STARRED REVIEW
September 10, 2019

The 25 best memoirs of 2019 (so far)

STARRED REVIEW
September 10, 2019

The 25 best memoirs of 2019 (so far)

September 10, 2019

The 25 best memoirs of 2019 (so far)

Share this Article:

Soon the weather will turn cold, and we can all finally justify staying inside and reading mounds of books. Here’s a mound to get you started: the most gripping, funniest and best memoirs of 2019 so far—and some essays, too.


Inheritance

The Unwinding of the Miracle by Julie Yip-Williams
After a Stage IV cancer diagnosis, Yip-Williams plans her death carefully,with love, humor, insight and wisdom.

Inheritance by Dani Shapiro
Shapiro unwittingly uncovers her biggest family secret yet: Her beloved, late father wasn’t her biological father.

Deep Creek by Pam Houston
Houston reflects on what it means to be a soft-hearted human in an ever-changing and sometimes frightening world. 

Black Is the Body by Emily Bernard
These 12 personal essays on blackness are brimming with hope and fury, joy and pain.

The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang
Wang delivers stunning insights into the challenges of living with schizoaffective disorder.

The Collected SchizophreniasThe Pianist from Syria by Aeham Ahmad
Pushing his piano into the bomb-ruined streets of Yarmouk, Ahmad and his impromptu choirs sang out songs of protest, mourning and hope.

Sounds Like Titanic by Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman
Hindman spent nearly four years performing as a violinist across America, without ever making a sound.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb
What happens when a psychotherapist’s life falls apart? She finds her own therapist.

Greek to Me by Mary Norris
The Comma Queen confesses her passion for everything Greek—language, history, landscape and culture.

The Honey Bus by Meredith May
May invites us into her harrowing California childhood, immersed in the astonishing world of the honeybee.

SissyThe Light Years by Chris Rush
Rush’s detailed account of his turbulent, drug-addled adolescence may cause some flashbacks.

Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl
This memoir about Reichl’s years as editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine is filled with& endearing, delicious stories.

Women’s Work by Megan K. Stack
As a war correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, Stack was unprepared to trade in that work for the work of motherhood.

Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls by T Kira Madden
Madden beautifully chronicles her journey to find herself while reckoning with trauma, abuse and addiction.

Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story by Jacob Tobia
In their fabulous, fierce voice, Tobia tells their story of coming out as genderqueer.

The Valedictorian of Being Dead by Heather B. Armstrong
Looking for relief from severe depression, Armstrong took part in an experimental medical treatment in which doctors put her in a coma 10 times.

Once More We Saw Stars by Jayson Greene
Greene recounts with exquisite detail the gargantuan task of grieving his 2-year-old daughter after her unexpected death.

Late Migrations by Margaret Renkl
These essays create a narrative that depicts not only the migrations of winged creatures but also the lives of Renkl’s family.

Don’t Wait Up by Liz Astrof
TV comedy writer Astrof is hilariously honest about motherhood in this series of personal essays.

Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law by Haben Girma
Girma was born deafblind in California, to refugee parents forced to flee war-torn Eritrea.

The Yellow HouseTravel Light, Move Fast by Alexandra Fuller
A sensitive, meticulously wrought portrait of one family’s sometimes-challenging dynamics, set against an unforgiving African backdrop.

The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom
Broom revisits the world of her childhood, decimated by Katrina, as she searches for the meaning of home and family.

Into the Planet by Jill Heinerth
Heinerth’s memoir is a thoughtfully structured and adrenaline-filled account of her life as a cave diver.

The Ungrateful Refugee by Dina Nayeri
Nayeri offers a searing, nuanced and complex account of her life as a refugee. 

The Education of an Idealist by Samantha Power
Power’s new memoir is a record of her impressive life as a White House adviser on human rights and a U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

Sign Up

Stay on top of new releases: Sign up for our enewsletters to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres.

Recent Features

Sign Up

Sign up to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres!