Top 100 Best Selling Biography Books of All Time

Books are the most excellent gifts a human could leave behind. Biographies and autobiographies are one of the many jewels among the books. But not all of these books can make it to the top 100 best selling biography books of all time.

 

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

This book is a spectacular memoir of a college student. The college student loses his both parents to cancer and is left with his eight year old brother. This book is the journey of the two brothers.

Read it For:
The A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is a story of a family and how the family holds itself together.
Don't Read it For:
Most readers find the book pointless without any meaning to it.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book incorporates the humorous as well as serious parts of life.

A Moveable Feast : The Restored Edition

The book was published posthumously. This book is the reinstated version of the original manuscripts of his memoir on Paris. The book contains a manuscript and some unfinished sketches. The book also contains a foreword, written by his only surviving son and an introduction written by his grandson. The book contains some portraits and pictures that have never been published before and some experiments with his work of craft.

Read it For:
The book is the original work of the writer, which gives you an insight into his life which had been hidden from the world.
Don't Read it For:
This book departs from the refined style of his work. Therefore some readers may find it annoying to read and may not finish the book.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book contains some of the earliest works of the artist along with some illustrations and sketches.

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

One of the best books to read on nature. The book, written by Bryson, describes in detail- the trail from Georgia to Maine. If there’s a place to choose for your hiking trip, this is the one. The book not only takes you through the breath-taking mountains and the scenic beauty of the area but also gives you details about the ecology present there.

Read it For:
The book talks magnificently of the beauty in areas which are remote.
Don't Read it For:
The book has many areas which discuss the uncomfortable lodgings, which come off as complaints.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is one of the best books to read about nature.

American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur

This book is the work of explanations of the life of the American Caesar. It is about the man, Douglas MacArthur, who served in both the world wars and the Korean Wars. The man was one of the only few in the United States army who was given the position of “General”.

Read it For:
The book talks in detail about the man who stated, “In war, there is no substitute for victory”.
Don't Read it For:
The book does not paint the protagonist as a hero.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book encompasses the good and the bad aspects of the man, which makes this book one of the best book recommendation to be read.

American Prometheus : Triumph and Tragedy of Robert Oppenheimer

This book is the detailed and meticulous biographies of one of the most famous physicist and quantum mathematician of his generation. The book is the journey of the man who developed the atomic bomb, J. Robert Oppenheimer – the director of the Manhattan project.

Read it For:
The book is well researched and shows many aspects of the political world in a different light.
Don't Read it For:
The book, as many biographies, concentrates more on the life of the brilliant scientist than on actual work.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is the perfect example of what happens to a brilliant scientist. The book discusses many political aspects which were prominent in the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer.

American Sniper : The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History

This book is the collection of life and events from the life of the American sniper, an excellent one at that, Chris Kyle. The sniper had a deadly precision and is the one with most sniper kills till date. Among his mates, he was the only one trusted with their security.

Read it For:
The book talks about the life of the sniper and how his life ends tragically, not on the battlefield but close to home.
Don't Read it For:
The book may have a sad end, which would annoy many readers.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is a precise recollection of the snipers life and his way of life.

American Sphinx : The Character of Thomas Jefferson

The book is the collection of the events and life of the American slaveholding president, T. Jefferson. This book takes into account the contradictions of the American president as well as describes his intimate relationship with a slave.

Read it For:
This book is a great piece of elegant writing
Don't Read it For:
The book has some chapters which depart from the book and are annoyingly dull
What makes this book stand out?:
All in all the book is an elegant study of the president and his life.

Angela’s Ashes

The book is the collection of the time of the author’s childhood. Born and raised in the slums of Brooklyn, the author faced many troubles during the depression-era of Ireland. The author’s family had nothing to eat, and his father hardly ever worked, and whenever he did- he drank his wages away. But the author lived for his father’s stories and somehow managed in the troublesome times.

Read it For:
The book gives details about a place most people do not know of.
Don't Read it For:
The book’s only problem is that, it is too long.
What makes this book stand out?:
The unique writing style of the author stands out, which makes you laugh and cry at the same time.

The Diary of a Young Girl

The book is one of the bestselling biographies of all times. This book is a collection of intimate thoughts of a fourteen year old girl during the troublesome time of extermination of the Jews. The book takes you through the mind and feelings of a girl who is haunted by what is happening around her, and at the same time is confused.

Read it For:
One of the best books to be written and collected as a biography.
Don't Read it For:
The book is nothing but sad. The innocent thoughts in the book do nothing more than making the reader depressed.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is about the innocent and pure thoughts of a young girl during a turbulent time. The book will make you cry.

Autobiography of a Face

At the age of nine, Lucy Grealy was diagnosed with a terminal cancer. After treatments and various therapies, the author returns to her school with her jaw removed. The book portrays the peer rejection she faced along with her thoughts of wanting to be special as well as accepted for being herself.

Read it For:
A classic read for young adults, as it talks about the two warring aspects of a young mind- the side of being accepted as one is and the side of being perfect.
Don't Read it For:
Spoilers! Lucy Grealy passes away.
What makes this book stand out?:
Despite the ending, the book ends on a hopeful note. The book also, discusses the effects and the aftereffects of peer rejection.

Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1 : The Complete and Authoritative Edition

The book is the collection of one of the greatest writers who ever wrote in the English Language. After many false starts and hundred pages, Twain finally wrote his autobiography talking about his life and its events. The book also goes to tell us that his mind was free and could change easily.

Read it For:
The book is a collection of some of his unpublished works.
Don't Read it For:
The book is vastly out of balance, it may take some time to understand the structure of the book.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is one of the bestselling books of all times.

Ball Four

The book is a season-long diary written by the former pitcher for the Major League Baseball. The book discusses in detail about his time at the two teams and also sheds light on many hidden aspects of the baseball world. Due to his revelation of many secrets, the book had been surrounded by controversies but was overall loved by fans.

Read it For:
The book shows the life of the pitcher and gives a correct account of what happens in the baseball world.
Don't Read it For:
The book may seem outrageous for many.
What makes this book stand out?:
This book, one of the top books to read in the autobiography and biography section, gives many details about the baseball world which were unknown before.

Black Boy

One of the best accounts on social imbalance and injustice. Richard Wright, a black boy, was born in a poor family near the woods of Mississippi. He stole, he fought and did everything he wasn’t supposed to. By the age of six the boy was already termed as a “drunkard” and was hanging around at the local taverns. The book is the journey of the boy through everything. He was surrounded by the whites, who were either pitying him or being cruel to him. And he was surrounded by the blacks, who did not want anyone to rise above the common level.

Read it For:
The book is classic read for those who want to understand what social injustice does to the oppressed races.
Don't Read it For:
The book may be disturbing for some.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is the classic example of what social injustice and human suffering is to people.

Moneyball

The story of trying to win on a low budget team by the Oakland A’s coach, Billy Beane. The book is collection of his struggles and success. The coach was despised in the beginning for trying to do something had been unheard of. The book shows the struggles of the coach as a coach and as a husband and father.

Read it For:
An impressive read for anyone who is interested in the field of baseball and mathematics.
Don't Read it For:
The story does not end well for the Oakland A’s and the coach. Plus the story contains many mathematical calculations, which could bore a reader.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is one of the best books to read in this section.

Black Like Me

During the 1950s, a line of blood separated everyone in the areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. This book was written by John Howard Griffin, who with the help of medication made his skin grow darker and exchanged his life as a black unemployed man. The book is a collection of what Griffin experienced firsthand.

Read it For:
The book is gripping and chilling.
Don't Read it For:
Although the story is impressive, the younger and the today’s generation will not understand the book.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is the classic representation of the differences, both social and natural, as well as the injustice which prevailed during a time.

Born Standing Up : A Comic’s Life

This book is the recollection and the account of the life of the stand-up comic artist, Steve Martin. The book goes on to tell the reader, why the artist began and ended his career. Martin was one of the most famous comic artists of all times and he drew few of the biggest crowds for his concert. The book also gives an account of his early life.

Read it For:
One of the best biographies of the first stand up artist.
Don't Read it For:
The book may be great, but the book lacks the element of exciting content.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book was read by Steve Martin himself!

Born to Run : A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

The author Christopher McDougall sets out on a spectacular journey of finding out the secrets of the Mexican tribe, the Tarahumara Indians. The obscure tribe has perfected the art of running for hundreds of miles at top speed without stopping for a break or for injury. The constantly injured athlete is drawn by this and sets out to uncover the truth about the tribe.

Read it For:
The book delves into the subject matter of endurance and physical training of the human body.
Don't Read it For:
The book is entertaining for the most part, but has some tedious parts as well, which breaks the flow.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is a well-researched and well-written book. The book incorporates informative thoughts with entertainment.

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

Probably one of the most iconic biographies of the twentieth century, the book is about Malala Yousafzai, who fought for her right to education when the Taliban took a part of Pakistan. At the age of fifteen she was shot, point-blank! But her miraculous recovery made her take an impressive journey and allowed her to continue with her fight and win!

Read it For:
A good read about struggle and what one must do in order to stand their own ground.
Don't Read it For:
The book seems more about her father than herself.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is proof that one person’s voice is enough to make a change.

Bossypants

This book is the journey of the actress, Tina Fey. Tina Fey had had many recurring dreams, becoming a comic actress was one of them. Over the years, she pursued her dreams and half-heartedly pursued the dream of being physically beautiful, and saw her dream come true.

Read it For:
The book is a collection of stories, both humorous and heartbreaking, of the actress’ struggle and dream.
Don't Read it For:
The book is a little disappointing on the front of giving the inspirations of the actress.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book talks openly about Tina Fey’s personal life and how she got to where she now.

Cash: The Autobiography

The autobiography of the music legend, the man in black, Johnny Cash is not what you’d expect. One of the top books to read, this book takes you through his highs and lows of his career. The book gives a proper account of his boyhood in the Dyess, Arkansas region and his massive stardom in Nashville. He dispels many myths and shows that his life as star was anything but smooth.

Read it For:
The book is a clear representation that no journey to great heights is without losses and struggles.
Don't Read it For:
The book is filled with drugs and other drunken and intoxicated incidents of the singer. The book also, does not delve into the matter of his hatred towards his father.
What makes this book stand out?:
Well, who doesn’t love Johnny Cash?

Catherine the Great : Portrait of a Woman

The book is a masterpiece of a brilliant writer. The book is a princess from an obscure noble family. But through determination and sheer willpower, Catherine, the princess, turned herself into the Empress of Russia. For more than thirty years she handled the political matters of the country. During her reign, she took care of the foreign wars as well as the domestic rebellion.

Read it For:
This book brings one of the most empowered and beautiful women in history, back to life.
Don't Read it For:
The book deviates from actual historical facts.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is a clear depiction of strong character of Catherine.

Chronicles

The winner of the Nobel Prize, Chronicles is a memoir written by one of the most excellent musicians. This book gives a detailed look into the musician's life and the 1960s Greenwich Village. When the musician first arrives in New York City, he knows that this city is the city of dreams. The book is a collection of his life as a musician, his literary awakenings which are once in a while distorted with brilliant memories.

Read it For:
The musician had a way with words, which makes the reader connect to the story.
Don't Read it For:
The book, titled as volume 1, is a collection of the influence of folk music on his music. The author even writes the book backward.
What makes this book stand out?:
The musician outdid himself with this work, he surely had a way with words.

Churchill : A Life

This book is one of the best collections of facts and incidents for Churchill’s life, which were non-existent in the earlier works. One of the best documented books on the life of Churchill, this book is written fashionably.

Read it For:
The book has actual facts, which were not seen before.
Don't Read it For:
The book may seem boring for many.
What makes this book stand out?:
This book is a collection of well-researched incidents and events in the life of Churchill.

Lion: A Long Way From Home

The biographical story of a little five year old boy, who got lost on train. The story talks about how the poor boy, Saroo, who lived with his mother lost his way and could not return for twenty five years. The journeys of the boy form the train to Calcutta, from there to Tasmania and then to Australia, are written magnificently.

Read it For:
The story in the novel shows how the boy was sided by heaps of luck and was finally able to come to the home.
Don't Read it For:
The story lack depth.
What makes this book stand out?:
The story was a remarkable one, and written well.

Wild : A Journey from Lost to Found

After her mother’s death, Cheryl was heartbroken. She lost everything, her family scattered, even her marriage broken. Finally, she decided to take up a hiking trip through the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert, through the California and Oregon to Washington State region. She decided to it all alone. Throughout the book, we get to know more about her past life and the life she left behind.

Read it For:
This story is a story about recovery, and how the loss of a beloved person can affect a person.
Don't Read it For:
The book is quite depressing with some extremely violent scenes.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book has been made into a motion picture, which does justice to the story of the book.

Claudette Colvin : Twice Toward Justice

The iconic story of a young fifteen-year-old girl who refused to give her seat up to a white woman on the bus, which led her to be shunned by her friends at school. The story of the girl who dared to challenge the word with Browder v. Gayle and changed the laws of segregation.

Read it For:
The book is a good book on how things changed for better.
Don't Read it For:
The book lacks the element of excitement, which is required to build up interest.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book brings out many underlying factors of society and shows how they had been troubling so many people. This book is the tale of one girl who decided to do something about it.

Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness

The work of William Styron in the Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness, is nothing short of praise. The book is a courageous journey of depicting the horrors of depression and its effects.

Read it For:
The writer is probably one of the few writers who has written about depression properly.
Don't Read it For:
The book is talking about depression, it will annoy many readers.
What makes this book stand out?:
This book gives an account of good and useful information on the topic of depression and its nature.

Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight : An African Childhood

The story is a memoir to the life of Alexandra Fuller and her family. The story takes place in the region of Rhodesia, which now in Zimbabwe. After the war, the Fullers move to another city, but they are not wealthy people or landowners. This book is about their struggle in the land.

Read it For:
The book is written in great detail and is set in the mesmerizing backdrop of African beauty.
Don't Read it For:
The parents in the book come off as irresponsible
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is set in the turbulent times in Africa, the book is the representation of the British Family’s struggle.

Dorothy Parker : What Fresh Hell is This?

This book studies the wittiness and the liveliness of one of the most stylish ladies of all times, Dorothy Parker. The book also shows her charisma at that Algonquin Round Table. The book is a true depiction of the brilliance and the self-destructive as well as one of the most flamboyant people in this world.

Read it For:
The book is brilliantly done, and the book captures the essence of Parker in its all real.
Don't Read it For:
The book has many references, to political issues, movies, etc.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is clearly one of the best depictions of Ms. Parker.

Dreams from My Father : A Story of Race and Inheritance

This is the book of the journey the former American President took in order to retrace his family’s life and roots. After the passing away of his father in a car accident, Obama traces his family back to the migration of his mother from Hawaii and the roots for his father’s family in Kenya. The former president was forced to confront many things.

Read it For:
The book is well-written and is the journey of a black man in America along with his internal struggles.
Don't Read it For:
The book may come off as cold at times.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is a great read.

The Iron Lady: Margaret Thatcher, from Grocer’s Daughter to Prime Minister

The story of the woman, Margret Thatcher is simply remarkable. The book follows the lady from her very humble beginnings in a small town to being the prime minister of the Great Britain. The story is full of hardships and the sacrifices she made in order to become the lade she became.

Read it For:
A truly inspiring read, the Iron Lady of Britain is a huge personality, and this book, one of the best-selling books, provides more information about her.
Don't Read it For:
The book may dive into too much political information.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book tells the reader all about the brilliant and undaunted Iron Lady of the Great Britain.

Eat, Pray Love

Elizabeth Gilbert, the writer, writes that in her early thirties the lady had everything she could have hoped for. A modern American woman at that age is to have a husband, a country home, and a successful career. But even though she had it all, the lady was not happy and was filled with panic and confusion. This book is the journey of a woman, who departs from the outward notions of success and finds her own happiness.

Read it For:
The book is one of the best books to read in order to find the true meaning of success and happiness.
Don't Read it For:
The book dragged a bit, from time to time
What makes this book stand out?:
This book is the journey of a woman, who breaks away from the modern day definition of a successful woman and makes her own definition.

E=Mc2

The book begins by finding the truth behind the theory of Einstein and his formula. The book is work of cumulative collection of various scientific theories and stories of the world. The author tries to draw out the importance of these formulas and theories.

Read it For:
The book gives valuable information in the field of science.
Don't Read it For:
Filled with scientific details and theories and formulas, those who do not have a knack for science, may not enjoy this.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book provides a simplified outlook on the theory of relativity.

Dust Tracks on a Road

This book is the account of the artist Zora Neale Hurston's life. The book follows her rise from the birth in poverty driven family to becoming one of the most notable artists of her time.

Read it For:
The book is a good collection on the life of Zora Neale Hurston.
Don't Read it For:
The first half of the book was well written, whereas the other half of the book was rather boring.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book accounts for even the smallest detail of the lady’s life. One of the best books to read on this list.

Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage

The book is the record of the voyage taken by the ship called Endurance. This book has one of the best depictions and has sold many copies. The writing style is brave and well researched, the book defines heroism.

Read it For:
The book is well backed with facts and research.
Don't Read it For:
The book is quite boring, as it only talks of one voyage.
What makes this book stand out?:
The writer of the book consulted the many surviving members of the trip to produce this book.

Everybody Was So Young : Gerald and Sara Murphy, a Lost Generation Love Story

The story of the talented Gerald Murphy and his wife, is the true record of their lives.

Read it For:
The book is both glittering and tragic, but still worth a good read.
Don't Read it For:
The book may turn away from actual facts.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is well written, the language is ornamental and the words give a clear meaning.

The Story of My Life

The brilliant autobiography of Miss Keller, who recounts the experiences of her first twenty-two years in the world. The book defines the beautiful moment of the water pump, where she realizes that all objects in this world have names. The book, first published in the year 1903, also explains and gives details of subsequent encounters.

Read it For:
A magical book about the discovery of various things.
Don't Read it For:
The book does not have too much interesting content.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is one of the top reads on this list. The book well written and takes the reader to a magical world.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

A book about two young siblings being sent to live their grandmother, who is devout, for a brief time. Maya and her brother face the harsh reality and have to deal with the effects of being called “white trash”. A few years later, they go back to live their mother. But there, Maya is attacked by a man and has to live with those consequences forever. Bitter and angry, Maya has no choice. But years later, Maya finds her peace and learns the value of kindness and love.

Read it For:
The book is a great book on spiritual awakening and finding happiness after struggles.
Don't Read it For:
The book is quite sad and has some violent and troubling incidents.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is written fantastically. An uplifting read. The book inspires its readers.

Into the Wild

A book about the death of a twenty-four year old man, Chris McCandless, who had gone into the Alaskan wilderness with a loaded small-caliber rifle and a bag of rice. Four months later, his body was discovered by a moose hunter. The book gives clear facts as to how McCandless’ life came to an end.

Read it For:
The book is exhilaratingly thrilling!
Don't Read it For:
The book is surrounded by facts about death, which can be a bit too gruesome for the reader.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is the clear-cut representation of what happened to the twenty-four-year-old man.

Just Kids

The first book from Patti Smith, shows her unforgettably relationship with the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the city of New York in the late 1960s. This book gives a clear look at youth and friendship.

Read it For:
One of the greatest books by Patti Smith, this book discusses the relationships of youth in the backdrop of NYC in the 60s.
Don't Read it For:
The book has many references to places and people, who have left the world long ago.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is a magical book about friendship. Written in simplest words, the book is a lyrical record of friendship

Life

The long-awaited autobiography of the guitarist, Keith Richards is finally out. The book gives an account of the guitarist and his life. Before meeting his band members the life of the guitarist was filled with loud Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records.

Read it For:
The book gives a proper account of the guitarist’s life and struggles.
Don't Read it For:
The book has too much of drug use and other disturbing factors.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is brilliantly written. For all those who want to know more about the behind scene acts and other information about the band, this is the book for you!

Long Walk From Freedom

Nelson Mandela, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and the President of South Africa, never had an easy life. He had been imprisoned until the 1990s and the journey from there was anything but easy. The president is known to have changed his country, and has been known as one of the most influential men in our history.

Read it For:
The book tells us about his struggle with life and how he adamantly wanted to make his country a better place to live.
Don't Read it For:
The book may seem slow.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is the impressive collection of the works of the South African President.

Knock Wood

The book is the depiction of Candice Bergen's early life. The author was born into the family of Hollywood heads. This book takes a detour into the life of Candice. Filled to the brim with the stories of her childhood and memories, this became one of her best-selling books.

Read it For:
The book is about growing up and the comical expectations which ruled her life. The book also offers a brief journey into her privileged life and how she debuted herself.
Don't Read it For:
The book is the record of her life, which is filled with details about Hollywood and the celebrities, in case you are not interested in that lifestyle this isn’t for you.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is written impressively and leaves a great mark on the reader.

Meditations

This book dates back to the ancient times. The book was written in Greek by a Greek emperor who struggled to understand himself. He wrote a record of various struggles, challenges and exercises to understand himself. The book is full of many truths about the universe.

Read it For:
The book is written for introspection by the author, which makes the book even better to understand.
Don't Read it For:
This book was written without the intent of ever being published. Therefore, the book may be round around the edges.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is written in simple terms and is easy to understand.

Mortality

Hitchens, one of the best columnists, found himself battling with esophageal cancer. Throughout his battle with cancer, the journalist never gave up writing. He adamantly pursued what he loved the most and continued to produce best works. The journalist wrote on politics and other pressing matters, until his death.

Read it For:
This story is about the dignity of a man. As Hitchens’s body degraded due to cancer, he began to understand his emotions and could understand the philosophy behind everything.
Don't Read it For:
As the book progresses, one can see the degradation of the writer’s health, which puts the reader in a state of weird emotions.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is the ultimate form of literature produced by the writer.

My Life in France

The brilliant French Chef, Julia Child, had faced many problems when she arrived in France with her husband. She could not speak French and knew nothing of the new country’s culture. But as she immersed herself in the country’s nature and culture, she not only found a newfound love for France but also found herself.

Read it For:
The book is a true story about self-discovery and learning to be something better.
Don't Read it For:
The book seems as though it lacks some depth, but is well-written.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book gives details about France and the French culture as well as the landscape of the beautiful country.

Naked

The book by David Sedaris, accounts the unusual upbringing of the author and his comedic views. The book is a collection of his drug-induced memories of college and later about his wanderings. The book has been acclaimed and has been noted for its dark humor.

Read it For:
The book is one of the best books to read in case you are looking for dark humor.
Don't Read it For:
The book is an unusual mix of dark humor and comedic ways of tackling tragic events.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book has been noted for the impressive and unique way of writing by the author

Napoleon: A Life

This book takes advantage of the recently published letters of Napoleon. The book delves deeper into the character of the brilliant statesmen and politician.

Read it For:
The book gives a research-backed base of facts for the entire book.
Don't Read it For:
The book is focused on historical happenings and has many historical references, for those readers who do not like historical books, this is not for you.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is one of first of its kind. It gives a radical understanding of the leader and gives the reader a better view of the character.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave : Written by Himself

The book is a collection of the works of a slave, who in future went on to become a minister and then a successful orator. The book was written by him and records his success as well as struggle as person.

Read it For:
An uplifting book which was written almost a century ago.
Don't Read it For:
The book was written a long time ago, many of the issues discussed in the book may not be relatable in the present scenario.
What makes this book stand out?:
A well written book, which provides insights on how the things were before.

Night

This book is the account of a teenager, who not lost his parents, but must also survive in the brutal Nazi death camps. The newest translation of the work is one of the most prominent ones, as it provides a clearer understanding of the work and the teenager’s life in the death camp.

Read it For:
The book is a brutally truthful record of the inhumane death camps in the Nazi era.
Don't Read it For:
The book follows angst and pain and suffering along with the major plot, which is downright depressing for the reader.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book, the newest translation, works closely with the true understanding of the death camps and the horrors faced by people there in order to survive until the end.

Notes to a Native Son

This book is a compilation of essay written by Baldwin in the early 1950s and the late 1940s. The essays capture the meaning of being black during the time of civil rights movement in America. The essays also capture the strength these movements gained due to the writings of one man.

Read it For:
One of the most uplifting books to be read on this list. The book gives information on the condition of the Black people in America.
Don't Read it For:
The book is slow and has many political references.
What makes this book stand out?:
It is a beautiful book, which captures the beauty of one man’s voice which changes the face of many things.

On the Road

The autobiographical book, now even a motion picture, captures the beauty of road trips made by two friends. The story is written in an impressive fashion along with many sad references. The story is about the main character trying to find authenticity in his work and self.

Read it For:
The story is about self-discovery and finding a better understanding of one’s self. On a side note, the story is also about finding the true meaning of friendship.
Don't Read it For:
The book is seen from a pair of sad eyes, with many hear aching scenes. Plus the plot of the story is quite morbid.
What makes this book stand out?:
The story is about two friends who set out on a journey. An adventurous tale filled with many chance encounters, some good some bad.

Open : An Autobiography

The autobiography of the brilliant tennis star, Andre Agassi. He pretty much had his life planned out before he could even talk. His demanding father made sure he trained and focused on tennis. By the age of twenty-two the man had eight grand slams to his name, but off court the man was confused and utterly unhappy. This book is his journey on trying to find himself and his meaning of life.

Read it For:
breathtaking and painful journey of a genius, who tries to find happiness all over again.
Don't Read it For:
The book is a slow starter, takes some time to get the feel of the book.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book, as most biographies are, is a journey of self-discovery.

Shoe Dog : A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE

Today Nike is a well-known brand all over the world, but does anyone know how it started? Right out of his business school the owner of Nike had nothing but a few dollars. The Nike brand started out as a mission to provide high quality imported shoes at low rates.

Read it For:
The book is an uplifting book which teaches us about life and how to make the best out of what you have.
Don't Read it For:
The book talks more about the life of the owner and less about how he got where he got.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book follows the life and the struggle of one man, who went on to become the owner of one of the best known brands in the world.

Rafa: My Story

This book is the collection of Rafael’s story, and how he built himself up. The book takes us into the life of the tennis player and his incredible star-studded career. This book has many childhood instances of the player along with how he continued chasing after his friend and rival Roger Federer.

Read it For:
An impressive story about an remarkable tennis player.
Don't Read it For:
The book is all about Nadal and his life, there is nothing more to it.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is a great and impressive record of the brilliant tennis player. The book takes you across the ups and downs of one of the best tennis players of this generation.

Out of Africa ; and, Shadows on the Grass

This story is one of those books which take into consideration of an artist’s life. This particular book records the events and life story of Isak Dinesen, the painter. The book is about her time spent taking care of the Kenyan coffee plantation.

Read it For:
The book is one of the best books, which depicts the life of the painter in the purest form.
Don't Read it For:
This book is uneventful, there is nothing much to read.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is a classic record of the painter and her life at the coffee plantation.

Personal History

The story is about a woman called Katherine Graham. This story is about her journey when she inherits the Washington Post and how she tries to make the most out of her business. The book takes you through her struggles, as she tries to make her paper run and struggles to keep everything together.

Read it For:
An impressive book about the feats of Katherine Graham.
Don't Read it For:
The book is not something everyone will be interested in.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book shows clearly what it was life for Katherine to manage her business.

Speak, Memory : An Autobiography Revisited

This book is the true masterpiece of biographies. The book focuses on the life of the great Russian writer and author Nabokov. It is a collection of his time, his life and his struggles during the times he was writing some of his major works of art.

Read it For:
The book provides valuable insight and information about the writer’s life.
Don't Read it For:
The book may be a tiresome read for some, as the book is not written in the same refined manner as his other works.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is the brief collection of the writer’s life.

Steve Jobs

This book is one of the biographies ever written on the genius Steve Jobs. Jobs had a vision and wanted to change the world. He was one of the very few who possessed the ability to be extremely creative and make his ideas work. The genius not only wanted to pioneer in electronics, but also wanted to make sure that he tried other things

Read it For:
The book is a product of two long years of interviews with Jobs’ close friends, family, and colleagues.
Don't Read it For:
The book delves into the personal life of Jobs and can be boring.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is the truest representation of Jobs as an entrepreneur, a person, a pioneer and a human.

Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher : The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis

This book is one of those books which documents the life of Edward Curtis, the brilliant and talented portrait photographers. The young and charismatic photographer  was one of the most notable photographers of his time, he was friend to presidents and great thinkers. But by the time he was thirty-two, he realized he wanted to document the natural inhabitants of the country before their culture disappeared.

Read it For:
The book not only documents the life of the photographer but also has some of his best pictures.
Don't Read it For:
For those who are not interested in photography may not understand the meaning and the brilliance of this book.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is one of the classic reads.

Seabiscuit

The book is the account of the best and the most shocking event in the sports world. What was termed as a racehorse with crooked legs and a sad tale, became one of the best racehorses and a multi-millionaire The book is the collection of that tale and has been re-told brilliantly.

Read it For:
The story has been brought to life by the writer, who writes brilliantly of the story which took everyone by surprise.
Don't Read it For:
The book deals with strictly horseracing details.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is an exceptional account of the horse and his success and how three men changed the fortune of the horse

Savage Beauty

The book is one of those books which it captures the beauty of the electric, Millay, who chose to smoke in public and defied all sorts of conventional thinking. She took too many lovers, of all kinds, and never cared what people thought.

Read it For:
One of the best reads
Don't Read it For:
The book is one of those books which talks about one person extensively.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is the proper depiction of the eccentric and bold beauty Millay.

Running with Scissors: A Memoir

One of the books which became a bestselling books. The book follows the story of a boy who was given away by his mother to be raised by her psychiatrist. This is the story of the boy, who was raised with unusual rules and where the Christmas tree was kept all year round.

Read it For:
A fascinating story with a fascinating plot and twists.
Don't Read it For:
The book may feel disturbing for many readers.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is filled with out-of-the-world instances, which is fascinating as well as disturbing.

The Years of Lyndon Johnson 4 Volume Set

The collection is a collection of all the book written by Robert A. Caro. The books focus their content on the American history and politics.

Read it For:
There has never been a series which was written as this one.
Don't Read it For:
The book is quite tedious for those who do not enjoy the works of the political writing.
What makes this book stand out?:
Gives thorough understanding of the political system.

“Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”: Adventures of a Curious Character

Is the book written by Feynman on his adventures with physics and the discovery of various things at this time. He also describes the experiments with Einstein’s and Bohr’s ideas. The book gives a view of Feynman’s life and his curious incidents with raging comedy.

Read it For:
The book is one of those rare gems, which talk about a scientist in humorous as well as light language.
Don't Read it For:
The book branches into scientific theories once in a while
What makes this book stand out?:
Although this book branches into scientific theories, the book still does not fail to humor people.

Tennessee Williams : Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh

Tennessee Williams, one of the dramatists who changed the face of American Drama, did not have an easy life. This book takes you through the tales of the dramatist and his warring family. Along with this the book sheds light onto his creativity, his guilt and his invariably question of sexuality.

Read it For:
The book is well researched, and the writer had the help of Williams’ close friends and family.
Don't Read it For:
The book has one of the most disturbing backstories; it may not suit many readers
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is well researched and written in simple words.

Agony And Ecstacy

Set in the time of the best time for art, Renaissance, when princes’ were poised and art and creativity were at full bloom, this book is the passionate recollection of Michelangelo and his works and his time with the Medici Family.

Read it For:
The book captures the beauty of the artist in its best form.
Don't Read it For:
The book references many artistic movements and many things from the Renaissance period.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is passionately written and does not fail to impress the reader.

The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas

This is the book written by Gertrude Stein, in the disguise of her life partner, Alice B. Toklas. The book talks about the relationship and companionship of the two.

Read it For:
The book talks in detail about the beauty of Paris, and the beauty of the relationship shared by the two, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas.
Don't Read it For:
The book lacks the correct grammar.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is one of the best books to read in this list, as it sets an example of a relationship.

The Andy Warhol Diaries

The book is a twenty thousand book, based on the diary written by Warhol. He dedicated each and every entry of his diary to Pat Hackett. The book now features a new introduction and is one of the greatest and best examples of the beautiful piece left by the iconic American Icon.

Read it For:
The book is definitely a good biographical book to read, the book contains many instances and incidents which warm the heart.
Don't Read it For:
Since the book is a compilation of diary entries, the book fails to keep the reader interested.
What makes this book stand out?:
The new introduction adds to the already existing beauty of the piece.

Lust For Life

Ever since its first publication the book has been one of the most prominent best sellers in this genre. The book is filled with the life and the struggles of the father of modern art. During his life, Vincent was not really a happy man and he was undergoing a treatment. But his life had been too much for him. Throughout his life, he was not regarded as the painter he is now, but no one could deny the genius in him.

Read it For:
The book gives an insight into the troubled life of the painter.
Don't Read it For:
The book is sad and depressing.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book follows the events of Vincent’s life and struggles and how he tried to handle them in his own way.

The Basketball Diaries : The Classic about Growing Up Hip on New York’s Mean Streets

The story of Jim Caroll, who struggled with life and drug use. The story follows his struggles, how he quit school and how he turned to the streets to use and abuse drugs. The world the kid sees is a different one, and it breaks his mother’s heart. Finally, his mother helps and the boy gets better with the help of professionals.

Read it For:
The story is classically coming of age book, where Jim struggles with many things but finally gets over them.
Don't Read it For:
The book is surrounded by kids and other abusing drugs. The book becomes a little violent at times.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is one of those books which depicts the pain of growing sober and growing up beautifully.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Malcolm X has been one of the most prominent members who have influenced people at a large scale in the 20th century. This book is about his journey from being imprisoned in Mecca and finding his true self after converting to Islam.

Read it For:
The book gives insight on the journey of the leader and how his aggression and anger was taken away by Islam.
Don't Read it For:
The book has no problems!
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is the best depiction of Malcolm X and shows his struggles and life clearly.

The Complete Persepolis

Probably one of the best ever written memoirs, the author wrote this graphically illustrated book about her large family during the time of the Islamic Revolution. The book is about coming of age, and discusses the writer’s issues with public and personal views.

Read it For:
The book is beautifully illustrated.
Don't Read it For:
The book’s illustrations give the book a feeling of a comic.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book depicts the classic struggle of girl, who is trying to understand the meaning of life and her views along with the world’s views.

The Diary of Anais Nin

This is the work of the brilliant writer, Anais Nin, which was not published for a while The book is the record of journey from the time from the publishing of her first work until she left Paris.

Read it For:
Gives a detailed account of the life of the writer between the publishing of her first book until the time she leaves Paris.
Don't Read it For:
The book is the detailed account of the writer, if you are not a fan of the writer, chances are you won’t like the book.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book gives clear details about the writer and her personal life.

The Diary of Frida Kahlo : An Intimate Self-Portrait

The book is the graphic depiction of the writer’s ten years of turbulent times with her personal life. The journal contains thoughts, poems and dreams of the writer.  The book is the collection of her sense and political views as she went through thirty five different operations to fix her injuries.

Read it For:
The book is uplifting and inspiring.
Don't Read it For:
Although the book is made out of bright colored inks, the book is quite disturbing.
What makes this book stand out?:
The undeniable amount of courage possessed by the writer is nothing short of impressive.

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

One of the best memoirs in the modern world, as stated by Oprah, is truly a work of art. The book encompasses the story of a black boy, who the son of a black minister and a white woman, who refused to accept she was white.

Read it For:
A thoroughly touching read.
Don't Read it For:
The book may have some political background, which may not be easy to understand.
What makes this book stand out?:
A classic read, which hits closer to the modern times.

The Bell Jar

The book follows the story of Esther Greenwood, who is too busy doing things that she forgets to look after herself and goes into mental degradation.

Read it For:
The book is gripping and one of the best reads.
Don't Read it For:
The book may talk about mental illness which may be disturbing.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is one of those rare gems that would keep you on your toes.

The Glass Castle : A Memoir

The tale of dysfunctional and broken family, and how they get back on their feet. When the father becomes sober again, the father does not fail to capture the imagination of his children and finds their love.

Read it For:
The book is about redemption and love.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book takes you through the redemption of a family which looks beyond help.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The woman was only a tobacco farmer, who went on to become one of the most influential people in the medical history of time. She played a significant role in the development of Polio vaccine.

Read it For:
The book is a journey of finding one’s self.
Don't Read it For:
The book may feel a little out of touch.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book takes you through the journey of an impressive life.

The Kid Stays in the Picture

This book is the story of the American show business and the way that world moves by the author Robert Evans.

Read it For:
The book is an essential book to read if you want to know about the history of the show business.
Don't Read it For:
The book may contain graphics and disturbing elements.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is one of those books which provides valuable insight on a world we only see from outside.

The Last Lone Inventor : A Tale of Genius, Deceit, and the Birth of Television

The book about the true genius of the inventor of the century’s one of the best invention of Television. The book is one of the greatest books which shows the fight with deceit and conflict.

Read it For:
A good book to read about inventions.
Don't Read it For:
The book may take on a monotone.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is about an inventor who invented one of the best inventions of the century.

The Liars’ Club : A Memoir

The book is a comic record of Mary Karr's life in Texas. The book follows the dramatically comic incidents of the girl in the east of Texas.

Read it For:
The book brings in many characters and the best kind of incidents.
Don't Read it For:
The book may feel as though the book only works in one direction.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is one of those books which shows the life in Texas beautifully.

The Motorcycle Diaries : Notes on a Latin American Journey

The newest translation gives a fuller view of the man, Che Guevara's. The translation is written by his daughter.

Read it For:
The daughter writes lovingly about his father.
Don't Read it For:
The book follows the line of Che Guevara's ‘life and expeditions.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is written with love and shows the passion of the father as well as the daughter.

The Professor and the Madman

The work follows the best work of the book follows the tale of two men who began to compile the Oxford dictionary.

Read it For:
This book is the extraordinary tale of the two men, with great incidents and impressive thoughts.
Don't Read it For:
The book may seem a little boring to some readers, as it delves into internal and personal lives of the men.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is a refreshing collection of two of the greatest men to ever live.

The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt

The greatest biographies of our time is the book, “The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt.” This book is a collection of the man’s life and events.

Read it For:
The modern version of the man, Theodore Roosevelt, is one of the most notable works.
Don't Read it For:
One of the best biographies in our time, but it still talks about things which are foreign to the new generation.
What makes this book stand out?:
A classic read with classic incidents.

The Soul of a New Machine

The book is the collection of the advancements and the inventions made in the area of computers in the new generation. The book records all the culture of the computer revolution beautifully.

Read it For:
The book is a masterpiece, as it is written on an object which had no life.
Don't Read it For:
The book is written about computers, for those who aren’t tech savvy, will not enjoy the book.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is done brilliantly and gives the reader clear information about the subject.

The Tender Bar: A Memoir

The book focuses on the story of J. R. Moehringer, who torn between trying to be more masculine and trying to take on the image of his mother.

Read it For:
The book is about growing up and finding your own ground.
Don't Read it For:
This book moves away from the general notion of the autobiographies and talks about a person’s emotional and mental life.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book discusses deeper things in life.

The Woman Warrior : Memoirs of a Girlhood among Ghosts

One of the bestselling books about a woman, whose identify is not certain.

Read it For:
The book is thrilling and gripping!
Don't Read it For:
The book’s mystery may seem a little mainstream for many people.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is written brilliantly and keeps the reader turning pages for more.

Year of Magical Thinking

The book is written by one of the most celebrated writers of America. The book delves into the understanding of marriage.

Read it For:
A beautiful book from one of the best writers, which takes us through the journey of a married life.
Don't Read it For:
The book talks only about marriage and how it affects people, it can hardly be called an autobiography.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book talks about the life of a married couple, the hardships, and the love.

This Boy’s Life : A Memoir

The unforgettable memoir of a boy who is separated from his father and brother, is on the move with his mother. But during these trips, the boy developed a good relationship with his mother.

Read it For:
A great book about a mother and son.
Don't Read it For:
The book is too fast-paced and keeps jumping from one point to another.
What makes this book stand out?:
There are very few books written on the relationship between a mother and son; this is one of those books.

Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr

Adorned with rich photographs, the book is the collection of stories from the life of John D. Rockefeller, who was an industrialist, and a philanthropist.

Read it For:
The book is an engrossing tale of the man and his life.
Don't Read it For:
The book may take on a monotone after a while
What makes this book stand out?:
The book, all in all, describes the underlying personality of the man was reputed as the rapacious robber baron.

Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man’s Miraculous Survival

The journey of Simon Yates, and his miraculous survival. The book comprises of the great ordeal, by which Yates feels as though he will die at any given moment.

Read it For:
The book is written in excited paragraphs and keeps the reader glued.
Don't Read it For:
The book is a good book, there are no problems with it.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is an interesting collection of the man’s life and his survival at the worst possible tie.

Travels with Charley : In Search of America

The smell of grass and the landscape of the real America, were the goals of John Steinbeck in his later years. The book is the collection of his time spent in real America.

Read it For:
The writer’s impressive talents a visible in this book as well.
Don't Read it For:
If you are not a fan of the writer, chances are you won’t enjoy the works of the writers here either.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is written brilliantly in his style.

Updike

The intimate and the close life of the writer Updike, as never seen before. This book makes an account of his views and other projects.

Read it For:
A great book, full of information on the writer.

Wild Swans: The Daughters of Chine

The book follows the events of three women in succession, for three generations. The book is an account of the women’s struggles in the world.

Read it For:
A great book, one of the very first ones to capture the hardships faced by women.
Don't Read it For:
The book turns out too dark for some readers.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book does an astounding job of bringing the hardships faced by women into the light.

Unbroken

The story of a few brave soldiers who went through many difficulties during the time of World War II.

Read it For:
The book is backed by facts, which gives a correct account of events.
Don't Read it For:
The book is immersed in bloodshed and hardships.
What makes this book stand out?:
A great book to be read about the kind of things that happened during the world war.

Under the Tuscan Sun

The work of a fabulous travel writer, who writes about her journey when she bought an old house and restored it.

Read it For:
The book is rich with environmental scenes and beauty.
Don't Read it For:
The book talks about the scenic and environmental beauty, and that’s about it.
What makes this book stand out?:
The ornamental language in the book makes the book worth reading.

Beneath a Scarlet Sky : A Novel

The heroic tale of a man who wants nothing to do with the Nazis. He helps the Jews escape through an abandoned railroad.

Read it For:
The book is gripping and thoroughly exciting.
Don't Read it For:
The book is fast paced and is hard to keep in touch.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book describes the events which led the man to take his stand and help many.

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