Skip to content
Secondary Content

Biographies & Memoirs

Biographies, Memoirs, Autobiographies, Historical Biographies, and Letters.

by David McCullough

1791: Mozart’s Last Year
by H.C. Robbins Landon

84, Charing Cross Road
by Helene Hanff

Alexander Hamilton
by Ron Chernow

Alexander Hamilton, American
by Richard Brookhiser

American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson
by Joseph J. Ellis

America’s First Woman Lawyer: The Biography of Myra Bradwell
by Jane M. Friedman

And If I Perish: Frontline U.S. Army Nurses in World War II
by Evelyn M. Monahan and Rosemary Neidel-Greenlee

Angela’s Ashes
by Frank McCourt

Annapurna, a Woman’s Place
by Arlene Blum

Balm in Gilead: Journey of a Healer
by Sara Lawrence Lightfoot

Band of Sisters: American Women at War in Iraq
by Kirsten Holmstedt

Becoming Jane Austen
by Jon Spence

The Beekeeper’s Lament: How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America
by Hannah Nordhaus

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
by Anne Lamott

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
by Daniel James Brown

The Boys in the Boat: The True Story of an American Team’s Epic Journey to Win Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics (Young Readers Adaptation)
by Daniel James Brown

The Butterfly Mosque
by G. Willow Wilson

Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times
by Jennifer Worth

Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut’s Journeys
by Michael Collins

Catfish and Mandala: A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam
by Andrew X. Pham

The Coldest War: A Memoir of Korea
by James Brady

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

Composing a Life
by Mary Catherine Bateson

Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?
by James Shapiro

Dakota: A Spiritual Geography
by Kathleen Norris

Desert Wife
by Hilda Faunce

Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance
by Barack Obama

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
by Elizabeth Gilbert

Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World
by Matthew Goodman

Einstein: His Life and Universe
by Walter Isaacson

The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon
by Kevin Fedarko

Epitaph for a Peach: Four Seasons on My Family Farm
by David Mas Masumoto

by Carolyn Jessop with Laura Palmer

Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader
by Anne Fadiman

Failure is Not an Option: Mission Control From Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond
by Gene Kranz

The Favored Daughter: One Woman’s Fight to Lead Afghanistan into the Future
by Fawzia Koofi with Nadene Gourhi

FDR’s Shadow: Louis Howe, The Force that Shaped Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt
by Julie M. Fenster

Fierce Attachments: A Memoir
by Vivian Gornick

Final Salute: A Story of Unfinished Lives
by Jim Sheeler

The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin
by H.W. Brands

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation
by Joseph J. Ellis

Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation
by Cokie Roberts

Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage
by Hazel Rowley

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things
by Jenny Lawson

The Geography of Bliss
by Eric Weiner

Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story
by Ben Carson with Cecil Murphey

The Girl with Seven Names: Escape from North Korea
by Hyeonseo Lee

The Glass Castle: A Memoir
by Jeannette Walls

Guests of the Sheik: An Ethnography of an Iraqi Village
by Elizabeth Warnock Fernea

The Happiness Project
by Gretchen Rubin

Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back
by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent

The Hemingway Book Club of Kosovo
by Paula Huntley

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race
Margot Lee Shetterly

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
by J.D. Vance

Holidays on Ice
by David Sedaris

Home before Morning: The Story of an Army Nurse in Vietnam
by Lynda Van Devanter

How to Cook a Wolf
by M.F.K. Fisher

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban
by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

I Married Adventure: The Lives of Martin and Osa Johnson
by Osa Johnson

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot

by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

An Invisible Thread: The True Story of an 11-Year-Old Panhandler, a Busy Sales Executive, and an Unlikely Meeting with Destiny
by Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski

James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights
by Richard Labunski

Joe Hill
by Gibbs M. Smith

Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever
by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard

A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains
by Isabella L. Bird

Land of the Burnt Thigh
by Edith Eudora Kohl

The Last Gift of Time: Life Beyond Sixty
by Carolyn G. Heilbrun

Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust
by Immaculée Ilibagiza and Steve Erwin

The Letters of John and Abigail Adams
edited by Frank Shuffelton

The Letters of Vincent van Gogh
edited by Mark Roskill

Life is So Good
by George Dawson and Richard Glaubman

by David Herbert Donald

The Log from the Sea of Cortez
by John Steinbeck

Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time
by Dava Sobel

Lost in Translation: A Life in a New Language
by Eva Hoffman

Madison’s Gift: Five Partnerships That Built America
by David O. Stewart

A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts
by Andrew Chaikin

Martha Washington: An American Life
by Patricia Brady

The Mercury 13: The True Story of Thirteen Women and the Dream of Space Flight
by Martha Ackmann

My Day: The Best of Eleanor Roosevelt’s Acclaimed Newspaper Columns, 1936-1962
by Eleanor Roosevelt, edited by David Emblidge

My Story
by Elizabeth Smart and Chris Stewart

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
by Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs

No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II
by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Nothing to Declare : Memoirs of a Woman Traveling Alone
by Mary Morris

Old Books, Rare Friends: Two Literary Sleuths and Their Shared Passion
by Leona Rostenberg and Madeleine Stern

On Dupont Circle: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and the Progressives Who Shaped Our World
by James Srodes

On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family
by Lisa See

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
by Stephen King

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy 
by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam M. Grant

Out of Africa and Shadows on the Grass
by Isak Dinesen [Karen Blixen]

Prairie Reunion
by Barbara J. Scot

Prince among Slaves
by Terry Alford

The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the making of the Oxford English Dictionary
by Simon Winchester

Rabbit-Proof Fence
by Doris Pilkington

The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Love, and Loss
by Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books
by Azar Nafisi

The Reluctant Mr. Darwin: An Intimate Portrait of Charles Darwin and the Making of His Theory of Evolution
by David Quammen

Riding Rockets: The Outrageous Tales of a Space Shuttle Astronaut
by Mike Mullane

Rocket Boys: A Memoir
by Homer H. Hickam, Jr.

Roving Mars: Spirit, Opportunity, and the Exploration of the Red Planet
by Steve Squyres

Rule Number Two: Lessons I Learned in a Combat Hospital
by Heidi Squier Kraft

Sandra Day O’Connor: How the First Woman on the Supreme Court Became its Most Influential Justice
by Joan Biskupic

Same Kind of Different as Me
by Ron Hall and Denver Moore, with Lynn Vincent

Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay
by Nancy Milford

Second Suns: Two Doctors and Their Amazing Quest to Restore Sight and Save Lives
by David Oliver Relin

Shakespeare: The World as Stage
by Bill Bryson

The Shakespeare Wars: Clashing Scholars, Public Fiascoes, Palace Coups
by Ron Rosenbaum

Shelf Life: Romance, Mystery, Drama, and Other Page-Turning Adventures From a Year in a Bookstore
by Suzanne Strempek Shea

Sisterhood of Spies: The Women of the OSS
by Elizabeth P. McIntosh

Sisters in War: A Story of Love, Family, and Survival in the New Iraq
by Christina Asquith

So Many Books, So Little Time: A Year of Passionate Reading
by Sara Nelson

Something to Declare
by Julia Alvarez

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures
by Anne Fadiman

Stealing Secrets: How a Few Daring Women Deceived Generals, Impacted Battles, and Altered the Course of the Civil War
by H. Donald Winkler

The Sum of Our Past: Revisiting Pioneer Women
by Judy Busk

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table
by Ruth Reichl

Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism
by Temple Grandin

Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Fight Terrorism and Build Nations … One School at a Time
by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

by Robyn Davidson

Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson
by Mitch Albom

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
by Laura Hillenbrand

The Upstairs Room
Johanna Reiss

Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World
by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone

West with the Night
by Beryl Markham

When Breath Becomes Air
by Paul Kalanithi

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
by Cheryl Strayed

Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China
by Jung Chang

Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare
by Stephen Greenblatt

With Malice Toward None: A Life of Abraham Lincoln
by Stephen B. Oates

Women’s Diaries of the Westward Journey
by Lillian Schlissel

The Wright Brothers
by David McCullough

A Year in Provence
by Peter Mayle

The Year of Magical Thinking
by Joan Didion