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.

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351 61
The Glass Castle is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
The Glass Castle Jeannette Walls

2
227 41
The Diary of a Young Girl is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

3
199 42
Angela's Ashes is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Angela's Ashes Frank McCourt

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153 29
Night is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Night Elie Wiesel

5
131 37
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sing... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

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117 42
Running with Scissors is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Running with Scissors Augusten Burroughs

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117 50
A Child Called
A Child Called "It" Dave Pelzer

8
67 19
All Creatures Great and Small is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

9
102 41
Tuesdays With Morrie is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Tuesdays With Morrie Mitch Albom

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86 31
The Liars' Club is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
The Liars' Club Mary Karr

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70 22
On Writing: A Memoir of the Cr... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

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63 19
Midnight in the Garden of Good... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

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88 38
Me Talk Pretty One Day is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Me Talk Pretty One Day David Sedaris

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52 17
'Tis: A Memoir is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
'Tis: A Memoir Frank McCourt

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53 18
Just Kids is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Just Kids Patti Smith

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61 24
This Boy's Life: A Memoir is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
noiradelic added This Boy's Life: A Memoir Tobias Wolff

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47 16
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a ... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

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47 17
Out of Africa is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Out of Africa Isak Dinesen

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56 24
Girl, Interrupted is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Girl, Interrupted Susanna Kaysen

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46 20
The Autobiography of Malcolm X is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
The Autobiography of Malcolm X Alex Haley, Malcolm X

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44 20
Marley & Me: Life and Love wit... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

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35 14
Persepolis is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Persepolis Marjane Satrapi

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35 16
The Color of Water: A Black Ma... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

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37 18
The Diving-Bell and the Butter... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly Jean-Dominique Bauby

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35 17
Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Ton... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

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Prozac Nation is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Prozac Nation Elizabeth Wurtzel

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42 24
Naked is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Naked David Sedaris

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The Hiding Place is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
The Hiding Place Corrie ten Boom

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36 20
Nickel and Dimed is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Nickel and Dimed Barbara Ehrenreich

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37 22
Dry is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Dry Barbara Sapergia, Augusten Burroughs

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30 16
The Autobiography of Benjamin ... is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

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28 15
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Me... is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

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30 17
Not without my daughter is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Not without my daughter William Hoffer, Betty Mahmoody

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30 18
Lucky is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Lucky Alice Sebold

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28 17
Born Standing Up: A Comic's Li... is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

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17 11
Boy: Tales of Childhood is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

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26 20
The Last Lecture is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
The Last Lecture Randy Pausch, Jeffrey Zaslow

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28 22
Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feyn... is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

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28 23
Kitchen Confidential is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

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25 21
Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

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52 49
Eat, Pray, Love is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert

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

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All over but the shoutin' is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
virtual61 added All over but the shoutin' Rick Bragg

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Cheaper by the Dozen is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Cheaper by the Dozen Frank Gilbreth, Jr., Ernestine Carey

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2 1
The Story of My Experiments wi... is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
simply_rishi added The Story of My Experiments with Truth Mahatma Gandhi

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1 0
Teacher Man is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
liuy038 added Teacher Man Frank McCourt

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23 24
My Life in France is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
My Life in France Julia Child, Alex Prud'homme

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Infidel is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Infidel Ayaan Hirsi Ali

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The Life and Times of the Thun... is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

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13 14
The Rum Diary is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Kyle Painter added The Rum Diary Hunter S. Thompson