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10 Best Biographies of 2018

Posted about 1 month ago by April S

Posted in eBooks and Audiobooks, New: Books and Movies and Nonfiction | Tagged with aging, anecdotes, autobiographies, best books of 2018, Best Books of the Year, biographies, essays, farmers, Humor, memoirs, mortality, notable books, personality tests, psychology, reading recommendations, slavery, slaves and wit

Welcome to our series exploring some of the best books of the year. This post features a broad mix of biographies, autobiographies, essays and memoirs from world famous figures to lesser-known individuals with captivating stories to tell. If the selections in this blog post fail to strike a cord, try our Give 3 Get 3 service to receive more personalized recommendations.

Notable Biographies and Memoirs of 2018

1. Educated : a Memoir by Tara Westover

Educated : a Memoir by Tara Westover

Traces the author's experiences as a child born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, describing her participation in her family's paranoid stockpiling activities and her resolve to educate herself well enough to earn an acceptance into a prestigious university and the unfamiliar world beyond.

2. Becoming by Michelle Obama

Becoming by Michelle Obama

An intimate memoir by the former First Lady chronicles the experiences that have shaped her remarkable life, from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago through her setbacks and achievements in the White House.

3. The Good Neighbor : The Life and Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King

The Good Neighbor : The Life and Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King

Drawing on original interviews, oral histories and archival documents, the author traces the iconic children's program host's personal, professional, and artistic life through decades of work.

4. Heartland : A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh

Heartland : A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth by Sarah Smarsh

During Smarsh's turbulent childhood in Kansas in the '80s and '90s, the forces of cyclical poverty and the country's changing economic policies solidified her family's place among the working poor. Her personal history affirms the corrosive impact intergenerational poverty can have on individuals, families, and communities. Combining memoir with powerful analysis and cultural commentary, this is an uncompromising look at class, identity, and the particular perils of having less in a country known for its excess.

5. Barracoon : The Story of the Last "Black Cargo" by Zora Neale Hurston

Barracoon : The Story of the Last "Black Cargo" by Zora Neale Hurston

Presents a previously unpublished work that illuminates the horror and injustices of slavery in the true story of one of the last known survivors of the Atlantic slave trade, Cudjo Lewis, who was abducted from Africa on the last "Black Cargo" ship to arrive in the United States.

6. Heavy : An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

Heavy : An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

A personal narrative that illuminates national failures, Heavy is defiant yet vulnerable, an insightful, often comical exploration of weight, identity, art, friendship, and family that begins with a confusing childhood—and continues through twenty-five years of haunting implosions and long reverberations.

7. The Personality Brokers : The Strange History of Myers-Briggs and The Birth of Personality Testing by Merve Emre

The Personality Brokers : The Strange History of Myers-Briggs and The Birth of Personality Testing by Merve Emre

A history of the century-old personality test conceived by a mother-and-daughter fiction-writing duo with no formal psychology training argues that their Myers-Briggs Type Indicator has been widely adopted in spite of a pervasive inability to validate its results.

8. Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs

Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs

The daughter of Steve Jobs offers a firsthand account of the difficult relationship she had with her father and the poignant story of a childhood spent between two imperfect but extraordinary homes.

9. Calypso by David Sedaris

Calypso by David Sedaris

David Sedaris returns with his most deeply personal and darkly hilarious book. If you've ever laughed your way through David Sedaris's cheerfully misanthropic stories, you might think you know what you're getting with "Calypso." You'd be wrong.

When he buys a beach house on the Carolina coast, Sedaris envisions long, relaxing vacations spent playing board games and lounging in the sun with those he loves most. And life at the Sea Section, as he names the vacation home, is exactly as idyllic as he imagined, except for one tiny, vexing realization: it's impossible to take a vacation from yourself.

10. Born To Be Posthumous : The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey by Mark Dery

Born To Be Posthumous : The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey by Mark Dery

Edward Gorey's wickedly funny and deliciously sinister little books have influenced our culture in innumerable ways, from the works of Tim Burton and Neil Gaiman to Lemony Snicket. Some even call him the Grandfather of Goth. But who was this man, who lived with over twenty thousand books and six cats, who roomed with Frank O'Hara at Harvard, and was known--in the late 1940s, no less--to traipse around in full-length fur coats, clanking bracelets, and an Edwardian beard? He published over a hundred books and illustrated works by Samuel Beckett, T.S. Eliot, Edward Lear, John Updike, Charles Dickens, Hilaire Belloc, Muriel Spark, Bram Stoker, Gilbert & Sullivan, and others. At the same time, he was a deeply complicated and conflicted individual, a man whose art reflected his obsessions with the disquieting and the darkly hilarious.

This is part of a series of blog posts highlighting some of the Best Books of the Year.

Best Books of 2018 Booklists

NPR

New York Times

BookPage

Amazon

Goodreads

Library Journal

Time

Esquire

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