Best Memoir / Biography / Autobiography

NOTE: This list is for non-fiction only.
500

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4.22 avg rating — 34,799 ratings
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502

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3.95 avg rating — 4,702 ratings
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503

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4.05 avg rating — 3,226 ratings
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504

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3.99 avg rating — 135 ratings
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505

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3.89 avg rating — 5,202 ratings
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505

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4.25 avg rating — 4,876 ratings
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505

by
4.01 avg rating — 109 ratings
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505

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3.95 avg rating — 6,841 ratings
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509

by
3.31 avg rating — 105,156 ratings
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510

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3.49 avg rating — 6,018 ratings
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511

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3.80 avg rating — 25 ratings
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511

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4.34 avg rating — 158,365 ratings
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513

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4.05 avg rating — 66 ratings
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513

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3.79 avg rating — 30,598 ratings
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515

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3.96 avg rating — 2,132 ratings
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516

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4.20 avg rating — 15,155 ratings
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517

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4.17 avg rating — 5,869 ratings
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518

by
3.69 avg rating — 13 ratings
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519

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4.22 avg rating — 4,368 ratings
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520

by
4.12 avg rating — 11,505 ratings
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520

by
4.60 avg rating — 44,317 ratings
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522

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4.57 avg rating — 7,338 ratings
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522

by
4.27 avg rating — 33 ratings
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524

by
3.92 avg rating — 16,446 ratings
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525

by
4.08 avg rating — 1,168 ratings
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526

by
4.02 avg rating — 1,122 ratings
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527

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3.58 avg rating — 4,841 ratings
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527

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3.99 avg rating — 4,992 ratings
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527

by
4.21 avg rating — 1,441 ratings
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530

by
3.84 avg rating — 944 ratings
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530

by
4.14 avg rating — 9,639 ratings
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532

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3.83 avg rating — 993 ratings
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532

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3.65 avg rating — 1,512 ratings
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532

by
4.15 avg rating — 10,886 ratings
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532

by
4.13 avg rating — 3,357 ratings
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536

by
4.13 avg rating — 1,665 ratings
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536

by
4.10 avg rating — 10 ratings
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538

by
3.91 avg rating — 3,658 ratings
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538

by
3.84 avg rating — 28,054 ratings
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538

by
3.94 avg rating — 863 ratings
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541

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4.21 avg rating — 7,731 ratings
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541

by
4.12 avg rating — 109,734 ratings
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543

by
4.30 avg rating — 10 ratings
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544

by
3.87 avg rating — 596 ratings
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544

by
4.31 avg rating — 16,562 ratings
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546

by
4.22 avg rating — 41,463 ratings
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547

by
4.12 avg rating — 2,647 ratings
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547

by
4.39 avg rating — 103,095 ratings
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547

by
3.73 avg rating — 7,110 ratings
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550

by
3.66 avg rating — 1,290 ratings
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551

by
3.80 avg rating — 4,049 ratings
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551

by
4.02 avg rating — 2,908 ratings
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553

by
3.95 avg rating — 942 ratings
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554

by
3.69 avg rating — 5,359 ratings
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555

by
3.95 avg rating — 3,002 ratings
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556

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 2,606 ratings
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557

by
3.75 avg rating — 8,183 ratings
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557

by
4.18 avg rating — 1,376 ratings
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559

by
3.79 avg rating — 674 ratings
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559

by
3.89 avg rating — 3,253 ratings
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561

by
4.20 avg rating — 4,178 ratings
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562

by
3.79 avg rating — 3,274 ratings
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563

by
3.80 avg rating — 7,980 ratings
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563

by
3.95 avg rating — 8,823 ratings
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565

by
2.69 avg rating — 160 ratings
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565

by
4.45 avg rating — 29 ratings
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565

by
4.28 avg rating — 113 ratings
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565

by
4.50 avg rating — 167 ratings
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565

by
4.27 avg rating — 32,208 ratings
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565

by
4.76 avg rating — 17 ratings
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565

by
4.80 avg rating — 5 ratings
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565

by
4.14 avg rating — 22 ratings
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573

by
4.08 avg rating — 52,366 ratings
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573

by
4.30 avg rating — 12,750 ratings
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573

by
4.04 avg rating — 12,322 ratings
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576

by
3.58 avg rating — 773 ratings
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576

by
3.51 avg rating — 381 ratings
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576

by
4.18 avg rating — 28 ratings
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576

by
3.95 avg rating — 2,909 ratings
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580

by
3.99 avg rating — 1,371 ratings
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580

by
4.17 avg rating — 23 ratings
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580

by
4.04 avg rating — 294 ratings
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580

by
3.75 avg rating — 8 ratings
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584

by
4.12 avg rating — 2,944 ratings
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584

by
4.15 avg rating — 33 ratings
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586

by
3.91 avg rating — 519 ratings
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586

by
3.89 avg rating — 7,350 ratings
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588

by
4.17 avg rating — 19,065 ratings
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588

by
3.87 avg rating — 48,035 ratings
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588

by
3.91 avg rating — 78,153 ratings
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588

by
4.42 avg rating — 120,130 ratings
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592

by
3.66 avg rating — 10,214 ratings
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592

by
4.31 avg rating — 12,822 ratings
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592

by
4.01 avg rating — 1,614 ratings
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592

by
4.29 avg rating — 800 ratings
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592

by
4.30 avg rating — 7,483 ratings
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597

by
3.49 avg rating — 11,039 ratings
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598

by
4.18 avg rating — 4,268 ratings
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598

by
3.78 avg rating — 19,510 ratings
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598

by
4.40 avg rating — 23,880 ratings
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4,000 books · 4,503 voters · list created July 13th, 2008 by Heather (votes) .
Tags: biography, memoir
644 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Heather 1012 books
156 friends
Kate 3247 books
1299 friends
Nikhil P. 7459 books
191 friends
Russellino 387 books
2 friends
Chriss 260 books
411 friends
Jennifer 1432 books
20 friends
Tracy 371 books
34 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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