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Must-Read Memoirs

Must-Read Memoirs

The only thing better than reading a beautiful memoir is listening to the audiobook version (especially when it's narrated by the author)

Playlist Tags: Friendly City Books genre: Biography & Memoir audience: quarantined topic: non-fiction mood: insightful mood: immersive topic: memoir audience: insomniacs audience: adult topic: staff picks topic: celebrity author

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Beautiful Country

A Memoir

By Qian Julie Wang
Narrated by: Qian Julie Wang
Length: 9 hours 38 minutes

Beautiful Country

“In this brutally honest coming-of-age memoir, Qian Julie Wang comes to terms with the deprivations and struggles of her undocumented Chinese upbringing in New York City in the 1990s.”

Kayleen Rohrer image Kayleen Rohrer, InkLink Books
Audiobook details

Fox & I

An Uncommon Friendship

By Catherine Raven
Narrated by: Stacey Glemboski
Length: 10 hours 22 minutes

"Mysterious and magical." ―Wall Street Journal

“[A] book everyone will be talking about… [A] real-life friendship that mirrors the one between Saint-Exupéry’s Little Prince and his fox, full of tenderness and understanding." ―The New York Times

“Entrancing…. Raven’s gorgeous account of her bond with a fox while living in a remote cabin... Read more »

Audiobook details

Bring Your Baggage and Don't Pack Light

Essays

By Helen Ellis
Narrated by: Helen Ellis
Length: 2 hours 49 minutes

Bring Your Baggage and Don't Pack Light

“I love Helen Ellis! As usual, I listened to the audiobook from Libro.fm because her narration brings so much laughter to each story. Her stories are relatable, and she writes what we all say in our head. I grew up in South Carolina, so I can totally picture her in Alabama at the garage sale, telling jokes with friends, and simply being herself. Much love!”

Roundabout Books image Sara, Roundabout Books
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Here for It

Or, How to Save Your Soul in America; Essays

By R. Eric Thomas
Narrated by: R. Eric Thomas
Length: 7 hours 34 minutes

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • Read with Jenna Book Club Pick as Featured on Today • From the creator of Elle’s “Eric Reads the News,” a heartfelt and hilarious memoir-in-essays about growing up seeing the world differently, finding unexpected hope, and experiencing every awkward, extraordinary stumble along the way.

“Pop culture–obsessed, Sedaris-level... Read more »

Audiobook details

Unbound

My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement

By Tarana Burke
Narrated by: Tarana Burke
Length: 7 hours 9 minutes

"Tarana Burke, I just finished Unbound. Searing. Powerful. Needed!! Thank you." —Oprah

This program is read by the author.

From the founder and activist behind one of the largest movements of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the "me too" movement, Tarana Burke debuts a powerful memoir about her own journey to saying those two simple yet...

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The Best of Me

By David Sedaris
Narrated by: David Sedaris
Length: 13 hours 8 minutes

The Best of Me

“As if there is anything greater than a new David Sedaris, it's listening to David Sedaris read the new David Sedaris. This self-edited collection of essays from his prolific 25-year career is exactly what we need to boost the morale of 2020 and remind ourselves what a crazy world we've always lived in when viewed through Sedaris's keen observational eye and told with his unique & irreverent voice. The Best of Me is perfect for both long-time fans or those reading Sedaris for the first time and the audio read by the author means no nuance is left behind.”

Literally Speaking image Jessica, Literally Speaking
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Crying in H Mart

A Memoir

By Michelle Zauner
Narrated by: Michelle Zauner
Length: 7 hours 22 minutes

If you enjoyed Minor Feelings, then you’ll love Crying in H Mart.

“This memoir is an unflinchingly honest portrayal of grief as well as a tender look at the complex relationship between a mother and daughter bridging generational and cultural gaps through the comforting creation of food. This book had me simultaneously sobbing and starving. A perfect read.”

Blue Cypress Books image LeeAnna, Blue Cypress Books
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How Y'all Doing?

Misadventures and Mischief from a Life Well Lived

By Leslie Jordan
Narrated by: Leslie Jordan
Length: 4 hours 14 minutes

New York Times and USA Today Bestseller

Viral sensation and Emmy Award-winner Leslie Jordan regales fans with entertaining stories about the odd, funny, and unforgettable events in his life in this unmissable essay collection that echoes his droll, irreverent voice.

When actor Leslie Jordan learned he had “gone viral,” he had no idea what that...

Read more »

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Fairest

A Memoir

By Meredith Talusan
Narrated by: Meredith Talusan
Length: 8 hours 46 minutes

Finalist for the 2021 Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Nonfiction
 
"Talusan sails past the conventions of trans and immigrant memoirs." --The New York Times Book Review

"A ball of light hurled into the dark undertow of migration and survival." --Ocean Vuong, author of On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

A singular, beautifully written...
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Dear Girls

Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets & Advice for Living Your Best Life

By Ali Wong
Narrated by: Ali Wong & Justin Hakuta
Length: 6 hours 20 minutes

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Ali Wong’s heartfelt and hilarious letters to her daughters (the two she put to work while they were still in utero) cover everything they need to know in life, like the unpleasant details of dating, how to be a working mom in a male-dominated profession, and how she trapped their dad.

“Knife-sharp . . . a genuine...
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A Very Punchable Face

A Memoir

By Colin Jost
Narrated by: Colin Jost
Length: 7 hours 40 minutes

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In these hilarious essays, the Saturday Night Live head writer and Weekend Update co-anchor learns how to take a beating.

“I always wanted to punch his face before I read this book. Now I just want to kick him in the balls.”—Larry David


NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Cosmopolitan Vulture Parade

If there’s... Read more »

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My Broken Language

A Memoir

By Quiara Alegría Hudes
Narrated by: Quiara Alegría Hudes
Length: 10 hours 44 minutes

GOOD MORNING AMERICA BUZZ PICK • The Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright and co-writer of In the Heights tells her lyrical story of coming of age against the backdrop of an ailing Philadelphia barrio, with her sprawling Puerto Rican family as a collective muse.

LONGLISTED FOR THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL • ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: NPR, New... Read more »

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Shrill

Notes from a Loud Woman

By Lindy West
Narrated by: Lindy West
Length: 6 hours 9 minutes

Shrill is an uproarious memoir, a feminist rallying cry in a world that thinks gender politics are tedious and that women, especially feminists, can't be funny.

Coming of age in a culture that demands women be as small, quiet, and compliant as possible -- like a porcelain dove that will also have sex with you -- writer and humoristLindy West... Read more »

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We're Going to Need More Wine

Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True

By Gabrielle Union
Narrated by: Gabrielle Union
Length: 7 hours 48 minutes

We're Going to Need More Wine

“I know what this book looks like, and it's true that it's a '90s celebrity's memoir. But the other parts of this book are so remarkable that to limit its description to that would be an injustice. Gabrielle Union is an honest writer and cultural critic. I'm ashamed I didn't know this until now. Her reflections on race, gender, and authenticity in an industry that values anything but are refreshing and ring true. These are the portions of the book that really sparkle on the page. Writer to reader, friend to friend, Union simply shares some of her stories, and I was glad to be a part.”

Lindsay Crist-Lawson image Lindsay Crist-Lawson, Joseph-Beth Booksellers
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Educated

A Memoir

By Tara Westover
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 12 hours 9 minutes

Educated

“I loved this book! Tara Westover's memoir is the kind that sounds like it should be a novel—and this book reads like one in the best way—and I think I found myself gasping and covering my mouth about once per chapter. Westover describes her upbringing in a fundamentalist Mormon, survivalist, anti-government, anti-medicine family, enduring neglect and abuse and never attending school, in a way that still somehow manages to make her family members seem sympathetic despite their actions. She is honest about her early beliefs and conflicts and addresses her own lapses in memory throughout the book, and when she finally leaves home to go to college and beyond, you can't help but cheer for her. Julia Whelan does a fantastic job narrating the book, as well, giving each character a distinct personality, but in a way that isn't distracting to the story being told. Her voice is alternately innocent and chilling and gives an added depth to a fascinating story.”

Bank Square Books image Elissa, Bank Square Books
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In the Dream House

A Memoir

By Carmen Maria Machado
Narrated by: Carmen Maria Machado
Length: 5 hours 28 minutes

In the Dream House

“Brilliant and brave, Carmen Maria Machado's memoir does not shy away from pain, but examines it with a scientist's precision and a poet's imagination. Machado examines how relationships can become toxic from personal understanding. This book reads like a collection of cohesive essays where each chapter is a new lens. This book will change your understanding of memoir. Read by the author, which is especially special and important for this book.”

Oblong Books image Lafe, Oblong Books
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Aftershocks

By Nadia Owusu
Narrated by: Nadia Owusu
Length: 8 hours 32 minutes

In the tradition of The Glass Castle, this “gorgeous” (The New York Times, Editors’ Choice) and deeply felt memoir from Whiting Award winner Nadia Owusu tells the “incredible story” (Malala Yousafzai) about the push and pull of belonging, the seismic emotional toll of family secrets, and the heart it takes to pull through.

“In Aftershocks, Nadia... Read more »

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We Have Always Been Here

A Queer Muslim Memoir

By Samra Habib
Narrated by: Parmida Vand
Length: 5 hours 14 minutes

CANADA READS 2020 WINNER
NATIONAL BESTSELLER
2020 LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD WINNER

How do you find yourself when the world tells you that you don't exist?


Samra Habib has spent most of her life searching for the safety to be herself. As an Ahmadi Muslim growing up in Pakistan, she faced regular threats from Islamic extremists who believed the small,... Read more »

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Unprotected

A Memoir

By Billy Porter
Narrated by: Billy Porter
Length: 12 hours 19 minutes

“This is not a coming-out story. It’s not a down-low story either. I never could have passed for straight, even if I’d wanted to, and so I never had the dubious luxury of living a lie.” From the incomparable Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Award winner, a powerful and revealing autobiography about race, sexuality, art, and healing It’s easy to be... Read more »

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Maid

Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive

By Stephanie Land
Narrated by: Stephanie Land
Length: 8 hours 34 minutes

Maid

“Stephanie Land’s Maid is a must-read of the highest order, a memoir of a single mother struggling to survive while performing the household labor that many of us take for granted. While at once deeply personal — you’ll fall hard for Stephanie and her daughter, Mia — it is also essential social commentary about how we treat the myriad domestic laborers who toil in our homes, oftentimes unseen and unappreciated. Read it alongside Nickel and Dimed or Evicted for a stunning, unforgettable look at American poverty and determination.”

East City Bookshop image Emilie Sommer, East City Bookshop
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