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The Best Memoirs of 2020 Are Too Good Not to Read

best new memoirs 2020
Design By Morgan McMullen

Yes, everything sucks right now and most of us are reading fiction to escape the current reality we're living in, but learning about someone else's reality technically counts as an escape too...right? The incredible new memoirs of 2020 range from heartbreaking (see: Stephanie Danler's Stray) to juicy (yes, I'm talking about Jessica Simpson's Open Book), giving us an inside look into these authors' lives and sharing lessons that we can apply to our own. Take a deep breath, then dive into these new and upcoming releases, ahead.

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'Open Book' By Jessica Simpson

This isn't your typical celebrity memoir. Jessica Simpson's Open Book is truly an open book (!), where she discusses everything from her relationship with ex John Mayer to her marriage and divorce from Nick Lachey. 

Available February 4, 2020

2 of 23
'Recollections of My Nonexistence' By Rebecca Solnit

Rebecca Solnit, author of Men Explain Things to Me, shares her formation as a writer and feminist in 1980s San Francisco, where women were still far from being accepted into society. 

Available March 10, 2020

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'Untamed' By Glennon Doyle

Bestselling author Glennon Doyle's Untamed is a beautiful memoir from the activist and speaker that explores lessons of motherhood, family, and divorce. 

Available March 10, 2020

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'More Myself: A Journey' By Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys

Experience Alicia Keys like you never have before in her memoir, More Myself, which takes readers on a journey from the artist's days growing up in Hell's Kitchen and Harlem all the way to stardom as she grapples with acknowledging her self worth and letting go of perfection. 

Available March 31, 2020

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'Hell and Other Destinations' By Madeleine Albright

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who was the first female to hold the position, knew she could do anything she wanted when she left the office in 2001. Now, she's reflecting on her decades-long career in her new memoir, Hell and Other Destinations. 

Available April 14, 2020

6 of 23
'There I Am' By Ruthie Lindsey

After she was tragically hit by an ambulance at 17 years old, Ruthie Lindsey was given a five percent chance to live. She defied the odds and survived, but not without pain and heartache that has prompted her to eventually find joy again. 

Available April 21, 2020

7 of 23
'Girl Decoded' By Rana el Kaliouby

Egyptian-American scientist Rana el Kaliouby was raised by one of the first female computer programmers in the Middle East and a father who valued tradition. Still, that didn't stop her from moving to America and pursuing her goal of bringing humanity—facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language—to technology. Girl Decoded chronicles Kaliouby's journey of founding a prominent software company, and learning about her own humanity along the way.

Available April 21, 2020

8 of 23
'Sigh, Gone' By Phuc Tran

Phuc Tran's memoir, Sigh, Gone: A Misfit's Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight to Fit In, is a refreshingly honest depiction of growing up in a small Pennsylvania town as an immigrant and trying to feel less alone in the world. 

Available April 21, 2020

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'The Rural Diaries' By Hilarie Burton Morgan

Hilarie Burton Morgan, best known as Peyton Sawyer in One Tree Hill, writes an honest depiction of how she transformed from actress to farmer in upstate New York, reconnecting to the land she grew up in and navigating motherhood. 

Available May 5, 2020

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'Incomparable' By Brie and Nikki Bella

The Bella twins are back! In Incomparable, Brie and Nikki Bella reflect on their journey from becoming WWE stars to founding companies like Birdiebee, Nicole + Brizee Beauty, and Bonita Bonita Wine. Oh, and they're both expecting babies. 

Available May 5, 2020

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'The Chiffon Trenches' By André Leon Talley
$17.89 (36% off)

People in the fashion industry couldn't wait to get their hands on André Leon Talley's memoir, The Chiffon Trenches, which chronicles the iconic Vogue fashion editor's decades-long career and his relationship with prominent figures like Anna Wintour, Andy Warhol, and Karl Lagerfeld. 

Available May 19, 2020

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'Stray' By Stephanie Danler

Stephanie Danler's Stray shares the heartbreaking story of the Sweetbitter author's life that ends up taking a turn when she's forced to return to Southern California. There she confronts her past and her relationships with her mother, who struggled with alcoholism and suffered a brain aneurysm, and her father, who abandoned her family when she was three.

Available May 19, 2020

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that Danler’s father had a brain aneurysm. It was her mother who suffered the aneurysm. We also used the word handicapped to describe the condition instead of disabled. We apologize for both errors.

13 of 23
'This Is What America Looks Like' By Ilhan Omar

U.S. House Representative Ilhan Omar documents her journey from fleeing Somalia to becoming one of the first Muslim women elected to congress in 2018. 

Available May 26, 2020

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'Fairest' By Meredith Talusan

Meredith Talusan takes us through her life growing up as a boy in a rural Philippine village and later immigrating to the United States, where she transitioned to become a woman. In her powerful memoir, she navigates race, class, sexuality, and how she fits into it all. If you read any of the books on this list, make it this one. 

Available May 26, 2020

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'Empty' By Susan Burton

In her fiercely honest memoir, Susan Burton explores her relationship with food and how both anorexia and binge-eating shaped her life. 

Available June 23, 2020

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'I Tried to Change So You Don't Have To' By Loni Love
$19.58 (30% off)

As Marie Claire's Entertainment Director Maxwell Losgar perfectly puts it, Loni Love's writing is "written as someone who has long been wise beyond her years." Here, the actress/comedian/television host shares how she learned to embrace her flaws and take control of her destiny. 

Available June 23, 2020

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'The Beauty in Breaking' By Michele Harper

Michele Harper, a female African-American emergency room physician working in a profession predominantly filled with white males, reflects on her journey of self-healing often found through her patients. 

Available July 7, 2020

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'A Very Punchable Face' By Colin Jost

Honestly? The award for the best memoir title goes to Colin Jost's A Very Punchable Face, where Jost tells behind-the-scenes stories about his days on the set of SNL...and pretty much everything else.

Available July 14, 2020 

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'I Have Something to Tell You' By Chasten Buttigieg

Chasten Buttigieg, husband to 2020 former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, opens up about his life growing up in rural Michigan and how he's healed after coming out to the world.

Available September 1, 2020

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'What Can I Do?' By Jane Fonda

You may remember Jane Fonda, icon, getting arrested multiple times over the past year for hosting weekly climate change protests in front of the Capitol. Now, she's telling her story in her new memoir, What Can I Do? My Path from Climate Despair to Action, in hopes of inspiring all of us to pay attention to the most existential threat our planet faces. 

Available September 8, 2020

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'Once I Was You' By Maria Hinojosa

Award-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa chronicles the history of U.S. immigration policy while sharing her own experiences through her family and reporting over the years.  

Available September 15, 2020

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'One Life' By Megan Rapinoe

Not only is she a World Cup champion, Megan Rapinoe is also a fierce champion of equal pay and LGBTQ rights. In her upcoming memoir, One Life, she documents her fight for social justice and the path she's taken to get to where she is today. 

Available November 10, 2020

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'Survival of the Thickest' By Michelle Buteau

Michelle Buteau, who frequently made appearances on Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams' 2 Dope Queens podcast, is set to release Survival of the Thickest—a collection of essays where she reflects on her life growing up "Caribbean, Catholic, and thick" in New Jersey, and essentially every life decision after that. All of it has made her into the successful comedian and actress she is today. 

Available December 8, 2020


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