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30 Moving Memoirs Every Student Should Read

Compelling memoirs can share a range of human emotions, from sadness to elation, fear and love. In these moving memoirs, you'll learn not only about the experiences of their writers, but of the human condition.

  1. The Mark: Jacques Leslie's memoir shares the experience of a war correspondent who got the job after his predecessor committed suicide.
  2. The Last Resort: Meet a set of parents struggling to reinvent themselves in the Mugabe regime of Zimbabwe in The Last Resort.
  3. Two Kisses for Maddy: Matt Logelin's memoir tells the story of a family that lost their mom, just hours after becoming a family.
  4. Bare Feet: Debbie Ali was kidnapped and held captive for two weeks, and documented her ordeal in this moving memoir.
  5. Here If You Need Me: Kate Braestrup's book is a moving memoir of an unlikely chaplain in Maine.
  6. Hope's Boy: Andrew Bridge's book offers an emotional look at why our foster care system needs revision.
  7. Little Green: Written for children, Chun Yu's book shares a childhood during the Chinese Cultural Revolution.
  8. The Last Eunuch of China: Jia Yinghua's story on the life of Sun Yaoting offers a different story for eunuchs in Chinese costumed dramas.
  9. 20 Cigarettes: Aureliano Amadei was the only civilian survivor of an Iraq bombing, changing his life forever.
  10. Let's Take the Long Way Home: Let's Take the Long Way Home is a memoir that celebrates the power of friendship and extraordinary bonds.
  11. The Geography of Love: What is it like to lose your husband and mother both to cancer only weeks apart? Glenda Burgess' book shares her tragic love story.
  12. For the Love of Aimee: For the Love of Aimee shares the experience of a grandmother to twin daughters, one of which has severe and multiple disabilities, but thrived longer than anyone expected.
  13. Choosing My Religion: Stephen J. Dubner's memoir is a moving tale of a son who learns that his Catholic family actually started out Jewish.
  14. Passing for Normal: Passing for Normal explains what it's like to live with undiagnosed Tourette syndrome and OCD as a young girl.
  15. Once Upon a Town: Bob Greene's book shares the miracle of a canteen for returning WWII soldiers.
  16. Just Kids: Patti Smith's Just Kids is a moving memoir of her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe.
  17. Solacers: Solacers shares the story of a 5 year old Iranian boy as he looks for safety and a family life after his parents divorced.
  18. A Reason to Believe: Governor Deval Patrick's book tells the story of a man with an improbable life of success and altruism.
  19. Borrowed Time: Paul Monette offers a moving memoir set at the height of the AIDS crisis in LA.
  20. Summer of Deliverance: Study the love and relationship between father and son in Summer of Deliverance.
  21. Wife, Interrupted: Read Amy Molloy's book about a young widow learning to live again.
  22. Doors to Madame Marie: Doors to Madame Marie is all about the story of a less than familiar Holocaust memoir of a concierge saving a family from Nazis.
  23. The Los Angeles Diaries: For this former addict, he was forced to change or die, resulting in a moving memoir.
  24. Memoirs of a Medical Maverick: Risteard Mulcahy discusses his life as a cardiologist and health campaigner, as well as the breakdown of his marriage.
  25. Where the Road Ends: What's it like to move from Washington to the Brazilian rainforest? Binka le Breton's memoir shares the life of one couple starting life anew.
  26. Blood Strangers: You will find yourself captivated by this story of an alternative family.
  27. The Grace of Silence: Michele Norris will move you with her family's quiet and dignified way of dealing with racism.
  28. An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination: Share the experience of a mother with a stillborn baby in An Exact Replica.
  29. Danger Pay: Danger Pay explores the experience of a Middle East photojournalist.
  30. Wall to Wall: Wall to Wall follows Mary Morris' journey from Beijing to Berlin by rail.