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10 Best Autobiographies of 2023 (Jonathan Van Ness, Michelle Obama, and More)

The power of an autobiography lies in its ability to give you a behind-the-scenes insight into other people’s journeys. Would you love to see the ups and downs of life through the eyes of an influential leader, a famous entertainer, or sports star? Autobiographies can be enlightening and entertaining and should be part of your reading list.


However, it can feel overwhelming to choose a book once you hit the bookshelves. But, don't fret! We have researched for you, and our favorite pick is Over the Top by Jonathan Van Ness, because it's a celebration of uniqueness, and deals with serious topics while being a light read. We have compiled 10 of our favorite autobiographies total, and also included a buying guide with tips to help you select the autobiography that will suit you!

Last updated 10/03/2023
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Table of Contents

How to Choose Autobiographies

With platforms like Amazon and Goodreads, a good book is just one click away. However, knowing which book to buy can be difficult. When it comes to autobiographies, the following pointers should help you in picking the right book.

1

Choose an Author Who Inspires You

Choose an Author Who Inspires You

There are plenty of autobiographies by people from all walks of life. Choose an autobiography by someone who inspires you or on a topic you are passionate about. For example, if your passions and interests lie in the field of music, look for autobiographies written by musicians or celebrities who are influential in this field.


A good book is only useful to you if you read it! So buying a book just because it's popular is not practical. Whether you are interested in sports, history, acting, or any other field, you are bound to find an autobiography in your area of interest that you will enjoy.

2

Find an Author You Can Relate To

Find an Author You Can Relate To

What can enhance your experience in reading autobiographies is if you can relate to the author's life experiences. Maybe you both have the same passions, in sports, music, or the arts, or have the same ideals in terms of morality or philosophy. 


Celebrity autobiographies can be insightful, and give you a peek into a world you're interested in. For example, did you want to be a sports star when you were a kid? Reading an autobiography by a famous player lets you live that fantasy.


Or, you may want to look into influential leaders of history or philosophers. If you are passionate about politics or ethical issues, reading about someone who shares your views can inspire you. Reading about someone who has opposing views can teach valuable lessons as well, although you might find hearing their opinions frustrating at times!

3

Go for Timeless Autobiographies That You Will Enjoy Again and Again

Go for Timeless Autobiographies That You Will Enjoy Again and Again

Entertainment value is a major factor when picking the right autobiography but a really good book entertains and informs. Look for a combination of both in the autobiography you pick. For instance, Trevor Noah’s autobiography, Born a Crime, is a hilarious read yet still packed with insightful and thought-provoking tales.


Autobiographies give you the opportunity to experience someone else’s life through their eyes. A good book is one that you will find yourself returning to often, whether it is for entertainment, as mentioned earlier, or to revisit the life lessons and insights you picked up on. 

4

Make Sure You'll Enjoy the Writing Style

Make Sure You'll Enjoy the Writing Style

When trying to figure out if an author's writing style is for you, you can search for quotes or lines from the book you are interested in. Sometimes, these can be found in readers' reviews. You can also check out websites like Goodreads that have a section where they show you a list of memorable quotes from the book.


Another option to get a sense of a book's writing style is on Amazon. On their website, there is a preview feature that allows you to read the first few pages of a book to help you discern if the writing style is to your liking. See if these pages grab your attention. If they do, chances are you will enjoy the rest of the book!

5

Ask or Look for Recommendations

Ask or Look for Recommendations

Choosing an autobiography can sometimes be a hit-and-miss process since you cannot tell how good or bad a book is by just looking at the cover. Ask for recommendations from friends and family or your book club if you are part of one.


If you have a favorite author or personality, you can always check their reading lists to see what books they are reading. There are also "booktubers" on YouTube who give insightful book talks. Chances are that if you have the same interests and taste, you will find a good book on their reading list.

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10
Best Autobiographies Ranking

Here are the best Autobiographies, ranked according to 10 Best Autobiographies (as of 11-04-2022). The products are ranked independently by mybest.
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1

Jonathan Van Ness

Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love

Jonathan Van Ness Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love 1枚目

Best for a Lesson on Self-Acceptance and Celebrating Uniqueness

2

Michelle Obama

Becoming

Michelle Obama Becoming 1枚目

Best for Seeing the Life of a Powerful Role Model

3

Elton John

Me

Elton John Me 1枚目

Best Look at the Rollercoaster Ride of Being a Music Legend

4

Malala Yousafzai

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

Malala Yousafzai I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban 1枚目

Best for Learning About a Young Education Rights Activist

5

Stanley Tucci

Taste: My Life Through Food

Stanley Tucci Taste: My Life Through Food 1枚目

Best for Reading About Food, Family and Film

6

Michelle Zauner

Crying in H Mart

Michelle Zauner Crying in H Mart 1枚目

Best Story About Grief, Healing, and Identity

7

Trevor Noah

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

Trevor Noah Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood 1枚目

Best Story on Coming-of-Age in the Midst of Apartheid

8

Rob Burrow

Too Many Reasons to Live

Rob Burrow Too Many Reasons to Live 1枚目

Best for a Story on Never Giving Up

9

Sonia Sotomayor

My Beloved World

Sonia Sotomayor My Beloved World  1枚目

Best for an Inspiring Testament to the Power of Self-Belief

10

Andre Agassi

Open

Andre Agassi Open 1枚目

Best Inside Look on the Life of a Tennis Champion

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No.1

Jonathan Van NessOver the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love

Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love Image 1
Source:amazon.com
Reference price
$13.06
Reference price
$13.06

Best for a Lesson on Self-Acceptance and Celebrating Uniqueness

Pros:

  • Has an emotional story told through a witty and hilarious writing style
  • Has a light tone that balances the serious topics of the autobiography
  • Talks about celebrating oneself

Cons:

  • Reviewers mentioned that it has long-winded sentences


Jonathan Van Ness is best known for being the grooming expert on the show Queer Eye. Here, the author talks about her journey to becoming who she is today by overcoming her trauma. This book is raw, honest, and deeply moving. The author's story is bound to resonate with anyone looking for inspiration.


Some reviewers felt like the book needed more edits and a more straight-to-the-point format of writing. But most readers got through this book in one sitting, simply because they could not put it down.

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No.2

Michelle ObamaBecoming

Reference price
$10.48

Best for Seeing the Life of a Powerful Role Model

Pros:

  • Gives an inside look at the life of a former first lady of the United States of America
  • Tackles inspirational experiences
  • Gives insights into the world through the eyes of an influential leader
  • Includes book club guide with discussion prompts

Cons:

  • According to some readers, the chapters become repetitive

This rich and entertaining memoir of former first lady Michelle Obama allows readers an inside look into her personal life. From her childhood to her advocacies, each chapter is filled with words of wisdom. She talks about the balancing act of being a mother, a first lady, and a wife while dealing with public and private battles.


There were some comments about this book being a bit slow. Nevertheless, this autobiography is highly rated for its insightful yet entertaining tone that leaves the reader feeling inspired and awed by Michelle’s life story.

No.3

Elton JohnMe

Reference price
$15.11

Best Look at the Rollercoaster Ride of Being a Music Legend

Pros:

  • Includes stories of other famous musicians like John Lennon, Freddie Mercury, and Rod Stewart
  • Raw, in-depth look into Elton John's life
  • Easy-to-read and entertaining style of writing

Cons:

  • Stories of drug use and descriptive sexual content

Elton John is one of the most influential celebrities in the music industry and a five-time Grammy Award winner. In his book, he does not shy away from recounting his struggles with drug addiction and his eventual road to recovery. This is a drama-filled autobiography that details his rise to fame and the challenges he had to face.


Some reviewers would have preferred it if the book looked deeper into Elton John's music career. Nevertheless, they say this book is equal parts entertaining and emotional. Readers praised this autobiography for being real and honest with its readers.

No.4

Malala YousafzaiI Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

Reference price
$13.34

Best for Learning About a Young Education Rights Activist

Pros:

  • Chronologically presents events, making it easy to follow the story
  • The audiobook contains Malala reading her famous speech in the United Nations
  • Discusses activism to fight for the right to girls' education

Cons:

  • Contains heavy subject matter

Because of her bravery to speak out against the Taliban, Malala suffered a gunshot to the face at the age of 15. After a week in a coma, she awakened with an even stronger determination to fight for the right to girls' education. This is an inspiring autobiography about how a brave voice can make a difference.


Some readers said that the book has a slow start. Nevertheless, people who are passionate about human rights will find themselves drawn to this book. Readers praised this autobiography for being easily comprehensible and having a profound message.

No.5

Stanley TucciTaste: My Life Through Food

Taste: My Life Through Food Image 1
Source:amazon.com
Reference price
$14.00
Reference price
$14.00

Best for Reading About Food, Family and Film

Pros:

  • It's not a cookbook, but does include recipes
  • Has humorous writing style
  • Discusses foodie films
  • Described as a charming and heartwarming memoir

Cons:

  • No index compiles the recipes
  • Some reviewers don't appreciate the occasional political commentary

Stanley Tucci is an award-winning actor who grew up in an Italian-American family. In his autobiography, he shares the dishes that he grew up with along with his foodie projects. He lets readers in on some of his best food-related movie projects and even teaches a few recipes.


Some readers were a bit disappointed that there were no pictures in the book! They also commented on the book's tendency to be verbose. However, readers enjoyed the book's discussion of food and films. They agreed that it was a very entertaining and mouthwatering read.

No.6

Michelle ZaunerCrying in H Mart

Reference price
$15.95

Best Story About Grief, Healing, and Identity

Pros:

  • Contains discussions on identity
  • Touching mother and daughter story
  • Talks about Asian-American culture
  • Includes family photos

Cons:

  • It's emotionally heavy and not considered a light read


Singer-songwriter Michelle Zauner touches readers with her heartfelt story about loss and identity. After losing her mother to cancer at the age of 25, she begins to reminisce about her childhood and reflects upon what this means for her future and her identity as an Asian-American musician.


Readers commented that this book is a melancholy read and some wished for lighter moments. However, they agreed that this is a moving story that was very personal to the author. They appreciated how grief was honestly dealt with in the book.

No.7

Trevor NoahBorn a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

Reference price
$13.02

Best Story on Coming-of-Age in the Midst of Apartheid

Pros:

  • The autobiography has an entertaining writing style
  • It is about the author's life but also about South African history

Cons:

  • According to readers, it is a little bit repetitive

Comedian and late-night TV host Trevor Noah recounts the challenges of his early childhood, growing up in South African society in the middle of apartheid. It mixes humor with deep, moving personal stories.


However, some reviewers wished there was more discussion on the history of South Africa. Nevertheless, the author manages to balance lightheartedness with some emotion-heavy content. Readers loved the author's witty writing style and his sense of humor. They also said that the book drives home important messages.

No.8

Rob BurrowToo Many Reasons to Live

Reference price
$16.95

Best for a Story on Never Giving Up

Pros:

  • Inspirational story on fighting through illness
  • Talks about the author's perseverance to become successful in pro rugby

Cons:

  • Contains serious discussions on illness
  • Reviewers say a lot of it is about rugby, which may not interest non-fans

Being one of the most successful rugby players in the world, Rob Burrow inspired his fans with his iron will and perseverance despite his illness. Being forced to retire at the age of 37 due to motor neuron disease, he made it evident that he was not going down without a fight. His story will inspire readers that come across his story.


Readers were touched by the story and generally found it to be a well-written autobiography. They loved that it discussed and raised awareness on motor neuron disease. They also said that they have found some of the best lessons about life while reading Rob Burrow's journey.

No.9

Sonia SotomayorMy Beloved World

Reference price
$14.10

Best for an Inspiring Testament to the Power of Self-Belief

Pros:

  • Humor that balances the more serious topics
  • Includes political discussions and insights from the author
  • It is also a coming-of-age story

Cons:

  • Does not go in-depth on the author's career

In this autobiography, Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic and third woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court, shares her personal journey. She weaves an inspiring tale of a girl from the Bronx working her way to the top of the judicial system. This humorous story inspires, enlightens, and entertains.


Some readers pointed out that they wanted more details on her career. Despite this, reviewers agree that it is an inspiring autobiography. Readers were impressed by the honesty and personal presentation of Sotomayor’s life story in a way that connects with the reader and paints a vivid account of her self-determination.

No.10

Andre AgassiOpen

Reference price
$14.23

Best Inside Look on the Life of a Tennis Champion

Pros:

  • Tackles themes beyond sports, such as coming-of-age
  • Discusses the author's life of fame and some pitfalls of being a celebrity

Cons:

  • Does not delve into the sport of tennis too much

Andre Agassi is an Olympic gold medalist and a former number one tennis player. He tells of his difficult journey to success, the highs and lows of stardom, and his complicated relationship with fame. This book is an emotional read with powerful tales for tennis fans and non-sports fans alike.


Some readers criticized the book's early chapters for being repetitive. Nevertheless, his smart and funny personality elevates the book to must-read status. Most reviewers found that Andre’s persona shines throughout the book.

Are You a Reading Addict? We Understand, and We Can Help!

Now that you've got your next autobiography read picked out, how about adding a few more titles? Check out these helpful links to find more great stuff for bibliophiles.

Amazon's Best Selling Biographies

If you want to check out more titles, here are some of Amazon's bestsellers to get you started!

Top 5 Autobiographies

No. 1: Jonathan Van NessOver the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love

No. 2: Michelle ObamaBecoming

No. 3: Elton JohnMe

No. 4: Malala YousafzaiI Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

No. 5: Stanley TucciTaste: My Life Through Food

View Full Ranking

The descriptions of each product are referenced from content available on manufacturer, brand, and e-commerce sites.
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