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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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8 Roaring 20s Books to Usher in the Next Era

The Roaring 20s was a time of true change for a world that had just recovered.

6 Fascinating Biographies on Ernest Hemingway

Celebrate the life of one of the most iconic American writers to date.

10 Foodie Books Featuring Strong Women

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”―Virginia Woolf

Read an Excerpt From Overcoming Hate Through Dialogue

Find out what happened when a Muslim politician decided to have coffee with the people who sent her hate mail.

Remembering Cloris Leachman, 1926-2021

Read an excerpt from Cloris Leachman's 2009 autobiography.

Recharge with 10 Books About Inspirational People

These stories will remind yourself that the world changes when one person steps up.

The Forgotten Treasure: 7 Books by Emily Hahn

The little-known author and journalist captured England and China like few others have.

7 Books About the Thrilling Game of Chess

A glimpse into the high-stakes strategy game from fantasy to nonfiction.

The Best Presidential Biographies For History Buffs

Dig into 46 top-notch biographies—one for each American president.

8 Books on Grief to Help You Handle a Loss

These memoirs and novels will help you feel understood and unalone in your sorrow.

11 Top-Notch Works of Journalism

Get your knowledge on with these groundbreaking works of journalism.

Read an Excerpt from Lawrence Durrell, a Stunning Biography

Ian S. MacNiven’s 1998 biography remains the most intimate portrait of Lawrence Durrell.

The Best Nonfiction Books of All Time

In these books, the real story was more than enough.

7 Trans Memoirs That Inspire, Impress, and Encourage

These coming-of-acceptance stories need to be at the top of your list.