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The Definitive List Of 100 Biographies & Memoirs You Should Read

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    Better clear your schedule — and your nightstand. You've got some reading to get through. 

    Amazon's book editors have released their definitive list of "100 Biographies and Memoirs to Read in a Lifetime." It's a nice, well-rounded selection featuring classics as well as more recent tomes from the likes of Tina Fey and Joan Didion. Unless you just skipped grammar school entirely, you've no doubt read at least one of them already. Go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back for getting a head start.

    Lena Dunham's Not That Kind of Girl didn't make the cut, but here's what did.

    A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers 
    A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Ishmael Beah 
    A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition, Ernest Hemingway 
    A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, Bill Bryson 
    American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880 - 1964, William Manchester 
    American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, Jon Meacham 
    American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, Kai Bird
    American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, Chris Kyle 
    American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson, Joseph J. Ellis 
    Angela's Ashes: A Memoir, Frank McCourt 
    Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank
    Autobiography of a Face, Lucy Grealy 
    Autobiography of Mark Twain: The Complete and Authoritative Edition, Vol. 1, Mark Twain 
    Ball Four: Twentieth Anniversary Edition, Jim Bouton 
    Black Boy: A Record of Childhood and Youth, Richard Wright
    Black Like Me, John Howard Griffin 
    Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life, Steve Martin 
    Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, Christopher McDougall 
    Bossypants, Tina Fey 
    Cash: The Autobiography, Johnny Cash 
    Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman, Robert K. Massie 
    Chronicles, Bob Dylan 
    Churchill: A Life, Martin Gilbert 
    Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, Phillip Hoose 
    Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness, William Styron 
    De Profundis and Other Prison Writings (Penguin Classics), Oscar Wilde 
    Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood, Alexandra Fuller 
    Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This?, Marion Meade 
    Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, Barack Obama 
    Drinking: A Love Story, Caroline Knapp 
    Dust Tracks on a Road: An Autobiography (P.S.), Zora Neale Hurston   
    E=mc~2: A Biography of the World's Most Famous Equation, David Bodanis 
    Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia, Elizabeth Gilbert 
    Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage, Alfred Lansing 
    Everybody Was So Young: Gerald and Sara Murphy: A Lost Generation Love Story, Amanda Vaill 
    Helen Keller: The Story of My Life (Dover Thrift Editions), Helen Keller 
    I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, Malala Yousafzai 
    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou 
    Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer   
    Just Kids, Patti Smith 
    Kitchen Confidential Updated Edition: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (P.S.), Anthony Bourdain 
    Knock Wood, Candice Bergen 
    Life, Keith Richards 
    Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela, Nelson Mandela 
    Meditations (Dover Thrift Editions), Marcus Aurelius 
    Mortality, Christopher Hitchens 
    My Life in France, Julia Child 
    Naked, David Sedaris 
    Napoleon: A Life, Andrew Roberts 
    Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (Dover Thrift Editions), Frederick Douglass 
    Night, Elie Wiesel 
    Notes of a Native Son, James Baldwin 
    On the Road, Jack Kerouac 
    Open: An Autobiography, Andre Agassi   
    Out of Africa: and Shadows on the Grass, Isak Dinesen 
    Personal History, Katharine Graham 
    Robert A. Caro's The Years of Lyndon Johnson Set: The Path to Power; Means of Ascent; Master of the Senate; The Passage of Power, Robert A. Caro 
    Running with Scissors: A Memoir, Augusten Burroughs 
    Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay, Nancy Milford 
    Seabiscuit: An American Legend (Ballantine Reader's Circle), Laura Hillenbrand 
    Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis, Timothy Egan 
    Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited, Vladimir Nabokov 
    Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson   
    Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Curious Character), Richard P. Feynman 
    Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, John Lahr 
    The Agony and the Ecstasy: A Biographical Novel of Michelangelo, Irving Stone 
    The Andy Warhol Diaries, Andy Warhol 
    The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Gertrude Stein 
    The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley, Malcolm X 
    The Basketball Diaries, Jim Carroll   
    The Bell Jar (P.S.), Sylvia Plath 
    The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother  (10th Anniversary Edition), James McBride 
    The Complete Maus, 25th Anniversary Edition, Art Spiegelman  
    The Complete Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi 
    The Diary of Anais Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934, Anais Nin 
    The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait, Carlos Fuentes  
    The Glass Castle: A Memoir, Jeannette Walls 
    The Gulag Archipelago Abridged: An Experiment in Literary Investigation (P.S.), Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn 
    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot 
    The Kid Stays in the Picture: A Notorious Life, Robert Evans 
    The Last Lone Inventor: A Tale of Genius, Deceit, and the Birth of Television, Evan I. Schwartz 
    The Liars' Club: A Memoir, Mary Karr 
    The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey, Ernesto Che Guevara  
    The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary (P.S.), Simon Winchester 
    The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (Modern Library Paperbacks), Edmund Morris 
    The Soul of A New Machine, Tracy Kidder 
    The Tender Bar: A Memoir, J. R. Moehringer 
    The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts, Maxine Hong Kingston 
    The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion 
    This Boy's Life: A Memoir, Tobias Wolff   
    Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr., Ron Chernow 
    Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man's Miraculous Survival, Joe Simpson 
    Travels with Charley in Search of America, John Steinbeck 
    Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, Laura Hillenbrand 
    Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy, Frances Mayes 
    Updike, Adam Begley 
    Vera (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov), Stacy Schiff 
    West with the Night, Beryl Markham 
    Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China, Jung Chang 
    Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, Cheryl Strayed   

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  2. Image: Courtesy Penguin.


  3. Image: Courtesy Bantam Books.


  4. Image: Courtesy Knopf.


  5. Image: Courtesy Knopf.