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Best Biography and Memoir Recommendations

For some readers, real life is much more compelling than fiction, and real people are far more interesting than any character an author could dream up. If you're one of those readers, then biographies, autobiographies and memoirs are for you. 

The types of true stories are endless—there are romantic memoirs and tragic memoirs. There are short, essay-length memoirs that give you just a taste of an author’s writing. Perhaps you’re interested in a travel memoir that will make you feel as though you’ve walked the same steps as the writer, or you’re an American history buff looking for a bucket list of biographies on every American president. You could read a first-hand account from a former slave who became a dressmaker for Mary Todd Lincoln, or immerse yourself in Ruth Gruber’s own account of how she helped 1000 refugees find asylum. 

From biographies of politicians, business leaders, artists and celebrities, to memoirs that tell unforgettable true stories with unflinching honesty, these are the books that let you fully step into someone else's shoes.

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10 Super Scandalous Celebrity Biographies

Tuck in for a long evening with these juicy, super scandalous celebrity biographies.

11 Books on First Ladies of the United States

These First Ladies were leaders in their own right.

Anthony Summers Discusses Goddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe

The biography is the basis for a new Netflix documentary, streaming April 27.

Remembering Louie Anderson, 1953-2022

Read an excerpt from a book by the beloved stand-up comedian.

9 Gerald Durrell Books for Nature Lovers

“I believe that all children should be surrounded by books and animals.”―Gerald Durrell

8 Charming Hollywood Biographies for Young Readers

These entertaining yarns will delight readers of all ages.

Vita Sackville-West: Virginia Woolf’s Greatest Love Affair

Meet the woman who inspired Virginia Woolf's most fanciful novel.

Books to Read Before You Watch the New Velvet Underground Documentary

These books are necessary for new fans and longtime listeners alike.

5 Books About the Gossip Girls of Old Hollywood

Add some background reading material to your favorite podcast.

7 Trauma Books to Help You Start to Heal

These memoirs and self-help books will help you realize you're not alone.

10 Gripping Books by Women Crime Writers

You're about to become a serial reader.

The 16 Best Autobiographies To Change Your View of History

These unbelievable stories stretch beyond the pages of your average history book.

Andy Warhol's Factory People Is Coming to Kanopy

The revised documentary tells the story of the artist's famous Silver Factory.