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The Best Biography & Memoir Books of 2016 (A Year-End List Aggregation)

January 6, 2017
Best Biography and Memoir Books of 2016

“What are the best Biography & Memoir Books of 2016?” We aggregated 23 year-end lists and ranked the 175 unique titles by how many times they appeared in an attempt to answer that very question!

There are thousands of year-end lists released every year and, like we do in our weekly Best Book articles, we wanted to see which books appear on them the most. We used 23 lists and found 175 unique titles. The top 13 books, all appearing on 3 or more lists, are below with images, summaries, and links for learning more or purchasing. The remaining books, along with the articles we used, can be found at the bottom of the page.

Be sure to check out our other Best Book of the year lists:

And if you want to see how they compare to last year, take a look at the 2015 lists as well!

Happy Scrolling!

 



The Top Biography and Memoir Books of 2016



13 .) Consequence: A Memoir by Eric Fair

consequence-a-memoir-by-eric-fair
Lists It Appears On:

  • Amazon
  • Kirkus 2
  • NPR

“Consequence is the story of Eric Fair, a kid who grew up in the shadows of crumbling Bethlehem Steel plants nurturing a strong faith and a belief that he was called to serve his country. It is a story of a man who chases his own demons from Egypt, where he served as an Army translator, to a detention center in Iraq, to seminary at Princeton, and eventually, to a heart transplant ward at the University of Pennsylvania.

In 2004, after several months as an interrogator with a private contractor in Iraq, Eric Fair’s nightmares take new forms: first, there had been the shrinking dreams; now the liquid dreams begin. By the time he leaves Iraq after that first deployment (he will return), Fair will have participated in or witnessed a variety of aggressive interrogation techniques including sleep deprivation, stress positions, diet manipulation, exposure, and isolation. Years later, his health and marriage crumbling, haunted by the role he played in what we now know as “”enhanced interrogation,”” it is Fair’s desire to speak out that becomes a key to his survival. Spare and haunting, Eric Fair’s memoir is both a brave, unrelenting confession and a book that questions the very depths of who he, and we as a country, have become.”

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12 .) Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance

hillbilly-elegy-a-memoir-of-a-family-and-culture-in-crisis-by-j-d-vance
Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Kirkus 2
  • Englewood Review

“Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.

The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility.

But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vance’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. Vance piercingly shows how he himself still carries around the demons of their chaotic family history.”

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11 .) I’m Supposed to Protect You From All of This by Nadja Spiegelman

im-supposed-to-protect-you-from-all-this-by-nadja-spiegelman
Lists It Appears On:

  • Omnivoracious
  • Amazon
  • Huffington Post 2

“For a long time, Nadja Spiegelman believed her mother was a fairy. More than her famous father, Maus creator Art Spiegelman, and even more than most mothers, hers—French-born New Yorker art director Françoise Mouly—exerted a force over reality that was both dazzling and daunting. As Nadja’s body changed and “began to whisper to the adults around me in a language I did not understand,” their relationship grew tense. Unwittingly, they were replaying a drama from her mother’s past, a drama Nadja sensed but had never been told. Then, after college, her mother suddenly opened up to her. Françoise recounted her turbulent adolescence caught between a volatile mother and a playboy father, one of the first plastic surgeons in France. The weight of the difficult stories she told her daughter shifted the balance between them.
It had taken an ocean to allow Françoise the distance to become her own person. At about the same age, Nadja made the journey in reverse, moving to Paris determined to get to know the woman her mother had fled. Her grandmother’s memories contradicted her mother’s at nearly every turn, but beneath them lay a difficult history of her own. Nadja emerged with a deeper understanding of how each generation reshapes the past in order to forge ahead, their narratives both weapon and defense, eternally in conflict. Every reader will recognize herself and her family in this gorgeous and heartbreaking memoir, which helps us to see why sometimes those who love us best hurt us most. “

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10 .) Sex Object by Jessica Valenti

sex-object-by-jessica-valenti
Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • Amazon
  • NPR

“Hailed by the Washington Post as “one of the most visible and successful feminists of her generation,” Jessica Valenti has been leading the national conversation on gender and politics for over a decade. Now, in a memoir that Publishers Weekly calls “bold and unflinching,” Valenti explores the toll that sexism takes on women’s lives, from the everyday to the existential. From subway gropings and imposter syndrome to sexual awakenings and motherhood, Sex Object reveals the painful, embarrassing, and sometimes illegal moments that shaped Valenti’s adolescence and young adulthood in New York City.

In the tradition of writers like Joan Didion and Mary Karr, Sex Object is a profoundly moving tour de force that is bound to shock those already familiar with Valenti’s work, and enthrall those who are just finding it.”

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9 .) Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin

shirley-jackson-a-rather-haunted-life-by-ruth-franklin
Lists It Appears On:

  • St. Lousi Post Dispatch
  • Kirkus
  • NPR

“The increasingly prescient Jackson emerges as a ferociously talented, determined, and prodigiously creative writer in a time when it was unusual for a woman to have both a family and a profession. A mother of four and the wife of the prominent New Yorker critic and academic Stanley Edgar Hyman, Jackson lived a seemingly bucolic life in the New England town of North Bennington, Vermont. Yet, much like her stories, which channeled the occult while exploring the claustrophobia of marriage and motherhood, Jackson’s creative ascent was haunted by a darker side. As her career progressed, her marriage became more tenuous, her anxiety mounted, and she became addicted to amphetamines and tranquilizers. In sobering detail, Franklin insightfully examines the effects of Jackson’s California upbringing, in the shadow of a hypercritical mother, on her relationship with her husband, juxtaposing Hyman’s infidelities, domineering behavior, and professional jealousy with his unerring admiration for Jackson’s fiction, which he was convinced was among the most brilliant he had ever encountered.

Based on a wealth of previously undiscovered correspondence and dozens of new interviews, Shirley Jackson―an exploration of astonishing talent shaped by a damaging childhood and turbulent marriage―becomes the definitive biography of a generational avatar and an American literary giant.”

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8 .) Shrill: Notes From A Loud Woman by Lindy West

shrill-notes-from-a-loud-woman-by-lindy-west
Lists It Appears On:

  • Goodreads
  • NPR
  • Bookriot

“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 humorist Lindy West quickly discovered that she was anything but.

From a painfully shy childhood in which she tried, unsuccessfully, to hide her big body and even bigger opinions; to her public war with stand-up comedians over rape jokes; to her struggle to convince herself, and then the world, that fat people have value; to her accidental activism and never-ending battle royale with Internet trolls, Lindy narrates her life with a blend of humor and pathos that manages to make a trip to the abortion clinic funny and wring tears out of a story about diarrhea.

With inimitable good humor, vulnerability, and boundless charm, Lindy boldly shares how to survive in a world where not all stories are created equal and not all bodies are treated with equal respect, and how to weather hatred, loneliness, harassment, and loss, and walk away laughing. Shrill provocatively dissects what it means to become self-aware the hard way, to go from wanting to be silent and invisible to earning a living defending the silenced in all caps.”

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7 .) The Lonely City: Adventures In The Art Of Being Alone by Olivia Laing

the-lonely-city-adventures-in-the-art-of-being-alone-by-olivia-laing
Lists It Appears On:

  • The Guardian
  • Verso
  • NPR

“What does it mean to be lonely? How do we live, if we’re not intimately engaged with another human being? How do we connect with other people? Does technology draw us closer together or trap us behind screens?

When Olivia Laing moved to New York City in her mid-thirties, she found herself inhabiting loneliness on a daily basis. Increasingly fascinated by this most shameful of experiences, she began to explore the lonely city by way of art. Moving fluidly between works and lives – from Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks to Andy Warhol’s Time Capsules, from Henry Darger’s hoarding to David Wojnarowicz’s AIDS activism – Laing conducts an electric, dazzling investigation into what it means to be alone.

Humane, provocative and deeply moving, The Lonely City is about the spaces between people and the things that draw them together, about sexuality, mortality and the magical possibilities of art. It’s a celebration of a strange and lovely state, adrift from the larger continent of human experience, but intrinsic to the very act of being alive.”

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6 .) The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land In Between by Hisham Matar

the-return-fathers-sons-and-the-land-in-between-by-hisham-matar
Lists It Appears On:

  • The Guardian
  • NPR
  • The Economist

“When Hisham Matar was a nineteen-year-old university student in England, his father was kidnapped. One of the Qaddafi regime’s most prominent opponents in exile, he was held in a secret prison in Libya. Hisham would never see him again. But he never gave up hope that his father might still be alive. “Hope,” as he writes, “is cunning and persistent.”

Twenty-two years later, after the fall of Qaddafi, the prison cells are empty and there is no sign of Jaballa Matar. Hisham returns with his mother and wife to the homeland he never thought he’d go back to again. The Return is the story of what he found there. It is at once an exquisite meditation on history, politics, and art, a brilliant portrait of a nation and a people on the cusp of change, and a disquieting depiction of the brutal legacy of absolute power. Above all, it is a universal tale of loss and love and of one family’s life. Hisham Matar asks the harrowing question: How does one go on living in the face of a loved one’s uncertain fate?”

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5 .) Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill by Candice Millard

hero-of-the-empire-the-boer-war-a-daring-escape-and-the-making-of-winston-churchill-by-candice-millard
Lists It Appears On:

  • NPR
  • Amazon
  • St. Lousi Post Dispatch
  • Kirkus

“At age twenty-four, Winston Churchill was utterly convinced it was his destiny to become prime minister of England one day, despite the fact he had just lost his first election campaign for Parliament. He believed that to achieve his goal he must do something spectacular on the battlefield. Despite deliberately putting himself in extreme danger as a British Army officer in colonial wars in India and Sudan, and as a journalist covering a Cuban uprising against the Spanish, glory and fame had eluded him.

Churchill arrived in South Africa in 1899, valet and crates of vintage wine in tow, there to cover the brutal colonial war the British were fighting with Boer rebels. But just two weeks after his arrival, the soldiers he was accompanying on an armored train were ambushed, and Churchill was taken prisoner. Remarkably, he pulled off a daring escape–but then had to traverse hundreds of miles of enemy territory, alone, with nothing but a crumpled wad of cash, four slabs of chocolate, and his wits to guide him.”

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4 .) Kill ‘Em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul by James McBride

kill-em-and-leave-searching-for-james-brown-and-the-american-soul-by-james-mcbride
Lists It Appears On:

  • Amazon
  • NPR
  • Kirkus
  • Booklist Online
  • The Vore

Kill ’Em and Leave is more than a book about James Brown. Brown’s rough-and-tumble life, through McBride’s lens, is an unsettling metaphor for American life: the tension between North and South, black and white, rich and poor. McBride’s travels take him to forgotten corners of Brown’s never-before-revealed history: the country town where Brown’s family and thousands of others were displaced by America’s largest nuclear power bomb-making facility; a South Carolina field where a long-forgotten cousin recounts, in the dead of night, a fuller history of Brown’s sharecropping childhood, which until now has been a mystery. McBride seeks out the American expatriate in England who co-created the James Brown sound, visits the trusted right-hand manager who worked with Brown for forty-one years, and interviews Brown’s most influential nonmusical creation, his “adopted son,” the Reverend Al Sharpton. He describes the stirring visit of Michael Jackson to the Augusta, Georgia, funeral home where the King of Pop sat up all night with the body of his musical godfather, spends hours talking with Brown’s first wife, and lays bare the Dickensian legal contest over James Brown’s estate, a fight that has consumed careers; prevented any money from reaching the poor schoolchildren in Georgia and South Carolina, as instructed in his will; cost Brown’s estate millions in legal fees; and left James Brown’s body to lie for more than eight years in a gilded coffin in his daughter’s yard in South Carolina.

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3 .) Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

born-to-run-by-bruce-springsteen
Lists It Appears On:

  • Amazon
  • Goodreads
  • Washington Post
  • Kirkus 2
  • The Guardian 2
  • NPR
  • The Economist
  • Huffington Post 2

“In 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl’s halftime show. The experience was so exhilarating that Bruce decided to write about it. That’s how this extraordinary autobiography began.
Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to these pages the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs.
He describes growing up Catholic in Freehold, New Jersey, amid the poetry, danger, and darkness that fueled his imagination, leading up to the moment he refers to as “The Big Bang”: seeing Elvis Presley’s debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. He vividly recounts his relentless drive to become a musician, his early days as a bar band king in Asbury Park, and the rise of the E Street Band. With disarming candor, he also tells for the first time the story of the personal struggles that inspired his best work, and shows us why the song “Born to Run” reveals more than we previously realized.”

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2 .) Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

lab-girl-by-hope-jahren
Lists It Appears On:

  • Amazon
  • Goodreads
  • Washington Post
  • Kirkus 2
  • The Guardian 2
  • NPR
  • Bookriot
  • Huffington Post 2
  • Omnivoracious

“An illuminating debut memoir of a woman in science; a moving portrait of a longtime friendship; and a stunningly fresh look at plants that will forever change how you see the natural world

Acclaimed scientist Hope Jahren has built three laboratories in which she’s studied trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Her first book is a revelatory treatise on plant life—but it is also so much more.

Lab Girl is a book about work, love, and the mountains that can be moved when those two things come together. It is told through Jahren’s remarkable stories: about her childhood in rural Minnesota with an uncompromising mother and a father who encouraged hours of play in his classroom’s labs; about how she found a sanctuary in science, and learned to perform lab work done “with both the heart and the hands”; and about the inevitable disappointments, but also the triumphs and exhilarating discoveries, of scientific work.”

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1 .) When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

when-breath-becomes-air-by-paul-kalanithi
Lists It Appears On:

  • Amazon
  • Amazon
  • Goodreads
  • Washington Post
  • Kirkus 2
  • NPR
  • The Economist
  • Huffington Post 2
  • Omnivoracious
  • Better Reading

“At the age of thirty-six, 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.

What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir.”

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#14-175 Best Memoire & Biography Books of 2016



 

# Book Author Source
(Appear On 2 Lists Each)
14 A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy Sue Klebold Goodreads
Washington Post
15 Bullies: A Friendship Alex Abramovich Kirkus 2
NPR
16 Eleanor And Hick: The Love Affair That Shaped A First Lady Susan Quinn Kirkus
NPR
17 Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume 3: The War Years And After, 1939-1962 Blanche Wiesen Cook Kirkus
NPR
18 In the Darkroom Susan Faludi Washington Post
Kirkus 2
19 Louisa: The Extraordinary Life Of Mrs. Adams Louisa Thomas Kirkus
NPR
20 Lust & Wonder: A Memoir Augusten Burroughs Goodreads
Amazon
21 March: Book Three John Lewis, with Andrew Aydin, illustrated Bookriot
NPR
22 My Father the Pornographer Chris Offutt Omnivoracious
Amazon
23 Party of One: A Memoir in 21 Songs Dave Holmes Goodreads
NPR
24 Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story Matti Friedman Amazon
Omnivoracious
25 The Civil Wars of Julia Ward Howe. A Biography Elaine Showalter Booklist Online
The Economist
26 The Firebrand and the First Lady: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice Patricia Bell-Scott Booklist Online
Kirkus
27 The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories From My Life John le Carré The Guardian 2
Washington Post
28 Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother’s Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South Beth Macy Amazon
St. Lousi Post Dispatch
(Appear On 1 List Each)
29 32 Yolks: From My Mother’s Table To Working The Line Eric Ripert, with Veronica Chambers NPR
30 A BODY, UNDONE: LIVING ON AFTER GREAT PAIN Christina Crosby Kirkus 2
31 A Life in Questions The Guardian 2
32 A Smile in One Eye: a Tear in the Other Ralph Webster Goodreads
33 A Thousand Naked Strangers: A Paramedic’s Wild Ride to the Edge and Back Kevin Hazzard Goodreads
34 Aerican Heiress Jeffrey Toobin St. Lousi Post Dispatch
35 Alive, Alive Oh!: And Other Things That Matter Diana Athill NPR
36 ALL TOMORROW’S PARTIES: A MEMOIR Rob Spillman Kirkus 2
37 Alligator Candy: A Memoir David Kushner NPR
38 American Philosophy: A Love Story John Kaag NPR
39 American Rhapsody: Writers, Musicians, Movie Stars, and One Great Building Claudia Roth Pierpont Booklist Online
40 American Ulysses: A Life of Ulysses S. Grant Ronald C. White Amazon
41 Around The Way Girl: A Memoir Taraji P. Henson, with Denene Millner NPR
42 Assimilate or Go Home: Notes from a Failed Missionary on Rediscovering Faith D.L. Mayfield Englewood Review
43 At the Existentialist Café The Guardian
44 Australian Midwives Paula Heelan Better Reading
45 Avalanche: A Love Story Julia Leigh Huffington Post 2
46 BANDIT Molly Brodak Kirkus 2
47 Becoming Unbecoming Una Huffington Post 2
48 Being a Beast The Guardian
49 Black Lotus: A Woman’s Search For Racial Identity Sil Lai Abrams NPR
50 Born A Crime: Stories From A South African Childhood Trevor Noah NPR
51 Boy Erased Garrard Conley Huffington Post 2
52 Buffering Hannah Hart Goodreads
53 Bush Jean Edward Smith St. Lousi Post Dispatch
54 But You Did Not Come Back Marceline Loridan-Ivens The Economist
55 BUZZ RIDE P.M. White Huffington Post
56 Casanova: The World of a Seductive Genius Laurence Bergreen Dallas Voice
57 Celeste Roland Perry Better Reading
58 Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune And Random Failure In Silicon Valley Antonio Garcia Martinez NPR
59 CHARLOTTE BRONTË: A FIERY HEART Claire Harman Kirkus
60 Dark Ages Ahead Jane Jacobs Verso
61 Dead Presidents Brady Carlson St. Lousi Post Dispatch
62 Dimestore: A Writer’s Life Lee Smith Amazon
63 Dog Medicine: How My Dog Saved Me From Myself Julie Barton Huffington Post 2
64 Double Dissolution Lee Zachariah Better Reading
65 El Olvido Que Seremos Héctor Abad Faciolince Verso
66 Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years John Guy The Economist
67 Empire of Self: A Life of Gore Vidal Jay Parini Booklist Online
68 Eyes On The Street: The Life Of Jane Jacobs Robert Kanigel NPR
69 Falling Free: Rescued from the Life I Always Wanted Shannan Martin Englewood Review
70 Fashion is Freedom Tala Raassi Better Reading
71 Five Presidents: My Extraordinary Journey with Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford The Vore
72 FLYING COUCH: A GRAPHIC MEMOIR Amy Kurzweil Kirkus 2
73 Full Bore William McInnes William McInnes Better Reading
74 Future Sex Emily Witt Verso
75 GEORGE LUCAS: A LIFE Brian Jay Jones Kirkus
76 Guilty Thing The Guardian
77 Half-Lion: How P.V. Narasimha Rao Transformed India Vinay Sitapati The Economist
78 HAPPY CHASING HAPPY Jerome “jay” Isip Huffington Post
79 Harry & Arthur Lawrence J. Haar St. Lousi Post Dispatch
80 Hidden Figures: The American Dream And The Untold Story Of The Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win The Space Race Margot Lee Shetterly NPR
81 Hot Dog Taste Test Lisa Hanawalt NPR
82 HUNGRY FOR TOUCH Laureen Marie Peltier Huffington Post
83 Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing Jennifer Weiner Goodreads
84 I Am Brian Wilson The Guardian 2
85 I Will Find You: A Reporter Investigates the Life of the Man Who Raped Her Joanna Connors Huffington Post 2
86 IN OTHER WORDS Jhumpa Lahiri, translated Kirkus 2
87 IN THE COUNTRY WE LOVE Diane Guerrero Bookriot
88 James Joyce: Portrait of a Dubliner—A Graphic Biography The Vore
89 JEAN COCTEAU: A LIFE Claude Arnaud, translated Kirkus
90 Joe Gould’s Teeth Jill Lepore NPR
91 JOHN AUBREY, MY OWN LIFE Ruth Scurr Kirkus
92 Jumpin’ Jack Flash The Guardian
93 Karl Marx: Greatness and Illusion Gareth Stedman Jones The Economist
94 Keeping Kyrie Emily Christensen Goodreads
95 Kenneth Clark: Life, Art and “Civilisation” James Stourton The Economist
96 KooKooLand Gloria Norris NPR
97 KRAZY: GEORGE HERRIMAN, A LIFE IN BLACK AND WHITE Michael Tisserand Kirkus
98 Landmarks Robert Macfarlane NPR
99 Life As I Know It Michelle Payne Better Reading
100 Life of the Party Bob Kealing Better Reading
101 Love By All Sorts of Means The Guardian 2
102 Love Warrior Glennon Doyle Melton Goodreads
103 Lucky Bastard: My Life, My Dad, And The Things I’m Not Allowed To Say On TV Joe Buck NPR
104 Mad Enchantment Ross King Better Reading
105 Martin Luther The Guardian
106 Martín Ramírez: Framing His Life and Art Victor M. Espinosa Booklist Online
107 My Father and Atticus Finch Joseph Madison Beck Dallas Voice
108 My Marathon: Reflections On A Gold Medal Life Frank Shorter, with John Brant NPR
109 MY MILLION-DOLLAR DONKEY Huffington Post
110 Native: Dispatches From An Israeli-Palestinian Life Sayed Kashua NPR
111 nbsp Tom Hart Huffington Post 2
112 ND THEN THERE WERE THREE Julia Fox Huffington Post
113 Negroland: A Memoir Margo Jefferson The Economist
114 Nobody’s Son Mark Slouka Washington Post
115 Nujeen Nujeen Mustafa Better Reading
116 On My Own Diane Rehm Washington Post
117 ORSON WELLES, VOLUME 3: ONE-MAN BAND Simon Callow Kirkus
118 Outlandish Knight: The Byzantine Life of Steven Runciman Minoo Dinshaw The Economist
119 Patient H.M.: A Story Of Memory, Madness, And Family Secrets Luke Dittrich NPR
120 Paul McCartney: The Life The Vore
121 Penguin Bloom Cameron Bloom, Bradley Trevor Greive Better Reading
122 POOR YOUR SOUL Mira Ptacin Kirkus 2
123 Preston Tucker and His Battle to Build the Car of Tomorrow Steve Lehto, foreword Dallas Voice
124 Radiant Child: The Story Of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat Javaka Steptoe NPR
125 RAOUL WALLENBERG: THE BIOGRAPHY Ingrid Carlberg, translated Kirkus
126 Redeemable Erwin James Better Reading
127 Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America Douglas Brinkley Booklist Online
128 RIVERINE: A MEMOIR FROM ANYWHERE BUT HERE Angela Palm Kirkus 2
129 Roger Rogerson Duncan McNab Better Reading
130 Shoe Dog: A Memoir Phil Knight Goodreads
131 Sinatra: The Chairman James Kaplan Booklist Online
132 Switched On: A Memoir of Brain Change and Emotional Awakening John Elder Robison Washington Post
133 Talking to My Country Stan Grant Better Reading
134 Ted Hughes: The Unauthorised Life The Vore
135 The Accidental Life: An Editor’s Notes on Writing and Writers Terry McDonell Amazon
136 The Arab Of The Future 2: A Childhood In The Middle East, 1984-1985: A Graphic Memoir Riad Sattouf NPR
137 THE ART OF WAITING: ON FERTILITY, MEDICINE, AND MOTHERHOOD Belle Boggs Kirkus 2
138 The Black Calhouns: From Civil War to Civil Rights with One African American Family Gail Lumet Buckley Amazon
139 The Claimant Paul Terry Better Reading
140 THE GENERAL VS. THE PRESIDENT: MACARTHUR AND TRUMAN AT THE BRINK OF NUCLEAR WAR H.W. Brands Kirkus
141 The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo Amy Schumer Amazon
142 The Glass Universe: How The Ladies Of The Harvard Observatory Took The Measure Of The Stars Dava Sobel NPR
143 The Good Immigrant edited Nikesh Shukla Verso
144 THE HERO’S BODY: A MEMOIR William Giraldi Kirkus 2
145 THE ICEBERG Marion Coutts Kirkus 2
146 The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World Andrea Wulf Booklist Online
147 The Lady with the Borzoi: Blanche Knopf, Literary Tastemaker Extraordinaire Laura Claridge Booklist Online
148 The Latter Days: A Memoir Judith Freeman NPR
149 THE MAKING OF DONALD TRUMP David Cay Johnston Kirkus
150 The Mathews Men: Seven Brothers and the War Against Hitler’s U-boats William Geroux Amazon
151 The Most Famous Writer Who Ever Lived Tom Shroder Washington Post
152 The Only Pirate at the Party Lindsey Stirling Goodreads
153 The Point Is: Making Sense Of Birth, Death, And Everything In Between Lee Eisenberg NPR
154 The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son On Life, Love, and Loss Anderson Cooper Goodreads
155 The Red Parts: Autobiography Of A Trial Maggie Nelson NPR
156 The Romanovs: 1613-1918 Simon Sebag Montefiore NPR
157 The Sound of Gravel Ruth Wariner Goodreads
158 The Speed Of Sound: Breaking The Barriers Between Music And Technology: A Memoir Thomas Dolby NPR
159 THE TEACHINGS OF SHIRELLE – LIFE LESSONS FROM A DIVINE KNUCKLEHEAD Douglas Green Huffington Post
160 The Vanishing Man The Guardian
161 THE VIOLET HOUR: GREAT WRITERS AT THE END Katie Roiphe Kirkus
162 Their Promised Land The Guardian
163 This Long Pursuit The Guardian 2
164 TRADING PLACES: BECOMING MY MOTHER’S MOTHER Sandra Bullock Smith Huffington Post
165 Tree of Treasures: A Life in Ornaments Bonnie Mackay Dallas Voice
166 Trouble Boys: The True Story Of The Replacements Bob Mehr NPR
167 Turkey: The Insane and the Melancholy Ece Temelkuran, translated Verso
168 Unashamed Lecrae Moore Goodreads
169 Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution Nathaniel Philbrick Amazon
170 Victoria The Queen Julia Baird Better Reading
171 Where Am I Now?: True Stories Of Girlhood And Accidental Fame Mara Wilson NPR
172 Why Look at Animals? John Berger Verso
173 Working Class Boy Jimmy Barnes Better Reading
174 YOU CAN’T TOUCH MY HAIR Phoebe Robinson Bookriot
175 You Will Not Have My Hate Antoine Leiris Amazon

 



The 23 Best Biography and Memoir Book Lists Used



 

Source Article
Amazon Best biographies and memoirs of 2016
Better Reading 20 of the Best Biographies and Memoirs in 2016
Booklist Online Top 10 Biographies: 2016
Bookriot HERE YOU HAVE IT! BOOK RIOT’S FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2016.
Dallas Voice Holiday Gift Guide: Reading list!
Englewood Review Englewood Honor Books – Best Books of 2016
Goodreads BEST MEMOIR & AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Huffington Post The Best Self-Published Books of 2016
Huffington Post 2 The Best Memoirs of 2016
Kirkus Best Biographies of 2016
Kirkus 2 Best Memoirs of 2016
NPR NPR’s Book Concierge Our Guide To 2016’s Great Reads
Omnivoracious The Best Biographies & Memoirs of the Year
St. Lousi Post Dispatch The Best Books of 2015
The Economist Books of the Year 2016
The Guardian The best biography and autobiography books of 2016
The Guardian 2 Tim Adams’s best biographies of 2016
The Vore 10 new Biography books out now in 2016 top list
Verso Staff Picks: Books of the Year 2016—Chosen by Verso
Washington Post Best memoirs of 2016

 

 

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