It seems that just about anyone can write a memoir these days, but for a celebrity to write a book that’s powerful enough to hold you captive, move you to tears or have you in fits of uncontrollable laughter is no easy feat.
These are some of the best celebrity memoirs written in the past decade, and with everything from raw and heart-wrenching books from Oscar-winning actors and musicians to uplifting and funny novels from comedians and well-known personalities, there’s something for everyone on this list.
These 12 compelling memoirs are sure to sweep you off your feet while taking you behind the velvet rope and into the lives of Hollywood’s elite.
Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey kept a journal for 35 years which forms the foundation of this intimate and engaging memoir. McConaughey doesn’t hold back in sharing stories about his successes and failures, joys and sorrows, things that have made him marvel, and things that have made him laugh out loud. This book is many things, but ultimately, “It’s a love letter. To life,” McConaughey says.
Becoming is the memoir of the former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. An instant New York Times bestseller and one of the most successful memoirs in all of publishing history, with more than two million copies sold in the first 15 days. According to The New York Times, as of November 2020, the book had “sold 14 million copies worldwide.”
Obama gets personal in this memoir, sharing her story of growing up on the South Side of Chicago and her education at Harvard Law School and Princeton University. She talks about meeting Barack at the Sidley Austin Law Firm, following him on his journey to presidency, and becoming the woman she is today.
One of the most well-known actresses in the world shares her brush with death in this emotionally charged memoir. In The Beauty of Living Twice, Stone chronicles her efforts to rebuild her life and writes about her slow road back to wholeness and health after a massive stroke that left her with a 1% rate of survival. She describes the strength and meaning she found in her children, and in her humanitarian efforts. Ultimately, Stone shares how she fought her way back to find not only her truth, but her family’s reconciliation and love.
Released 10 years ago, Bossy Pants by Tina Fey is still topping the charts as one of the best celebrity memoirs, and one of my favourite books ever written. From her youthful days on Saturday Night Live and her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon, Fey reveals all in this book, and proves what we’ve all suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.
Jessica Simpson has been in the public eye for almost 30 years. In this honest memoir, Simpson truly is an open book, leaning into her vulnerability and sharing stories of growing up in 1980’s Texas, where she was sexually abused by the daughter of a family friend. She talks about the pressures of supporting her family as a teenager, enduring an emotionally abusive relationship with musician John Mayer, being body shamed, and turning to alcohol as a coping mechanism. Jessica now has a billion-dollar apparel line and is married to professional football star Eric Johnson.
The Princess Diarist is the third memoir Fisher penned, in addition to four novels. It was her final book, as she passed away five weeks after its release. An absolute must-read for any Star Wars fan, The Princess Diarist is an intimate, hilarious, and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time — and what developed behind the scenes, including a secret affair with co-star Harrison Ford.
One of the funniest books I’ve read this year comes from Canadian actor and producer Seth Rogen. Yearbook is a collection of funny personal essays chronicling Rogen’s early years growing up in Vancouver, doing stand-up comedy as a teenager, and attending Jewish summer camp. “I also talk about some of my adventures in Los Angeles, and surely say things about other famous people that will create a wildly awkward conversation for me at a party one day,” Rogen says. I highly recommend the audiobook for this one, featuring Seth and over 80 other narrators!
Best known for her roles in American Beauty, American Pie, and Six Feet Under, Mena Suvari’s new memoir is breathtaking. The Great Piece is a heartbreaking coming-of-age story in which Suvari lost herself to sex, drugs and bad, often abusive relationships even as she became famous. She thinks of this book as a timeless story of female empowerment and redemption. The Great Piece proves that, no matter how hopeless it may seem, there’s always a light at the end.
More than one million copies have sold of this brilliant New York Times Bestseller by South African comedian Trevor Noah. Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy and his unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to his growing into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. This is a truly unforgettable memoir, and another one I recommend listening to on audio.
In this deeply personal memoir, model and actress Demi Moore discusses her childhood, relationships and personal struggles. Inside Out includes stories of her mother’s first attempted suicide and the time Moore was raped at the age of 15. She talks in depth about her road to signing a contract with Elite Model Management and becoming an actress. There are also stories about her marriages to actors Bruce Willis and Ashton Kutcher, as well as the heartbreaking story of the baby she miscarried while married to Kutcher.
Reginald Dwight was born on March 25, 1947. He was a shy boy who grew up in the London suburb of Pinner and dreamed of becoming a pop star. By the age of 23, he was on his first tour, taking America by storm in skin-tight silver hot pants and a sequinned T-shirt. Elton John had arrived. In this heartfelt memoir, John describes his depression and suicide attempts as well as drug addiction and his prostate cancer diagnosis. He also writes about finding love with David Furnish and becoming a father.
Sally Field is one of the most celebrated, beloved, and enduring actors of our time. In Pieces is powerful and unforgettable, and a memoir penned with raw honesty and authenticity. Field includes stories of her highs and lows in Hollywood and invites readers into the truths of her lifelong relationships, including her two marriages that ended in divorce. This memoir is intimate, profoundly moving, and above all else, an inspiring and important account of life as a woman in the second half of the 20th century.