Tuesday, February 28, 2023

A Pretty Long List of the Best Memoirs I Have Read, Sorted by Categories

Here is a pretty long list of the best memoirs I have read, sorted into categories. 
I've highlighted my ten favorites. 
The links take you to my reviews.


Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America by Firoozeh Dumas
Geisha: A Life by Mineko Iwasaki

Crying in the Bathroom by Erika L. Sánchez

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood by Alexandra Fuller

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson


Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley

The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz
Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci
Comfort Me with Apples by Ruth Reichl
Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl
Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl


Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik

My Life in France by Julia Child

A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

Paris in Winter: An Illustrated Memoir by David Coggins


Name All the Animals: A Memoir by Alison Smith

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year by Anne Lamott

Truth and Beauty by Ann Patchett


Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science by Atul Gawande

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande

My Own Country: A Doctor's Story by Abraham Verghese

Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth


H is for Hawk by Helen McDonald

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

Walden by Henry David Thoreau

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriott

Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey


The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson

A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel

Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Hypocrite in a Pouffy Dress: Tales of Growing Up Groovy and Clueless by Susan Jane Gilman


Lit by Mary Karr

The Tender Bar by J. R. Moehringer

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me by Ellen Forney

Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealey

Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson

Sorry I'm Late, I Didn't Want to Come: An Introvert's Year of Living Dangerously by Jessica Pan

What I Thought I Knew by Alice Eve Cohen

Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses by Claire Dederer

My Year with Eleanor by Noelle Hancock

Riding the Bus with My Sister by Rachel Simon

Educating Esmé: Diary of a Teacher's First Year by Esmé Raji Codell


The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

Educated by Tara Westover

The Memory Palace by Mira Bartok

Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner

The Liar's Club by Mary Karr


Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreath

My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

The Egg and I by Betty McDonald


Just Mercy: A Story of Mercy and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

March, Book 1Book 2Book 3 by John Lewis

The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border by Francisco Cantu

Solito: A Memoir by Javier Zamora

The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande


Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon
River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze by Peter Hessler


Night by Elie Wiesel

The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui

Other lists of memoirs I've compiled in the past:

A Comprehensive List of the World's Best Memoirs of Bookish Lives of Readers

Books that Make Me Hungry: The Best Memoirs About Learning to Cook and Bake

Do you have any favorite memoirs I've not included here?
Please share them in the comments.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.     

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