Friday Favorites: Memoirs

I’ve decided to start a little weekly meme wherein I highlight some of my favorite books—whether it be within a genre, or with a certain theme, or from a certain time period. Anyone is welcome to play along! Feel free to steal my image and/or post your own favorites in the comments!



A lot of the books that have stuck with me the longest are memoirs. I like knowing that, no matter how crazy they may seem, they’re real stories that happened to real people. I try to lead a life that’s worthy of its own memoir! If you’ve never read a memoir, or if you’re not sure you really like them, I recommend trying one of these. You’ll be hooked!


 Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

This is a beautifully illustrated graphic memoir about the author’s relationship with her eccentric father, who has committed suicide and whom the author believes was secretly gay. It’s a riveting, fun, emotional read.


Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

Another graphic memoir, this is the story of a young girl who is growing up in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution. It’s both funny and frightening. After reading this book, I was much more interested in Middle Eastern history and politics.


Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

Frank McCourt’s is a story of a impoverished Irish Catholic childhood. Frank endures the antics of his alcoholic father, a constant state of near-starvation, and serious illnesses, but he tells the story with grace. This is the book that inspired me to study abroad in Limerick.


The Burn Journals by Brent Runyon

If you’re looking for a Young Adult memoir, this is a great choice. Fourteen-year-old Brent attempts to kill himself by dousing his bathrobe in gasoline and setting himself on fire. The rest of the story details his very painful recovery. It’s pretty chilling.


More, Now, Again by Elizabeth Wurtzel

This is a gripping memoir of drug addiction. While I thought at times that Wurtzel was whiny and way too self-involved, I still loved this book.


Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain by Portia de Rossi

First off, I love Portia de Rossi, so naturally I had to read this book. Her memoir is about the challenges of growing up in the limelight while battling a very serious eating disorder. It was beautiful and sad and honest, and I loved it.

What are your favorite memoirs?


4 thoughts on “Friday Favorites: Memoirs”

  1. The Glass Castle! I read this book two years ago, and I still find myself thinking about it. I sympathized with her parents at the same time as I felt frustrated with them, as I am sure Jeannette Walls herself felt. This memoir was an honest look at her impoverished upbringing.

    1. I seriously debated putting The Glass Castle on the list, but then I didn’t (mainly out of laziness). But yes, that is a fantastic memoir! She also wrote another one about her grandmother called Half Broke Horses, which was also excellent.

  2. Angela’s Ashes was a wonderful read. My favourite has to be Margret Forster’s Hidden Lives – A Family Memoir where amongst other things she tries to work out her grandmother’s origins (something that was shrouded in mystery)

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