The Memoirs

Jump on this fast-moving bandwagon of reflective (at times, juicy) books.

  • Always Running

    Book Dumpling Recommends For: Readers interested in a memoir on East Los Angeles' gang culture. Fans of redemptive stories in which violence makes way for poetry. Those looking for an insightful coming-of-age story.


  • This Star Won’t Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl

    Book Dumpling Recommends For: Fans of touching, real-life stories. Readers looking for a collection of essays, journal entries and stories by and about a talented young girl who passed away at the age of 16. Anyone with a heart who’s looking to use it.


  • This is the Story of a Happy Marriage

    Book Dumpling Recommends For: Readers of intelligent memoirs covering one author's introspection. Fans of Ann Patchett's novels (Bel Canto, State of Wonder) looking to learn more about her personal life from childhood, through one failed marriage, and up until adulthood. Anyone looking to read strong essays on motherhood, love, friendship...


  • When Breath Becomes Air

    Book Dumpling Recommends For: Fans of philosophic medical memoirs. Readers interested in the story of a young neurosurgeon and how he deals with his terminal cancer diagnosis. Fans of learning about what makes a life worth living. And who have a tissue close by.


  • Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

    Book Dumpling Recommends For: Lovers of graphic novel memoirs Readers who enjoy the true story of a father’s death soon after he comes out of the closet. Anyone wondering what it would be like to grow up in a funeral home.


  • Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

    Book Dumpling Recommends For: Fans of investigative journalism that meets medical mystery. Those interested in a memoir, written by a 24-year-old New York Post reporter, and her descent into psychosis. Anyone looking for a page-turning read that investigates a rare medical condition.


  • Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed: A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings

    In this disturbing memoir, Michelle Knight writes about the horrific experience after her kidnapping by Ariel Castro. And how she managed to survive. Perfect for: Those looking for a horrifying narrative of survival and forgiveness. Anyone interested in learning more about the story that made headlines around the world. Readers of...


  • The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: My Family’s Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World

    Lucette Lagnado and her Jewish family live comfortably in Cairo until the fall of King Farouk makes way for Gamal Abdel Nesser’s industrialization of Egyptian industries. After losing everything, they make their way from Cairo to New York on a journey that forces them to abandon the only life they...


  • Zeitoun

    Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a Syrian-American father of four, is in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina strikes. Refusing to leave, he uses a canoe to navigate the flooded streets of New Orleans, bringing supplies to fellow survivors. A week later, he disappears. In this riveting work of non-fiction, Eggers examines one life...


  • Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter

    During Chile’s Pinochet regime in 1980, Carmen Aguirre and her family are forced to flee to Canada. This page-turning thriller recounts the commencement of Carmen’s life as an undercover revolutionary. Perfect for: Fans of historical non-fiction focused on revolutionaries. Readers who enjoy gripping and dark stories about escaping dictatorships. Lovers...


  • He Died With A Felafel In His Hand

    John Birmingham writes about all of the wacky housemates he’s shared places with in this romp around Australian cities. Perfect for: • Lovers of humerous memoirs. • Anyone who looked twice at this title. • Fans of David Sedaris.


  • Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight

    Fuller’s memoir recalls growing up as a white girl in Rhodesia (modern-day Zimbabwe). She approaches the tougher issues (racism, violence, mental illness, alcoholism) with rawness that a child’s perspective delivers. Riveting and beautifully written, this memoir combines the beauty of the African landscape with an extraordinary upbringing. Perfect for: Lovers...


  • Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal

    Jeanette Winterson (author of Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit) was adopted as a baby by Pentecostal parents to a house devoid of books other than the Bible. She was supposed to grow up to be a missionary. Instead she fell in love with another woman, was forced to leave...


  • Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant

    Daniel Tammet has autism and astonishing savant skills: despite his social challenges and his need for routine, he can perform unbelievable linguistic and mathematical feats from learning the Icelandic language in a week to memorizing the number Pi up to thousands of digits. He is helped by a condition called...


  • Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned”

    Lena Dunham’s anticipated collection of personal essays (everything from her vagina to those crazy times in summer camp) will leave you thinking. An interesting take on life from one of our most exciting, young feminist thinkers. Perfect for: Lovers of Girls Readers looking for essays on feminist thinking that is...


  • A House in the Sky

    In this gripping memoir, globetrotting, adventurer, Amanda Lindhout, is kidnapped after entering Somalia. Held for over a year, she must find a way to survive torture and abuse. Honest and raw, this well-written tale will both shock and inspire you. Perfect for: Almost all types of memoir lovers. Older teens...


  • Fleeing the Hijab

    When the Ayatollah Kohomeini decrees that all women in Iran must wear a hijab, regardless of their perspective religion, Dr. Sima Goel, a 13-year-old Jewish girl who had previously demonstrated against the Shah's oppressive regime, decides she must escape her home country. In this riveting memoir, we follow Goel as...


  • Lit: A Memoir

    In her third memoir, Mary Karr writes about excessive drinking and her struggle to get sober. Through exploring her dysfunctional relationships (not least, her disastrous marriage to a handsome poet), Karr manages to balance motherhood and alcoholism – for a while. From a stay in a psychiatric facility to finding...


  • Autobiography of a Face

    At age nine, Lucy Grealy lost part of her jaw to cancer. This raw memoir chronicles the cruel taunts endured, painful surgeries undergone and, ultimately, the author’s desperate search to feel – and look – just like everyone else. Dead at age 39 from a tragic heroin overdose, this autobiography...


  • Kitchen Confidential

    America’s premiere foodie bad boy, Bourdain, tells all - about himself and the kitchen - in this fun and revealing book about his formative years in the restaurant industry. He humorously recounts his wild years, while exposing the inner workings of restaurants. In a nutshell, this is The Food Network...


  • Dad is Fat

    Jim Gaffigan is living the dream: he’s earning money as a comedian, has a smart, beautiful wife, and lives in Manhattan . . . in a small, two-bedroom fifth-floor apartment with five children, ages newborn to eight. He’s baffled by the incongruity of it all, and puzzles over the dangers...


  • How to Be a Woman

    Caitlin Moran has done it all – well almost all – and she’s happy to write about it for her readers’ amusement and education. In this memoir, she reveals many of her life’s most embarrassing moments alongside her witty observations about being a woman. If you’re not a feminist, she...


  • #GIRLBOSS

    Sophia Amoruso’s career in the fashion industry began when she stole a watch from Nordstrom at 17. As she moved her way up, Amoruso learned the ins and outs of how to run an online business, nastygal.com. #GIRLBOSS is a quirky memoir that not only inspires girls to work hard...


  • Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened

    Fans of Allie Brosh’s lauded blog – Hyperbole and a Half – will be familiar with her brutally honest, outrageously funny, often cringe-worthy, sometimes-tragic stories from her child / young adulthood in this fantastic graphic memoir. Bouts of depression, questions of self-identity, whether her dog may be of lower-than-normal intelligence...


  • The End of Your Life Book Club

    When Will Schwalbe’s mother is diagnosed with cancer, he accompanies her during many chemo sessions: this lays the backdrop against which mother-and-son forms an impromptu book club. Different chapter, different book. Among this thoughtful memoir’s main explorations, exists a wonderful testament to the power of literature and its role in...


  • My Family and Other Animals (Corfu Trilogy)

    Durrell tells the story of his family’s uprooting from their home (in gloomy England), to the sunny Greek island of Corfu in this touching-yet-comical memoir of an enchanting island and both the wildlife and people that inhabit it. Perfect for:   • Those wishing to be transported to the Mediterranean....


  • Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of Growing up Iranian in America and American in Iran

    Iranian-American journalist, Moaveni, shares her search for identity in this humorous and engaging memoir. American-born to Iranian expats and later living in Tehran with a previously romanticized notion of her homeland, Moaveni struggles to build a life and a home in a strange land. Perfect for: • Those interested in...


  • A Long Way Gone

    Set in Sierra Leone during the early 1990s, this brutally honest memoir describes Beah’s recruitment by the RUF at age thirteen. As a child soldier who gets hooked on drugs, walks around as the proud carrier of an AK-47 and has lost all sense of humanity – the reader is...


  • Lost in the Meritocracy: The Undereducation of An Overachiever

    In this hilarious account of everything that's awry with our present-day obsession with getting praise rather than learning anything, Kirn gives an indicting yet honest portrayal of the shallow underbelly of the North American education system - specifically, the Ivy Leagues. Great for: -Anyone who's looking for a collection of...


  • Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard

    To put it mildly, Liz Murray did not have an easy childhood. In her fast-paced, honest and generous memoir, Murray describes growing up with addicts as parents, living on the streets of New York City and transitioning into the world of the Harvard elite. She never asks us to pity...