Best Books List: Memoir and Autobiography

Making that Best Books List for Comedy a few weeks back really made me wonder why I didn’t include comedy on my Best Books List. Then I wondered why I didn’t include memoir, history, travel, nonfiction, food, journalism, graphic novels, YA, and literary. Besides (already included) philosophy and religion, these are all things I love to read. But I like to read the best of them. There is a lot of overlap on these lists, and they tend to be a bit myopic; perhaps in the future I’ll have to add a best of indie or best of self-published. Until then, I am going to do a series on more best books list, by subject.

And no, I didn’t come up with these. I just put them together by comparing best books genre lists from the more reliable sources I could find. In no particular order, this week, it’s…

Memoirs and Autobiography (with a little Biography)

  • Tuesdays With Morrie, Mitch AlbomANGELAS ASHES
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi
  • Angela’s Ashes, Frank McCourt (read this awhile ago. Maybe four stars?)
  • A Long Way Gone, Ishmael Beah (One of the last things I read before starting the Best Books list. Again, maybe four stars.)
  • Running With Scissors, Augusten Burroughs (also on the comedy list)
  • Born Standing Up, Steve Martin (also on the comedy list)
  • The Glass Castle, Jeanette Walls
  • Night, Elie Wiesel (How many times has this been recommended to me?)
  • LONG WAY GONESpeak, Memory, Vladamir Nobokov
  • The Liars Club, Mary Karr
  • Maus, Art Spiegelman
  • The Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston
  • Darkness Visible, William Stryon
  • This Boy’s Life, Tobias Wolf
  • Lives of the Ceasars, Seutonius
  • Experience, Martin Amis
  • A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway
  • The Life of Samuel Johnson, James Boswell
  • NIGHTEminent Victorians, Lytton Stratchey
  • Goodbye to All That, Robert Graves
  • The Moon’s a Balloon, David Niven
  • Rings of Saturn, W. G. Sebald
  • The Diaries of Samuel Pepys, Samuel Pepys (I have wanted to read these forever)
  • De Profundis, Oscar Wilde
  • Alan Clark: Diaries, Alan Clark
  • The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Gertrude Stein
  • Seven Pillars of Wisdom, T. E. Lawrence
  • Testament of Youth, Vera Brittain
  • SAMUEL PEPYSMy Family and Other Animals, Gerald Durrell
  • Homage to Catalonia, George Orwell
  • The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank (read a long time ago)
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou (read in high school) *
  • Wild Swans, Jung Chang
  • Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, Giorgio Vasari
  • Walden, Henry David Thoreau
  • The Life of Charlotte Bronte, Elizabeth Gaskell (so going to read this ASAP)
  • Out of Africa, Karen Blixen
  • AMAZING GRACE BOOKThe Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion
  • A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers
  • Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi (saw the movie)
  • Amazing Grace, Eric Metaxas
  • The Girl from Yamhill and My Own Two Feet, Beverly Cleary
  • No Pretty Pictures, Anita Lobel
  • Poet Warrior, Joy Harjo

What do you think? Good list? You read any? It is the shortest list, for some reason. You have any additions?



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