10 Best Motivational Autobiographies That Everyone Must Read

Are you a bookworm looking for some great autobiographies to read and feel a spark of inspiration? Well, look no further ‘coz here are the 10 best and most popular & motivational autobiographies that everyone must read, at least for once in a lifetime!

There are a lot of times in life when we feel that the challenges thrown at our face are too much for us to deal with.

We often feel broken, anxious, and even tend to give up – but in the end, we find a way – either to accept the challenges or to make a compromise.

And then, there are these great people – thinkers, politicians, social reformists, and people from various walks of life – who have overcome obstacles in their lives and chose to pen down their journeys for the world to know about it and get motivated.

If you love reading about someone else’s life in their own words and add that extra bit of inspiration that you’re seeking – then you must add these 10 Best Autobiographies To Your Reading List 🙂


Top 10 Motivational autobiographies are:

1. “The Story of My Experiments with Truth” by Mahatma Gandhi

“Truth is like a vast tree, which yields more and more fruit, the more you nurture it.”

It’s one of the first autobiographies that I had read – and I came to realize that no matter whether you like Gandhi or not, it’s quite impossible to ignore him and his words.

This book is more of a personal account of his life – the man who freed India from colonization through the Satyagraha & Non-Violence (although, there are various schools of thought denying this!).

Going beyond that, this book will take you to his early boyhood life, legal studies, purification, and ultimate salvation of his homeland.

In 1999, the book was designated as one of the “100 Best Spiritual Books of the 20th Century” by a Committee of global spiritual and religious authorities.


2. “Mein Kampf” by Adolf Hitler

“Do not compare yourself to others. If you do so, you are insulting yourself.”


We have all grown up knowing him as a ruthless leader who crippled lives during the Second World War, to create an empire in Europe.

In 1924, he was in prison for 9 months where an embittered and frustrated Hitler dictated a personal manifesto to his loyal follower Rudolph Hess.

He vented his sentiments against communism and the Jewish people in this document, which was to become Mein Kampf, the controversial book that is seen as the blueprint for Hitler’s political and military campaign.

Often termed as the Nazi Bible, in this autobiography, Hitler describes his life, frustrations, ideas, and dreams.

It was published in two volumes in 1925 and 1927, and an abridged edition appeared in 1930. By 1939 it had sold 5,200,000 copies and had been translated into 11 languages.


3. “I Am Malala” by Malala Yousafzai

“If one man can destroy everything, why can’t one girl change it?”


Malala Yousufzai was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.

Her miraculous recovery took her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in Northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York.

A memoir by the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, ‘I Am Malala’ is the ‘remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism; of the fight for girls’ education; of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.’


4. “The Diary Of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank

“Whoever is happy will make others happy.”

If you wish to know what it was like for the Jews during the Second World War, then this book written by a teen-aged girl will take you back in time and let you see the brutality of war.

Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary became a world classic since its publication.

It’s a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit.

When Anne wrote in her diary, she had no idea she would one day become one of the Holocaust’s most famous symbols.


5. “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures In The Culinary Underbelly” by Anthony Bourdain

“People confuse me. Food doesn’t.”

If you’re a traveler at heart & a foodie on toes, then you must grab this book and start flipping through its pages – RIGHT NOW!

Anthony Bourdain’s words can never fail to touch one’s life and he truly had something of a dream life today, traveling the world to explore tastes and cultures in a way very few will ever get the chance to do. But before he was a jet setter, he was a chef.

In “Kitchen Confidential,” he gives away secrets of the culinary trade in his wickedly funny and inspiring memoir that allows the readers to get a window into the wild world of his restaurant days, including “twenty-five years of sex, drugs, bad behavior, and haute cuisine.”


6. “Long Walk to Freedom” by Nelson Mandela

“A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but it’s lowest ones.”

One of the greatest leaders of all times, this autobiography by Nelson Mandela is surely worth a read.

He describes the struggle to reconcile his political activity with his devotion to his family, the anguished breakup of his first marriage, and the painful separations from his children.

As a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, President of the African National Congress, and head of the ant-Aapartheid movement, Mandela never hesitated to speak his heart & mind.

The story of his life starts from the early development of his political consciousness to his eventful quarter-century behind bars, to his momentous victory in South Africa’s first multiracial elections is an epic account of struggle, setback, renewed hope, and ultimate triumph.


7. “Becoming” by Michelle Obama

“If you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

One of the best autobiographies of the recent times, this memoir of former United States first lady Michelle Obama narrates her story from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address – the White House.

Echoing the words of honesty added with a punch of lively wit, she describes her triumphs and failures, both public and private – with a spark of her own words and on her own terms.

If you’re looking for some inspiration to dream big or just wanna feel motivated reading something worthy, then this surely is the book that you should be flipping through.


8. “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda

“Live quietly in the moment and see the beauty of all before you. The future will take care of itself.”

This book is about the life of Paramahansa Yogananda and his encounters with spiritual figures of both the Eastern and the Western world.

Paramahansa Yogananda was born as Mukunda Lal Ghosh in Gorakhpur, India, into a Bengali Hindu family.

Widely credited with bringing yoga to the west, Yogananda talks about the purposefulness of life and spreads the lesson of making others happy, through the kindness of speech and sincerity which is a sign of true greatness.

To hurt another soul by sarcastic words, looks, or suggestions, is despicable. A true piece of motivation, this book is a must-read for all those who are looking for happiness in the simplest things in life and wish to be a highly spiritual being.


9. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

We still live in a world that is predominated by racism – and this book will help you to delve deeper into the lives of the Black Americans and their daily struggles, through the eyes of Maya.

This autobiography is the first of Maya’s seven autobiographies, but this has claimed fame for her.

This book tells a wonderful, emotional journey of a struggling Black American, who went through bitter experiences in the course of her first seventeen years.

From living with her grandmother in a small town, to being raped by a much older man at the age of eight, Angelou doesn’t hold back from revealing the trauma she endured.

It worsened when she told her mother of the rape and later the rapist was killed and she blamed herself. Fearful, she became a selective mute and turned to great literary works to fill her mind.


10. “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed

“Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves…”

Being a traveler, I’m always digging books that narrate journeys of self-love & discovery, along with experiencing what the world has to offer us.

In a powerful journey from lost to found, this is the compelling autobiography of Cheryl Strayed.

At 26 she had lost everything – her mother to cancer, her marriage, and her home.

Without much preparation, she decided to take the empowering step of walking eleven hundred miles along the East Coast of America – alone.

It is a brave and harrowing decision that sees Strayed pushed to her physical, mental, and emotional limits.

But in the wilderness, there are no parties or drugs to escape within, and thus, she began to confront her past, forgive herself, and dream of a future that isn’t self-destructive.


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I’m sure there are many more inspirational autobiographies that I’m yet to read, I’d love to know about your favorite one. Do mention your best read book in the comments section below!

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