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The Best Memoirs of 2020 From 'Untamed' to 'The Meaning of Mariah Carey'

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 life-changing (see: Glennon Doyle's Untamed) 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 the best memoirs of the year, ahead.

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'Children of the Land' By Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo gives readers an intimate look at what it's like to live as an undocumented immigrant in the United States, speaking truth to power about our country's broken system. 

Available January 28, 2020

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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 Simpson discusses everything from her relationship with ex John Mayer to her marriage and divorce from Nick Lachey. 

Available February 4, 2020

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'Here for It' By R. Eric Thomas

R. Eric Thomas is one of the most hilarious writers around, further proven in his collection of heartfelt memoir-in-essays, Here for It: Or, How to Save Your Soul in America, about growing up as an outsider and discovering what self-acceptance truly means.

Available February 18, 2020

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'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 identity, motherhood, family, and divorce. Do yourself a favor and order this one immediately.

Available March 10, 2020

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'More Myself: A Journey' By 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

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'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

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'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

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'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 an immigrant in a small Pennsylvania town 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 on while 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. 

Available May 5, 2020

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'The Chiffon Trenches' By André Leon Talley

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 

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'This Is What America Looks Like' By Ilhan Omar

In This Is What America Looks Like, U.S. 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 their life growing up as a boy in a rural Philippine village and later immigrating to the United States, where they transitioned to become a woman. In Talusan's powerful memoir, they navigate race, class, sexuality, and how they fit into it all. 

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

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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'Memorial Drive' By Natasha Trethewey

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natasha Trethewey's Memorial Drive recounts her lived experience after her former stepfather shot and killed her mother when Trethewey was 19 years old, reflecting on how her loss led her to become the person she is today.

Available July 28, 2020

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'Grand' By Sara Schaefer

Writer and comedian Sara Schaefer's memoir, Grand, centers on a trip to the Grand Canyon with her family, which forces her to reflect on her childhood and the scandal that forever changed their lives.

Available August 11, 2020

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'Live in Love' By Lauren Akins

Fans of country star Thomas Rhett and his wife Lauren Akins will love Akins's Live in Love, which gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at the couple's seemingly perfect relationship and how Akins lives a life of purpose. 

Available August 18, 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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'Carry' By Toni Jensen

Toni Jensen's powerful memoir, Carry: A Memoir of Survival on Stolen Land, demonstrates what it's like to live as an Indigenous person in America, subjected to gun violence, racism, and a cultural landscape that has yet to correct its historical injustices. 

Available September 8, 2020

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'Everything Beautiful in Its Time' By Jenna Bush Hager

In Everything Beautiful in Its Time, Jenna Bush Hager shares personal stories and lessons she's learned from both her maternal and paternal grandparentsthe latter Americans know as former First Lady Barbara Bush and President George H. W. Bush. 

Available September 8, 2020

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'What Can I Do?' By Jane Fonda

You may remember Jane Fonda, icon, getting arrested multiple times last 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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'Find the Helpers' By Fred Guttenberg

Anybody who has tragically lost a loved one will find comfort in Parkland dad Fred Guttenberg's Find the Helpers, where he shares how he's found purpose after losing his 14-year-old daughter to gun violence and his brother to 9/11-induced pancreatic cancer within a span of four months. 

Available September 22, 2020

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'The Meaning of Mariah Carey' By Mariah Carey

Introducing Mariah Carey's debut memoir, where the icon shares an unfiltered recollection of her life with the hopes that readers finally understand who she really is. Yes, it's as good as you think it will be.

Available September 29, 2020

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