Every year thousands of our readers vote for their favorite books of the year in the She Reads Awards. Find out more about the books that were nominated and see which book was voted the Best Memoir of 2022.

The winner of the Best Memoir of 2022 is . . .

Finding Me by Viola Davis

In this honest and heartfelt memoir, renowned actress Viola Davis opens up about her personal life, her career, and the journey that helped her discover who she truly is. Starting in a small apartment in Rhode Island, Davis’s story follows the events that led her to the stage in New York City, where she found her voice and her purpose. Davis’s memoir is a poignant reflection centred around self-love and the power of expression, creativity, and authenticity.

The nominees for Best Memoir of 2022 are:

Bomb Shelter by Mary Laura Philpott

Early in life, Mary Philpott developed an interesting habit of always being on the lookout for danger. As she got older and became a mom, this instinct only intensified. However, Mary didn’t let it debilitate her; in fact, she used it to be optimistic. As long as she kept an eye out, she could keep her family safe. But when a tragedy leaves her son unconscious, her whole outlook completely changes. This book looks at what it means to face your fears, especially when what you are most afraid of becomes part of your darkest reality.


Funny Farm by Laurie Zaleski

Running an animal rescue was Annie McNulty’s dream, and her daughter Laurie was always determined to make it come true. But soon after purchasing a 15-acre farm in South Jersey where she planned to relocate her mother and all of her rescues, Annie passed away. Heartbroken, Laurie decided to carry on her mother’s legacy and established the Funny Farm Animal Rescue for abused and neglected animals. A touching memoir about strong women, shared promises, fulfilled dreams, and resilient rescues, Funny Farm is as inspiring as it is entertaining.

I‘m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

This unflinchingly honest, humorous, and heartbreaking memoir explores Jennette McCurdy’s life as a child star and her complicated relationship with her mother. Since she was six years old, McCurdy’s mother was determined to make her a success. Amongst other things, this meant heavily restricting Jennette’s diet, encouraging her to endure extensive makeovers, and reading her diaries and personal emails. After being cast in hit Nickelodeon series, iCarly, Jennette’s mother was overjoyed, while Jennette’s mental health began to deteriorate. Suffering from anxiety, eating disorders, addictions, and unhealthy relationships, things continued to get worse when Jennette’s mother died of cancer. Now, after quitting acting and starting therapy, Jennette shares her own journey of resilience, healing, and self-discovery.

In Love by Amy Bloom

Amy Bloom knew something was amiss when her husband Brian retired early from a job he loved, isolated himself from his friends, and started frequently referring to things that happened long ago. Shortly after noticing these changes, an MRI confirmed that Brian had Alzheimer’s disease. Determined to take control of his life’s end and preserve his dignity, Brian and Amy decided to go to Dignitas, an organization that would allow Brian to die peacefully on his own terms. This raw, heartbreaking memoir beautifully captures the power of love, the reality of loss, and the beauty of everything in between.

Left on Tenth by Delia Ephron

Delia couldn’t catch a break; she lost her sister and husband to cancer back-to-back. When she decided to let go of her husband’s landline one day, all hell broke loose, and she found herself in internet limbo. Delia decided to seek solace in writing, and her work caught the attention of recently widowed Peter. As they began to commiserate and collaborate, they also fell madly in love. But the upswing was cut short when Delia was diagnosed with AML, an aggressive form of leukemia. You’ll root for Delia all the way to the last page in this heart-wrenching memoir.

Lost & Found by Kathryn Schulz

Kathryn Shulz reflects on love, loss, and the bigger picture in this heartwarming memoir that reflects on everything from personal relationships to global catastrophe. Shulz explores the various ways loss changes us, and how love and loss operate as two sides of the same coin.

Solito by Javier Zamora

When Javier Zamora was nine years old, he migrated from El Salvador to the United States, expecting a short two-week trip that would lead him to a mother that left four years prior, and a father he hardly remembers. In his memoir, he details every step of his journey: The treacherous boat rides, the brutal desert, the pointed guns, and the arrests and deceptions. Those two weeks turned into two life-changing months for him and his fellow migrants, who became an unexpected family.

The Man Who Could Move Clouds by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Although Ingrid was raised amongst political chaos in the 1980s and ’90s of Colombia, she was more interested in her mom’s busy fortune-telling business. Her maternal grandfather was a healer who held the “secrets,” giving him the power to see the future, help the sick, and speak to the dead. Ingrid never felt that she inherited their abilities until she sustained a head injury that left her with amnesia one day. Convinced that this was her ticket to learning the “secrets,” her mom takes her back to Colombia to explore the family history and what it means to trust in things we cannot explain.

Token Black Girl by Danielle Prescod

Growing up Black in an elite and majority white community, Danielle Prescod felt like her identity was erased. The whitewashed media she and her classmates consumed didn’t help. In elementary school, Danielle started damaging hair treatments and denied herself food during puberty. She pursued a career in beauty and fashion, an industry known for perpetuating a racist and sexist beauty standard. She was an asset as the “Token Black Girl,” and she brushed off the many microaggressions that came her way. Tired of repressing her emotions and her true self, Danielle speaks about the effects of white supremacy in the media, healing from a messed-up idea of perfection, and celebrating identity in this witty and honest memoir.

What My Bones Know by Stephanie Foo

In this insightful memoir, Stephanie Foo openly discusses her mental health and explores the symptoms and remedies of complex PTSD. After years of being physically and verbally abused, Stephanie thought she moved on from her past. But she continued to experience intense emotions and panic attacks, and soon realized that her past was still threatening her health, her relationships, and her job. Determined to heal and teach others about C-PTSD, Stephanie documented her journey, interviewing scientists and psychologists and researching various forms of therapy. Powerful and enlightening, What My Bones Know is a testament to the mind and body’s ability to heal, and the ways in which we can live with trauma without remaining stuck in the past.

Year of the Tiger by Alice Wong

In this memoir, Alice Wong, the founder and director of the Disability Visibility Project, shares what it means to be an Asian American disabled activist. Alice is resolute in her commitment to dismantling systemic ableism and gives her thoughts on various topics including access, the pandemic, mortality, and the future. This witty, joyful and angry memoir is a collection of essays, conversations, photos, and commissioned art by disabled and Asian American artists, among other forms of media.