Memoirs are the best ways to understand life from other people’s point of view. If you love reading biographies, auto-biographies etc, then you ought to read this fine selection of memoirs that could stand in place of fiction anytime.

Here is a selection of seven memoirs from Beryl Markham to Franck McCourt, all the way down to my darling; Maya Angelou.

 

West with the Night by Beryl Markham

“Markham,” writes Ernest Hemingway, “can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves writers… it really is a bloody wonderful book.” With a comment as powerful as this, what more can I say about this book?

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Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

The poverty and suffering and dejectedness in this deep memoir is a painful, it wouldn’t just bring tears to your eyes, at each point you would want to step into the pitiable life of the McCourt’s and just rescue those deprived children. “Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood.” Frank McCourt writes, “Worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.”

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A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

Beah talks about his days in Sierra Leone as a boy soldier, how he was transformed into a violent monster who could perpetrate the unimaginable. “Everyone in the world should read this book… WE should read it to learn about the world and about what it means to be human.” Carolyn See, Washington Post.

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

James opens his heart in this beautiful memoir that accounts his encounter in the course of his practice as a veterinary surgeon in a rural area, Thirsk, Yorkshire. Read this fascinating story and your only regret would be not haven read it earlier.

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The Colour of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride

McBride writes about his discoveries of the things his mother hid away from the world, enclosed in her heart are secrets she is both ashamed and afraid of. McBride opens up layer after layer, the things that make up his memory as he grows. Over two years on New York Times Best Seller list, McBride’s memoir is worth the attention of the world.

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Small Fry by Lisa Brennan Jobs

Denied, Brennan Jobs, the daughter of Apple founder Steve Jobs, writes about a childhood of longing for a father who refused to acknowledge her. Although Steve Jobs did later accept paternity, it was after a significant part of her life had suffered the blows of his denial.

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I Know Why the Caged Birds Sings by Maya Angelou

This is one writer I hold close to my heart. She recollects in this memoir the events in her life that broke and made her. Born Marguerite Annie Johnson, she wrote seven memoirs and a collection of poems.

 

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