Biography and memoir reading guide

Biography and memoir reading guide

Inspiring true stories of artists, inventors, icons, and influencers, as well as everyday individuals.

Life stories that speak of struggle, survival, and overcoming great adversity. From rags to riches stories, through to medical triumphs, overcoming  discrimination, human and animal rescues, and tales of survival - these are the stories that move, motivate, and make us who we are.


Biography and memoir reading lists

Curated lists of biography and memoir titles

Survival Stories

Harrowing tales of human survival - of earthquakes, fires, and natural disasters, as well as unthinkable man-made cruelty and genocide.

Sexuality Stories

From pioneering feminists and gay icons, to tales of transition and self-discovery - stories to help us understand and celebrate who we are.

Family Stories

These are the real life stories of families - families from many different races, backgrounds, and creeds.

Animal Stories

From heroic rescue dogs, to lions in one’s flat - unforgettable rescue, service, and companion animals that have changed human lives forever

Medical triumphs

Heart-rending stories of illness - both mental and physical - and the inspiring roads to recovery these patients were able to take.

Inspirational People

People who awe and inspire - their stories simultaneously humble us, and urge us to reach for the stars.

Illustrated biographies

Illustrated Biographies - Artists and Art

Graphic novels focusing on seminal artists and art movements - striking illustrations, unique glimpses into the lives of important artists.

Illustrated biographies - Famous people

A glimpse into the lives of celebrities, world leaders, political figures, sports stars, and other (in)famous people.

Illustrated Biographies - Music

Telling the story of musicians through the art of graphic novels is the perfect marriage of art and music.

Illustrated Biographies - LGBTQIA+

These biographies are written by LGBTQIA+ people from different places, times and ages. Stories of what it’s like to be here and queer.

Illustrated Biographies - Travel

A collection of the best biographical graphic travel novels available in our collection - a chance to travel without leaving your seat!

Illustrated biographies - Life, love and loss

Authors and cartoonists tell of their unique experiences with love, life, and loss in these beautifully illustrated graphic memoirs.

Illustrated Biographies - War and Conflict

If you enjoy true stories about people's lives during war or political and social upheaval, you may enjoy one of these graphic biographies.

Illustrated Biographies - Medical and mental health

Graphic novel stories of people who have faced and survived severe afflictions, either as sufferers or as carers.

Award-winning biography

find award winning biographies

James Tait Black Memorial Prize - Biography

The James Tait Black Prizes are Britain’s oldest literary awards. Find out the shortlisted titles in this year's biography prize.
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Find biographies in the catalogue

More great non-fiction reads

True crime reading guide

Truth can be stranger than fiction and just as gripping - read tales of murder, investigations, trials, and the wrongfully imprisoned.
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