See some of the best books – old and new – that recount the real lives of influential people.
The past few weeks have been crazy when it comes to memoirs. With so many new great reads published recently, it can be tough choosing what to read next.
From Brian Johnson’s legendary life story to Tom Felton’s behind-the-scenes friendships with fellow Harry Potter cast members, there are so many real-life adventures and escapades to experience between the pages.
It's impossible to narrow down great memoirs to just new releases, however, so we have also called out other notable reads that deserve a spot on your shelf, featuring unique and inspiring voices from all walks of life.
9 great memoirs to read October 2022
KING Hau Latukefu, Christopher Riley
Recounting his unique journey, Australian hip-hop star Hau Latukefu charts his musical career. With a burning desire to do something different, he formed Koolism – a seminal act in Australian hip-hop that kickstarted his decades-long career. From his humble beginnings as a promising junior rugby player to reflections on family, faith and tragedy, this memoir shows a new side of the ARIA-winning musical artist.
The Lives of Brian Brian Johnson
AC/DC fans will adore The Lives of Brian, which tells the story of the band’s legendary front man – in his own words. Just as entertaining as watching him perform, Brian’s memoir follows his rollercoaster of a life. From the decades spent trying to make it to the life-changing audition that landed him a spot in AC/DC, to his hearing loss and triumphant return with the 2020 smash-hit Power Up, this book answers every question you’ve ever had about the rock icon that is Brian Johnson.
Terry Pratchett: A Life With Footnotes Rob Wilkins
At the time of his death in 2015, award-winning author Sir Terry Pratchett was working on a different kind of story: His own. Departing from his typical realm of fantasy and science fiction, the author was penning his memoir about life as a world-renowned author. Following his untimely death from Alzheimer’s disease, the project was taken up by his former assistant and friend, Rob Wilkins. Drawing on extensive memories of Terry along with those of his friends, family, fans, and colleagues, Rob recounts Terry’s early childhood, rise to literary superstardom, and his eventual battle with ‘The Embuggerance’ of Alzheimer’s.
The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man Paul Newman
In 2008, Paul Newman set out to tell his story. Initially tasking his best friend with interviewing the people who had shaped his life, Newman heard what they had to say. . . and then dictated his own version of events. Finally, the long-awaited memoir is here, featuring wonderful stories and recollections from his family, friends, and famous colleagues. In extraordinary detail, Newman recounts his fascinating life, from troubled beginnings to Hollywood heartthrob, and the ups and downs that dotted his path along the way.
Beyond the Wand Tom Felton
Harry Potter fans, take note. This is the first and only behind-the-scenes Harry Potter memoir from one of the film’s biggest stars, Tom Felton. In his warm, familiar – and oftentimes funny – voice, Tom recalls the incredibly unique career path he’s built over the last few decades. When his early rise to fame catapulted him into the limelight, Tom went from being a normal twelve-year-old to one of the world’s most recognisable film stars. In addition to sharing Tom’s life story, the book also gives an inside look into the filming of the unforgettable movies and the lasting friendships he made during ten years as part of the franchise.
Logan Martin Logan Martin
Join Olympic BMX rider, Logan Martin on a journey to gold. In this memoir, Logan shares his inspiring journey from the local skateparks of Logan City, Australia to the Tokyo Olympics. In this testament to dedication and self-discipline, Logan provides an honest look into his life, BMX career, and the triumphs and challenges of professional athleticism. His smooth confidence – alongside his many tattoos – has won Logan fans worldwide, but the journey doesn’t stop here. As Logan peels back the layers, one revelation is clear: He’s coming back for more.
The All of It Cadance Bell
Published in July 2022, The All of It is still a relatively new memoir deserving of a spot on your TBR list. Redefining the classic Aussie notion of ‘she’ll be right’, this memoir details what happened when Cadance stepped into her true self. With creativity and spirit, this coming-of-gender memoir will leave you understanding a little more about trans people, rural Australia, millennials, and the beautiful contradictions in our world.
My Story Julia Gillard
As the first female prime minister of Australia, Julia Gillard has had a unique vantage point into what it takes to be a leader. Written immediately following her leadership, this memoir recounts what it was really like to be a woman leader in contemporary politics. With fresh material and honest insight, she peels back the curtain to give readers a glimpse into her time as prime minister. Julia Gillard also published a new book in October 2022, Not Now, Not Ever, which explores the history and culture of misogyny and gender in media and politics.
Becoming Michelle Obama
First published in 2018, this is another older read that is nevertheless worth delving into. In Becoming, Michelle Obama, the former First Lady of the United States offers a mesmerising reflection on her life and the experiences that have shaped her. With honesty, wit, and signature warmth, Michelle Obama not only shares her story but also inspires readers to do the same. If you’ve already read Becoming, you will be glad to hear that she has a new book coming out next month. The Light We Carry is currently available for pre-order ahead of its 16 November 2022 release date.
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