Life Stories

A Guide to Reading Interests in Memoirs, Autobiographies, and Diaries

by Maureen O'Connor


With the ever-increasing number of readers discovering how rewarding autobiographies or memoirs can be, librarians need a better way to access this body of literature. Using a method that is more efficient than the traditional points of access will allow librarians to serve patrons' needs and effectively expand readers' advisory services to nonfiction.

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Cover image for Life Stories

August 2011

Libraries Unlimited

Pages 723
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Reference and Information Services and Tools/Readers' Advisory and Leisure Reading
  Reference and Information Services and Tools/Arts and Humanities Literature Reference Tools
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    Hardcover: £58.00/63,00€/A$97.00

Memoirs, autobiographies, and diaries represent the most personal and most intimate of genres, as well as one of the most abundant and popular. Gain new understanding and better serve your readers with this detailed genre guide to nearly 700 titles that also includes notes on more than 2,800 read-alike and other related titles.

The popularity of this body of literature has grown in recent years, and it has also diversified in terms of the types of stories being told—and persons telling them. In the past, readers' advisors have depended on access by names or Dewey classifications and subjects to help readers find autobiographies they will enjoy. This guide offers an alternative, organizing the literature according to popular genres, subgenres, and themes that reflect common reading interests.

Describing titles that range from travel and adventure classics and celebrity autobiographies to foodie memoirs and environmental reads, Life Stories: A Guide to Reading Interests in Memoirs, Autobiographies, and Diaries presents a unique overview of the genre that specifically addresses the needs of readers' advisors and others who work with readers in finding books.


  • A list of subjects and suggested "read-alikes" accompany each title
  • Appendixes cover awards, websites, and resources
  • Detailed indexes provide further points of access
Author Info

Maureen O'Connor is a freelance author and editor with 35 years of experience as a public librarian specializing in reference and readers' advisory. In addition, she is the English-language chair of the Canadian Culinary Cookbook Awards, sponsored by Cuisine Canada and the University of Guelph. Her published works include Libraries Unlimited's Canadian Fiction: A Guide to Reading Interests.

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