41 Memoirs Everyone Should Read in 2024 Best Memoirs of All Time

Reconstructing her experiences using recordings from real therapy sessions, Stephanie Foo takes a highly journalistic approach to dissecting her CPTSD diagnosis in this vulnerable memoir. This collection of stories blends memoir and investigative reporting to expose ingrained and pervasive societal messages that deeply affect young women, giving listeners permission to break free from restrictive narratives. Author James McBride dives into his family history in this lyrical dedication to his mother and pensive consideration of coming-of-age as a mixed race, poor child in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

Shedding all fiction, this memoir openly discusses her painful past and her search for love and belonging. The author brilliantly illuminates the night of her assault, its aftermath, the tumultuous legal process, and the pursuit of healing. Sean Strub’s revelatory memoir captures an uncertain time in LGBTQIA+ history, when the AIDS epidemic swept the nation, and the nation wanted to sweep it under the rug. Through the art form of a one-woman show, Delanna Studi retells a resonant journey she took alongside her father—walking the hundreds of miles that comprised the Trail of Tears. Growing up under the wing of her Cuban-Colombian family, Daisy Hernández set out to forge her own identity as a queer woman and feminist activist.

Here are some of the best books related to drug and alcohol use disorders.

To vote on existing books from the list, beside each book there is a link vote for this book clicking it will add that book to your votes. In addition to authoring two books (her second comes out March 2023), McKowen hosts the Tell Me Something True podcast. If this book resonates with you, be sure to check out Grace’s podcast of the same name, This Naked Mind, where she and guests continue to dissect alcohol’s grasp on our lives and culture. It’s understandable to feel alone and like no one can relate to your addiction. Luckily, there’s a whole genre of books that prove you are not the only one who has battled addiction. Laurie spoon-feeds orphans in Ethiopia, performs 108 bows at a Buddhist mountain temple, walks shelter dogs in Peru, milks goats in Fuerteventura, and gets lost in Mexico, all the while navigating dating at midlife.

Savor the fruit of her effort—a gorgeous meditation on love, identity, and language. Years later, law student Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich tries to understand the convicted murderer’s mind in order to make sense of a trauma from her own childhood. Undeniably powerful, this cutting account of life with schizoaffective disorder dispels misconceptions and provides nuanced insight into a condition long misunderstood. With emotional clarity and unimpeachable reporting, Krakauer’s frank eyewitness account of what happened amidst the deadliest season in the history of Everest is a singular achievement.

“We Are the Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life”

Punch Me Up to the Gods is a beautifully written series of personal essays that describe Brian Broome’s experience growing up Black and queer in Ohio, and the effect early substance use had on his upbringing. In any other voice, Mary Karr’s stories of a chaotic, sometimes violent childhood may be too haunting to hear. But told with the author’s wicked sense of humor, they instead shimmer as a reclamation of trauma. I am not sure I’d be sober today if it weren’t for Tired of Thinking About Drinking. Belle’s consistent messaging on our faulty thinking led to a major mindset shift for me.

best alcoholic memoirs

All these books might have been published as memoir in a less stigmatising age. When I stopped drinking alcohol, I was desperate to know the stories of other people who’d also taken this road less traveled. During the most unsettling time of my life, I craved all the messy, tragic, complex, wonderful stories that could show me what was on the other side. Nobody in my real life could meet that need, so I turned—as I always do when I need comfort, encouragement, or inspiration—to books. The bestselling, award-winning illustrator of more than 100 books, Pinkney enlivens the pages of Just Jerry with artwork chronicling moments from his life.

We Are the Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life by Laura McKowen

I recently came to terms with my own problematic relationship with alcohol, and my one solace has been in books. I’ve dug into memoir after memoir, tiptoed into the hard science books, and enjoyed the fiction from afar. The following are a smattering of the books about alcoholism I’ve found meaningful. It’s a kind best alcoholic memoirs of love letter to the humorist’s late wife, who died in 2001, five years before the book was published. You can read this tender, good-humored portrait of their marriage in an hour, maybe two, but you won’t forget it anytime soon. If you love reading about love, you’ll adore the best romance novels of all time.

High Achiever offers hope and inspiration and a raw and page-turning read. But seriously, I hope at least one of these memoirs speaks to you. Beyond the camaraderie of knowing you’re not alone, these books offer practical guidance about the road to sobriety (or your road to changing your relationship with drugs and alcohol). Pooley walks us through a year of her life spent battling alcohol addiction and a recent breast cancer diagnosis, two battles — spoiler alert!

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Her mother had died, her marriage had ended and she was relying on drugs to get through her days. On the grounds that she had nothing to lose, she embarked on the perilous—and exhilarating—thousand-mile Pacific Crest Trail. The long hike, for which she was unprepared, ultimately transformed her life. It’s now considered among the most inspirational memoirs—and a someday classic—as well as the basis for a fantastic film.

best alcoholic memoirs