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We'll level with you: There are way more than 30 essential memoirs you should have read/should be reading/should plan to read. You've got your Bossypants (Tina Fey), your Eat, Pray, Love (Elizabeth Gilbert), and your Keith Richards bios. Those are all great, so please don't think they aren't worth reading because they didn't make this list.
There's simply too much excellent work out there.
For the authors who did make the cut — including Gloria Steinem, whose new book, My Life on the Road, is what inspired us to make this list — they range from acclaimed poets to former slaves to humorists to rock stars. Their stories are engrossing, heartbreaking, unbelievable at times, and often hilarious. They're honest and raw, inviting you to chew on their own highly personal experiences as you meditate on your own. They're just filled with life.
Some call it navel-gazing. We call it too good to put down. Ahead we’ve gathered our favorite memoirs and autobiographies. Book reports are due January 1, okay?
OPENER IMAGE: Designed by Elliot Salazar.
Photo: Courtesy of Atria.