Mitnick. Mitnick started by making phony phone calls in the 1970s, but quickly graduated to computers, hacking some of the largest companies in the world. Along the way, he got his hands on vast amounts of information, just to prove to himself that it could be done. This is a tale of technical brilliance and expert escape artistry so unbelievable that it must be true.

Who should read Ghost in the Wires?

  • Computer enthusiasts interested in the story of one of the world’s greatest hackers
  • Anyone interested in the arts of social engineering
  • Law enforcement or cybercrime professionals

Memoirs Books: My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor

My Stroke of Insight

Jill Bolte Taylor
A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey
3.8 (37 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: Martin Luther by Heinz Schilling

Martin Luther

Heinz Schilling
Rebel in an Age of Upheaval
4.5 (57 ratings)

What's Martin Luther about?

Martin Luther (2017) details the life and times of one of the most important figures in European history. Five hundred years ago, the German priest Martin Luther sparked the Reformation, which would eventually bring the Protestant Church into existence and thereby create a permanent schism between the Protestant and the Roman Catholic Church. This book presents a fresh interpretation of Luther’s life, investigating what his actions – and the Reformation in general – tell us about the modern world.

Who should read Martin Luther?

  • People skeptical as to the power religion can hold over people
  • History junkies who want to learn more about how modern Europe emerged
  • Anyone curious about one of the most famous historical figures of all time

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
4.4 (100 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Born a Crime

Trevor Noah
Stories from a South African Childhood
4.4 (101 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: The Story of My Life by Helen Keller

The Story of My Life

Helen Keller
4.6 (41 ratings)

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

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

The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
An Experiment in Literary Investigation
4.6 (227 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: Educated by Tara Westover


Tara Westover
A Memoir
4.3 (152 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: Hunger by Roxane Gay


Roxane Gay
A Memoir of (My) Body
4.2 (55 ratings)

What's Hunger about?

Hunger (2017) is a personal, open-hearted account of what it’s like to live with a body that’s frowned upon by society.

Who should read Hunger?

  • Victims of abuse and sexual violence
  • Students of psychology and social work
  • Anyone struggling with eating disorders

Memoirs Books: Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson

Notes from a Small Island

Bill Bryson
An Affectionate Portrait of Britain
4.2 (74 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: The World as It Is by Ben Rhodes

The World as It Is

Ben Rhodes
A Memoir of the Obama White House
4.5 (33 ratings)

What's The World as It Is about?

The World as It Is (2018) is a deeply personal look at the Obama presidency, written by a man who not only worked closely with the forty-fourth president, but also became his friend. Taking us on a behind-the-scenes tour of Obama’s presidency, from his first campaign to Trump’s inauguration, these blinks also chronicle the author’s personal journey from fresh-faced staffer to hardened national security operator.

Who should read The World as It Is?

  • History and politics buffs
  • Anyone interested in an inside look at the highest levels of government
  • People who want a better understanding of the state of US politics today

Memoirs Books: What I Know for Sure by Oprah Winfrey

What I Know for Sure

Oprah Winfrey
4.3 (153 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: A River in Darkness by Masaji Ishikawa

A River in Darkness

Masaji Ishikawa
One Man’s Escape from North Korea
4.5 (48 ratings)

What's A River in Darkness about?

A River in Darkness (2000) is the harrowing true story of one man’s life in and eventual escape from the brutal dictatorship of North Korea. Born in Japan, Masaji Ishikawa was one of hundreds of thousands of Koreans who moved to the country between the 1950s and 1980s. His memoir chronicles the life of drudgery, terror and endless hardship that awaited them.

Who should read A River in Darkness?

  • Human rights advocates
  • History buffs fascinated by the Cold War
  • Anyone who loves true life stories

Memoirs Books: Why Religion? by Elaine Pagels

Why Religion?

Elaine Pagels
A Personal Story
3.9 (40 ratings)

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

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 (131 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: Imperfect Courage by Jessica Honegger

Imperfect Courage

Jessica Honegger
Live a Life of Purpose by Leaving Comfort and Going Scared
3.5 (33 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: Zucked by Roger McNamee


Roger McNamee
Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe
4.3 (245 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins

Can’t Hurt Me

David Goggins
Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds
4.2 (863 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: Becoming by Michelle Obama


Michelle Obama
4.5 (594 ratings)

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

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
4.5 (240 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: How to Fail by Elizabeth Day

How to Fail

Elizabeth Day
Everything I’ve Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong
3.9 (142 ratings)

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

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 (108 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: WOLFPACK by Abby Wambach


Abby Wambach
How to Come Together, Unleash Our Power, and Change the Game
4.0 (54 ratings)

What's WOLFPACK about?

WOLFPACK (2019) is a rallying cry for women to join together, empower each other and celebrate one another’s achievements. Drawing on her incredible career as a professional athlete, author Abby Wambach explores how women everywhere can gain strength in numbers and achieve equality, fulfillment and joy.

Who should read WOLFPACK?

  • Feminists looking for their next champion
  • Sports enthusiasts seeking fresh insights
  • Fans of inspirational memoirs

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 (166 ratings)

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 

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 (178 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

The Year of Magical Thinking

Joan Didion
4.0 (81 ratings)

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 

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 (82 ratings)

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

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 (272 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: More Than Enough by Elaine Welteroth

More Than Enough

Elaine Welteroth
Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say)
3.7 (47 ratings)

What's More Than Enough about?

More Than Enough (2019) is part memoir, part manifesto. It details the triumphs and travails of Elaine Welteroth’s journey to success, beginning with her small-town childhood and ending with her decision to leave her seat as editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue. But it’s more than an inspiring success story. It also offers wisdom, tips, warnings and encouragement to anyone who’s ever been told that they aren’t enough just the way they are. 

Who should read More Than Enough?

  • Aspiring journalists  
  • People who’ve been told they aren’t enough
  • Dreamers struggling to realize their dreams

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
4.5 (165 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: The Desert and the Sea by Michael Scott Moore

The Desert and the Sea

Michael Scott Moore
977 Days Captive on the Somali Pirate Coast
4.6 (18 ratings)

What's The Desert and the Sea about?

In The Desert and the Sea (2018), journalist Michael Scott Moore recounts his experience of being held hostage by Somali pirates. Moore gives an insightful account of his own plight while also managing to empathize with those who held him captive. The blinks chronicle his inner turmoil over the course of the ordeal and look to the bigger picture, grappling with how people manage to endure in the worst of circumstances.

Who should read The Desert and the Sea?

  • Journalists curious about the perils of their profession
  • History buffs wanting to know about the legacy of colonialism
  • Armchair political analysts unsure about what modern piracy entails

Memoirs Books: Dear Girls by Ali Wong

Dear Girls

Ali Wong
Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, and Advice for Living Your Best Life
3.9 (56 ratings)

What's Dear Girls about?

Dear Girls (2019) is a loving and hilarious collection of letters from a mother to her daughters about how to deal with the inevitable challenges of life. Detailing the author’s most embarrassing, unpleasant, and momentous experiences, Dear Girls shows us that simply embracing who you are is the first step to self-fulfillment. 

Who should read Dear Girls?

  • Aspiring stand-up comedians
  • Young professionals seeking career advice
  • New or soon-to-be mothers

Memoirs Books: The Flight by Dan Hampton

The Flight

Dan Hampton
Charles Lindbergh’s Daring and Immortal 1927 Transatlantic Crossing
4.6 (38 ratings)

What's The Flight about?

The Flight (2017) is a riveting account of Charles Lindbergh’s groundbreaking solo flight across the Atlantic, from New York to Paris. Besides a detailed account of what it was like for Lindbergh in the cockpit, author Dan Hampton adds valuable historical and biographical context, which shows why the flight of the Spirit of St. Louis was so important to so many people. 

Who should read The Flight?

  • Fans of American history and aviation
  • Readers who enjoy fascinating stories about iconic figures
  • Anyone curious about life inside a cockpit

Memoirs Books: IT'S ALL IN YOUR HEAD by Russ


Get out of your way
3.9 (92 ratings)

What's IT'S ALL IN YOUR HEAD about?

In It’s All In Your Head (2019), the prolific composer, producer, and performer Russ describes his remarkable musical journey. At age 17 he became convinced that he was destined to be a famous musician. Six years and 80 songs later, he finally broke through to the big time. In these blinks, Russ shares the motivational techniques he used to achieve success against enormous odds. 

Who should read IT'S ALL IN YOUR HEAD?

  • Aspiring artists looking for inspiration about how to build a career on their own terms
  • Hip-hop lovers interested in the backstory of one of the most prolific rappers of our time
  • Anyone who needs a bit of motivation to take a creative risk

Memoirs Books: Drop the Ball by Tiffany Dufu

Drop the Ball

Tiffany Dufu
Achieving More by Doing Less
3.7 (59 ratings)

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

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 (67 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: Know My Name by Chanel Miller

Know My Name

Chanel Miller
A Memoir
4.6 (33 ratings)

What's Know My Name about?

In Know My Name (2019), Chanel Miller presents her side of what happened when she was sexually assaulted by Stanford student Brock Turner and forced to endure a long and traumatizing trial in the public eye. Drawing parallels between her own experience and the structural mistreatment of women in the court system, she explains what made her determined to share her story and empower other survivors.

Who should read Know My Name?

  • People who want to learn more about the experience of sexual assault survivors in the US court system
  • Memoir-lovers who want to be inspired by the story of a remarkable woman 
  • Activists who want inspiration for effecting political change

Memoirs Books: Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

Reasons to Stay Alive

Matt Haig
4.4 (313 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: Untamed by Glennon Doyle


Glennon Doyle
Stop Pleasing, Start Living
3.8 (191 ratings)

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

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

Questions I Am Asked About The Holocaust

Hédi Fried
4.6 (97 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: The Greater Freedom by Alya Mooro

The Greater Freedom

Alya Mooro
Life as a Middle Eastern Woman Outside the Stereotypes
3.8 (26 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: A Promised Land by Barack Obama

A Promised Land

Barack Obama
4.5 (428 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare by James Shapiro

A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare

James Shapiro
4.4 (114 ratings)

What's A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare about?

A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare (2005) sets out to answer a slippery question: How did Shakespeare become Shakespeare? Despite centuries of digging, literary scholars have failed to find the kind of documentary evidence that illuminates conventional biographies. Does that mean we can only speculate about the great dramatist’s life? Not quite. In these blinks, we’ll shed light on the real Shakespeare by reconstructing the world in which he lived during the single and remarkable year of 1599.

Who should read A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare?

  • Shakespeare lovers
  • History buffs
  • Theatergoers

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 (176 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey


Matthew McConaughey
4.3 (243 ratings)

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

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

The Diary of a Young Girl

Anne Frank
4.9 (152 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: Unapologetically Ambitious by Shellye Archambeau

Unapologetically Ambitious

Shellye Archambeau
Take Risks, Break Barriers, and Create Success on Your Own Terms
4.1 (100 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle

Love Warrior

Glennon Doyle
A Memoir
4.1 (89 ratings)

What's Love Warrior about?

Love Warrior (2017) by Glennon Doyle is a memoir that recounts how one woman battled through addiction, disordered eating, and betrayal by confronting and ultimately owning her vulnerabilities. More than that, it’s a meditation on what pain has to teach us, and how, by embracing our own failings, we can live as our most authentic selves.

Who should read Love Warrior?

  • Women who try not to take up too much space
  • Mothers struggling to reconnect with their own identities
  • Anyone who’s ever hit rock bottom and wanted to get back up

Memoirs Books: The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

The Last Lecture

Randy Pausch
4.4 (216 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: Sex for One by Betty Dodson

Sex for One

Betty Dodson
The Joy of Selfloving
4.2 (181 ratings)

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

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 (415 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: The Comfort Book by Matt Haig

The Comfort Book

Matt Haig
4.7 (657 ratings)

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

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 (670 ratings)

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

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 (278 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: The Way Forward by Robert O’Neill and Dakota Meyer

The Way Forward

Robert O’Neill and Dakota Meyer
Master Life's Toughest Battles and Create Your Lasting Legacy
3.9 (159 ratings)

What's The Way Forward about?

The Way Forward (2022) examines the intersection between combat and life as experienced by two decorated American veterans. Although war can be brutal, it also helped the authors uncover their humanity. And along the way, they learned some of life’s most important lessons that can be applied in both military and civilian contexts.

Who should read The Way Forward?

  • People serving in the military, their families, and veterans
  • Anyone wondering what it’s like to be an elite soldier
  • Those looking to be inspired by real-life heroes

Memoirs Books: The Rise by Mike Sielski

The Rise

Mike Sielski
Kobe Bryant and the Pursuit of Immortality
4.3 (233 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: Will by Will Smith with Mark Manson


Will Smith with Mark Manson
3.8 (277 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: Good Power by Ginni Rometty

Good Power

Ginni Rometty
Leading Positive Change in Our Lives, Work, and World
3.7 (58 ratings)

What's Good Power about?

Good Power (2023) is a memoir detailing the author’s experiences from childhood up to her becoming CEO of IBM. Sprinkled with personal growth and leadership lessons, it tackles the concept of “good power” and its five principles. 

Who should read Good Power?

  • Business leaders aspiring to change their community 
  • Professionals looking for leadership advice
  • Anyone wanting to change their own and others’ lives

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 (463 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: Good Arguments by Bo Seo

Good Arguments

Bo Seo
How Debate Teaches Us to Listen and Be Heard
4.6 (402 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: Finding Me by Viola Davis

Finding Me

Viola Davis
A Memoir
4.6 (265 ratings)

What's Finding Me about?

Finding Me (2022) is the highly anticipated memoir from Oscar-, Tony-, and Emmy-award winning actress Viola Davis. Davis is unafraid to share the rawest, most intimate details of her life story, from the brutal hardship of her childhood on Rhode Island, through her tenacious years as a Broadway stage actor, to her arrival into the upper echelons of Hollywood celebrity. 

Who should read Finding Me?

  • Film fans who loved Davis in Doubt, Fences, The Help, and more
  • Theater aficionados interested in a backstage perspective on Broadway
  • Anyone who can’t resist an inspiring true story of success against all odds

Memoirs Books: Spare by Prince Harry


Prince Harry
4.1 (625 ratings)

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

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

I Know why the Caged Bird Sings

Maya Angelou
4.8 (60 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: Everything I Know about Love by Dolly Alderton

Everything I Know about Love

Dolly Alderton
A Memoir
3.6 (14 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: Pageboy by Elliot Page


Elliot Page
A Memoir
3.4 (30 ratings)

What's Pageboy about?

Pageboy (2023) plunges you into the candid and compelling world of Elliot Page's life. Navigate through stories of self-discovery, transformation, and fortitude that shaped his remarkable journey.

Who should read Pageboy?

  • Members of the LGBTQ+ community
  • Allies, advocates, and identity explorers
  • Fims buffs and cinemagoers

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


Chesley B. Sullenberger III & Jeffrey Zaslow
My Search for What Really Matters
4.6 (13 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: The River of Doubt by Candice Millard

The River of Doubt

Candice Millard
Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey
3.8 (12 ratings)

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

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
4.4 (24 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: Thirteen Days by Robert F. Kennedy

Thirteen Days

Robert F. Kennedy
A Memoir Of The Cuban Missile Crisis
3.5 (43 ratings)

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

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 (100 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: All Boys Aren't Blue by George M. Johnson

All Boys Aren't Blue

George M. Johnson
A Memoir-Manifesto
2.8 (119 ratings)

What's All Boys Aren't Blue about?

All Boys Aren’t Blue (2020) is a memoir and a manifesto aimed at young people. The author shares their experiences of growing up Black and queer in the US, reflecting on family, identity, and sexuality.

Who should read All Boys Aren't Blue?

  • People who enjoy memoirs
  • People who identify as LGBTQ+
  • Anyone interested in race and identity

Memoirs Books: Becoming Myself by Irvin D. Yalom

Becoming Myself

Irvin D. Yalom
A Psychiatrist's Memoir
3.7 (113 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: Happy Sexy Millionaire by Steven Bartlett

Happy Sexy Millionaire

Steven Bartlett
Unexpected Truths about Fulfillment, Love, and Success
4.4 (315 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: Be Useful by Arnold Schwarzenegger

Be Useful

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Seven Tools for Life
4.4 (201 ratings)

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

Memoirs Books: Astor by Anderson Cooper & Katherine Howe


Anderson Cooper & Katherine Howe
The Rise and Fall of an American Fortune
4.5 (6 ratings)

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

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