Memoirs are easily my favorite books to read. There's something about losing yourself in someone else's story. When an autobiography is compelling and well-written, it pulls you in and the authors experiences are so real to you. A good memoir can really change your perspective because it reveals another person's so deeply, whether it's light and funny or emotional and painful. If you love autobiographies, too, you should definitely check out these memoirs!
1 Hold Still by Sally Mann
This is an absolutely amazing memoir. Sally Mann is a photographer and that inspires her writing and descriptions in beautiful ways. The book explores Sally's feelings about mortality, race, her family, and her Southern roots as she discovers some sordid, beautiful, tragic truths about her family through old photographs and ancient papers. The book is peppered with photos, too, and wow, they really add to the story.
2 Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church by Rachel Held Evans
I like reading about things that I don't necessarily understand, and I'm definitely a sucker for autobiographies where the authors discuss or explore their religions because I'm not really religious myself – more spiritual than anything. Rachel Held Evans has a more millennial perspective that helps to identify with her, and the structure of the memoir is actually pretty beautiful.
3 Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own by Kate Bolick
This is just a fantastic read! Kate Bolick starts out revealing personal stories, but also uses her journalistic skills to really examine our cultural and societal ideas about women and their relationship statuses. I'm not even single and a lot of what she discovers and the ideas she puts forth really speak to me.
4 If You Feel Too Much: Thoughts on Things Found and Lost and Hoped for by Jamie Tworkowski
Jamie Tworkowski is one of my heroines, honestly. She wrote the story “To Write Love on Her Arms,” which is now an amazing suicide prevention organization. This book is just an inspiring. It's filled with essays about strength, loss, depression, and humanity, and I go back to it every time I need a little boost.
5 Blue-Eyed Boy by Robert Timberg
Robert Timberg is an incredible journalist. In 1967, he was also a soldier in Vietnam, where he suffered horrific burns after the vehicle he was in struck a land mine. This is a story of survival, determination, and hope. It's not a pretty read – there are harrowing details and descriptions of reactions that will make you cringe at humanity – but it's a beautiful story.
6 The Girl with Seven Names: a North Korean Defector’s Story by Hyeonseo Lee
Hyeonseo Lee's story is like nothing I could ever imagine. I don't think many of us could ever imagine enduring what she endured, losing what she lost, or discovering what she discovered. Her courage is an inspiration and her experiences will leave you so totally enraptured that this might be one of those books you accidentally end up reading until four o'clock in the morning.
7 The Man Who Quit Money by Mark Sundeen
MarkSundeen's memoir is something else. Can you imagine a man who livesentirely without money? He doesn't accept any aid, he doesn't paytaxes, he doesn't have a job, and he doesn't spend any of what hedoesn't have, either. Yet he survives – and, if the tone of hisbook and the stories it tells are any indication, he actuallythrives.
Anyother autobiography lovers out there? Share yourfavorite memoirs in the comments!
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