Best Memoir / Biography / Autobiography

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

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4.15 avg rating — 2,714,031 ratings
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2

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4.28 avg rating — 895,614 ratings
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3

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4.34 avg rating — 963,200 ratings
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4

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4.11 avg rating — 536,085 ratings
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5

by
3.57 avg rating — 1,464,009 ratings
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6

by
4.18 avg rating — 391,700 ratings
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7

by
4.11 avg rating — 775,197 ratings
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8

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4.24 avg rating — 404,409 ratings
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9

by
3.99 avg rating — 872,316 ratings
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10

by
3.73 avg rating — 349,497 ratings
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11

by
4.11 avg rating — 376,958 ratings
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12

by
4.32 avg rating — 201,346 ratings
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13

by
4.25 avg rating — 156,915 ratings
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14

by
4.01 avg rating — 2,517 ratings
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15

by
4.32 avg rating — 113,501 ratings
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16

by
4.36 avg rating — 390,676 ratings
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17

by
4.42 avg rating — 254,039 ratings
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18

by
3.99 avg rating — 615,011 ratings
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19

by
4.35 avg rating — 249,416 ratings
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20

by
4.26 avg rating — 90,323 ratings
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21

by
4.14 avg rating — 439,054 ratings
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22

by
3.62 avg rating — 6,787 ratings
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23

by
4.06 avg rating — 308,558 ratings
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24

by
4.01 avg rating — 609,349 ratings
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25

by
4.16 avg rating — 162,004 ratings
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26

by
3.95 avg rating — 841,838 ratings
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27

by
3.93 avg rating — 46,211 ratings
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28

by
4.26 avg rating — 301,034 ratings
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29

by
4.07 avg rating — 581,729 ratings
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30

by
4.33 avg rating — 220,031 ratings
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31

by
4.21 avg rating — 77,655 ratings
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32

by
4.02 avg rating — 728 ratings
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33

by
4.08 avg rating — 130,796 ratings
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34

by
3.65 avg rating — 324,592 ratings
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35

by
3.78 avg rating — 91,672 ratings
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36

by
4.36 avg rating — 4,573 ratings
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37

by
4.09 avg rating — 102,801 ratings
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38

by
4.18 avg rating — 5,109 ratings
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39

by
4.55 avg rating — 135,301 ratings
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40

by
3.61 avg rating — 116,628 ratings
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41

by
3.95 avg rating — 1,057 ratings
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42

by
4.16 avg rating — 176,634 ratings
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43

by
4.39 avg rating — 118,117 ratings
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44

by
3.95 avg rating — 708 ratings
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45

by
3.90 avg rating — 179,409 ratings
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46

by
4.12 avg rating — 60,142 ratings
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47

by
3.92 avg rating — 221,442 ratings
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48

by
4.11 avg rating — 161 ratings
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49

by
4.28 avg rating — 16,282 ratings
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50

by
4.02 avg rating — 37,068 ratings
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51

by
3.79 avg rating — 30,884 ratings
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52

by
3.90 avg rating — 139,870 ratings
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53

by
4.37 avg rating — 759,975 ratings
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54

by
3.95 avg rating — 33,760 ratings
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55

by
4.56 avg rating — 128 ratings
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56

by
3.93 avg rating — 31,888 ratings
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57

by
3.89 avg rating — 190,834 ratings
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58

by
4.14 avg rating — 943,983 ratings
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59

by
3.69 avg rating — 169,407 ratings
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60

by
4.09 avg rating — 18,302 ratings
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61

by
3.65 avg rating — 221,220 ratings
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62

by
4.18 avg rating — 29,984 ratings
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63

by
4.03 avg rating — 83,986 ratings
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64

by
3.97 avg rating — 37,233 ratings
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65

by
3.57 avg rating — 1,200 ratings
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66

by
4.06 avg rating — 344,311 ratings
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67

by
3.93 avg rating — 58,737 ratings
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68

by
4.04 avg rating — 92,994 ratings
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69

by
4.27 avg rating — 154,761 ratings
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70

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 58,855 ratings
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71

by
3.99 avg rating — 82,817 ratings
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72

by
4.06 avg rating — 19,529 ratings
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73

by
4.18 avg rating — 31,508 ratings
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74

by
4.28 avg rating — 150,301 ratings
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75

by
3.70 avg rating — 54,651 ratings
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76

by
4.24 avg rating — 69,058 ratings
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77

by
4.08 avg rating — 223,669 ratings
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78

by
4.20 avg rating — 26,902 ratings
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79

by
4.33 avg rating — 117 ratings
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80

by
3.94 avg rating — 2,132 ratings
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81

by
3.97 avg rating — 48,996 ratings
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82

by
4.10 avg rating — 131 ratings
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83

by
4.08 avg rating — 128,994 ratings
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84

by
3.60 avg rating — 54,681 ratings
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85

by
4.31 avg rating — 47,422 ratings
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86

by
3.87 avg rating — 82,580 ratings
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87

by
4.23 avg rating — 38,607 ratings
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88

by
3.79 avg rating — 155,460 ratings
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89

by
4.34 avg rating — 33,449 ratings
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90

by
3.97 avg rating — 62,183 ratings
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91

by
4.05 avg rating — 28,985 ratings
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92

by
4.01 avg rating — 29,498 ratings
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93

by
4.21 avg rating — 71,243 ratings
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94

by
3.92 avg rating — 61,418 ratings
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95

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 535 ratings
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96

by
4.47 avg rating — 770,047 ratings
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97

by
4.11 avg rating — 64,345 ratings
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98

by
3.78 avg rating — 139,243 ratings
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99

by
4.09 avg rating — 236,114 ratings
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100

by
3.82 avg rating — 9,784 ratings
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4,843 books · 5,408 voters · list created July 13th, 2008 by Heather (votes) .
840 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Heather 1084 books
162 friends
Kate 3841 books
1366 friends
Nikhil P. 7719 books
195 friends
Russellino 444 books
2 friends
Chriss 270 books
416 friends
Jennifer 3274 books
38 friends
Tracy 429 books
36 friends
Asli 285 books
23 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-50 of 69 (69 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 (new)

Sue 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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