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
294 44
The Glass Castle is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
The Glass Castle Jeannette Walls

2
186 27
The Diary of a Young Girl is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

3
163 35
Angela's Ashes is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Angela's Ashes Frank McCourt

4
127 22
Night is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Night Elie Wiesel

5
114 21
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sing... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

6
100 30
Running with Scissors is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Running with Scissors Augusten Burroughs

7
101 37
A Child Called
A Child Called "It" Dave Pelzer

8
61 18
On Writing: A Memoir of the Cr... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

9
56 15
All Creatures Great and Small is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

10
68 23
The Liars' Club is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
The Liars' Club Mary Karr

11
78 30
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
86 37
Tuesdays With Morrie is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Tuesdays With Morrie Mitch Albom

13
54 16
Midnight in the Garden of Good... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

14
52 17
This Boy's Life: A Memoir is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
noiradelic added This Boy's Life: A Memoir Tobias Wolff

1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die

15
46 14
Just Kids is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Just Kids Patti Smith

16
51 18
Girl, Interrupted is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Girl, Interrupted Susanna Kaysen

17
41 12
Out of Africa is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Out of Africa Isak Dinesen

18
42 13
'Tis: A Memoir is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
'Tis: A Memoir Frank McCourt

19
41 13
The Autobiography of Malcolm X is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
The Autobiography of Malcolm X Alex Haley, Malcolm X

20
40 13
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a ... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

21
41 17
Prozac Nation is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Prozac Nation Elizabeth Wurtzel

The Best Free eBooks

22
34 13
The Diving-Bell and the Butter... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly Jean-Dominique Bauby

23
29 10
Persepolis is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Persepolis Marjane Satrapi

24
32 13
Marley & Me: Life and Love wit... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

25
38 19
Naked is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Naked David Sedaris

26
30 13
The Color of Water: A Black Ma... is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

27
28 13
Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Ton... is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

28
25 11
Born Standing Up: A Comic's Li... is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

20 Books to Read in Your 20s

29
23 10
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Me... is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

30
32 18
Dry is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Dry Barbara Sapergia, Augusten Burroughs

31
26 13
The Autobiography of Benjamin ... is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

32
29 17
Nickel and Dimed is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Nickel and Dimed Barbara Ehrenreich

33
23 12
Lucky is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Lucky Alice Sebold

34
25 14
The Hiding Place is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
The Hiding Place Corrie ten Boom

35
16 7
Boy: Tales of Childhood is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

Last Words Written By Famous People In Their Suicide Notes

36
25 18
Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feyn... is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

37
17 11
Cheaper by the Dozen is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Cheaper by the Dozen Frank Gilbreth^! Jr., Ernestine Carey

38
19 13
The Life and Times of the Thun... is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

39
21 15
My Life in France is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
My Life in France Julia Child, Alex Prud'homme

40
21 15
The Last Lecture is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
The Last Lecture Randy Pausch, Jeffrey Zaslow

41
22 16
Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524... is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

42
16 11
Tender at the bone is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Tender at the bone Ruth Reichl

95+ Amazing Behind the Scenes Photos from Iconic Movies

43
21 16
Kitchen Confidential is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

44
14 11
Chronicles: Volume One is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

45
17 15
Not without my daughter is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Not without my daughter William Hoffer, Betty Mahmoody

46
41 41
Eat, Pray, Love is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert

47
2 0
All over but the shoutin' is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
virtual61 added All over but the shoutin' Rick Bragg

48
10 10
The Rum Diary is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Kyle Painter added The Rum Diary Hunter S. Thompson

49
9 11
Lucky Man is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
fivefour68 added Lucky Man

50
10 13
Garlic and Sapphires is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Garlic and Sapphires Ruth Reichl