By Myself, by Lauren Bacall (1978)
She learned how to marry a millionaire – and wrote about it! Actress Bacall chronicles her love affair and marriage to fellow film legend Humphrey Bogart in this honest, absorbing autobiography.
Pryor Convictions, by Richard Pryor (1995)
The stand-up comedian’s beginnings were not so funny: In his frank memoir, Pryor writes about his drug problems and multiple marriages, as well as his struggle with multiple sclerosis.
Me: Stories of My Life, by Katharine Hepburn (1992)
Ever classy and discreet, the legendary actress doesn’t let it all hang out in her best-selling autobiography. But she shares various episodes of her extraordinary life—her enduring relationship with the long married Spencer Tracy, for instance—with grace, fondness, and good humor.
Born Standing Up, by Steve Martin (2007)
Obsession is a substitute for talent, said the comedian, actor, playwright, essayist, novelist, director, magician, musician and composer. Nobody does it all better than Steve Martin, and that includes writing an intelligent celebrity memoir that is at once wholly revealing of the stand-up culture and unembarassingly self-reflective.
How to Talk Dirty and Influence People, by Lenny Bruce (1963)
Who needs How to Win Friends and Influence People when you’ve got Bruce’s much more intriguingly titled How to Talk Dirty? In this memoir, the satirist writes about his controversial career challenging religion.
The Way We Lived Then: Recollections of a Well-Known Name Dropper, by Dominick Dunne (1999)
Oh, this man did love good dish. Before moving on to novels and his long stint at Vanity Fair, Dunne was a TV and movie producer. His lithe memoir—crammed with gorgeous snapshots of young Warren Beatty preening at a piano or Elizabeth Taylor swathed in mink—is both an effervescent ode to old Hollywood and a serious reflection on the author’s checkered past.
Just Kids, by Patti Smith (2010)
The music legend chronicles her relationship with famed photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, opening up about life in New York in the ’60s and ’70s. Just Kids is exceptionally honest, detailing the tales of Smith and Mapplethorpe’s youth in a city full of artists on the rise.
Bossypants, by Tina Fey (2013)
From early (and awkward) beginnings in Pennsylvania to Chicago’s Second City to SNL’s Weekend Update, Tina Fey shares hilarious anecdotes of her journey to success. The funny lady tells it like it is about growing up, cruises, Internet trolls and why it “doesn’t matter if you like it.”
Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned,” by Lena Dunham (2014)
With Not That Kind of Girl, Girls creator/star Lena Dunham tackles virginity, friendship, body image, family and more in this memoir/how-to guide. Throughout the book, she remains candid about her experiences and observations in the hopes of teaching readers just what she’s “learned.”
Life, by Keith Richards (2011)
Life provides a unique and unfailingly frank portrait of Rolling Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards, guiding readers through his long, illustrious career. From childhood misfit to full-time rock-and-roller, Life provides the inside look into Richards’ life Stones fans had been waiting for.