I love a good memoir. Reading all the deep, dark secrets of my celebrity idols is my idea of a good time. I also like memoirs from ordinary people who are extraordinary writers, who have a story to tell. If they can make me laugh or cry, extra points! Below I will share the Top 10 Memoirs that I read this year. Some of them were released prior to 2020, but I’m okay with that. After reading my list, if there are any you think I should add, let me know in the comments!
- Untamed by Glennon Doyle
This is the book you should read if you want to make a change in your life. Doyle is inspiring in her decision to “burn it down” with regard to giving up the life you have in order to have the life you want. Motivating, heartfelt, definitely one of my top recommendations of the year.
- Here for It by R. Eric Thomas
I’ve already reviewed this memoir on my blog, but it’s worth mentioning again here. Thomas is funny, charming, intelligent. It’s a kind of coming of age of a gay, Black man in America.
- I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are by Rachel Bloom
As far as a book that resonated with me, this is probably at the top of the list. Rachel Bloom is all of us, and yet she is a rare bird. She talks about her childhood as a target of bullying, her diagnosis of OCD, and how she bloomed as a theater kid. She stole my heart, and she will still yours. I recommend this one as an audiobook because it was a literal performance and it will blow you away. I’ve also reviewed in on my Instagram account, which you can read here.
- Know My Name by Chanel Miller
This is an incredible read. Chanel Miller is the woman who was raped by the Stanford kid who got literally 3 months in jail for the heinous crime he committed. This book is Chanel’s coming out story, identifying herself, and sharing her experience. Though it is dealing with some pretty heavy issues, Miller is an incredible writer and takes us through this difficulty with grace. CW: rape.
- Hunger by Roxane Gay
Hunger is another book that wades through some very challenging material. Roxane Gay is authentic, brutally honest, and completely vulnerable in this memoir. CW: rape, disordered eating
- Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
Shonda Rhimes is completely inspiring in this memoir. She talks about her year of yes, and how she became more present in her own life. I listened to the audiobook, which I recommend. It was read by Rhimes and features some of her recorded speeches at commencements and awards ceremonies. It was very entertaining and motivating.
- Group by Christie Tate
If you read my review of Christie Tate’s memoir, Group, you know that I loved it. It raw, honest, and an incredible story of perseverance, trust, and survival. CW: disordered eating, suicidal ideation
- Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby
For some lighter content (kind of), Samantha Irby gives us this gem. Irby is hilarious, pretty raw, and just really honest in a ridiculous kind of way. She talks about stuff that isn’t always funny, but she does so in a way that will make you laugh out loud and say, “Same, girl. Same.”
- Over the Top by Jonathan Van Ness
He’s definitely a favorite among the queer eye guys, and he’s also just America’s sweetheart. His memoir gives insight into how JVN came to be the household name he is today. He is sweet, funny, and really gives readers a gift with how open he is. You won’t want to miss this one.
- In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero
You might know her from Orange is the New Black or maybe Jane the Virgin, but in her memoir, Diane Guerrero gives us an inside experience `undocumented American. She is separated from both of her parents from a young age and learns to navigate life on her own. She is incredibly strong, and her memoir shows you how different she is from the characters she plays. I loved this one and highly recommend.
Thank you for coming on this journey through some of my 2020 memoirs! If there are any that you think I missed and should include, drop the title in the comments!