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Mean Baby: A Memoir of Growing Up

This memoir is witty, funny, heartbreaking, and beautifully written. This book will be loved by fans of Blair’s work and of her MS advocacy.

Tears Over Russia: A Search for Family and the Legacy of Ukraine’s Pogroms

Timely and essential reading.

Moon in Full: A Modern Day Coming-of-Age Story

Chann’s enriching memoir speaks to those who feel they are still growing up and learning to overcome trauma. Though the narrative slows down when the author focuses on the psychology of Christian conservatism, the story he tells is an important one.

A Portrait of the Scientist as a Young Woman

With wide appeal to a wide audience, this work provides a closer look at the human side of science.

Milo’s Eyes: How a Blind Equestrian and Her “Seeing Eye Horse” Saved Each Other

Not just for horse fans. The author’s frank talk about her fear of losing her independence because of her blindness will resonate with any reader facing physical or other challenges.

Phyllis Frye and the Fight for Transgender Rights

This compelling and inspirational biography is a great addition to the collection.

A Way Out of No Way: A Memoir of Truth, Transformation, and the New American Story

Warnock’s intimate account of life-changing moments and the arc of events in Georgia and America holds wide appeal and will particularly appeal to readers of faith.

Rough Draft

Memoir readers will be captivated by Tur’s story.

Daughters of the Flower Fragrant Garden: Two Sisters Separated by China’s Civil War

A wonderful addition to any library that will appeal to a wide audience interested in historical narrative, Chinese history, family dynamics, and generally as a story of struggle against the odds.

A Childhood: The Biography of a Place

In rough-hewn speech fluent as a river and forceful as a hammer blow, Crews captures the warmth, dignity, and brutality of his people and their fierce and awful devotion to home. This is his masterpiece.

My Boy Will Die of Sorrow: A Memoir of Immigration from the Front Lines

Readers will appreciate this memoir as a moving firsthand account but also as a call to action to ensure that human rights prevail at America’s borders.

More After the Break: A Reporter Returns to Ten Unforgettable News Stories

Reading these excellent stories is like watching the author report in real time.

We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story

A powerful story about a family struggling under the weight of definitions of sacrifice and success, and reconciliation and forgiveness.

Asylum: A Memoir & Manifesto

Okporo’s personal journey is touching, and his skillful explanation of the corrupt immigration processes and policies that continue to reject and exclude the very people they are meant to aid is a timely plea for reform and empathy.

Normal Family: On Truth, Love, and How I Met My 35 Siblings

Eloquently written and compulsively readable, Bilton’s jaw-dropping coming-of-age memoir--and the love and survival found within its pages--is one readers won’t soon forget.

Blood Orange Night: My Journey to the Edge of Madness

This cautionary tale will help many understand how prescription drug dependency can happen and the strength and courage required to overcome it. Highly recommended.

Muddy People: A Muslim Coming of Age

El Sayed’s coming-of-age memoir about resiliency, family, and identity will delight readers as a study of making sense of a world where rules can often help along the way.

Knocking Myself Up: A Memoir of My (In)Fertility

Recommended to round-out parenting collections with a new perspective on family.

All of This: A Memoir of Death and Desire

Be prepared to laugh, to cry, and possibly to be mortified at the level of detail Woolf feels comfortable sharing; but in the end, readers will definitely be glad they got on this roller coaster with her.

Coming Up for Air

Daley’s conversational style will appeal to a wide audience interested in sports and contemporary gay lives. Highly recommended.

Soundings: Journeys in the Company of Whales

This memoir, with its vividly described events and locales, along with its natural history frame, will appeal to readers who enjoy narrative nonfiction or travel memoirs about women recreating themselves, natural history, Indigenous cultures, and whales. Fans of Margaret Renkl’s Late Migrations or Meredith May’s The Honey Bus will relish Cunningham’s story.

All Down Darkness Wide: A Memoir

Readers seeking an elegant, profound memoir will find none better than this. Highly recommended.

The Movement Made Us: A Father, a Son, and the Legacy of a Freedom Ride

Moving, evocative, and haunting, this father-son perspective on the civil rights movement is a necessary read and a great addition for all library collections.

Riding the Lightning: A Year in the Life of a New York City Paramedic

Fans of TV shows about emergency medicine will appreciate the fast, episodic pace and life lessons of Almojera’s memoir.

This Is Not a Pity Memoir

A powerful, fragmented journey through brain injury. This book will especially appeal to Morgan’s fans, and to those who have experienced similar journeys.

I Can Take It from Here: A Memoir of Trauma, Prison, and Self-Empowerment

Forbes has a story that needs to be read, and one that she has clearly synthesized and analyzed to ensure its significance encompasses both her personal successes and a much larger societal reform.

The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor—the Truth and the Turmoil

An intriguing account of the royals that should provoke much discussion (and many arguments). Fans of the British royals and royal history will be seeking out Brown’s book, particularly as 2022 is Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee year.

Miss Memory Lane

Recommended for readers seeking narratives of recovery in the morass of Hollywood.

Ivy Lodge: A Memoir of Translation and Discovery

Marshall’s reflections on coming of age during the 1960s will appeal to some readers, as will her experience being raised by cold and distant parents.

James Patterson by James Patterson: The Stories of My Life

Given Patterson’s audience, this throwaway memoir will be popular even though it isn’t merited.

The Crane Wife: A Memoir in Essays

Hauser has created a meandering but entertaining look into her professional and personal life. Readers looking for something a little different in a memoir will not be disappointed.

The Summer Friend: A Memoir

A readable, if slight, memoir about summer, family, and friendship.

An Extravagant Life: An Autobiography Incorporating Blue Water, Green Skipper

Woods’s fans will learn little of how he writes. Yachting enthusiasts will enjoy the racing segment but it’s of modest interest to anyone else.

Very Bad People: The Inside Story of the Fight Against the World’s Network of Corruption

This memoir combines the thrill of field work filming illegal and dangerous organizations with the mundane work of policy and environmental reporting. An important history of environmentalism.

How To Be a Boss B*tch

Custom-made for Quinn’s 1.8 million Instagram followers, who will jump at the chance to learn all of her secrets to success and will find the unabashedly open personal anecdotes motivating and moving.

Downton Shabby: One American’s Ultimate DIY Adventure Restoring His Family’s English Castle

An lightweight book for people interested in English period detail.

Magic Season: A Son’s Story

Libraries looking to increase their LGBTQ+ memoir collections will not want to miss this worthy entry.

The Adventures of Herbie Cohen: World’s Greatest Negotiator

A fast-paced, clear-eyed view of a colorful character and a complicated father. Any library with Rich Cohen’s other works (or Herb Cohen’s best seller You Can Negotiate Anything) will find this a solid add for their collections.

Lily’s Promise

The author’s attention to detail makes for an intimate and memorable read. Best suited for those interested in Judaica, European studies, and memoirs.

American Hiro: The Adventures of Benihana’s Rocky Aoki and How He Built a Legacy

A fun, light, and entertaining read, although readers of contemporary biographies may find some portions dated. Recommended for libraries attempting to improve AAPI representation in their collections as there are so few titles available featuring successful Japanese American entrepreneurs.

Warfighter: The Story of an American Fighting Man

While Johnson’s career is deserving of a deeper work with better treatment, the present work should appeal to fans of Cold War–era to present-day military memoirs.

The First Populist: The Defiant Life of Andrew Jackson

A noteworthy narrative of a confrontational and consequential character, especially good for those new to the field of presidential history.

Game: An Autobiography

Highly recommended and essential for public and school library collections.

This Body I Wore: A Memoir

Powerful and beautifully written, this is a mesmerizing memoir and will appeal to fans of Melissa Febos and Roxane Gay.

The Importance of Not Being Ernest: My Life with the Uninvited Hemingway

An absolute delight! Full of personality, Kurlansky’s book will enchant history, literarature, and Hemingway fans alike.

When Marilyn Met the Queen: Marilyn Monroe’s Life in England

An enjoyable peek into the past that provides insight into Monroe’s life and the zeitgeist of 1950s England. Film buffs and fans of the era will enjoy Morgan’s biography, as will any reader interested in Monroe and her enduring legacy.

Nora Ephron: A Biography

Doidge’s vivacious, enthusiastic biography has serious undertones, much like Ephron herself. It will appeal to Ephron’s broad swath of fans. Includes book club questions.

A Life in Light: Meditations on Impermanence

A beautifully written, quiet, contemplative memoir that many will enjoy.

Also a Poet: Frank O’Hara, My Father, and Me

Deeply moving and exceptionally well written, this offbeat memoir will please anyone interested in the NYC art scene from the 1950s on. Every father should have a daughter as loving, perceptive and honest as Calhoun.

Little Brother: Love, Tragedy, and My Search for the Truth

A heartfelt account of a life cut short, and the jarring inequities that contributed to the tragedy.

The High Sierra: A Love Story

Robinson’s writing is clear, fun, and filled with joy for time spent in the mountains. This lengthy memoir will appeal to fans of Robinson and the Sierras.

Anna: The Biography

A challenging read for those lacking industry knowledge, but it still fascinates with Odell’s well-documented account of Wintour’s broad influence.

Napoleon: The Decline and Fall of an Empire, 1811–1821

A masterful and unfailingly insightful examination of Napoleon’s final years.

Tears of My Mother: The Legacy of My Nigerian Upbringing

This memoir is a love letter to Dr. Osefo’s mother and first-generation immigrants all across America. Readers don’t have to be Real Housewives fans to enjoy this touching story of love, loss, and emotional growth.

Traitor King: The Scandalous Exile of the Duke & Duchess of Windsor

Crisp prose, meticulous research with extensive footnotes, and careful objectivity make Lownie’s biography accessible to all readers.

Fly Girl: A Memoir

An engaging memoir perfect for fans of Hood’s and readers interested in aviation history or who love a good coming-of-age memoir.

My Seven Black Fathers: A Young Activist’s Memoir of Race, Family, and the Mentors Who Made Him Whole

Jawando has written an enlightening, heartfelt memoir that will appeal to readers looking for a “different” all-American story; one that shows the power of community to uplift Black men in the United States.

Mother Noise

A powerful, brilliant exploration of motherhood and its inextricable links to the other selves comprising a mother; those pieces that society doesn’t accept as part of the entrenched narrative about the meaning and purpose of motherhood.

Ma and Me

A lyrical, disarmingly honest memoir of family ties and self-discovery.

Team America: Patton, MacArthur, Marshall, Eisenhower, and the World They Forged

Ultimately a good biography and analysis of four important leaders; should be valuable for any readers interested in World War II history or leadership studies.

Bomb Shelter: Love, Time, and Other Explosives

Philpott gives words to feelings of worry that many readers can likely relate to, and she gives readers hope, not by offering solutions, but by telling them that they are not alone.

Rebel: My Escape from Saudi Arabia to Freedom

A heartbreaking and tense narrative of discovery and escape.

Easy Street: A Story of Redemption from Myself

Fans of Rowe’s dark humor and previous memoir will enjoy the next chapter in her life. Caregivers and relations of semi-dependent adults and those struggling with mental health will identify with the tussle of making it through, day by day.

Deaf Utopia: A Memoir—and a Love Letter to a Way of Life

DiMarco’s memories, told with a true gift of storytelling and filled with his big personality, are funny and enlightening for any reader.

Queen of Our Times: The Life of Queen Elizabeth II

An excellent biography of Queen Elizabeth II, a fitting tribute to a dedicated monarch. Especially recommended to those interested in the British royal family.

Sisters of Mokama: The Pioneering Women Who Brought Hope and Healing to India

A heartfelt account of service and change. Recommended for readers interested in Catholic or Indian history.

The Sky Above: An Astronaut’s Memoir of Adventure, Persistence, and Faith

This well-written memoir will interest aviation and space buffs with its nail-biting war stories and thrilling space adventures.

The Buddha Sat Right Here: A Family Odyssey Through India and Nepal

Libraries with travel memoir fans should add this to their collection.

The Puzzler: One Man’s Quest To Solve the Most Baffling Puzzles Ever, from Crosswords to Jigsaws to the Meaning of Life

A fun, interactive exploration of the history and hidden world of puzzles. A must-read for puzzle enthusiasts of all skill levels.

Start Without Me: (I’ll Be There in a Minute)

While the cynical humor will not be for everyone, Janetti’s memoir will be a solid choice for those who liked Do You Mind If I Cancel? or who follow his social media.

Benjamin Franklin Butler: A Noisy, Fearless Life

Leonard sets the record straight on Butler and provides an object lesson on the ways his personality and principles combined to effect public good.

Constructing a Nervous System

A fierce and fresh amalgamation of memoir and cultural criticism by one of the country’s most compelling thinkers. Highly recommended.

Learning America: One Woman’s Fight for Educational Justice for Refugee Children

This is a beautifully written memoir of one woman’s commitment to equality and respect for displaced people in the United States; her schools’ achievements are impressive evidence. Highly recommended.

Easy Beauty

Cooper Jones’s book will encourage readers to view bodies (their own and others’) in a new, more graceful light. Recommended for most memoir collections.

Riverman: An American Odyssey

An intriguing character study for anyone interested in the life of a man with an adventurous spirit and an engaging personality, who collected friends across the country.

The Hangman and His Wife: The Life and Death of Reinhard Heydrich

A dual biography that will have wide appeal for fans of World War II history. Recommended for all libraries.

Everything Left To Remember: My Mother, Our Memories, and a Journey Through the Rocky Mountains

This grounded, readable, and gracefully written memoir is an interesting take on the road trip genre, particularly relatable to people affected by dementia.

Chosen: A Memoir of Stolen Boyhood

Important testimony; recommended for all libraries.

Burn the Page: A True Story of Torching Doubts, Blazing Trails, and Igniting Change

A must-read for fans of unlikely heroes, LGBTQ memoirs, humor, and, of course, heavy metal.


An engrossing biography of a cinema icon, not to be missed by fans of classic Hollywood.

Citizen Cash: The Political Life and Times of Johnny Cash

A unique and interesting perspective that will be of particular interest to Cash fans.

The Beauty of Dusk: On Vision Lost and Found

Although it can sometimes read more like a long column than a memoir, Bruni’s optimistic book will be a balm to many. Recommended.

Take Up Space: The Unprecedented AOC

This biography will satisfy political junkies, but it’s not for the uninitiated.

The Tears of a Man Flow Inward: Growing Up in the Civil War in Burundi

Irankunda joins other writers from the African continent (see Rwandan Clemantine Wamariya’s The Girl Who Smiled Beads and Liberian Wayétu Moore’s The Dragons, the Giant, the Women) in giving eloquent and stirring witness to a childhood shattered by war and the legacies of colonialism.

Whole Earth: The Many Lives of Stewart Brand

A laudatory biography of Brand that admirers, the unfamiliar, and even some detractors will find insightful.

Ten Steps to Nanette: A Memoir Situation

A can’t-miss memoir that will make readers laugh, cry, and everything in between.

What’s So Funny? A Cartoonist’s Memoir

An intimate and engaging memoir by an artist who understands that personal thoughts and feelings often lead to remarkable ideas. Recommended.

Incomparable Grace: JFK in the Presidency

Updegrove will alleviate, although not quench, general readers’ continual thirst for biographies of JFK. Pair with the likes of Fredrik Logevall’s JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917–1956.

The Other Side of Yet: Finding Light in the Midst of Darkness

A sensitive memoir on living and finding joy in life following personal loss. Readers needn’t be Christian to find value in Hord’s advice, but she weaves spirituality throughout the text, which will likely resonate most strongly with readers who share her faith.

Never Simple

A brave exploration of a difficult but forever-connected mother-daughter relationship. Scheier’s memoir will appeal to many, thanks to its wit, unraveling mystery, and honesty.

Ancestor Trouble: A Reckoning and a Reconciliation

An engaging and thoroughly researched memoir relaying a family history that is at turns recognizable and abhorrent, as an honest and typical history of American exceptionalism, racism, and misogyny. Will appealing to lovers of memoirs, family secrets, genealogy, and the sociological makeup threading U.S. history.

Left on Tenth: A Second Chance at Life

With poetic writing, strong characterization, and a powerful love story, Ephron’s memoir takes readers on a journey of loss, pain, hope, and perseverance.

Tasha: A Son’s Memoir

This is a charming and sad memoir, reminding readers of life’s inevitabilities, the beauty of the journey, and the lesson to hold on to those close to them with a fierceness.

Brace for Impact

An uplifting memoir of slow work towards self-acceptance, and of the healing and support Montesanti found in roller derby. Montesanti effectively mixes difficult self-reflection with lighter tales (derby recruitment, team practices, even a climactic trip to RollerCon), though some readers might wish there was more on-the-track action.

The Impossible City: A Hong Kong Memoir

This is an outstanding contribution for any library about one personal experience of political upheaval in Hong Kong.

Hello, Molly!

A scattered but often-absorbing recollection, tending more towards anecdote than introspection, and becoming most thoughtful when Shannon reflects on her complex relationship with her father and her mother’s absence from her life.

Angela Davis: An Autobiography

This new edition of the autobiography is meant to bring Davis and her story to a new generation of readers, who can still identify with her experiences. It contains the prefaces of the earlier editions, so it is worth replacing older copies of the book. Still a key work in the areas of prison abolition and feminism, this reissue of a classic autobiography deserves a place of honor in any collection.

Cost of Living

Maloney’s nontraditional health care memoir serves as a warning for those who’ve never had to stay in the hospital stay, and sends the message that there is work to be done.

The First Kennedys: The Humble Roots of an American Dynasty

This is both an absorbing family story and a saga of the Irish diaspora in Boston, a city that eventually accepted the Kennedys and allowed the ambitious family to achieve versions of the American dream before fate intervened.

White Lies: The Double Life of Walter F. White and America’s Darkest Secret

A riveting profile of a little-studied Black civil rights leader.

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