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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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Why My Dark Vanessa Was Dropped From Oprah's Book Club

The American Dirt controversy has made it even harder to make the cut.

How Former Slave Elizabeth Keckley Befriended the Lincolns

An excerpt from the memoir of a woman who bought her own freedom and became a dressmaker for Mary Todd Lincoln.

I Am Spartacus! Remembering Kirk Douglas, 1916-2020

Read an excerpt from Kirk Douglas's 2012 memoir.

12 Powerful Books About Depression

Stories to remind us we're not alone.

15 Powerful Books About Immigration

Authors recount deeply personal stories of learning to adjust to life in a foreign world.

6 Books to Read Over the Winter Holidays

Whatever you’re doing this winter, make time for one of these great reads.

13 Famous Memoirs Everyone Should Read Once

There are tons of best selling memoirs, but these are the ones that deserve a spot in your TBR list.

10 Must-Read Pat Conroy Books

The Southern novelist shed light on inequality, abuse, and more.

The 10 Best Biographies and Memoirs for Every Kind of Reader

No matter what you're looking for, we have a book for you.

15 Best Memoirs That Will Change Your Outlook on Life

You can't help but see the world with a new perspective after reading these engrossing memoirs.

The Best Book Club Books for Fall 2019

There's something for everyone in this list!

8 Books We Wish We Read in High School

If we could do it all over again, we'd make time for these stories.

11 Travel Books That Take You Across the World

A good book can take you places you've never been.

15 Nonfiction Spy Books More Thrilling Than John le Carré

When it comes to spy stories, the truth is often stranger—and more compelling—than fiction.

9 Inspiring Survival Stories for Fans of Dunkirk

Like the heroes of the Battle of Dunkirk, these survivors stood their ground in the face of impossible odds.

10 Moving Biographies and Memoirs

Prepare to be blown away by these real-life stories of triumph over adversity.