Do you love reading biographies and memoirs? Or do you have someone on your gift list that enjoys them?
Our family loves reading nonfiction, especially biographies and memoirs. A good biography or memoir takes you into another person’s world and experiences. It takes you to a time and place that you would never be able to experience, except by reading it.
A really well written biography is hard to put down. It draws you in and makes you long to know more about the person.
Since we love biographies and memoirs, we put together a list of our favorites. Hopefully you will find a few to add to your to read list or give as a gifts to the readers in your life.
Dust Bowl Girls will be one of my favorite books of 2018. One of the reasons that I love reading nonfiction is that I often learn about little known facts in history. This book is an example of that. I have lived in Oklahoma for 24 years, yet I knew nothing about this story of an Oklahoma women’s basketball team during the Dust Bowl.
History books, that discuss people that overcame difficult situations to accomplish something that seemed impossible, are some of my favorite books. The Queen of Katwe is about a girl, Phiona, from African poverty who became one of the best female chess players in the world. It is an inspiring story and a great read.
I am pretty sure that Educated will go on my list for favorite books of 2018. I always struggle to say that I enjoyed a non-fiction book like this that shares a tragic event or difficult life and childhood. Maybe saying I found the book very fascinating is a better way to describe it. Once I started this book, I had trouble putting it down.
Catch Me If You Can is a fun read. It was very hard for me to put down when I got into it. I laughed sometimes and was rather shocked other times. It is unimaginable what Frank Abagnale got away with on his crime spree.
Endurance technically might not be a biography, but I always think of it as one. My father in-law gave us this book years ago and it quickly became one of my favorite books. My husband and I have both read it and loved it. This is a true story but the writing and the descriptions in this book make it read like fiction. This is a true story of adventure, leadership, and endurance during the most difficult circumstances. This is one of my all time favorite books. I highly recommend it.
Bryson City Tales was recommended to me by a reader, who thought I would enjoy it, and I did! I loved this book about small town life in the Smoky Mountains. If you have ever lived or owned a business in a small town, this is a must read.
Nonfiction is my true love when it comes to reading. I almost always prefer real life over fiction, which is why I loved Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey so much. It is the true story of the Countess of Carnarvon and covers a lot of history during the same time frame that the show Downton Abbey covers. If you love Downton Abbey and other British stories, I think you will enjoy this one.
The Glass Castle was one of my favorite books of 2016. But it is one of those books that I hesitated to say I enjoyed it. I did enjoy it, but it is a tough book. It covers some hard real life stuff. I think it is an important read and wish more people were this honest about their family’s story.
One of my girls gave me A Thousand Miles to Freedom for Christmas because she knows I love reading biographies and that I appreciate lesser known biographies. This book was just that. This is not a well known book, but it was a great read. Very few people escape North Korea. Even fewer escape and then turn their story into a book. What I loved about this book, is that it gives you a look into North Korea that is rare.
A friend of mine let me borrow this book, and I read it in two days. It was that good! I have read a lot of books on WWII, but My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me is a totally different perspective of WWII than I have ever read. It is about a modern day woman, who finds out horrible things about her family’s Nazi past. I could not put this book down. The more I read her story the more fascinated with it I became.
Hillbilly Elegy was one of my favorite books of 2016. It is a tough subject, but I think an important one that many people don’t want to talk about. It is real life stuff that is not easy to read at all. But this book is the reality of life for many people. This book takes place in the Appalachian mountain area of the country.
Irena’s Children was an interesting WWII story that had a truly amazing story. It was a little slow to get into, but once Germany invaded Poland, I could not stop reading it.
Herriot’s tale, which he weaves in All Creatures Great and Small, is very entertaining. He shows that being a vet, especially in the 1930s, is not for everyone. He discuss his entrance into being a real vet and his interesting mentor. I love the stories that Herriot writes about.
I enjoy autobiographies better than biographies, so I enjoyed reading Devil At My Heels because Louis Zamperini’s perspective on his life. He become a great runner and is known for that, but his World War II story is definitely amazing and worth reading about.
I have read quite a few books by bloggers. All the Pretty Things is one of my favorites! This is a real life story. It is a tough read in so many ways. It is one of those books that will bring you to tears. Your heart will break for what Edie and her family has gone through. But this story is also a story of survival, hope, and God’s grace.
What is your favorite biography or memoir? We would love to hear what it is, so please leave a comment letting us know!