16 of the Best Celebrity Memoirs to Read in 2023

These memoirs offer an intimate look at some of your favorite stars.
These memoirs offer an intimate look at some of your favorite stars. / HarperOne / Random House / Simon & Schuster / Amazon; Justin Dodd, Mental Floss (background)

It’s no secret that as a society, we’re obsessed with the idea of celebrity, which is perhaps why this memoir genre has become so widely popular over time. When we read highly intimate stories written by our favorite actors, musicians, and public figures, the curtain is temporarily pulled back, giving us an up-close and personal look at the people behind the fame. It’s like reading a private diary or, even better, catching up with an old friend.

And while it’s true that we may never actually be able to sit down and chat with our favorite stars, reading essays where they recount their inspiring journeys (and all of the juicy drama along the way) is arguably the next best thing. If you’re looking for the best celebrity memoirs to read this year, you can start by checking out these 16 standout titles below.

1. Spare // Prince Harry

Best celebrity memoirs: 'Spare' by Prince Harry
'Spare' by Prince Harry / Random House / Amazon

The most recent release on this list is Spare, an emotional tell-all by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. Divided into three sections, the book lets readers in on the intimate details of his life, including his mother Princess Diana’s death, his service in the military, falling in love with Meghan Markle, and making the difficult decision to leave the royal family.

Wondering where the title Spare comes into play? It comes from the colloquial idea that royal families should have at least two children: “An heir and a spare.” The spare, or the second-born child, would serve as a guarantee that, should anything happen to the first child, there would always be a continuation of the royal family lineage. This added context sets the tone for a memoir that doesn’t pull any punches as Prince Harry fearlessly critiques both the British royal family and the impact of living an incredibly public life under the media’s gaze.

2. I’m Glad My Mom Died // Jennette McCurdy

Best celebrity memoirs: 'I'm Glad My Mom Died' by Jennette McCurdy
'I'm Glad My Mom Died' by Jennette McCurdy / Simon & Schuster / Amazon

Penned by former Nickelodeon star Jennette McCurdy, I’m Glad My Mom Died took the world by storm in 2022 and, as of this writing, has spent 23 consecutive weeks on The New York Times bestseller list. The book chronicles McCurdy’s early beginnings as a child actor and recounts her tumultuous struggles with eating disorders, addiction, and an abusive relationship with her mother, who died of breast cancer in 2013. I’m Glad My Mom Died was originally a darkly comedic one-woman show that McCurdy performed for audiences in Los Angeles and New York City before adapting the material into a memoir. 

3. Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood // Trevor Noah

Best celebrity memoirs: 'Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood' by Trevor Noah
'Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood' by Trevor Noah / One World / Amazon

The title of Trevor Noah’s bestselling memoir is unfortunately not a play on words: It was literally a crime to be born a mixed-race baby in South Africa during the apartheid era, when interracial relationships were banned and racial classification was the foundation of all societal laws. Published in 2016, Born a Crime chronicles the hardships Noah faced while growing up in the twilight of apartheid and poignantly reflects on the years leading up to his rise to fame as an award-winning writer, comedian, producer, actor, and former longtime host of The Daily Show. In 2018, Noah won the Audie Award for Best Male Narrator for his narration of the Audible-exclusive audiobook version of the book.

4. We Were Dreamers // Simu Liu

Best celebrity memoirs: 'We Were Dreamers' by Simu Liu
'We Were Dreamers' by Simu Liu / William Morrow / Amazon

Mirroring the storyline of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, this bestselling memoir is its own immigrant superhero origin story of sorts. In the first half of We Were Dreamers, Marvel star Simu Liu traces his parents’ unique and hard-fought experience immigrating to Canada against all odds.

It isn’t until the second half of the book that Liu begins to unravel his own journey toward stardom, from becoming a breakout TV star on Kim’s Convenience to eventually landing the role of a lifetime in Marvel’s first Asian superhero film. Prior to finding success in the entertainment industry, he was laid off from the consulting firm Deloitte, where he worked as an accountant for nine months after graduating from the Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario. 

5. Finding Me // Viola Davis

Best celebrity memoirs: 'Finding Me' by Viola Davis
'Finding Me' by Viola Davis / HarperOne / Amazon

Best known for her starring performance as Annalise Keating on ABC’s hit drama How to Get Away With Murder, actress Viola Davis wrote this much-celebrated memoir “for anyone who needs reminding that a life worth living can only be born from radical honesty and the courage to shed facades.” Finding Me channels this very honesty as Davis bravely writes about her rise to fame despite the trauma and adversity she has experienced throughout her lifetime. Davis attended and graduated from the Juilliard School in 1993 and is the first Black woman to win an Oscar, an Emmy, and a Tony for acting—earning her the coveted title of Triple Crown winner.

6. Behind the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard // Tom Felton

Best celebrity memoirs: 'Behind the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard' by Tom Felton
'Behind the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard' by Tom Felton / Grand Central Publishing / Amazon

Prepare to meet a real-life “wizard” as you crack open the pages of Behind the Wand, a recent memoir by Harry Potter star Tom Felton. In it, the actor shares fun-filled, behind-the-scenes anecdotes of life on-set as Draco Malfoy, reflects on his mischievous childhood as the youngest of four brothers, and gets vulnerable about his struggles with mental health and addiction after wrapping the films. Not only that, but Felton reveals many fascinating, long-kept secrets throughout the book, including the fact that he’s “always had a secret love” for costar Emma Watson and knew next to nothing about the famous fantasy book series during the audition process.

7. Taste: My Life Through Food // Stanley Tucci

Best celebrity memoirs: 'Taste: My Life Through Food' by Stanley Tucci
'Taste: My Life Through Food' by Stanley Tucci / Gallery Books / Amazon

Whether you know actor Stanley Tucci from his scene-stealing roles in films like The Devil Wears Prada or The Hunger Games series, or from his food-centric travel show Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy (or even through his two popular Italian-style cookbooks), his memoir Taste: My Life Through Food is an absolute delight. In it, he shares mouthwatering recipes and evocative, yet lighthearted, stories about growing up in Westchester, New York, as the grandson of Italian immigrants. Additionally, he traces how food has shaped his life, loves, and ultra-successful career. The self-proclaimed foodie knows his stuff, and in the early days of the pandemic, his high-end, DIY Negroni tutorial even went viral online. 

8. Making a Scene // Constance Wu

Best celebrity memoirs: 'Making a Scene' by Constance Wu
'Making a Scene' by Constance Wu / Scribner / Amazon

As an actress and activist, Constance Wu rose to fame thanks to her roles in the ABC comedy Fresh Off The Boat and the 2018 film Crazy Rich Asians, both of which boasted predominantly Asian-led casts and further championed Asian-American representation in media. In this debut collection of personal essays, Wu shares memories of her early childhood and reveals her harrowing experience of rape, abuse, and sexual assault. The star also muses on finding solace in acting, a career where embracing big emotions isn’t just accepted—but encouraged. Wu’s critically acclaimed performances have earned her multiple award nominations, including at the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards, plus a spot on the Time 100 Most Influential People of 2017 list.

9. Becoming // Michelle Obama

Best celebrity memoirs: 'Becoming' by Michelle Obama
'Becoming' by Michelle Obama / Crown Publishing / Amazon

Becoming is a moving memoir penned by Michelle Obama, former First Lady of the United States and the first Black woman to ever serve in that role. The book begins by recounting Obama’s formative years growing up on the South Side of Chicago and traces the entirety of her incredible life and career, through her influential time in the White House and beyond. In each chapter, she reflects on topics ranging from her massive public health campaign to her experiences as a mother, as well as her historic impact on the world as a whole.

Becoming was initially released in 24 different languages and with more than 17 million copies sold worldwide, it is now regarded as one of the bestselling books of all time. A documentary of the same name, which followed Obama’s book tour in promotion of the memoir, was released by Netflix in 2020. In 2022, she also released a follow-up, The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times.

10. The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music // Dave Grohl

Best celebrity memoirs: 'The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music' by Dave Grohl
'The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music' by Dave Grohl / Dey Street Books / Amazon

As a twice-inducted Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member, Dave Grohl has lent his musical talents to multiple legendary rock and grunge bands over the years, including Scream, Nirvana, and Foo Fighters. In The Storyteller, he shares stories about his early childhood in Virginia, his reckless days as a dirt-broke touring musician, and his life-changing experience of becoming a father. The audiobook version also features a bonus chapter that’s not included in the physical book, plus five snippets of never-before-heard original demos produced and performed by Grohl himself.

11. My Body // Emily Ratajkowski

Best celebrity memoirs: 'My Body' by Emily Ratajkowski
'My Body' by Emily Ratajkowski / Metropolitan Books / Amazon

This debut collection of memoir-style, feminist essays from actress, model, and activist Emily Ratajkowski gives readers an up-close and personal look at her work in the modeling and entertainment industries. Told in a non-linear format, Ratajkowski’s stories reveal the relentless challenges she faced with abuse and harassment while building the foundation of her successful career, including her involvement in the music video for the controversial 2013 song “Blurred Lines,” as well as her experiences with sexual assault. Her essay titled Buying Myself Back, which appears in the collection, was first published in The Cut in 2020. 

12. Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing // Matthew Perry

Best celebrity memoirs: 'Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing' by Matthew Perry
'Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing' by Matthew Perry / Flatiron Books / Amazon

The title says it all: Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing is actor and comedian Matthew Perry’s bestselling tell-all in which he writes candidly about his experience on Friends, one of the most popular sitcoms of all time. In true Chandler Bing fashion, the work blends earnestness with Perry’s own signature sarcasm and dry humor, as he also recounts his various romantic relationships over the years and delves into his decades-long struggle with drug and alcohol addiction.

Perry originally began writing the book in the Notes app on his iPhone, tapping out his life story during a long-term stay in a Los Angeles hospital where he suffered from pneumonia, an exploded colon, and experienced a brief stint on life support, followed by two weeks in a coma and multiple stomach surgeries.

13. She Memes Well // Quinta Brunson

Best celebrity memoirs: 'She Memes Well' by Quinta Brunson
'She Memes Well' by Quinta Brunson / Dey Street Books / Amazon

Quinta Brunson is best known as the creator and star of the hit ABC comedy Abbott Elementary. But before she found fame on the show, she wrote and starred in countless viral video sketches at Buzzfeed, and gained a big following on social media for her self-produced Instagram video series Girl Who Has Never Been On a Nice Date.

In her 2021 debut essay collection, She Memes Well, the award-winning writer, actress, and comedian writes with humor and heart about growing up in West Philadelphia, becoming “Internet famous,” and the importance of staying true to yourself at all costs. In 2022, Brunson became the first Black woman to be nominated three times in the same year for the comedy category at the Emmy Awards (she won for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series).

14. If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t) // Betty White

Best celebrity memoirs: 'If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t)' by Betty White
'If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won’t)' by Betty White / G.P. Putnam's Sons / Amazon

The late Betty White’s trailblazing career in the entertainment industry spanned more than seven decades. Whether you know her from her iconic roles on The Mary Tyler Moore Show or The Golden Girls (or from her later performances in modern rom-coms like The Proposal), her 2011 collection of memoir-style essays reflects just what a national treasure she was.

In the book, White shares hilarious stories and heartfelt commentary on her extensive work in show business as a pioneer of early television and the first woman to ever produce a sitcom. She earned plenty of awards and accolades along the way, and even made the Guinness World Records in 2013 for Longest TV Career for an Entertainer (Female), in recognition of her 70-odd years in front of (and behind) the camera.

15. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) // Mindy Kaling

Best celebrity memoirs: 'Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)' by Mindy Kaling
'Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)' by Mindy Kaling / Crown Publishing / Amazon

Watch almost any episode of the NBC sitcom The Office and it’s easy to see why Mindy Kaling’s sharp wit and signature sense of humor had a major hand in bringing one of the most celebrated comedies of all time to life on screen. But did you know that before she made her way to television, Kaling’s comedy first took center stage in Matt & Ben, a satirical, “bromantic” play about Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s friendship? In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me, the award-winning actress, writer, director, and producer shares this little-known origin story and more in essays that radiate cool, big-sister-giving-you-life-advice energy in the best way. The Mindy Project star followed this book up with a second collection, titled Why Not Me?, in 2015.

16. Me // Elton John

Best celebrity memoirs: 'Me' by Elton John
'Me' by Elton John / Henry Holt and Co. / Amazon

With more than 300 million records sold worldwide and a career in music spanning over six decades, Elton John is easily one of the most prolific artists of all time. His official autobiography, aptly titled Me, aims to capture as much of the British singer, pianist, and composer’s fascinating life as possible, from his childhood music lessons and early days of fame to his extremely public struggle with a drug addiction. The star also delves into his experiences as a father, and his continued success as a musician and producer today. The majority of the audiobook version is narrated by Taron Egerton, who played John in the hit 2019 biopic Rocketman.