There have been some absolutely wonderful memoirs and biographies written lately which I have read this year. I like learning about people. Everyone (and I do mean everyone) has their story. Sometimes the story is sad, sometimes hilarious, sometimes a triumph over adversity, sometimes family secrets but everyone has a story. Reading their stories makes the reader realize that human achievements in the face of handicaps are possible.
Here are some of the very best I've read this year.
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah - I only peripherally knew who Trevor Noah was before reading this book which tells of his childhood growing up in South Africa. The child of a black mother and white father, he had a hard time fitting in with his friends and relatives even as apartheid was outlawed in South Africa. This is a well constructed and thoughtful memoir.
Educated by Tara Westover - People who have normal lives don't have interesting memoirs so this one from the daughter of a hardscrabble Mormon prepper and his herbalist wife is intriguing. You will be amazed at how far this young woman has come from a difficult upbringing.
I Can't Make This Up by Kevin Hart - Another interesting memoir from a remarkable comic. Truly, against all the odds, Hart has made a name for himself and moved forward with his life. His view and suggestions about looking at the world are lessons for everyone.
The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe by J. Randy Taraborrelli - Having grown up among old movies and being an old movie buff myself, I thought I knew all there was to know about Marilyn. This revealing biography tells about her from birth all through her tragic death and dispels many myths about the legend.
The Real Wallis Simpson by Anna Pasternak - Being from Baltimore I've always had an interest in the woman for whom King Edward VIII gave up the throne. Pasternak doesn't disappoint with her account of Wallis Warfield Simpson and her relationship with David, the Duke of Windsor. The book is based on many historical documents which have now become declassified.
Have you read any great bios or memoirs this year? Let me know!