8 Must-read Memoirs You Can Learn From

memoirs fall reading list

Nothing is better than the feeling you get after finishing a good memoir and transforming your life because of it. Whether you want to be inspired, laugh, learn something new, or delve into a family legacy, we’ve gathered the perfect list of memoirs to add to your to-be-read list. Self-care is most important, after all!  

Justice is Served by Leslie Karst

After small-town lawyer Leslie Karst’s offer to cook dinner for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and her husband is accepted, Karst embarks on a journey to make this dinner that will change her life happen. Starting in Paris, Karst recounts the journey she took to plan this dinner party, the delicious recipes she encountered, and how the process created a new connection between her and her family, all while sharing how Ginsberg transformed from a young Jewish girl in Brooklyn to the renowned Supreme Court Justice she became. Justice is Served reminds readers that it’s never too late to discover your passions and follow your dreams. This heartfelt memoir comes out April 4.   

The Golden Ticket by Irena Smith

As a private college counselor to the country’s most ambitious students and a resident of Palo Alto, California, Irena Smith is no stranger to the prestige, high expectations, and success defined by the name of a college. Through responses to college application essay prompts, Smith provides social commentary, family history, and lessons from literature to introduce a new perspective on the meaning of success. Watch out for this eye-opening memoir out April 18!  

The Butcher, the Embezzler, and the Fall Guy by Gretchen Cherington

Following the three powerful men behind the company now known as Hormel Foods, The Butcher, The Embezzler, and The Fall Guy dives into the history of Albert Hormel, Alpha LaRue Eberhart, Ransome Josiah Thomson, and the embezzlement scandal that nearly destroyed the company. Starting in 1922, when Hormel demands Eberhart’s resignation for possible involvement in the embezzlement, Gretchen Cherington works through each man’s story, how they connect, and the landscape of our country’s early industries. Consequently, Cherington embarks on her own journey from blind faith in family lore to understanding everyone has strengths and flaws, exploring the ways in which we all must face our preconceived ideas of powerful men, heroes and the past. 

She Rides by Alenka Vrecek 

As things start to spiral out of control, Alenka Vrecek decides to embark on a biking journey across California and Mexico, following through on a dream she never thought she’d be able to complete. Packing fifty pounds of camping gear on her mountain bike, Vrecek sets off on the 2,500-mile journey alone, risking everything to heal her dying spirit and battered body. She Rides recounts Vrecek’s revitalizing adventure of love, hope, courage, and resilience, acting as a wake-up call for anyone who wants to follow their dreams and reclaim their life. Watch out for this powerful memoir out June 13!

great winter reads

The Twenty by Marianne Bohr

Nearing sixty and needing adventure, Marianne Bohr and her husband decide to take a long trek across the French island of Corsica on Europe’s most challenging long-distance footpath, the GR20. As a fit, athletic person, this arduous journey forces Bohr to accept her body and its limitations while exploring what it means to be an aging woman today. A blend of humor, inspiration, and love, The Twenty highlights hiking, the intimacy of long-term marriage, and accepting that all life comes to an end. This moving memoir comes out June 6. 

Orphan Bachelors by Fae Myenne Ng

As the first-born daughter of Chinese immigrant parents, Fae Myenne Ng grew up in San Francisco’s Chinatown, at her family’s grocery store, surrounded by Orphan Bachelors – men without wives and children who chose Ng and her siblings as their stand-in descendants. After years of hearing about the Exclusion Act from her father and the Orphan Bachelors, its legacy followed Ng for decades before the untimely deaths of her brother and father prompted her to return home, where she decided to write her father’s truth. Orphan Bachelors shares one family’s history, giving voice to Ng’s ancestors, the Orphan Bachelors and her inner self. This compelling memoir comes out May 9. 

Holding Fire by Bryce Andrews

Bryce Andrews’ life as a cowboy in Montana is changed after he inherits his grandfather’s Smith & Wesson revolver. Feeling the weight of the violence this firearm, and many others like it, caused to the native wildlife, wilderness, and Indigenous people in his area for decades, Andrews embarks on a journey to forge a new path for himself. Amidst the country’s rising gun violence and wildfires burning across his home, Andrews reshapes his grandfather’s revolver into a better tool and consults those around him for a new way to live. Holding Fire is a heartfelt story of growth that shows readers how even things that seem permanent can change. 

Women We Buried, Women We Burned by Rachel Louise Snyder

After years of reporting on social issues impacting women’s lives, Rachel Louise Snyder tells her story and what led her to where she is today. As a rebellious sixteen-year-old living out of her car after being expelled, Snyder talked her way into college and soon started to travel the world. She spent years in places like India, Tibet, Niger, and Cambodia, listening to the stories of people who had experienced the unimaginable. With these experiences and a new perspective on her past family wounds, Snyder returned to the U.S., finally finding a chance to heal with her own family, portraying the power of resilience. This transformative memoir comes out May 23.


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Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.