books The Best Memoirs Ever Written  

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The best memoirs throughout literary history have managed to both educate and entertain readers over the years. They have introduced characters as compelling as any work of fiction - the world is able to know Elie Wiesel, Anne Frank, David Sedaris, and Maya Angelou through the pages of their famous memoirs. What are the best memoirs of all time? This list of popular memoirs includes literary works of art that provide historical accounts and biographies that were written from personal knowledge of historical accounts.

The thing that sets a top memoir apart from other literary works such as biographies or autobiographies is that it includes the personal experiences and first-hand accounts of the author. For example, Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl only discusses key experiences she lived through during the Holocaust, and the effects it had on her as a child.

In contrast, an autobiography will cover the entire span of the author’s life, such as The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams. Such works of literary will be a broader-focused perspective of an author’s life experiences instead of a more narrowed, single approach to a historical event. Both memoirs and autobiographies are true because they discuss true events that the author experienced or were a part of in some way. There are many different genres of memoirs that discuss a variety of topics. For a lighthearted read, Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom is one of reader’s top picks. If you’re looking for a more serious approach, consider Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place.
list ordered by

1
+ - 240 30
The Glass Castle is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
The Glass Castle Jeannette Walls

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2
+ - 148 21
The Diary of a Young Girl is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

3
+ - 105 15
Night is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Night Elie Wiesel

4
+ - 130 27
Angela's Ashes is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Angela's Ashes Frank McCourt

5
+ - 93 15
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sing... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

6
+ - 83 24
Running with Scissors is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Running with Scissors Augusten Burroughs

7
+ - 87 28
A Child Called
A Child Called "It" Dave Pelzer

8
+ - 60 14
The Liars' Club is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
The Liars' Club Mary Karr

9
+ - 42 7
This Boy's Life: A Memoir is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

10
+ - 65 22
Me Talk Pretty One Day is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Me Talk Pretty One Day David Sedaris

11
+ - 45 11
On Writing: A Memoir of the Cr... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

12
+ - 67 28
Tuesdays With Morrie is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Tuesdays With Morrie Mitch Albom

13
+ - 41 11
All Creatures Great and Small is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

14
+ - 34 6
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a ... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

15
+ - 38 9
Just Kids is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Just Kids Patti Smith

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16
+ - 34 8
The Autobiography of Malcolm X is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
The Autobiography of Malcolm X Alex Haley, Malcolm X

17
+ - 34 8
Out of Africa is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Out of Africa Isak Dinesen

18
+ - 39 12
Midnight in the Garden of Good... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

19
+ - 40 13
Girl, Interrupted is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Girl, Interrupted Susanna Kaysen

20
+ - 28 7
The Diving-Bell and the Butter... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly Jean-Dominique Bauby

21
+ - 25 5
Persepolis is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Persepolis Marjane Satrapi

22
+ - 31 10
'Tis: A Memoir is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
'Tis: A Memoir Frank McCourt

23
+ - 33 12
Prozac Nation is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Prozac Nation Elizabeth Wurtzel

24
+ - 31 12
Naked is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Naked David Sedaris

25
+ - 27 9
Dry is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Dry Barbara Sapergia, Augusten Burroughs

26
+ - 24 7
Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Ton... is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

27
+ - 23 7
Marley & Me: Life and Love wit... is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

28
+ - 21 6
Born Standing Up: A Comic's Li... is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

29
+ - 21 6
The Autobiography of Benjamin ... is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

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30
+ - 21 6
The Hiding Place is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
The Hiding Place Corrie ten Boom

31
+ - 18 5
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Me... is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

32
+ - 20 7
The Color of Water: A Black Ma... is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

33
+ - 23 10
Nickel and Dimed is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Nickel and Dimed Barbara Ehrenreich

34
+ - 18 6
Lucky is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Lucky Alice Sebold

35
+ - 22 11
Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feyn... is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

36
+ - 16 6
The Life and Times of the Thun... is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

37
+ - 16 9
The Last Lecture is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
The Last Lecture Randy Pausch, Jeffrey Zaslow

38
+ - 10 4
Boy: Tales of Childhood is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

39
+ - 14 8
Not without my daughter is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Not without my daughter William Hoffer, Betty Mahmoody

40
+ - 16 10
My Life in France is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
My Life in France Julia Child, Alex Prud'homme

41
+ - 17 11
Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524... is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

42
+ - 10 5
Chronicles: Volume One is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

43
+ - 11 6
Cheaper by the Dozen is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Cheaper by the Dozen Frank Gilbreth^! Jr., Ernestine Carey

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44
+ - 13 9
Kitchen Confidential is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

45
+ - 10 6
Tender at the bone is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Tender at the bone Ruth Reichl

46
+ - 9 6
Garlic and Sapphires is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Garlic and Sapphires Ruth Reichl

47
+ - 6 5
Lucky Man is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

48
+ - 5 4
Testimony is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Testimony Solomon Volkov - Dmitri Shostakovich

49
+ - 5 4
The Rum Diary is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
The Rum Diary Hunter S. Thompson

50
+ - 32 35
Eat, Pray, Love is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert