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
253 31
The Glass Castle is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
The Glass Castle Jeannette Walls

1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die The Best Novels About World War 2

2
157 22
The Diary of a Young Girl is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

3
108 15
Night is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Night Elie Wiesel

4
141 27
Angela's Ashes is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Angela's Ashes Frank McCourt

5
99 15
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sing... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

6
87 24
Running with Scissors is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Running with Scissors Augusten Burroughs

7
89 28
A Child Called
A Child Called "It" Dave Pelzer

8
47 7
This Boy's Life: A Memoir is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
noiradelic added This Boy's Life: A Memoir Tobias Wolff

9
61 16
The Liars' Club is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
The Liars' Club Mary Karr

10
50 11
On Writing: A Memoir of the Cr... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

11
68 23
Me Talk Pretty One Day is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Me Talk Pretty One Day David Sedaris

12
46 11
All Creatures Great and Small is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

13
42 9
Just Kids is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Just Kids Patti Smith

14
46 12
Midnight in the Garden of Good... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

15
72 30
Tuesdays With Morrie is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Tuesdays With Morrie Mitch Albom

20 Books to Read in Your 20s The Most Overrated Books of All Time

16
36 6
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a ... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

17
38 8
Out of Africa is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Out of Africa Isak Dinesen

18
37 8
The Autobiography of Malcolm X is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
The Autobiography of Malcolm X Alex Haley, Malcolm X

19
43 13
Girl, Interrupted is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Girl, Interrupted Susanna Kaysen

20
36 10
'Tis: A Memoir is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
'Tis: A Memoir Frank McCourt

21
30 7
The Diving-Bell and the Butter... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly Jean-Dominique Bauby

22
35 12
Prozac Nation is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Prozac Nation Elizabeth Wurtzel

23
26 5
Persepolis is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Persepolis Marjane Satrapi

24
33 12
Naked is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Naked David Sedaris

25
26 7
Marley & Me: Life and Love wit... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

26
24 6
Born Standing Up: A Comic's Li... is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

27
26 8
Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Ton... is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

28
28 10
Dry is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Dry Barbara Sapergia, Augusten Burroughs

29
23 7
The Autobiography of Benjamin ... is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

The Most Rewatchable Movies 39 Ways to Repel a Potential Girlfriend

30
23 7
The Hiding Place is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
The Hiding Place Corrie ten Boom

31
23 8
The Color of Water: A Black Ma... is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

32
19 6
Lucky is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Lucky Alice Sebold

33
25 12
Nickel and Dimed is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Nickel and Dimed Barbara Ehrenreich

34
18 6
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Me... is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

35
23 12
Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feyn... is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

36
17 7
The Life and Times of the Thun... is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

37
20 11
Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524... is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

38
13 5
Chronicles: Volume One is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

39
17 9
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
17 9
The Last Lecture is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
The Last Lecture Randy Pausch, Jeffrey Zaslow

41
18 10
My Life in France is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
My Life in France Julia Child, Alex Prud'homme

42
11 4
Boy: Tales of Childhood is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

43
13 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

The Best Movies Based on Short Stories The Best Mezcal Brands

44
17 10
Kitchen Confidential is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

45
11 7
Tender at the bone is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Tender at the bone Ruth Reichl

46
8 4
The Rum Diary is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Kyle Painter added The Rum Diary Hunter S. Thompson

47
10 7
Garlic and Sapphires is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Garlic and Sapphires Ruth Reichl

48
35 36
Eat, Pray, Love is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert

49
6 6
Lucky Man is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
fivefour68 added Lucky Man

50
5 5
Testimony is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
alfeyerabend added Testimony Solomon Volkov - Dmitri Shostakovich