What are the best memoirs that are better than fiction?

asked by Anonymous
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24 solutions
  1. 35

    #1Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt)

    Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt)

    Angela's Ashes is a book written by Frank McCourt and is the first in the Frank McCourt Series. This classic book recounts the author's survival during poverty and cruelty. It is published in 1996.

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    Vibhore Gavde
    Written on May 19, 2018
    "Poverty isn't a joke. Those with rarely encounter or think about those without. Angela's Ashes will have you question poverty. It tells the story of poverty at unseen levels in Ireland. Incredibly powerful and well written. "
  2. 32

    #2Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

    Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
    Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl was written by Anne Frank, published from the diary she kept when she and her family were in hiding from the Nazis in the then German-occupied Netherlands.
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    Elvira Arriaga
    Written on May 10, 2018
    "A sad book, truly, but a fascinating look into history. It's not your typical account of what the Holocaust was, it's quite a personal one, and I think that really enriches the experience of reading this book."
  3. 30

    #3Into the Wild

    Into the Wild

    Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer is a non-fiction book about a young man named Christopher Johnson McCandless who left everything he had to start a new life. Months after, his body was found and his unforgettable death will be uncovered. This book was printed in 14 languages.

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    Sofía Cisneros
    Written on May 13, 2018
    "Into the Wild is certainly a well-written and captivating memoir. However, I believe it is debatable whether it is superior to fiction. As a woman who loves large cities and modern comforts, I found it hard to relate to Christopher, his motivations, and his journey."
  1. 28

    #4I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words. This memoir is a modern classic that will touch hearts and change minds.

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    Patrick Brewer
    Written on May 16, 2018
    "When I graduated from college my first job was teaching school in a place called...Stamps Arkansas.. the place Maya Angelou writes of. I can attest to the feel of the place. The young Maya has a story about growing up and being abused..neglected..and forgotten. Her strength is phenomenal in the book and in her life. I have a surreal story about this book. When I still in college my African American Best Friend/room mate had a horrible toothache.. He was horrified of the dentist and let things get bad. The last night before going to the dentist he was in great pain.. I stayed up all night reading I know why the caged bird sings.. and this was the only way he was able to rest..He did finally fall asleep. The book is amazing."
  2. 28

    #5The Glass Castle

    The Glass Castle
    The Glass Castle is Jeanette Walls' best-selling memoir about her poverty-stricken family, which is a balanced story of despair, happiness, love, and loyalty. This novel spent seven years in NYT's bestsellers list and was adapted into a major motion picture.
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    Nicole Yi
    Written on May 16, 2018
    "The Glass Castle is an amazing memoir that reads even better than fiction. You can't make this stuff up. It is a heart rending, clear eyed, shocking story of struggle and redemption that is staggering in it's scope and telling of the human story. "
  3. 26

    #6Twelve Years a Slave

    Twelve Years a Slave

    Twelve Years a Slave is an autobiography written by Solomon Northup, originally published in 1853. It tells the story of a man who suffered slavery for twelve years in Louisiana. It is the basis of the Academy Award-winning film of the same name.

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    Adam Tucker
    Written on May 7, 2018
    "Twelve Years a Slave is an autobiography about a man who was a slave in Louisiana in 1853. As you can imagine, it's a powerful and disturbing look at what life was like back then, and it shows, in depth, the vast amount of inequality and discrimination that was faced on a daily basis. I really enjoyed it, and I'm glad I found it as I nearly missed it when I was skimming through books at the store. It's quite powerful and I would definitely recommend you read it."
  4. 24

    #7The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a non-fiction book by Rebecca Skloot. It tells the story of Henrietta Lacks, whose cells were unknowingly taken from her and used in medical research. These cells have outlived her for 60 years.
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    Amanda McDonald
    Written on May 13, 2018
    "This is a great story, but at the same time sad that someone had a part of themselves taken without their consent. Although it has helped so many there is that moral question you have to ask, just because it has helped so many was it right?"
  5. 23

    #8Me Talk Pretty One Day

    Me Talk Pretty One Day
    Me Talk Pretty One Day is comedian and author David Sedaris' book containing snippets from his life, particularly his move to Paris and his experience of learning French from a teacher who did not like their sessions.
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    Keith Reyes
    Written on May 10, 2018
    "Me Talk Pretty One Day contains the true life experiences of comedian David Sedaris. Most of the book revolves around stories of his trying to learn French after moving to Paris. I found the stories to be extremely funny and enjoyable."
  6. 21

    #9All Things Bright and Beautiful

    All Things Bright and Beautiful

    All Things Bright and Beautiful is the sequel to All Creatures Great and Small. This non-fiction book written by James Herriot continues to narrate animal stories.

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    Pamela Parker
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "Anything dealing with animals will be sure to tug on heart strings, and this is no different. The author's stories are funny, uplifting and truthful."
  7. 20

    #10Into Thin Air

    Into Thin Air

    Into Thin Air is Jon Krakauer's firsthand depiction of the May 1996 Mt. Everest disaster. With a balanced take on the characters and a colorful depiction of the weather that shaped the event, Krakauer won an Academy Award in Literature in 1999. 

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    Madison Weber
    Written on May 16, 2018
    "Into Thin Air is a gripping story of determination that almost borders on insanity. Knowing that the people, conditions and events were real made it all the more suspenseful turning each page. There is something about delving into a true story that fiction just can't duplicate and Krakauer delivered it in abundance."
  8. 18

    #11A Walk in the Woods

    A Walk in the Woods

    A Walk in the Woods is an autobiographical novel by Bill Bryson, who wanted to rediscover his country upon his return from Britain. With his friend from college Stephen Katz, the two men hike the 2,100-mile long Appalachian Trail.

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    Shirley Torres
    Written on May 15, 2018
    "I usually don't read memoirs because I find them boring, but this one was recommended by my friend. It was hilarious and super entertaining! Bill Bryson does a great job covering his travels on the Appalachian Trail, as well as touching on some history. Well worth a read!"
  9. 16

    #12All Creatures Great and Small

    All Creatures Great and Small

    All Creatures Great and Small is a non-fiction book written by James Herriot. The author narrates true stories about animals that touch the heart of readers. This book was originally published in 1972.

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    Douglas Foster
    Written on May 19, 2018
    "The best memoirs that are better than fiction is All Creatures Great and Small written by James Herriot. Herriot discovers the wondrous variety and never-ending challenges of veterinary practice in rural Yorkshire as his humor, compassion, and love of the animal world shine forth. "
  10. 15

    #13Seven Years in Tibet

    Seven Years in Tibet
    Seven Years in Tibet is a memoir by Heinrich Harrer. It tells the story of the author's travels in 1943, when he escaped from a concentration camp in India and crossed the Himalayas to Tibet, where he became the Dalai Lama's tutor.
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  11. 13

    #14A Child Called It: One Child's Courage to Survive (Dave Pelzer)

    A Child Called It: One Child's Courage to Survive (Dave Pelzer)

    A Child Called It: One Child's Courage to Survive is the first book in the Dave Pelzer series which is a collection of books where he shares his own story of the brutal and severe abuse he suffered as a child by his own mother. 

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    Angela Ryan
    Written on May 18, 2018
    "A Child Called "It" is one of the most heartbreaking stories of abuse. This memoir by Dave Pelzer will leave you feeling so sorry for him, as a child. It'll give you hope for children in his position, however. It is so raw and real, that it's better than fiction in that only a true story could be so heart wrenching. It's not something people want to discuss, but it's needed as it opens eyes to the significance and seriousness of this problem."
  12. 12

    #15The Hiding Place: The Triumphant True Story of Corrie Ten Boom

    The Hiding Place: The Triumphant True Story of Corrie Ten Boom

    The Hiding Place: The Triumphant True Story of Corrie Ten Boom is a History, Autobiography, Faith, Christian Non-fiction book written by Corrie Ten Boom, Elizabeth Sherrill, John Sherrill and Joni Tada.

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    Rebecca Xu
    Written on May 19, 2018
    "I was looking for the best memoirs that are better than fiction and this book was absolutely perfect. I couldn't put it down and have been suggesting it to everybody."
  13. 10

    #16The Trigger

    The Trigger

    In The Trigger: Hunting the Assassin Who Brought the World to War, Tim Butcher is part travelogue, reportage, and history. It's the story of a young man who changed the world forever.

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    Christine Bradley
    Written on May 18, 2018
    "Real life drama is always better than fiction. He spent time in the Balkans as a war time reporter in the 1990s, but uncovered things historians couldn't find about the origins of WW1."
  14. 8

    #17Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

    Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

    Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed is an autobiography of the author herself starting from her twenty-two years of age. This book tells a story terrors and pleasures of a strong independent woman.

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    Joyce Beck
    Written on May 15, 2018
    "You couldn't imagine a better story if you tried! I really didn't even believe it was an autobiography at first. "
  15. 8

    #18Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival

    Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival
    'Unbroken' is the true and incredible story of Louis Zamperini, a lieutenant that survives a plane crash during the Pacific War in 1943. This is one of the most incredible odysseys of the 20th century and the inspiration for a motion picture, directed by Angelina Jolie.
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    Beverly Contreras
    Written on May 16, 2018
    "Angelina Jolie was married to Billy Boy Thorton, who wrote, directed, and starred in the movie Sling Blade. This movie was filled with simplistic life horror and heroism. Billy Boy won an Oscar. The last movie that someone wrote, director, and starred in was Sly Stallone in Rocky - also an Oscar winner. Angelina Jolie directoral debut failed short per the critics and box office. "
  16. 6

    #19Wesley the Owl

    Wesley the Owl

    Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl is a nonfiction book about owl written by Stacey O'Brien. This was originally published in 2008.

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    Albert King
    Written on May 8, 2018
    "This one was a bit odd if I'm being honest. I read it after seeing this suggestion, and I wasn't disappointed. The book is a little out there though, but it's still a pretty interesting read."
  17. 4

    #20Papillon

    Papillon

    Papillon is Henri Charriere's autobiography published in 1968, detailing his numerous attempts to escape prisons, including his successful breakout from Devil's Island, the prison which no one had ever fled until Papillon came along.

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    Guo Ding
    Written on May 18, 2018
    "Henri Charrière, called "Papillon," for the butterfly tattoo on his chest, was convicted in Paris in 1931 of a murder he did not commit"
  18. 0

    #21Fireflies in the Mist

    Fireflies in the Mist

    Fireflies in the Mist is a classic Indian drama novel written by renowned author Qurratulain Hyder. It was originally released in 2010 and was praised by Salman Rushdie in The New Yorker. It is about the birth of a new nation.

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  19. 0

    #22Merckx: Half Man, Half Bike

    Merckx: Half Man, Half Bike

    Merckx: Half Man, Half Bike is a biography written by William Fotheringham. Published in 2012 by Yellow Jersey Press, it provides an in-depth view to the life of Eddy Merckx who is arguably the greatest cyclist of all time.

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    Marco Antonio Santillán
    Written on May 18, 2018
    "This book is a decent biography of Eddy Merckx who was one of the most decorated cyclists ever as a result of winning 445 competitions. However, as a biography, there are many other biographies that are better written and there are many works of fiction that are a more compelling read than this book. I finished the book but I don't think this is a book that I would read again given the writing style which is sort of mundane and analytical. "
  20. 0

    #23Boy Racer

    Boy Racer

    Boy Racer is a non-fiction memoir written by Mark Cavendish. Published in 2009, Boy Racer narrates the author's experiences in competing on Tour de France.

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  21. 0

    #24Tomorrow, We Ride

    Tomorrow, We Ride

    Tomorrow, We Ride is a non-fiction biography written by Jean Bobet and translated by Adam Berry. Published in 2008, Tomorrow, We Ride gives its readers a glimpse in the life Bobet brothers.

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    James Armstrong
    Written on May 13, 2018
    "If you're looking for a memoir that's better than fiction, then Tomorrow, We Ride is a definite must-read. Written and published in 2008 by Jean Bobet, this memoir gives readers a peak into the life of the Bobet brothers."

Summary

Best What are the best memoirs that are better than fiction
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt)Books 35 Paid
2Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young GirlBooks 32 Paid
3Into the WildBooks 30 Paid
4I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Books 28 Paid
5The Glass CastleBooks 28 Paid
6Twelve Years a SlaveBooks 26 Paid
7The Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksBooks 24 Paid
8Me Talk Pretty One DayBooks 23 Paid
9All Things Bright and BeautifulBooks 21 Paid
10Into Thin AirBooks 20 Paid
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