Memoir Example Books - Some Great Ones


I saw this article in USA Today by Laura Trujillo and wanted to share it because it describes nine excellent celebrity memoirs, which will make awesome summer reads (article link below).

BUT A FEW IMPORTANT CAVEATS about memoir books first: When you decide to write YOUR OWN life story, please realize that:

1. You do NOT have to be a celebrity - or even wealthy - to create a life story memoir book today (and you should do it, because of the benefits).

2. You do NOT have to sell your book to the public - although you can if you want to. 

3.  You do NOT have to write your book for the general public either. You can share it with just your family and friends, or whoever you want to.

I mention those caveats because they are often the knee-jerk reaction people have when considering to create a memoir themselves. 

See, because ONLY celebrities and the wealthy WERE ABLE TO create life story books in the past - due to the cost and complexity - that fact is a common misconception today. 

Technology has made the life story memoir book writing process much easier, and available to almost everyone today - and the best audience for your non-celebrity memoir book is often your family and friends.

Because they already love you and they will love your book!  

Back to Laura's Article:

She suggests reading these nine awesome memoirs:

1. FINDING ME - by Viola David

"Davis' raw and intimate memoir makes you feel as if you are sitting down with her for a conversation rather than simply reading her book. She writes about her troubled childhood, racism and the teachers and mentors who helped her succeed."

Wow. And it says that Viola won a Grammy for the audio book version also (which is maybe a great commuting audio book idea this summer).

I like her photo on the book cover also - - - although I don't think the photographer can get any closer (!)

2. THE STORYTELLER - by David Grohl

Music reporter Melissa Ruggieri said, "Grohl is a reliable narrator who inherently possesses conversational wit and a photographic memory for details, such as the brown shag carpeting in Sound City Studios where Nirvana recorded 'Nevermind' and the words his beloved mother, Virginia, told him when he informed her he was quitting school to pursue music: 'You better be good.'"

No doubt. 

My wife would love this book because she loves the bands Nirvana and Foo Fighters, which Dave was in. 

... I like him because he was born in Warren, Ohio - - - not too far from where I was born! :)

3. I'M GLAD MY MOM DIED - by Jennette McCurdy

Laura: "While the subject is difficult - eating disorders and emotional abuse - McCurdy shares her story in a way in which you understand her and root for her. And when you finish, you hope she'll write another book."

Very true. Overcoming challenges in life is always a compelling read.

... And does anyone agree, that her book title is TRULY AMAZING?

I mean, how could you NOT pick the book up?   


"The former host of "The Daily Show" chronicles his life in South Africa as the child of a white Swiss father and a Black Xhosa mother. His amusing stories as a mischievous child juxtaposed with the history of apartheid and his mother's love make this book a smart and enjoyable read. "

Looks like another great read.

5. BECOMING - by Michelle Obama

"Even with all that had been written about her while President Barack Obama was in office, the former first lady manages to share new insights and meaningful anecdotes about her family and what life was like inside the White House."

I know that this is one of the best-selling memoir books of all time, with over 17 million copies sold (wow).

And while I have not read it yet myself, I would like to.

Because I am sure that Michele helped Barack Obama to realize his full potential and become the President that he did. 

They are a true husband and wife team.


"Perry chronicles his battles with alcohol and drugs like Vicodin, Xanax and OyxContin, which led to frequent hospital visits and trips to rehab while somehow also making you laugh."

I am so glad that Matthew was able to overcome those addictions.

Of course, the TV show he was on (FRIENDS) was one of the most popular TV shows ever.

And while I did not really care for his brash character on Friends much...  he IS Canadian after all, so he MUST be a good guy (!)


"USA TODAY writer Pamela Avila says Trejo's memoir "captures a different picture of the 'Machete' and 'Desperado' actor fans have grown to love (or fear), covering his 11 years in and out of prison, his road to sobriety, growing up in a Mexican American household and the intergenerational trauma he's endured, the ways fatherhood changed him, and his acting career and foray into the food scene."

THAT is a one long paragraph (!)

I recognize this gentleman from TV shows and the movies, and he does seem to be able to play / look the part - - - via a valid degree of authenticity.

Bad asses like him working in Hollywood are interesting also, because that persona is typically not expected there.

8. MAKING A SCENE - by Constance Wu

Laura: "Wu's book, more a collection of a essays, reveals her mental health struggles and suicide attempt, as well as stories about love and finding success. She details how as a child she was taught to hold in her feelings, but in theater, she was allowed to be herself."

I am SO GLAD that Constance wrote this book about her own real struggles with mental health, because she will save and improve the lives of many others by doing so.

THANK YOU Constance, for sharing your very valuable story!

9. CRYING IN H MART - by Michelle Zauner

"The Korean American singer writes about losing her mother and how food connects us, but also about finding herself in this lyrical memoir."

(For those of you that don't know what H Mart is, it's an American supermarket chain of Asian supermarkets (89 in the US) which is an amazing place to shop, eat, and hang out.  It's fun just going there and seeing what they have. Plus, their fruits and vegetables - which I don't eat enough of - are the bomb). 

Michelle has put a really cool cover on her book also, which looks like a delicious strand of Pad Thai noodles smiling (at least, to me).  



And please remember:  When it's time to write YOUR story, it does not - and should not - look like the celebrity / blockbuster versions above.

No one expects it to.

It  will be cherished just as it is.

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Here is Lauren Trujillo's wonderful USA TODAY article:


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