From celebrity tales to success stories full of life advice, these memoirs and nonfiction books will give every reader the inspiration and skills to tackle life’s most difficult moments.

Thousands of you voted in our annual She Reads Awards. Here are the best memoirs and nonfiction books of 2020, as voted on by our readers.

The finalists for Best Memoir/Non-Fiction Book of the Year are:

Open Book by Jessica Simpson 

Five years ago, Jessica Simpson was supposed to write a dishonest guide to live your best life. Now, Simpson shares her truth with herself and readers about a life that blessed her with success and compassion but burdened her with an incessant need to please. In Open Book, Simpson shares things she’s never done before. 

Craigslist Confessional by Helene Dea Bala

When Helene Dea Bala posted an ad on craigslist promising to listen to people, without judgment, without fear, her life changed forever. Craigslist Confessional is a story of 40 of these accounts of the common human experience, ranging from tragic, to hopeful, and all equally heartfelt. 

Eat a Peach by David Chang 

Alone, depressed, and confused, Chang left the states for Japan after graduating from college, unaware that he was about to change the restaurant industry forever. After experiencing a manic episode, Chang began his path to success and candidly chronicles the luck and hardships he faced to reach the top of his profession. 

Here for it by R. Eric Thomas

R. Eric Thomas never felt that he could fit in. His memoir examines the question of why bother with the future? While simultaneously reimagining what it means to be normal in an ever-changing world. Through stories about his Christianity, sexuality, race, and career, Thomas’s memoir will provide answers to all who have once felt outcast. 

High Achiever by Tiffany Jenkins

Despite her past as the high school cheerleading captain and having a boyfriend who is a cop, Tiffany Jenkins suffered a story of opioid addiction that landed her 120 days in a Florida Jail. Her memoir covers blackmail, life-changing decisions, and a path to recovery that is inspiring and stigma-breaking. 

The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

Karla’s story about what it means to be undocumented in America goes beyond the political punditry of the media. She tells her own story as well as that of dozen others across America, from Flint to Florida to Manhatten. Her stories teach what it truly means to be isolated, alone, and the strength to be American. 

Memorial Drive by Nathasha Trethewey

At 19 years old on Memorial Drive in Atlanta in 1985, Natasha’s life was turned upside down. She takes readers through the artistic journey of love, loss, life, death, and grief that followed the fateful day when her former stepfather shot and killed her mother. Now a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Tretheway explores how her pain shaped her into the woman she is today.

The Beauty in Breaking by Michele Harper

In Philadelphia, Michele Harper is a newly single Ivy-league graduate African American woman, about to enter work at a hospital that is predominantly male and white. As Harper embarks on her career as an ER Physician, she learns what it means to be compassionate, and the importance of focusing on the future while making peace with the past.

The winner of the 2020 She Reads Award for Best Memoir/Non-Fiction is:

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

Doyle shares the secret about how she quit following expectations of the world in order to follow her own intuition. She shares with readers how to set boundaries, and finally put themselves first. 

Click here to see the rest of the She Reads Best Books of 2020 Winners

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