Best Memoir / Biography / Autobiography

NOTE: This list is for non-fiction only.
1

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4.11 avg rating — 2,154,368 ratings
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2

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4.25 avg rating — 691,402 ratings
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3

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4.30 avg rating — 757,628 ratings
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4

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4.08 avg rating — 442,457 ratings
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5

by
3.52 avg rating — 1,255,316 ratings
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6

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4.12 avg rating — 310,993 ratings
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7

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4.07 avg rating — 620,652 ratings
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8

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3.70 avg rating — 314,350 ratings
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9

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3.96 avg rating — 707,328 ratings
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10

by
4.20 avg rating — 304,579 ratings
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11

by
4.09 avg rating — 328,209 ratings
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12

by
3.99 avg rating — 1,823 ratings
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13

by
4.23 avg rating — 125,981 ratings
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14

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4.29 avg rating — 141,602 ratings
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15

by
4.42 avg rating — 193,194 ratings
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16

by
3.62 avg rating — 5,798 ratings
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17

by
4.12 avg rating — 395,682 ratings
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18

by
4.06 avg rating — 238,424 ratings
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19

by
3.97 avg rating — 533,105 ratings
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20

by
4.31 avg rating — 100,531 ratings
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21

by
4.35 avg rating — 204,431 ratings
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22

by
4.34 avg rating — 218,700 ratings
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23

by
3.89 avg rating — 35,770 ratings
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24

by
4.23 avg rating — 71,309 ratings
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25

by
4.14 avg rating — 131,846 ratings
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26

by
4.25 avg rating — 258,289 ratings
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27

by
4.04 avg rating — 550 ratings
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28

by
4.20 avg rating — 65,008 ratings
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29

by
4.10 avg rating — 3,367 ratings
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30

by
3.64 avg rating — 296,618 ratings
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31

by
3.97 avg rating — 454,183 ratings
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32

by
4.32 avg rating — 163,684 ratings
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33

by
3.92 avg rating — 771 ratings
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34

by
3.95 avg rating — 655,759 ratings
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35

by
3.98 avg rating — 652 ratings
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36

by
4.07 avg rating — 113,719 ratings
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37

by
4.07 avg rating — 87,102 ratings
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38

by
4.04 avg rating — 439,126 ratings
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39

by
4.12 avg rating — 51,577 ratings
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40

by
4.53 avg rating — 91,410 ratings
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41

by
3.58 avg rating — 101,332 ratings
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42

by
4.19 avg rating — 135 ratings
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43

by
3.77 avg rating — 84,249 ratings
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44

by
4.37 avg rating — 84,028 ratings
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45

by
4.65 avg rating — 112 ratings
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46

by
3.90 avg rating — 156,528 ratings
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47

by
4.14 avg rating — 129,061 ratings
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48

by
3.91 avg rating — 182,831 ratings
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49

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 30,985 ratings
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50

by
4.30 avg rating — 14,799 ratings
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51

by
3.96 avg rating — 26,139 ratings
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52

by
3.68 avg rating — 153,539 ratings
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53

by
3.87 avg rating — 106,023 ratings
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54

by
3.91 avg rating — 27,061 ratings
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55

by
3.55 avg rating — 989 ratings
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56

by
4.01 avg rating — 75,692 ratings
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57

by
3.79 avg rating — 24,388 ratings
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58

by
3.62 avg rating — 193,733 ratings
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59

by
3.96 avg rating — 31,434 ratings
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60

by
3.82 avg rating — 144,682 ratings
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61

by
4.18 avg rating — 23,398 ratings
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62

by
4.01 avg rating — 47,783 ratings
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63

by
4.06 avg rating — 13,903 ratings
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64

by
3.93 avg rating — 49,813 ratings
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65

by
3.92 avg rating — 1,606 ratings
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66

by
4.20 avg rating — 118 ratings
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67

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 75,646 ratings
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68

by
3.97 avg rating — 70,799 ratings
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69

by
4.23 avg rating — 54,588 ratings
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70

by
4.16 avg rating — 22,111 ratings
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71

by
3.67 avg rating — 48,135 ratings
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72

by
4.29 avg rating — 116,239 ratings
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73

by
3.99 avg rating — 27,206 ratings
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74

by
3.96 avg rating — 42,964 ratings
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75

by
3.91 avg rating — 53,500 ratings
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76

by
4.29 avg rating — 107,435 ratings
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77

by
4.21 avg rating — 57,667 ratings
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78

by
4.11 avg rating — 315 ratings
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79

by
4.01 avg rating — 152,195 ratings
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80

by
3.71 avg rating — 117,779 ratings
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81

by
3.95 avg rating — 51,021 ratings
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82

by
4.26 avg rating — 26,053 ratings
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83

by
4.05 avg rating — 279,945 ratings
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84

by
4.08 avg rating — 16,385 ratings
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85

by
3.87 avg rating — 68,150 ratings
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86

by
3.83 avg rating — 168 ratings
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87

by
3.79 avg rating — 126,395 ratings
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88

by
4.09 avg rating — 53,447 ratings
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89

by
4.09 avg rating — 130 ratings
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90

by
4.10 avg rating — 656,223 ratings
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91

by
4.08 avg rating — 210,317 ratings
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91

by
4.29 avg rating — 34,783 ratings
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93

by
4.31 avg rating — 21,886 ratings
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94

by
4.11 avg rating — 91,959 ratings
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95

by
4.06 avg rating — 25,948 ratings
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96

by
4.17 avg rating — 29,905 ratings
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97

by
4.12 avg rating — 62,771 ratings
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98

by
3.79 avg rating — 30,999 ratings
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99

by
3.96 avg rating — 20,848 ratings
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100

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 25,199 ratings
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3,886 books · 4,393 voters · list created July 13th, 2008 by Heather (votes) .
618 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Heather 1005 books
155 friends
Kate 3161 books
1285 friends
Nikhil P. 7403 books
191 friends
Russellino 380 books
2 friends
Chriss 258 books
412 friends
Jennifer 1411 books
20 friends
Tracy 371 books
33 friends
Asli 285 books
21 friends

More voters…


Comments (showing 1-50 of 60) (60 new)


message 1: by Raelle (new)

Raelle Koota PATRON SAINT OF USED CARS AND SECOND CHANCES
by MARK MILLHONE

Beautiful, honest memoir that appeals to both men and women which is so rare. It is very funny, but have your kleenex near by and the phone numbers of family members handy to tell them you love them and value them


message 2: by Ryann (last edited Oct 02, 2009 01:06PM) (new)

Ryann FYI: "What is the What" is not a memoir. Nor is "Sarah's Key." Both are great books, but they're fiction.


message 3: by Fiona (new)

Fiona Ryann wrote: "FYI: "What is the What" is not a memoir. Nor is "Sarah's Key." Both are great books, but they're fiction. "

Neither is memoirs of a geisha!!! Come on people, figure it out...


message 4: by Julie (new)

Julie add:Time To Be In Earnest: A Fragment Of Autobiography|3831], P. D. James

This is fabulous. six stars


message 5: by Pia (new)

Pia Never forget Anne Frank.


message 6: by Jaliyah (new)

Jaliyah this was a good book..going to read more like this !


message 7: by Kelsey (new)

Kelsey The Lovely Bones isn't a memoir or biography.


message 8: by Xenophon (new)

Xenophon Hendrix Hannibal by Thomas Harris and Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller are both fiction, and I removed them.


message 9: by Sue T (new)

Sue T Wow, I'm seeing a lot of fiction on this list.


message 10: by Linda (new)

Linda Sue T wrote: "Wow, I'm seeing a lot of fiction on this list."

Can we get them removed? One of the reasons I came to look at this list was to find good biographies to add to my TBR list, so I want to be sure I'm not reading a book I think is a biography then discover it was fiction.


message 11: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Linda wrote: "Sue T wrote: "Wow, I'm seeing a lot of fiction on this list."

Can we get them removed? One of the reasons I came to look at this list was to find good biographies to add to my TBR list, so I want ..."


Please don't remove them - even those are fiction-biography books, this list is still gorgeous.


message 12: by Elle (new)


message 13: by Darbi (new)

Darbi Simmons Thank you so much for creating this list Heather! I have been looking for 'Oh the Glory of it all." for years but I couldn't remember the name, thought I knew I would recognize the cover. I found it on your list and now I can read it again! Your awesome!


message 14: by Janet (new)

Janet "Good Grief" is fiction.


message 15: by Janet (new)

Janet "The Friday Night Knitting Club" is fiction. Why do people put fiction titles on non-fiction lists??


message 16: by Guy (new)

Guy Here's a real fun wild and crazy memoir about the movie biz and about finding true love...please vote for this cover - Kiss Me Quick Before I Shoot :)


message 17: by John (new)

John Scott Khaled Hosseini's Books (Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns) are Fiction.


message 18: by Sadi (new)

Sadi Without moving from the first page there are at least three fiction novels on this.


message 19: by Missy J (new)

Missy J "Eat, Pray, Love" ranks higher up than "First they killed my father"?

The world is ending...


message 20: by Atticus (new)

Atticus No one even mentioned A Playboy Virgin's Manifesto by Atticus Rockefellar. Oh, the humanity!

http://www.amazon.com/Playboy-Virgins...


message 21: by Ben (last edited Sep 14, 2012 12:25PM) (new)

Ben The following are fiction:

#113 A Thousand Splendid Suns
#128 Memoirs of a Geisha

Shall I delete? Any others that need to go?


message 22: by Ben (new)

Ben I added a list description:

NOTE: This list is for non-fiction only.

Hopefully, this will stop the tide of fiction.


message 23: by Jean (new)

Jean Perry The Agony and the Ecstacy is fiction.


message 24: by Julie (new)

Julie Too bad one can only have 100 books on a list. I've read so many more great ones than are on my list.


message 25: by Julie (new)

Julie Not really sure if I'd classify Torey Hayden's books as memoirs but they all are great.


message 26: by William (new)

William Pfefferkorn how can i print out a list of just the title and author


message 27: by I-love-reading (new)

I-love-reading A million little pieces was later proved to be fiction


message 28: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy A number of the books on the list are fiction, for example, Winds of War


message 29: by Morgan (new)

Morgan a thousand splendid suns is fiction...


message 30: by Xenophon (new)

Xenophon Hendrix Morgan wrote: "a thousand splendid suns is fiction..." Deleted.


message 31: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy Memory Keeper's daughter is fiction


message 32: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy Also Brick Lane and Pope Joan are novels as well. Laura Ingallss Wilder's books are generally classified as fiction


message 33: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy one more. A tree grows in Brookly is fiction as well.


message 34: by Cherie (new)

Cherie Magnus How can we search for specific titles on this list?


message 35: by John (last edited May 21, 2014 11:30AM) (new)

John Scott I call "stupid" or "a--hole" on every single one of the people putting fiction on this list.


message 36: by Lesley (new)

Lesley Three cups of tea is fiction.


message 37: by Xenophon (new)

Xenophon Hendrix Lesley wrote: "Three cups of tea is fiction."

It's marketed as a memoir.


message 38: by Lesley (new)

Lesley Amazon has added: 'From Viking Press
In regards to the 60 Minutes episode that aired April 17, 2011: "Greg Mortenson’s work as a humanitarian in Afghanistan and Pakistan has provided tens of thousands of children with an education. 60 Minutes is a serious news organization and in the wake of their report, Viking plans to carefully review the materials with the author."'


message 39: by Xenophon (new)

Xenophon Hendrix If we start judging memoirs and biographies on their truthfulness, it will open a huge can of worms, and so far as I know, librarians haven't been given any guidance on the issue.


message 40: by Mitchell (new)

Mitchell this list could use a minimum number of ratings - like 1000 - to avoid author spam.


message 41: by Sue (new)

Sue "The Shack" is NOT memoir


message 42: by Devorah (new)


message 43: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy Winds of War and the Bell Jar are both fiction


message 44: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy She's Come Undone, Great Expectations and Uncle Tom's Cabin are all fiction.


message 45: by Keston (new)

Keston Ott-Dahl Saving Delaney

Laugh, Cry and be INSPIRED by this amazing little warrior!


message 46: by Donna (last edited Jun 13, 2016 11:39AM) (new)

Donna Davis Removed for being children's fiction: Little House on the Prairie

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7...

NONE of the "Little House" series is autobiography. When confronted by a journalist about the scene in one of the books in which a family member is chased by ravenous wolves, which of course is not something wolves do to humans, LIW replied with great dignity that she had not intended to write history; she intended to write stories for children.

This author does have an actual memoir, but it doesn't, at least in my opinion, hold the charm and interest level that her children's series commands.

Oh wow...I'm going to find that whole series here, aren't I? Removed from #124, see above, Farmer Boy:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8...

..and less than 1 minute later, I find the entire series in one boxed set; I wasn't so clairvoyant as to see it coming, but expected to find it one title at a time...and likely I still will. Anyway, gone from #194:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

From #466 On the Banks of Plum Creek:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7...
Also from page 5, The Long Winter:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7...

P.6 Little Town on the Prairie
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7...

Also from p6 Those Happy Golden Years

and The First Four Years
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7...

p. 10, By the Shores of Silver Lake:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

#744, removed for being fictional, Great Expectations:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...


message 47: by Donna (last edited Jul 01, 2016 07:56PM) (new)

Donna Davis #221, removed for being fictional, Sherman Alexie's Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6...

Travel book removed from #209:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

Removed:
The Winds of War, fiction:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...

and Good Grief, also fiction:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...


message 48: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl The ones by McCullough on Truman and John Adams are not memoirs. They are extremely well researched biographies. A memoir is a non -fiction book written from personal experience. Or a written account of one's memory of certain events or people. One could write a memoir of a person to whom one is or was very close as a spouse, or child. I agree - a lot of fiction on this list as well!


message 49: by Donna (last edited Aug 16, 2016 03:46PM) (new)

Donna Davis Cheryl wrote: "The ones by McCullough on Truman and John Adams are not memoirs. They are extremely well researched biographies. A memoir is a non -fiction book written from personal experience. Or a written accou..."

Take another look at the title of the listopia. Memoir, biography, autobiography. McCullough is dull as dirt, imho, but his books are clearly within the parameters of the listmaker.

If you see fiction and want me to pull it, give me titles and tell me what page each is on, and I'll be happy to do it. I have a little time right now and will check the list to see what jumps out at me.


message 50: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis Humorous guinea pig book is not a memoir:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...

Removed from #319.


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