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Biography & autobiography

My Utmost: A Devotional Memoir

Halford’s book is billed as a memoir, but it’s really an ardently told, diligently researched intellectual biography of Chambers.


Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life

In the end that final conjuring trick was beyond her, but her fiction remains to haunt us with phantoms of female power, and female defeat.


The Girl from the Metropol Hotel: Growing Up in Communist Russia

This memoir shows us how Soviet life hurt Ludmilla Petrushevskaya into crystalline prose.


Why Time Flies: A Mostly Scientific Investigation

You will be closer to what is today’s state of scientific knowledge about the nature of time: an enchanting enigma.


The Men in My Life

Bosworth’s coming-of-age tale is emblematic of the times, when women were poised to take control of their own bodies, yet still confined by restrictive cultural norms and legal hurdles. (


Disaster Falls: A Family Story

The book reads more like journal entries or notes toward a book rather than a finished project. But it is also a testament to its power that we long to know more and wish that Gerson had put it in a drawer until he was ready to fully examine the unbearable.


Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age

The book feels less like a conventional memoir and more like a Muslim Girl manifesto, a slim volume that successfully educates readers on the insidiousness of Islamophobia while furthering the media-savvy author’s brand.


How to Murder Your Life: A Memoir

What’s missing is humor. Every generation needs its Carrie Fisher, perhaps even its Hunter S. Thompson, but this isn’t it.


This Close to Happy

It’s hard to find much solace within the relentless gloom—however insightfully explored—of one writer’s depression.


Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin

A brave, heart-rending narrative from the parents who lost their son far too soon.


The Cancer Whisperer: Finding Courage, Direction, and The Unlikely Gifts of Cancer

Sabbage proves to be an empathetic advocate for patients confronting one of the world's most unsparing and mystifying diseases.


How to Murder Your Life: A Memoir

There is no triumphant conclusion to this book, which Marnell began writing on the day it was originally due. It is the memoir of an addiction still going on, being negotiated everyday.


This Close to Happy

It is standard fare to say that books on depression are brave, but this one actually is. For all its highly personal focus, it is an important addition to the literature of mental illness.


Once We Were Sisters: A Memoir

In the end, this is a memoir of love, sorrow, sisterhood and privilege. It’s also a memoir of the limitations of such privilege — in particular, the inescapable tragedy of being born female in a patriarchal world, where all the money, beauty and breeding cannot protect you from a man who takes what he wants without consequence.


The Men in My Life

There is something impacted at this book’s core. It’s a survivor’s memoir, a book by an adult child of alcoholics, and Ms. Bosworth evokes her suffering with patience and care. But the psychological knots this book presents are not profitably untangled.


In the Great Green Room

She is a strangely passive-aggressive biographer — too timid to analyze Brown’s life in any large and meaningful way, yet presumptuous enough to speak for her.


Nicotine

Despite qualms that the last cigarette might extinguish his access to literarily fertile material, “Nicotine” is proof positive that Hens still has the stuff.


My Life, My Love, My Legacy

A touching memoir from an important figure in the civil rights movement.


Eat Live Love Die: Selected Essays

Aging is a hot literary topic these days, but no one else I've read has captured the bizarre acceleration of time as we age quite the way Fussell does.


When Breath Becomes Air

It is a book that leaves its reader full-hearted: at once wishing that it had never been written, and yet moved and enriched by its humanity and accomplishment.