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
324 52
The Glass Castle is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
The Glass Castle Jeannette Walls

2
212 36
The Diary of a Young Girl is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

3
182 39
Angela's Ashes is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Angela's Ashes Frank McCourt

4
143 25
Night is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Night Elie Wiesel

5
122 33
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sing... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

6
111 39
Running with Scissors is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Running with Scissors Augusten Burroughs

7
111 43
A Child Called
A Child Called "It" Dave Pelzer

8
96 39
Tuesdays With Morrie is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Tuesdays With Morrie Mitch Albom

9
63 19
All Creatures Great and Small is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

10
76 28
The Liars' Club is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
The Liars' Club Mary Karr

11
65 22
On Writing: A Memoir of the Cr... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

12
59 19
Midnight in the Garden of Good... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

13
82 37
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

14
56 22
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
49 17
Just Kids is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Just Kids Patti Smith

16
47 16
'Tis: A Memoir is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
'Tis: A Memoir Frank McCourt

17
54 22
Girl, Interrupted is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Girl, Interrupted Susanna Kaysen

18
44 16
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a ... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

19
44 16
Out of Africa is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Out of Africa Isak Dinesen

20
43 18
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

21
37 17
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

The Scariest Novels of All Time

22
33 14
Persepolis is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Persepolis Marjane Satrapi

23
39 19
Marley & Me: Life and Love wit... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

24
33 16
Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Ton... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

25
41 23
Prozac Nation is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Prozac Nation Elizabeth Wurtzel

26
32 16
The Hiding Place is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
The Hiding Place Corrie ten Boom

27
41 24
Naked is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Naked David Sedaris

28
31 16
The Color of Water: A Black Ma... is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

20 Books to Read in Your 20s

29
35 20
Nickel and Dimed is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Nickel and Dimed Barbara Ehrenreich

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

31
27 15
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Me... is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

32
28 16
Born Standing Up: A Comic's Li... is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

33
34 22
Dry is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Dry Barbara Sapergia, Augusten Burroughs

34
28 17
Not without my daughter is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Not without my daughter William Hoffer, Betty Mahmoody

35
28 18
Lucky is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Lucky Alice Sebold

Last Words Written By Famous People In Their Suicide Notes

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

37
24 19
The Last Lecture is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
The Last Lecture Randy Pausch, Jeffrey Zaslow

38
26 22
Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feyn... is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

39
24 20
Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524... is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

40
18 15
Tender at the bone is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Tender at the bone Ruth Reichl

41
49 47
Eat, Pray, Love is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert

42
23 21
Kitchen Confidential is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

The Most Rewatchable Movies

43
19 18
The Life and Times of the Thun... is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written

44
2 0
The Story of My Experiments wi... is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
simply_rishi added The Story of My Experiments with Truth Mahatma Gandhi

45
20 20
Cheaper by the Dozen is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Cheaper by the Dozen Frank Gilbreth^! Jr., Ernestine Carey

46
22 23
My Life in France is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
My Life in France Julia Child, Alex Prud'homme

47
4 4
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
12 14
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
19 22
Infidel is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written
Infidel Ayaan Hirsi Ali

50
14 17
Chronicles: Volume One is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Memoirs Ever Written