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.
Dig into 46 top-notch biographies—one for each American president.
Explore writing from native authors.
Buckle up, we're in for an emotional roller coaster.
Ian S. MacNiven’s 1998 biography remains the most intimate portrait of Lawrence Durrell.
These coming-of-acceptance stories need to be at the top of your list.
By DeAnna Janes
Truth is stranger than fiction, indeed...
It’s time to give credit where credit’s due.
The Montgomery Clift author was 86 years old.
The American Dirt controversy has made it even harder to make the cut.
An excerpt from the memoir of a woman who bought her own freedom and became a dressmaker for Mary Todd Lincoln.
Read an excerpt from Kirk Douglas's 2012 memoir.
Short insights with big impacts.