Leah Smith's Favorite Memoirs & Autobiographies of Women

I seem to read memoirs/autobiographies in clumps.

You know how it goes... you’re reading about someone fabulous... and they mention someone so you want to read about them... anyway, here's a list of my favorite memoirs written by women.


Agatha Christie: An Autobiography

by Agatha Christie

Dame Christie provides lots of insight into her writing life, as well as her personal life — growing up at the end of the Victorian era, traveling with her second husband who was an archaeologist and many vignettes about the various people in her life. A must-read for any Christie fan.


Another Day in the Frontal Lobe: A Brain Surgeon Exposes Life on the Inside

by Katrina Firlik

Neurosurgeon Katrina Firlik touches on the history of neurosurgery, some of her cases and what it's like to be a woman in a specialty dominated by men. She conveys this all with language that the average layperson can understand. An excellent read.


Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

by Anne Frank

I read this when I was a girl, and it's one of those stories that never, ever leaves you. I re-read this book every few years, and it still gets me every single time. And every single time I want it all to turn out so differently for this amazing girl and her incredible family and friends.

This book also appears on Books for Dealing With Your Challenges


Not a Happy Camper: A Memoir

by Mindy Schneider

The author writes about a rite of passage for so many of us — her time at sleep-away camp in the 1970's. Both humorous and poignant, memories of my own camping experiences (Camp Riamo, Farmington, PA) came flooding back to me.


Safe Passage

by Ida Cook

This memoir was first published in 1950 under the title "We Followed Our Stars". The "We" in the title were Ida and her sister Louise. These ardent opera lovers saved their meager salaries so they could travel throughout Europe pursuing their musical passion where they ultimately ended up befriending a number of opera luminaries. One of these stars, in turn, asked the sisters to help a Jewish friend escape from Germany and that's how they began their work of smuggling Jews out of Germany in the years before World War II. A gripping read about two amazing women.


Soaring Above Setbacks: The Autobiography of Janet Harmon Bragg, African-American Aviator

by Janet Harmon Bragg

Janet Harmon Bragg was the first African-American woman to earn a full commercial pilot's license in the United States. This book recounts her life and her struggles to become a pilot in 1930's America.


Under a Wing: A Memoir

by Reeve Lindbergh

Reeve Lindbergh is the youngest daughter of aviation legend Charles Lindberg and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. She's an author of several novels and children's books. Here the author offers a glimpse of what it was/is like being the daughter of a both a famous, controversial father and her author mother.