Books The Best Memoirs Ever Written  

Ranker Books
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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
361 64
The Glass Castle is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Jeannette Walls

2
239 42
The Diary of a Young Girl is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

3
210 43
Angela's Ashes is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Frank McCourt

4
158 31
Night is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Elie Wiesel

5
136 39
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sing... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

6
119 42
Running with Scissors is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Augusten Burroughs

7
123 51
A Child Called
Dave Pelzer

8
106 41
Tuesdays With Morrie is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Mitch Albom

9
70 19
All Creatures Great and Small is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

10
73 22
On Writing: A Memoir of the Cr... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

11
87 31
The Liars' Club is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Mary Karr

12
66 19
Midnight in the Garden of Good... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

13
90 38
Me Talk Pretty One Day is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
David Sedaris

14
55 18
Just Kids is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Patti Smith

15
63 24
This Boy's Life: A Memoir is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
noiradelic added Tobias Wolff

16
53 18
'Tis: A Memoir is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Frank McCourt

17
60 24
Girl, Interrupted is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Susanna Kaysen

18
48 16
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a ... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

19
47 17
Out of Africa is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Isak Dinesen

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

21
45 20
Marley & Me: Life and Love wit... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

22
37 14
Persepolis is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Marjane Satrapi

23
36 16
The Color of Water: A Black Ma... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

24
37 17
Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Ton... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

25
43 23
Prozac Nation is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Elizabeth Wurtzel

26
37 18
The Diving-Bell and the Butter... is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Jean-Dominique Bauby

27
43 24
Naked is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
David Sedaris

28
39 22
Dry is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Barbara Sapergia, Augusten Burroughs

29
37 21
Nickel and Dimed is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Barbara Ehrenreich

30
32 17
The Hiding Place is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Corrie ten Boom

31
30 16
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Me... is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

32
30 17
The Autobiography of Benjamin ... is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

33
31 18
Not without my daughter is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
William Hoffer, Betty Mahmoody

34
30 19
Lucky is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Alice Sebold

35
28 19
Born Standing Up: A Comic's Li... is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

36
27 21
The Last Lecture is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Randy Pausch, Jeffrey Zaslow

37
29 23
Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feyn... is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

38
17 13
Boy: Tales of Childhood is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

39
28 25
Kitchen Confidential: Adventur... is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

40
53 51
Eat, Pray, Love is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Elizabeth Gilbert

41
26 24
Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524... is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

42
20 19
Tender at the bone is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Ruth Reichl

43
22 23
Cheaper by the Dozen is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Frank Gilbreth, Jr., Ernestine Carey

44
6 6
All over but the shoutin' is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
virtual61 added Rick Bragg

45
2 2
Teacher Man is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
liuy038 added Frank McCourt

46
1 1
Born On A Blue Day is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Trivia Wiz added Danniel Tammet

47
23 26
My Life in France is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Julia Child, Alex Prud'homme

48
21 24
Infidel is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Ayaan Hirsi Ali

49
19 22
The Life and Times of the Thun... is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

50
2 3
The Story of My Experiments wi... is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
simply_rishi added Mahatma Gandhi