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Archives 2016-2017 > Timely List from Book Riot - 100 Must-Read Memoirs

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message 1: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6674 comments http://bookriot.com/2016/07/08/100-mu...

Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen (1937)

West With the Night by Beryl Markham (1942)

Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neale Hurston (1948)

Night by Elie Wiesel (1960) — Surviving the Holocaust

Paper Lion: Confession of a Last-String Quarterback by George Plimpton (1966)

Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody (1968)

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (1969)

Conundrum by Jan Morris (1974)

The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts by Maxine Hong Kingston (1976)

Wild Swan: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang (1991)

Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen (1993)

Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy (1994)

Dreaming by Carolyn See (1995)

The Liar’s Club by Mary Karr (1995)

The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride (1995)

Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt (1996)

Lucky by Alice Sebold (1999)

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers (2000)

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain (2000)

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King (2000)

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris (2000)

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela (2000)

First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung (2000)

Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood by Alexandra Fuller (2001)

She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders by Jennifer Finney Boylan (2003)

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi (2003)

Dry by Augusten Burroughs (2003)

Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of Growing up Iranian in America and American in Iran by Azadeh Moaveni (2005)

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (2005)

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (2005)

Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl (2005)

Jesus Land by Julia Scheeres (2005)

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (2006)

I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron (2006)

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah (2007)

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver (2007)

Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter by Adeline Yen Mah (1997)

The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness by Elyn R. Saks (2007)

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Jean-Dominique Bauby (2007)

The Sharper the Knife, the Less You Cry: Love, Laughter and Tears at the World’s Most Famous Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn (2007)

Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama (2007)

Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s by John Elder Robison (2007)

One Drop: My Father’s Hidden Life — A Story of Race and Family Secrets by Bliss Broyard (2007)

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami (2008)

Voluntary Madness by Norah Vincent (2008)

In the Sanctuary of Outcasts by Neil White (2009)

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home by Rhoda Janzen (2009)

I’m Down by Mishna Wolff (2009)

Just Kids by Patti Smith (2010)

The Bucolic Plague: How Two Manhattanites Became Gentlemen Farmers by Josh Kilmer-Purcell (2010)

Let’s Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship by Gail Caldwell (2010)

Making Toast by Roger Rosenblatt (2010)

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer (2010)

Lonely: Learning to Live with Solitude by Emily White (2010)

Hiroshima in the Morning by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto (2010)

Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman (2010)

Devotion by Dani Shapiro (2010)

Blood, Bones and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton (2011)

The Long Goodbye by Meghan O’Rourke (2011)

This Life Is in Your Hands: One Dream, Sixty Acres, and a Family Undone by Melissa Coleman (2011)

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch (2011)

What It Is Like to Go to War by Karl Marlantes (2011)

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling (2011)

Life Itself by Roger Ebert (2011)

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson (2011)

House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East by Anthony Shadid (2012)

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed (2012)

Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats by Kristen Iversen (2012)

One Hundred Names for Love by Diane Ackerman (2012)

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan (2012)

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson (2012)

Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles and So-Called Hospitality by Jacob Tomsky (2012)

Do You Dream in Color? Insights from a Girl Without Sight by Laurie Rubin (2012)

Does Jesus Really Love Me? A Gay Christian’s Pilgrimage in Search of God in America by Jeff Chu (2013)

The Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward (2013)

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb (2013)

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Col. Chris Hadfield (2013)

Coming Clean by Kimberly Rae Miller (2013)

Prairie Silence by Melanie Hoffert (2013)

Out With It: How Stuttering Helped Me Find My Voice by Katherine Preston (2013)

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson (2014)

Delancy: A Man, a Woman, a Restaurant, a Marriage by Molly Wizenberg (2014)

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty (2014)

Without You There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea’s Elite by Suki Kim (2014)

The Lonely War: One Woman’s Account of the Struggle for Modern Iran by Nazila Fathi (2014)

Daring: My Passages by Gail Sheehy (2014)

Fire Shut Up in My Bones by Charles Blow (2014)

Negroland by Margo Jefferson (2015)

It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War by Lynsey Addario (2015)

Girl in a Band by Kim Gordon (2015)

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein (2015)

H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald (2015)

Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs by Sally Mann (2015)

My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem (2015)

Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget by Sarah Hepola (2015)

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (2015)

All Who Go Do Not Return by Shulem Deen (2015)

Poor Your Soul by Mira Ptacin (2016)

Love, Loss and What We Ate by Padma Lakshmi (2016)

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi (2016)


message 2: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6674 comments I think I've read 21 of these . . .


message 3: by punxsygal (new)

punxsygal | 290 comments I've read 3 as it isn't a genre I go to a lot.


message 4: by Book Concierge (last edited Jul 08, 2016 02:50PM) (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6289 comments I've read 20 of them and am reading another right now (or listening to the audio) ... interesting list


message 5: by Jgrace (new)

Jgrace | 3065 comments I've only read 8 of them. Not my favorite genre, but I should knock down 1 or 2 this month.


message 6: by Nicole D. (new)

Nicole D. | 1496 comments oh wow, I've read 8


message 7: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments I've read seven, nearly eight. I was expecting less! I've actually enjoyed quite a few so perhaps I should stop saying I don't like memoirs. I can't believe Mindy Kaling is on the list. I attempted her second book and thought it was terrible!


message 8: by Ladyslott (new)

Ladyslott | 1880 comments I've read 16


message 9: by Kathy (new)

Kathy I have read only one and rated it 2 stars. Didn't realize how much I disliked this genre.


message 10: by LibraryCin (new)

LibraryCin | 8938 comments I've only read 16. I have 4 on the tbr.


message 11: by Sara (new)

Sara (mootastic1) | 770 comments I have read 5 and am starting another this weekend. I own 3 others and have several more on my TBR. I enjoy the idea of memoirs but I don't always enjoy them in actuality.


message 12: by Denizen (new)

Denizen (den13) | 1138 comments I've only read 4, am currently reading 1, and have another 4 on the TBR. It's obviously not a genre I seek out.


message 13: by Margaret (new)

Margaret (margarette) | 333 comments I've read 14.


message 14: by AJ (new)

AJ Timberlake (ajtimberlake) | 830 comments I've read 2

I want to read about 12 more though


message 15: by Blueberry (new)

Blueberry (blueberry1) 11 including I didn't finish. Surprised me. One is on my TBR shelf and another I requested my public library to order.


message 16: by Amy (new)

Amy | 9181 comments I have read only 9.


message 17: by Diane (new)

Diane Zwang | 485 comments I have only read 8. Some of these are on my TBR shelf.


message 18: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Pope (jenjunum) | 902 comments I had forgotten about Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. So good. I loved that one. I did not care for "Smoke gets in your eyes" at all. Her take on death is interesting but she totally skips over the cultures who's practices actually align with the way she thinks burials should be. I worked with Elyn Saks for a while (The Center Cannot Hold). She's an amazing woman, a genius, and she had schizophrenia. She's now a law professor at USC, she got a MacArthur genius grant and she can control her psychosis without medication. She's quite remarkable.


message 19: by Jen (new)

Jen | 1545 comments Anita wrote: "http://bookriot.com/2016/07/08/100-mu...

I've read 7. I don't read many memoirs so that is higher than I expected



message 20: by annapi (new)

annapi | 5130 comments I've only read 4, and there are a few on my TBR.


message 21: by KateNZ (new)

KateNZ | 2637 comments I've only read a couple, but there are some great books on the list. I really should read Night, by Elie Wiesel - such a remarkable man


message 22: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 699 comments I've read 12. and have a couple more planned for this year.
1. Night by Elie Wiesel (1960) — Surviving the Holocaust
2. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (1969)
3. Wild Swan: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang (1991)
4. The Liar’s Club by Mary Karr (1995)
5. Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt (1996)
6. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers (2000)
7. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King (2000)
8. Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi (2003)
9. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (2005)
10. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (2005)
11. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (2006)
12. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (2015)


message 23: by annapi (new)

annapi | 5130 comments Hello admins, it's July 11 and PBT's home page at the top still reads "The tag for June 2016 is fantasy". Wasn't sure where to post this but hope you will see it here!


message 24: by Ladyslott (new)

Ladyslott | 1880 comments annapi wrote: "Hello admins, it's July 11 and PBT's home page at the top still reads "The tag for June 2016 is fantasy". Wasn't sure where to post this but hope you will see it here!"


Thanks Anna - it's been updated.


message 25: by Kimber (new)

Kimber (kimberwolf) | 841 comments I've read 9:
Wild Swan: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang (1991)
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers (2000)
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King (2000)
Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood by Alexandra Fuller (2001)
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi (2003)
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (2006)
Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama (2007)
Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home by Rhoda Janzen (2009)
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (2015)

And I'm interested in another half dozen from the list:
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (1969)
I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron (2006)
Just Kids by Patti Smith (2010)
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer (2010)
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson (2011)
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson (2014)


message 26: by Michael (new)

Michael (mike999) | 569 comments I like Kristel's list. My 12 includes 7 of hers and want to read her others. So few in the 20th century. The Marlantes on combat experience barely scratches the surface on soldier's war experience. I think of Robert Graves' "Goodbye to All That" for WW1 and Michael Herr's "Dispatches" and O'Brien's "Things They Carried" for Vietnam.


message 27: by Linda C (last edited Jul 13, 2016 06:12AM) (new)

Linda C (libladynylindac) | 1141 comments I've read 15. And have several others on my TBR list.
However, one of my favorites, The Road from Coorain, didn't make the list or my all time favorite, 84, Charing Cross Road. Boo Hoo!


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