The Best Autobiography Books You Must Read: Updated 2019

Updated 2019

The human experience is shared with each of us in such a unique fashion. Our dreams, our passions, and how we overcome tragedy is what ties us together. Even the most famous among us, while revered, have a story to tell. Autobiographies remind us that our journeys may not take the same path, but we’ll forever be bonded to this thing called life.

Autobiographies are first-hand experiences, written by the person who experienced them. Usually, the person is famous and shares with the world the things they’ve gone through, emotions they’ve felt, and the struggles they overcame. We may only know someone from their personal persona, but there’s always more than meets the eye.

If we can dig below the surface, there’s always a life lesson and a story to tell. By sharing the most important moments of their lives and challenges they overcame, it gives the rest of us hope. May we forever be motivated by the stories of others and remain in awe of their ability to inspire us through the ages.

What Did These Autobiography Books Do To Qualify For This List

Any time you are ranking the best of something the results are usually somewhat subjective but we have did our best to come up with a list the readers of the autobiography genre will truly like. To come up with this list we took into account:

  • quantity and quality of user reviews
  • sales data
  • public perception
  • opinions of readers of this genres
  • commercial success
  • and of course personal opinion

Take a look at the best Autobiography Books you can read right now:

Best Autobiography Books

 

Here are the best Autobiography books by the experts:

1)A Child Called It: One Child’s Courage to Survive by Dave Pelzer

  • Best Autobiography BooksBook Summary:This book is less than 200 pages but its weight multiplies a hundredfold when you start reading it. This book is the first of the four books Dave Pelzer used as a medium to tell his story to the world. He suffered from abuse in the hands of his own mother who was an alcoholic and emotionally unstable. He was starved, tortured, and beaten beyond imagination. This book was a New York Times Best Seller and sold more than 1.6 million copies worldwide.
  • Book Reviews: 

View More Reviews

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

  • Best Autobiography BooksBook Summary:Did you know that President Obama published an autobiography even before his run for presidency? In this book, President Obama talks about his divided family history. It is a beautifully-written story detailing the complexities of his biracial life growing up and how he reconciled with his father’s family after his death. See what the train of thought was of the then 33-year-old man who became the first Black President of the United States of America.
  • Book Reviews: 

View More Reviews

3)rinding It Out: The Making of McDonald’s Mass Market by Ray Kroc

  • Best Autobiography BooksBook Summary:Do you want to see what’s inside one of the world’s largest and most successful fast food corporations? In this book, Ray Croc will show you how his visionary mind worked that made him a very successful businessman. Take note, he was already 52 years old when he met the McDonald’s brothers and established his first franchise. Now that’s a legend. Success, after all, happens only if you have the willingness and the mindset to achieve it.
  • Book Reviews: 

View More Reviews

4)I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Mass Market by Maya Angelou

  • Best Autobiography BooksBook Summary:This book explores the first 16 years of Maya Angelou’s life on the subjects of identity, racism, rape, and literacy. It is an uncensored take of a black child’s life and how she found her strength to voice her experiences. Read this memoir and see why she is among the biggest figures in the American Literature.
  • Book Reviews: 

View More Reviews

5)When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

  • Best Autobiography BooksBook Summary:Paul Kalanithi was a young doctor who had his life on track – married the person he loved, a stone’s throw away into finishing his training as a surgeon, worked and helped turn his patients’ lives around – until he was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer. This memoir of family, love, medicine, and being in the face of death is delivered in what feels like a sober approach which makes this all the more heartbreaking.
  • Book Reviews: 

View More Reviews

6)Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela by Nelson Mandela

  • Best Autobiography BooksBook Summary:Since Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela became one of the world’s most significant moral leaders after he was released from more than 25 years of imprisonment. In this book, he describes how he turned his life around from being engaged to political crimes to changing his country. He details all the trials and ordeals he endured personally and publicly for the greater good. His intellectual and nonviolent approach in handling the challenges thrown his way made a huge impact to South Africa and to the world.
  • Book Reviews: 

View More Reviews

7)Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson

  • Best Autobiography BooksBook Summary:We will never actually know which part of this book has been exaggerated or worse, untrue as in her introduction, Jenny Lawson deliberately writes “This book is totally true, except for the parts that aren’t.” This is a rather unique memoir to read because the author is relatable, expressive, and wildly hilarious.
  • Book Reviews: 

View More Reviews

8)The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin

  • Best Autobiography BooksBook Summary:This classic (more than 200 years ago!) made it to our list because it is considered as one of the best-written autobiographies of all time. It was originally meant for his son, talking about how he came about to understand the world. His hard work, humility, virtues, and making the right choice are believed to have encouraged the morals and values that made America great.Y
  • Book Reviews: 

View More Reviews

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

  • Best Autobiography BooksBook Summary:In this book, Anne Lamott talks about how she got started as a writer. She highlights how she doesn’t embrace the concept of perfection and favors messes as the artists’ real friend. If you are a writer who suffers from writer’s block, writer’s jealousy (yes, it exists), or finding your voice – this book doubles as a practical guide to help you overcome the hurdle that are keeping you in a rut.
  • Book Reviews: 

View More Reviews

10)Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

  • Best Autobiography BooksBook Summary:Learn what it was like to flee your home and live in an attic while the world comes crashing down on you. The diary of Anne Frank was one of the most treasured evidence of the Nazi Party’s treatment of the Jews. Anne started writing when she was 13 but ended abruptly two months after her 15th birthday. In this memoir, you will learn how a teenager handled this extraordinary life and how she tells the world that every person in this world has the right to live in freedom despite the race or religion.
  • Book Reviews: 

View More Reviews

Best Autobiography Movies

If you enjoyed the best autobiography books, why stop there? Take a look at our list of best autobiography movies and witness these marvelous films from the big screen.

1)Green Book

Starring: Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali
Directed by: Peter Farrelly

Movie Summary:Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali star in Green Book, a film inspired by a true friendship that transcended race, class, and the 1962 Mason-Dixon line.

Movie Reviews: 

See More

2)The Big Short

Starring: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, and Ryan Gosling
Directed by: Adam McKay

Movie Summary:Based on the true story of four outsiders who saw what the big banks, media and government refused to: the global collapse of the economy. A bold investment leads them into the dark underbelly of banking, where everyone and everything is in question.

Movie Reviews: 

See More

3)The Revenant

Starring: Leonardo Dicaprio, Tom Hardy, and Domhnall Gleeson
Directed by: Alejandro Inarritu

Movie Summary:Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy star in Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s visceral, epic tale of survival and betrayal inspired by true events that’s set in America’s uncharted wilderness.

Movie Reviews: 

See More

4)The Imitation Game

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, and Matthew Goode
Directed by: Morten Tyldum

Movie Summary:Benedict Cumberbatch shines as real-life war hero and pioneer of modern-day computing, Alan Turing, who saved millions of lives by cracking Germany’s so-called unbreakable code during WWII.

Movie Reviews: 

See More

5)The Theory of Everything

Starring: Felicity Jones, Eddie Redmayne, Emily Watson
Directed by: James Marsh

Movie Summary:Starring Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, this is the extraordinary story of love between the renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, and his tireless first wife Jane.

Movie Reviews: 

See More

Best Autobiography Audio Books

Now that you’ve seen our list of the best autobiography books and movies, I’m sure you’ll be interested in trying out more of the best autobiography books in audio!

1)Sam Walton: Made in America by John Huey and Sam Walton

Book Summary:Meet a genuine American folk hero cut from the homespun cloth of America’s heartland: Sam Walton, who parlayed a single dime store in a hardscrabble cotton town into Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the world. The undisputed merchant king of the late 20th century, Sam never lost the common touch.

Here, finally, inimitable words. Genuinely modest, but always sure of his ambitions and achievements. Sam shares his thinking in a candid, straight-from-the-shoulder style. In a story rich with anecdotes and the “rules of the road” of both Main Street and Wall Street, Sam Walton chronicles the inspiration, heart, and optimism that propelled him to lasso the American Dream.

Book Reviews: 

2)When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Book Summary:At the age of 36, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed”, as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality. This is one of the best autobiography books available in audio.

Book Reviews: 

See More

3)Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson

Book Summary:How did Einstein’s mind work? What made him a genius? Isaacson’s biography shows how his scientific imagination sprang from the rebellious nature of his personality. His fascinating story is a testament to the connection between creativity and freedom.
Book Reviews: 

See More

4)Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

Book Summary:“Comedian Trevor Noah’s stories of growing up in South Africa are vivid, sometimes harrowing, and often laugh-out-loud funny. The bonus of audio is that listeners get to hear Noah tell these stories in his South African-accented English, as well as hear him speak snippets of various other South African languages…. Noah’s narration offers insights and intimacy, and as he gives voice to his mother, his friends, and his younger self, listeners are invited in to glimpse his world.
Book Reviews: 

See More

5)The Autobiography of Gucci Mane by Gucci Mane

Book Summary:For the first time, Gucci Mane tells his story in his own words. It is the captivating life of an artist who forged an unlikely path to stardom and personal rebirth. Gucci Mane began writing his memoir in a maximum-security federal prison. Released in 2016, he emerged radically transformed. He was sober, smiling, focused, and positive – a far cry from the Gucci Mane of years past.
Book Reviews: 

See More

 

Conclusion

What do you think about our list of best autobiography books? If you have another genre that you prefer to read we have probably compiled a list of our favorites for that genre too. So if you are looking for something other than the best autobiography books you can find other genres here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *