Best Biographies and Memoirs

Looking for a great book?
Check out my book, Atomic Habits.
Over 4 million copies sold! Learn more.

Looking for good biographies and memoirs? This is my list of the best biographies and memoirs of all-time. If you only have time to read one or two books, I recommend looking at the Top Biographies and Memoirs section below.

Further down the page, you’ll find more biography and memoir recommendations. Picking the best books in any category is really tough, but selecting the best biographies is essentially impossible. There are so many amazing stories and incredible people. Many of these books are fantastic as well.

I try to carefully curate all of my reading lists and you can be sure that any biography and memoir on this page is worth your time. Enjoy!

The Top Biographies and Memoirs

When Breath Becomes Air
by Paul Kalanithi
Print | eBook | Audiobook
Read my summary of this book »

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster
by Jon Krakauer
Print | eBook | Audiobook

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot
Print | Audiobook

Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Curious Character)
by Richard P. Feynman
Print | Audiobook

Red Notice
by Bill Browder
Print | eBook | Audiobook

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

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
by Bill Bryson
Print | eBook | Audiobook

More Biography Book Recommendations

Just Mercy
by Bryan Stevenson
Print | eBook | Audiobook
Read my summary of this book »

On the Move: A Life
by Oliver Sacks
Print | eBook | Audiobook
Read my summary of this book »

Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World
by Tracy Kidder
Print | Audiobook

Just Kids
by Patti Smith
Print | eBook | Audiobook

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
by Benjamin Franklin
Print | Audiobook

Night
by Elie Wiesel
Print | Audiobook

The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley
by Malcolm X and Alex Haley
Print

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
by Cheryl Strayed
Print | eBook | Audiobook

The Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie
by Andrew Carnegie
Print | Audiobook

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
by Fredrick Douglass
Print | Audiobook

My Personal Best: Life Lessons from an All-American Journey
by John Wooden
Print

Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
by Mason Currey
Print | Audiobook

The Glass Castle
by Jeannette Walls
Print | Audiobook

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

Not Fade Away
by Laurence Shames and Peter Barton
Print
Read my summary of this book »

The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story
by Michael Lewis
Print | eBook | Audiobook

The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism
by Naoki Higashida
Print | eBook | Audiobook
Read my summary of this book »

Bossy Pants
by Tina Fey
Print | Audiobook

The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game
by Michael Lewis
Print | eBook | Audiobook

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game
by Michael Lewis
Print | eBook | Audiobook

Seabiscuit: An American Legend
by Laura Hillenbrand
Print | eBook | Audiobook

On the Road
by Jack Kerouac
Print | eBook | Audiobook

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon
by David Grann
Print | eBook | Audiobook

Kon-Tiki
by Thor Heyerdahl
Print | eBook

Or, browse all book recommendations.

Join Me

I am fortunate to share my work with a broad audience.
Over 1,000,000 people subscribe to my weekly email newsletter.

  • The 3-2-1 Thursday newsletter (Weekly)
  • Long-form articles on how to live better
    (Once or twice per month)
  • Discounts and offers on my books and products
    (A few times per year)

Self-improvement tips based on proven scientific research.

No spam.
 Just the highest quality ideas you’ll
 find on the web.