Best Nonfiction, Memoirs, and Autobiographies.
Written by Isabella Boston.
There is no friend as loyal as a book. ~ Ernest Hemingway.
I agree with Hemingway. My books have been there for me when no one else could. They provided comfort, knowledge, entertainment, and escape from the stresses of this world. My books have challenged me to be a better writer, businesswoman, and person. They have given me insight into the world around me and a better understanding of myself.
E-books are great, because they provide me with privacy (I don’t have to worry about people starting a conversation with me about what I’m reading, while I’m trying to read it.), but I also love going to a bookstore and physically touching and smelling the pages of a brand-new book. There’s nothing like curling up in a blanket with a warm cup of tea while looking forward to the adventures and travels of a story told from the comforts of a book.
I was looking through my personal collection and thought I would share some of my favorite books with you. Some I have already read, and some are still waiting for me to give them some love. I am not being paid to recommend these books and the links are not affiliate links. These are merely books from my personal bookshelf.
Bella’s Top Picks from the New York Times Best Sellers List
1. RABBIT by Patricia Williams ~ I could not put this book down! It was well written and sadly humorous. This is the autobiography of comedian Patricia Williams. She was one of five children and raised by an alcoholic mother who made a “living” on petty crimes and charity. Patricia suffered much physical, mental, and emotional abuse as a result. However, she had a way of bringing “humor” into difficult and hard situations and I praise her for that. Patricia’s story is living proof you can be whatever you put your mind to, regardless of your circumstances. Truly inspirational!
2. MEMORIAL DRIVE: A Daughter’s Memoir by Natasha Trethewey ~ An extraordinary and courageous memoir, poetically and eloquently written. Natasha was nineteen when her mother was fatally shot by her stepfather. She shares her painful experience as she pieces together her mother’s tragic life, rooted in the deep south, while mending together her own. Anyone who has experienced domestic violence or has lost someone to it, or who loves a sister, daughter, or mother should read this book. This is a Pulitzer Prize winner, and I can understand why.
3. BRAIN ON FIRE: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan ~ I had never heard of this book nor the movie until I took a trip to Barnes and Nobles one day. Ms. Cahalan is an award-winning journalist who had to investigate her own story to write this book. She was just twenty-four years of age when she woke up in a hospital room with no memory of what had happened to her. Just days earlier, she had a promising life with a beautiful career and boyfriend and in the blink of an eye, it was all shattered. It is brilliantly written and leaves you in suspense. This book will make you question many things in the healthcare system, and I believe every medical student should be required to read it. Since reading Susannah’s story, I have studied and written extensively about the brain and how important its role is in our overall health. A must- read for everyone, especially healthcare professionals.
4. The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism by Naoki Higashida. This book is unique and explains how an autistic mind of a young boy thinks and responds to the people and world around him. Using an alphabet grid, he was able to painstakingly create words and sentences which were later translated into this book. I am currently still reading this story and so far, it’s very good!
5. EDUCATED: A Memoir by Tara Westover ~ Named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, Time, and O: The Oprah Magazine, just to name a few. This is about a young girl who was born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho and had never stepped foot in a traditional classroom until she was seventeen. Her father was opposed to public education and there were no advocates around her to see she received a proper education. Her determination for knowledge transformed her and subsequently led her to Harvard and Cambridge Universities. Truly inspirational.
6. STAMPED FROM THE BEGINING: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi ~ This is a National Book Award Winner. “A deep (and often disturbing) chronicling of how anti-black thinking has entrenched itself in the fabric of American society.” ~ The Atlantic. This one is on my “to read” list and I cannot wait to open it.
7. The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley ~ The title of this book speaks for itself. This was originally published in 1964. Malcolm X, the Muslim leader and anti-integrationist, tells his extraordinary story of his life and the growth of the Black Muslim movement. Highly recommended.
8. Will, Written by authors Will Smith and Mark Manson ~ This is the memoir of actor, rapper, and producer Will Smith. Will exposes his fears, insecurities, and trauma through his heartfelt book. This is a great story about one man’s journey of self-knowledge and how it led to his mega success.
9. Third Child: Blurred Identity by Patricia Sizer ~ This is not on the best seller’s list, but it should be! Patricia is actually a very good friend of mine who has helped me as a writer and author in many ways. In her candid and insightful memoir, Patricia addresses her struggles with colorism, racism, and prejudice while growing up in the South during the Jim Crow era of “separate but equal”. Due to her diverse ethnic background, her race was not always obvious to others, so she faced much discrimination and alienation both in and outside her family walls. Informative, inspiring, and heartfelt.
10. Passion of Flames by Bella Boston and Michael Harvey ~ Well, the list would not be complete without my own book. When I was writing this story, I had no idea it would one day be published for the entire world to see. It is the actual writings of my personal Diary that I had to keep hidden. This book is not for everyone. If you have a strong connection with God or the Divine, and you believe in the powers of the Universe, then you may want to read my story. A word of caution, it is raw.
Well, this completes my list of book recommendations. I hope all of you will have a chance to pick up some of these treasures and read them soon. They are definitely worth your while!
Isabella Boston is a multi-talented writer and the Founder of Bella’s Attic Studio. She has several years of experience in content writing, copywriting, and social media strategies. She is the author of the romantic and rare memoir, Passion of Flames. Isabella is currently working to spread awareness on the dangers and inhumanity of human sex trafficking. She has special interests in fashion and beauty, health and wellness, and natural healing as it pertains to the body, mind and soul. When Isabella is not writing, she enjoys playing the violin, learning new languages (currently Italian), and reading books of substance.