12 Autobiographies That Will Change Your Life


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They say some books can have massive effects on your life. Here are some true stories that will surely be your Smart Reads for Summer 2015:

Yes Please – Amy Poehler

Amy Poehler remains laugh-out-loud funny and relatable in her first book, detailing her hilarious exploits as an SNL star, mom and improv actor. It’s funny – we swear.

Bossypants – Tina Fey

Tina Fey, just like her best friend Amy Poehler, has her own autobiography about stress dreams, dressing up as Sarah Palin in the same room as the real Sarah Palin and being called “bossy”.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) – Mindy Kaling

Yes, this is the third book written by a comedian in a row (if you’re looking for more serious literary material, keep reading; it’s down below). Mindy Kaling tells us about her tweenage angst, being scared of riding bikes and working at The Office.

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban – Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai is a women’s rights activist who was shot by the Taliban for speaking out and going to school when girls were not allowed to do so. She’s also 17 years old. Find out more about this world-changing young woman who fought back when terrorists tried to stop her from learning.

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Night – Elie Wiesel

This terrifying but true tale shows us the horrors of the concentration camps. Elie Wiesel relives his teenage years where he saw babies slaughtered en masse, marched miles in a blizzard to a concentration camp, and watched hundreds of his fellow men and women die.

The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank

Anne Frank’s diary details hiding from Nazis in an attic in Holland. It tells of fear and the constant possibility of being shipped off to the concentration camps. Anne Frank shows us wisdom beyond her years in her tale of persecution.

The Story of My Life – Helen Keller

Helen Keller was rendered mute and deaf as a baby. She tells of the struggle to function on her own as a child, and the simple joys she found in life. Helen Keller, lacking any self-pity, overcame barriers to become one of the most celebrated women of the twentieth century.

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou’s incredible memoir gives insight into a troubled American childhood. It speaks of abandonment and loneliness, and of terror and violence. Co-written by Oprah Winfrey, this personal tale is both heart-wrenching and extensively poetic.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail – Cheryl Strayed

Sometimes an impulsive choice can have good consequences. At least, that’s what Cheryl Strayed had to do when her life fell apart at age 22. By hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, Strayed put her life back together and in her book, tells a great story of strength and healing.

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Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert lived the boring American lifestyle. Instead, she broke out of the trappings of her regular life and committed herself to learning from the people of India, Indonesia, and Italy. She discovers who she is and wants on this amazing journey, which has now been turned into a major motion picture.

#GIRLBOSS – Sophia Amoruso

Who would have thought a dumpster-diving petty thief would become one of the most influential, disruptive CEOs of the fashion-technology industry? Sophia Amoruso surely didn’t. The CEO of NastyGal lets us in on industry secrets and her tips to being successful.

Lean In – Sheryl Sandberg  

Sheryl Sandberg, one of the most powerful women in the technology industry, tells us her story and teaches us how to become leaders so we can tell our stories too. Lean In is the go-to book for American woman who wants to make it in her industry.


For more Smart Reads on books and writing check out these awesome articles: Ten Summer Reads To Get You Excited For Summer, 4 Tips to Improve Your Academic Writing, and Book Review: If You Find This Letter by Hannah Brencher.

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Meghna Mehta

Meghna Mehta is a high school student hailing from the great state of New Jersey. She is an aspiring engineer and is (of course) a feminist. In her downtime, she enjoys watching The Mindy Project and Game of Thrones.