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Great authors can take one person's story and use it to make a bigger point or reveal a bigger story. These memoirs are historical, inspirational books that you won't want to put down. They will make you think and foster lively book club discussions.

  1. The House at Sugar Beach by Helene Cooper

    Book Cover: The House at Sugar Beach by Helene Cooper

    "The House at Sugar Beach is an astonishing and moving memoir about growing up in Liberia during a violent civil war. Helene Cooper is the daughter of one of Liberia's elite families, but after a coup threw her people out of power she moved to the United States, eventually becoming a journalist. In The House at Sugar Beach, Cooper delivers personal memoir, historical perspective, and journalistic reporting in one book that you won't be able to put down. "

  2. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

    Book Cover: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

    "Elizabeth Gilbert's talent as a writer is evident in Eat, Pray, Love. She took a story and subject that could easily seem self-indulgent and told it with such humor and wit that readers around the world have not been able to put the book down. "

  3. Heat by Bill Buford

    Book Cover: Heat by Bill Buford
    (food and cooking)

    "If you’ve ever wondered what life is like as a professional cook, you’ll love Heat by Bill Buford. And even if you’ve never harbored a secret desire to cook with the pros, you’ll be fascinated by Buford’s tale of politics, pressure, and the literal heat inside the world’s best kitchens. "

  4. What is the What by Dave Eggers

    Book Cover: What is the What by Dave Eggers
    (literature and fiction)

    "What is the What is an astonishing, eye-opening, and heartbreaking book that defies classification. It is not technically a memoir, but once you’ve read it, the story of Valentino Achak Deng refuses to leave your mind. Even if you’re not familiar with the Lost Boys and their struggles to escape from war-torn Sudan, you’ll be drawn into this pseudo-autobiography. "

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