20 Diaries You Won’t Get In Trouble for Reading

Posted by Marie on October 09, 2017
There's something special about diaries. They record our memories, hold our confessions, and pass no judgment. It's a function that's become a bit of an anomaly in an age where sharing, tweeting, and posting nearly every passing thought has become the norm.

Perhaps that's why novels written as diaries are so gripping. You can watch a character's mind unfold and become privy to their inner fears, hopes, dreams, and motivations. From the classic horror of Dracula, to the haphazard romance of Bridget Jones' Diary, to children's favorite Diary of a Wimpy Kid, these narratives are as intimate as they are immersive.

So if you can keep a secret, here are 20 fictional diaries where you can play the role of confidante. Funny, heartbreaking, and chilling—these diaries come in all shapes and sizes. Let us know which ones you recommend in the comments below!


Go Ask Alice
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Notes from Underground
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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
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Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey
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The Color Purple
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Flowers for Algernon
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Bridget Jones's Diary
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Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
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What Was She Thinking? [Notes on a Scandal]
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Dracula
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Diary
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Diary of a Madman and Other Stories
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Diary of a Wimpy Kid
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The Awakening
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The Princess Diaries
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The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4
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The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer
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Microserfs
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The Basic Eight
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The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn
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Comments Showing 1-33 of 33 (33 new)

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message 1: by Brianna (new)

Brianna The Basic Eight is a thriller!! I loved that book


message 2: by Tone (new)

Tone I miss The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank on this list.


message 3: by Arah-Lynda (new)

Arah-Lynda Tone wrote: "I miss The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank on this list."

Agreed! How could that be?


message 4: by Breslin (new)

Breslin White I remember reading Zoe Heller's book and thinking, what am I really reading here? But the other diary, and also a fictional one, that I enjoyed is Dostoevsky's Notes From Underground.


message 5: by Marcus (new)

Marcus Steffanci Tone wrote: "I miss The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank on this list."

In the article, it says novels written as diaries. These are all fictional


message 6: by Raymond (new)

Raymond Meditations by Marcus Aurelius Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (although it's non-fiction).


message 7: by Lexi (new)

Lexi Diary of a Madman by Lu Xun


message 8: by Nichole (new)

Nichole Anais Nin's unexpurgated diaries


message 9: by Leon (new)

Leon There's also a novel called THE ESCAPE DIARY by Leon Thomas. A story of sexual abuse.


Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* Ha, you will get into trouble reading The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer if you ever sneak it to school in Junior High like I did. Some detailed sexual stuff in there!


message 11: by Nida (new)

Nida Fatima Tone wrote: "I miss The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank on this list."

This is a list of fictional diaries.


message 12: by Alice (new)

Alice Heider Don't forget about all of the Dear America/Royal America/My Name is America books! Those were my favorite growing up. I loved reading about different historical events and eras and people.


message 13: by Sarina (new)

Sarina Arah-Lynda wrote: "Tone wrote: "I miss The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank on this list."

Agreed! How could that be?"


The Diary of Anne Frank is not fictional. This is a list of fictional diaries.


Elizabeth ♛Smart Girls Love Trashy Books♛ This is one of my most favorite writing styles! Something about it just seems so....personal.


Heather Codename: ♕Dutchess♕ Tone wrote: "I miss The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank on this list."

You missed the word "fictional" as well.
Fiction = not real.
Non-fiction = real.


message 16: by Kaitlin (new)

Kaitlin Out of all these books, all I read are Go Ask Alice and Dracula on this list


message 17: by Scarlet (new)

Scarlet Tone wrote: "I miss The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank on this list."

I had this thought too, but this is a list of fictional diaries, Anne Frank's was real!


message 18: by Lapsus (last edited Oct 09, 2017 04:18PM) (new)

Lapsus Linguae description
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte also includes diary.


message 19: by pml (new)

pml I've read five of those listed, but my favorite is the unlisted Touchstone series by Andrea K. Höst. The first four volumes are all in diary format, and book 1 Stray is currently a Kindle freebie.


message 21: by Cooper (new)

Cooper Sanders What about Anne Frank's "Diary of A Young Girl?"


message 22: by Debra (new)

Debra What about Amanda Grange. She wrote 4 books in diary form, all based on characters from Jane Austen novels.


message 23: by Karen Floyd (new)

Karen Floyd In the three "Emily" books by L. M. Montgomery diary entries are plentifully interspersed with narrative fiction. Very well done and effective, I thought.
I'll admit I was disappointed that this was a list of fictional diaries. Goodreads, how about coming up with a list of 20 must-read real diaries?


Elizabeth ♛Smart Girls Love Trashy Books♛ Karen Floyd wrote: "In the three "Emily" books by L. M. Montgomery diary entries are plentifully interspersed with narrative fiction. Very well done and effective, I thought.
I'll admit I was disappointed that this wa..."


Are there enough actual, real published diaries for that?


message 25: by Karen Floyd (new)

Karen Floyd I think so. Marcus Aurelius, Anais Nin, and Anne Frank as mentioned above. Multi-volumes of Virginia Woolf, L. M. Montgomery, Henry David Thoreau, John Adams, and John Quincy Adams. Some of them are probably hard to find, I 'll admit. I shall have to explore this. What fun!


message 26: by Jen (new)

Jen Alright, my childhood called - I thought 'Catherine, called Birdy, ' would be on this list.


message 27: by Jessy (new)

Jessy The Bridget Jones diary, The Princess diaries and the secret dairy of Anne Boleyn.


message 28: by Antonio (new)

Antonio Gallo You forgot the Diary of Anne Frank ...


message 29: by Abu Saleh Musa (new)

Abu Saleh Musa Patoary Is there any special reason to exclude 'The Golden Notebook' from the list?


message 30: by Katsuro (last edited Oct 10, 2017 04:23AM) (new)

Katsuro Ricksand Abu Saleh Musa wrote: "Is there any special reason to exclude 'The Golden Notebook' from the list?"
If I remember correctly, that book isn't written completely in diary form.

Karen Floyd wrote: "I think so. Marcus Aurelius, Anais Nin, and Anne Frank as mentioned above. Multi-volumes of Virginia Woolf, L. M. Montgomery, Henry David Thoreau, John Adams, and John Quincy Adams. Some of them ar..."

Don't forget about The Pillow Book by Sei Shōnagon, and the Warhol Diaries by, well, by Warhol.

Cooper wrote: "What about Anne Frank's "Diary of A Young Girl?""

That one's real. This is a list of fictional notebooks.


message 31: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Normand Wow, I read a lot of these books:
1. The color purple
2. Flowers for Algenon
3. Bridget Jones's Diary
4. Gentlemen prefer blondes
5. Dracula
6. The princess diaries
7. The secret diary of Anne Boleyn


message 32: by Hillary (new)

Hillary Arah-Lynda wrote: "Tone wrote: "I miss The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank on this list."

Agreed! How could that be?"


I thought the same thing, but read the last paragraph again and realized it isn't there because this list is for fictional diaries only.


message 33: by Christina (new)

Christina Jen wrote: "Alright, my childhood called - I thought 'Catherine, called Birdy, ' would be on this list."

I loved that book!


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