Riot Recommendation: What Are Some Excellent Memoirs?

This Riot Recommendation for favorite memoirs is sponsored by Random House, publisher of Tara Westover’s Educated.

Tara Westover was seventeen when she first entered a classroom. Her stunning debut, in the tradition of The Glass Castle, recounts the quest for self-invention that took her from an unschooled childhood with Western survivalists to the halls of Harvard and Cambridge. Educated is the must-read book of 2018, a memoir hailed by Amy Chua, the author of Political Tribes and Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, as “breathtaking, heart-wrenching, and inspirational” and by J. D. Vance, the author of Hillbilly Elegy, as a “powerful tale” that “deserves to be widely read.”


I so admire a good memoir. First of all, the author has to have had an interesting experience or two, else they wouldn’t have memoir material. But they also must possess a talent for shaping that experience into a meaningful story, told in captivating prose. Think back to the last time you finished a memoir that you just had to tell everyone about, and tell US in the comments! We’ll be back with the crowdsourced list for Riot readers to follow up on.

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