What is it like to navigate a world obsessed with outward beauty as a young woman with a severe facial disfigurement? The candid memoir Autobiography of a Face explores the toll – both physical and emotional – of multiple reconstructive surgeries. Ride through the hope and despair of a girl and then a young woman who wants nothing more than to be “normal,” but who will be anything but.

First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung recounts the dark details of the Khmer Rouge genocide as seen through the eyes of a child turned soldier.

The Glass Castle: A Memoir I’ve been meaning to read The Glass Castle since it landed on the New York Times Best Seller list shortly after it was published in 2005 – and remained firmly entrenched on that list for 100 weeks. I only recently finished reading the book or, rather, listening to the book …

It’s strange to find so much beauty in squalor, but that’s what “Angela’s Ashes” does for you. This aching memoir by Frank McCourt examines desperate poverty through the lens of a boy who is brighter than his surroundings in terms of brains but darker in terms of his “odd manner” and northern Irish looks. The …

These books and memoirs about losing a loved one helped me to laugh and cry through my grief. I hope they will help you, too. When my partner died of cancer, a fellow widower brought me a book that helped him through his own acute grief. He offered it in the hopes that it might …