“Memoir” comes from french word mémoire which means memory. A Memoir is a non fiction sub genre of Autobiographies.
Though both Autobiographies and Memoirs are from first person narrative, Autobiographies deal with the entire life of a person while a memoir deals with specific events or part of the life of a person.
Below is the list of the best Memoirs of some of the most remarkable and inspiring people:
The Diary of a Young Girl or The Diary of Anne Frank was originally written in Dutch. This book is the print version of the Diary written by Anne Frank when she was in hiding for two years. Anne and her family, along with a few others, went into hiding from the year 1942 till 1944 in Netherland during the Nazi Invasion.
As the war rages outside, the families struggle with day to day issues and the impact on a young girl’s life who is trying to understand what have they done to deserve this. Many editions also contain an afterword that briefly describes the events of the World War Two.
This is an excellent read for everyone, especially students, who can get a better idea of the events and the effects of World War II.
Currently, this book is available in more than 60 languages. This was also adapted into a play in the year 1955 which was very popular, and it was adapted into a movie in 1959. There are many movie adaptations made for this. Watch one such movie trailer, which deals with the complete story, not just the hiding, but what happened afterwards here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6OPtrp6Nds
[schema type=”book” name=”The Diary of a Young Girl” author=”Anne Frank” publisher=”Mahavir Book House” isbn=”9380914318″ ebook=”yes” paperback=”yes” ]
Born during the great depression, Frank McCourt writes about his Childhood. The best part of this book is that such depressing circumstances are presented in humorous light.
Frank’s Father, Malachy, rarely worked, and when he did work, he drank it all away,which meant there was almost always no money for the family. But, inspite of all his faults, Malachy did one thing right, he taught Frank the power of a Story. Frank was able to forget his hunger when he listened to the tales of the great Cuchulain, the Hero who saved Ireland.
It was his father’s stories that Frank could survive the rags, begging and coal gathering. Another thing about this book, is unlike many other memoirs, this book is written in present tense and not the past tense. It has no mention of future whatsoever, so the reader has no idea what is going to come.
Watch the movie trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zLpf1XDNko
[schema type=”book” name=”Angela’s Ashes” author=”Frank McCourt” publisher=”Harper Perennial” pubdate=”2005-10-03″ isbn=”0007205236″ ebook=”yes” paperback=”yes” hardcover=”yes” ]
This multimillion copy bestseller is a memoir of James Herriot. In this book, he takes us into his life, a life of the world’s most beloved Veterinarian, and his patients.
This book deals with the life of James Herriot as he moved from one town to another treating all the animals who needed his care. His keen observations on both human and animal behaviour makes this a wonderful read. Read on to discover with Herriot, how the ground veterinary realities were different from the sterile and modern facilities of his veterinary school.
Some of the patients would take your heart away, some would have you in fits of laughter, some makes you marvel at the pampering they get, some make you cry and hug them while some inspire you.
Read this if you are an animal lover, if you are not an animal lover, read this, you will become one by the end of the book.
The BBC has created a television series based on this book.
[schema type=”book” name=”All Creatures Great and Small” author=”James Herriot” publisher=”St. Martin’s Griffin” pubdate=”2004-05-16″ isbn=”1250057833″ ebook=”yes” paperback=”yes” hardcover=”yes” ]
14th February, 1985, a Valentine’s’ Day, the day of Love, when biologist Stacey O’ Brien met a four day old owl.
The owl had a nerve damage in one wing, so he could not fly, which made it impossible for him to survive on his own in the wild. O’Brien takes him home and this book is the life story of Stacy and Wesley’s nineteen years together.
Weasley’s description is made both from the point of a doting pet owner as well as a scientist. Join her journey as she discovers Wesley’s unique personality, his fun loving yet caring and protective nature. Stacey goes to many lengths to ensure that Wesley gets his rodents only diet, and Wesley saves her from wrong Suitors. Wesley hated lies, made her stick to her promises, gave unconditional love and sulked when he did not get what he wanted. And when O’Brien develops a life threatening disease, Weasley rescues her by his love and courage.
The book also takes the readers inside a prestigious research community where resident owls flew from office to office, much like Hogwarts, where scientists are also animal lovers. Join O’Brien in her research into discovering important owl behaviour patterns, intelligence and communication.
The book has a collection of Weasley’s photographs. This book shows love at its purest form, the way of love that humans seem to have forgotten, but the animals still remember.
[schema type=”book” name=”Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of the Owl and His Girl” author=”Stacey O’Brien” publisher=”Free Press” pubdate=”2006-05-06″ isbn=”1416551778″ ebook=”yes” paperback=”yes” hardcover=”yes” ]
We all have an Identity. Our Names. But what happens when you lose that Identity?
This is a soul crushing book about the child abuse case that shocked the world. This is a true story of Dave Pelzer.
Dave’s mother was an emotionally unstable, alcoholic woman who brutally thrashed and starved her son. She played traumatic, horrendous “Games”, which almost took Dave’s Life. As time went by, Dave tried to search for ways to escape his mother’s wrath, a mother who now did not consider him a son, but a slave, and addressed him as “It” instead of “him”.
As time passed, things worsened, and Dave was kept in a basement. He was made to sleep on an old army cot, and food (Which was so horrible that even the dog’s refused to eat it) was given to him as a luxury. His clothes were torn, while the outside world was blissfully unaware of all this.
With no one to talk to (even his brothers were not allowed to look at him), he dreams of having someone to love and take care of him kept him alive.
Watch Dave Pelzer talk on this book and his experiences here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnSntzvGteI
[schema type=”book” name=”A Child Called “It”” author=”Dave Pelzer” publisher=”Health Communications” isbn=”1558743669″ ebook=”yes” paperback=”yes” hardcover=”yes” ]
Maya Angelou was a phenomenal woman. Her thoughts shaped and inspired millions.
But her personal life was not all roses. Maya and her brother were sent to a Southern Town where their grandmother lived, by their mother. Dealing with the feeling of their mother’s abandonment along with the prejudice of the locals, they try to survive it all. But at the age of eight, and back with her mother, she is attacked by a much older man. This incident cast a shadow on her entire life, and the consequences that she faced were terrible.
It took her years to face herself and learn to love herself. She learns to trust others and accept other’s kindness. She embraces and accepts her strong spirit and the ideas of other authors. But most of all, she learns to be free from her past.
Watch the movie trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNvdhi75HqM
[schema type=”book” name=”I know why the Caged Bird Sings” author=”Maya Angelou” publisher=”Bantam Books” isbn=”0553279378″ ebook=”yes” paperback=”yes” hardcover=”yes” ]
Elizabeth Gilbert is in her early thirties, her life is perfect. Or at least as perfect as all women’s life is supposed to be. She had everything people tell a woman ever wants, a husband, a country house, a successful career. But she felt something was missing.
Her divorce was a wake up call for her. She realised that unless she did not take time off for herself, she is never going to feel complete in any relation.
So, she does the unthinkable. Leaves everything behind to travel and find herself. Her first stop: Italy, where she discovers the gastronomical pleasures, her next stop: India, where she discovers peace that comes through Medication and her last stop is Bali, the land of the lovers.
Watch the movie trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjay5vgIwt4
[schema type=”book” name=”Eat, Pray, Love” author=”Elizabeth Gilbert” publisher=”Penguin Books” pubdate=”2007-01-30″ isbn=”0143038419″ ebook=”yes” paperback=”yes” hardcover=”yes” ]
What happens when children grow up in a deeply dysfunctional but unique family?
Jeannette Walls’s father was an alcoholic. When sober, he was charismatic and was close to his children, teaching them about life, geology and physics. But when he drank, he was destructive and dishonest. Her mother was of a “Free Spirit”, she hated responsibilities and did not want to raise a family.
The children are left to take care of themselves. They became each others’ siblings and parents. The kids then moved on to New York, and their parents followed, but they choose to remain homeless while each kid found their life’s calling.
This is a beautiful memoir of family that is weird but loyal.
[schema type=”book” name=”The Glass Castle” author=”Jeannette Walls” publisher=”Scribner ” pubdate=”2006-01-17″ isbn=”074324754X” ebook=”yes” paperback=”yes” hardcover=”yes” ]
The book, written by Stephen King, one of the best selling authors of all time, can be termed half memoir, half master class.
Stephen King reveals all the tricks of the trade of writing that he learnt. The book deals with memories of his childhood to his journey to become one of the most famous writers.
King’s early struggle, his accident and how the recovery helped him become a writer. This is an inspiring book for both his fans as well as those who have not read him before.
[schema type=”book” name=”On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft” author=”Stephen King” publisher=”Pocket Books ” isbn=”0743455967 ” ebook=”yes” paperback=”yes” hardcover=”yes” ]
Number one New York Times Bestseller, Listed as the top non fiction book of the year by Time Magazine, winner of Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography and Indies Choice Adult Non Fiction Book of the Year Award.
As a child, Louis was incorrigible boy who channeled his defiance into running. He eventually became an Olympic Runner. But with the advent of the world war two, he quit running to become an airman.
One afternoon of May 1943, one American Army Air Forces Bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean. The only trail it left was debris, old and blood. Only one lieutenant, Louis Zamperini, had found a life raft and survived the crash. But, he was captured by the enemy and then deal with starvation, torture and courage.
Watch the movie trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrjJbl7kRrI
[schema type=”book” name=”Unbroken: A World War II story of Survival, Redemption and Resilience” author=”Laura Hillenbrand” publisher=”Random House” pubdate=”2010-11-16″ isbn=”1400064163″ ebook=”yes” paperback=”yes” hardcover=”yes” ]