Memoirs you don’t want to miss

Growing up I was an avid reader of historical fiction.  But as I’ve gotten older (definitely can’t say as I’ve matured), I’ve been reading a lot of memoirs.  I’m drawn to real people and real stories.  These are some of my favorite I have read recently.  (A few of these I mentioned in books that inspire better more meaningful lives.)



1.  Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life by Glennon Doyle Melton.

Easily one of my favorite books of all time.  I love Glennon.  Love her.

“…I am a child of God.  And thankfully, there is nothing I can add to that title to make it more impressive.  There is also nothing I can do to lose that title.  I am confident not because I am pretty or smart or athletic or talented or kind.  Those things change and can be given and taken.  I am confident simply because I am a child of God….

Being a child of God is a free pass to be brave and bold and take great risks and spin around in circles with joy.  if and when I fall, who cares?  He will always be there to pick me up.  That’s his job.  He’s my Father.”


2.   Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculee Ilibagiza.

This woman went through horrors I can’t even imagine.  She spent months, MONTHS, in a tiny bathroom hiding from people who were trying to kill her.  And she still believes in a good and loving God.

“In God’s eyes, the killers were part of His family, deserving of love and forgiveness.  I knew that I couldn’t ask God to love me if I were unwilling to love His children.”


3.  Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion by Gregory Boyle

This is one of those everyone-in-the-world-should-have-to-read-this kind of books.  Incredible story. Incredible love.  Boundless Compassion.  If we all followed the wisdom in this book, the world we live in would be an entirely different place.

“Here is what we seek: a compassion that can stand in awe at what the poor have to carry rather than stand in judgment at how they carry it.”

“You stand with the least likely to succeed until success is succeeded by something more valuable: kinship.  you stand with the belligerent, the surly, and the badly behaved until bad behavior is recognized for the language it is:  the vocabulary of the deeply wounded and of those whose burdens are more than they can bear.”


4.  Make it Happen: Surrender Your Fear. Take the Leap. Live On Purpose. by Lara Casey

Incredibly motivating to create a life on purpose.

“Be still, friend. Know that God’s desire for you is a life of peace. He wants to free you from the chase. Wherever you are is exactly where you are supposed to be to ignite intentional change.”


5.  Packing Light: Thoughts on Living Life with Less Baggage by Allison Vesterfelt

A girl who gives up everything to go on a trip to all 50 states.  And what she learned from having less baggage (figuratively and literally).  Really interesting.  And makes me want to go on a really long road trip.

“I used to think that being unprepared was the worst possible offense to God, but I’ve since changed my mind. Because when I don’t have resources, I’m learning God often gives them to me. The lighter I pack, the more I realize He knows what I need even more than I do, and He is more generous than I ever imagined. Sometimes He even meets needs I didn’t know I had.” 


6. Beyond Belief: Finding the Strength to Come Back by Josh Hamilton

I’m naturally drawn to any stories about addicts because of my brother.  And I have the utmost respect for any addict who can get and STAY sober.  They’re definitely in the minority and it has to be one of the hardest struggles to overcome.  Every.  Single.  Day.


7. Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard by Liz Murray

This one is hard to read.  The suffering she goes through is unimaginable.  But it’s proof anyone can become who they want to be.

“What I was beginning to understand was that however things unfolded from here on, whatever the next chapter was, my life could never be the sum of one circumstance. It would be determined, as it had always been, by my willingness to put one foot in front of the other, moving forward, come what may.”


8. Heaven Is Here: An Incredible Story of Hope, Triumph, and Everyday Joy by Stephanie Nielsen

She was in a plane crash that left her burned over 80% of her body and in a coma for months.  Incredible story of recovery, hope, and appreciation for life.  I follow Stephanie on Instagram and am amazed at her positive outlook on life despite living through hell.  She is a strong, strong woman.



Do you have any memoirs you’ve loved?  I’m always looking for great books, so if you have one, let me know in the comments!

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3 thoughts on “Memoirs you don’t want to miss”

  1. ooh i love these kinds of books!!!
    Some of my recent favorites are Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela, Enchantment (its about Audrey Hepburn), My Story by Elizabeth Smart, Let it Go (this one is amazing!!) by Chris Williams.

    1. Hello late reply. Sorry Rhonda. My comments were all being filtered to spam. I loved My Story and Let it Go. Both great books. I’ll have to look into the other two!

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