8 Inspiring Memoirs You May Not Have Heard Of

Real life stories are among the most inspiring out there. There is so much to learn from each individual human experience, and memoirs remind us that each person we meet can teach us to grow in a new way. Here are eight super inspiring memoirs you may not have heard of, but need to check out!

Too Much of Not Enough by Jane Pollak



“In vivid, intelligent prose, Jane Pollak chronicles her journey from quiet, people-pleasing good girl to the successful artist, entrepreneur, and woman living her best life that she is today. Without melodrama or self-pity, she captures a universal yearning for true happiness. She will keep you turning pages and rooting for her in her quest to find it.”—Susan Shapiro best-selling author of Five Men Who Broke My Heart and The Byline Bible

Inspiring and deeply relatable, Pollak’s memoir is a primer on how to be the proactive agent of one’s own best path.



“A gripping and beautiful book about the power of love in the face of unimaginable loss.”—Cheryl Strayed

A moving, transcendent memoir of loss and a stunning exploration of marriage in the wake of unimaginable grief.


Saturday’s Child: A Daughter’s Memoir by Deborah Burns



“In her searingly honest memoir, Deborah Burns unpacks what it means to be the daughter of a mistaken-for-a-movie-star mother who refuses to be defeated by life, no matter its disappointments. At once painful and uplifting, and rich with period detail, you will fall in love with both generations.”
―Sally Koslow, international best-selling author of Another Side of Paradise

In vivid, lyrical prose, Saturday’s Child tells the story of Deborah’s eccentric upbringing and her quest in midlife, long after her parents’ death, to uncover the truth about her mother and their complex relationship.


Shortest Way Home: One Mayor’s Challenge and a Model for America’s Future by Peter Buttigieg



“Buttigieg’s Shortest Way Home: One Mayor’s Challenge and a Model for America’s Future (Liveright) is the best written of all these books [by 2020 presidential candidates]; it offers the most unembarrassed political hope; and it’s got the best love story…. Buttigieg’s stirring, honest, and often beautiful book is a story of how the people of South Bend rebuilt their Rust Belt city, and made it a better place, and it’s an argument for what it means to answer a calling, and why it’s important to ask, again and again, ‘what each of us owes to the country.’” —Jill Lepore, The New Yorker

Described by the Washington Post as “the most interesting mayor you’ve never heard of,” Pete Buttigieg, the thirty-seven-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has emerged as one of America’s most visionary politicians.

The Parrot’s Perch: A Memoir by Karen Keilt



“Keilt narrates an intense yet even-handed story of living under a dictatorship.” ―Publisher’s Weekly

Keilt tells the story of her life in Brazil―from her exclusive, upper-class lifestyle and dreams of Olympic medals to her turmoil-filled youth. Full of hints of a dark oligarchy in Brazil, corruption, crime, and military interference, The Parrot’s Perch is a searing, sometimes shocking true tale of suffering, struggle―and survival.

Beauty in the Broken Places: A Memoir of Love, Faith, and Resilience by Allison Pataki



“An inspiring, intimate memoir about faith, resilience and the tenacity of love.”—People

It’s a tale of a man’s road to recovery after a rare and life-threatening stroke, the shifting nature of marriage, and the struggle of loving through pain and finding joy in the broken places.


Love You Like the Sky by Dr. Sarah Neustadter



“Honest, poignant, and filled with hard-earned advice and healing strategies. Highly recommended for anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide and is struggling to find hope and purpose.”―Karen Meadows, author of Searching for Normal: The Story of a Girl Gone Too Soon

Love You Like the Sky is a companion guide and roadmap for supporting younger women and men through intense and complicated grief as an access point toward deeper transformation―shifting awareness from despair to beauty.





“A heart-rending story of a mother’s anguished journey to understand her daughter’s addiction. It indicts a treatment industry that often does more harm than good and a drug policy that fails to help parents save their children’s lives.”  ―Maia Szalavitz, New York Times best-selling author of Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction

A a meditation on a family’s grief, an intimate portrayal of a mother-daughter bond that endures, and an examination of how our nation is failing in its struggle with the opioid epidemic.