The Guardian’s 7 Top Selling Autobiographies since 2001

Autobiographies are a popular genre these days and we’ve all enjoyed at least good book within this genre.  I came across an article on the Guardian blog about the data behind the top selling autobiographies since 2001 and decided to share with you 7 of the fastest selling autobiographies, that is, those books which sold the most copies per day.  American readers will notice that this data is from the UK, so sorry about that, but please feel free to share with us your favourite autobiographies.  First though, here is my all time favourite autobiography:

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

Long Walk to Freedom

Nelson Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders of our time: an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country. Since his triumphant release in 1990 from more than a quarter-century of imprisonment, Mandela has been at the center of the most compelling and inspiring political drama in the world. As president of the African National Congress and head of South Africa’s antiapartheid movement, he was instrumental in moving the nation toward multiracial government and majority rule. He is revered everywhere as a vital force in the fight for human rights and racial equality.  LONG WALK TO FREEDOM is his moving and exhilarating autobiography, destined to take its place among the finest memoirs of history’s greatest figures. Here for the first time, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela tells the extraordinary story of his life–an epic of struggle, setback, renewed hope, and ultimate triumph.  (read my review)

 

#1 Cheryl: My Story by Cheryl Cole

Cheryl: My Story

For the first time Cheryl tells her full story, her way. Revealing the truth behind the headlines, this is the only official autobiography, giving the fans the true story they’ve been waiting for. Includes exclusive, personal photos.  The nation’s sweetheart, Cheryl has achieved unrivalled success with Girls Aloud, as a solo artist, a judge on the X Factor, a fashion icon and as the face of L’Oreal. However, the path to fame is rarely easy and for Cheryl it has been a colourful journey. (read more on GoodReads)

#2 The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times (The Midwife Trilogy 1) by Jennifer Worth

The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times

An unforgettable story of the joy of motherhood, the bravery of a community, and the hope of one extraordinary woman.  At the age of twenty-two, Jennifer Worth leaves her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in post war London’s East End slums. The colorful characters she meets while delivering babies all over London-from the plucky, warm-hearted nuns with whom she lives to the woman with twenty-four children who can’t speak English to the prostitutes and dockers of the city’s seedier side-illuminate a fascinating time in history. Beautifully written and utterly moving, The Midwife will touch the hearts of anyone who is, and everyone who has, a mother.  (read more on GoodReads)

 

#3 The Fry Chronicles (Memoir 2) by Stephen Fry

The Fry Chronicles

Stephen Fry is not just a multi-award-winning comedian and actor, but also an author, director and presenter. He is one of the most influential cultural forces in the country. This title details some of the most turbulent and least well known years of his life.  (read more on GoodReads)

 

#4 Life And Laughing: My Story by Michael McIntyre

Life And Laughing: My Story

Michael McIntyre has become Britain’s biggest comedy star. His debut stand-up DVD was the fastest selling of all time, only to be eclipsed by his second that sold over 1.4 million copies and was the 2009 Christmas number one. He hosts his own BAFTA nominated BBC1 series, Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, and won the British Comedy Award for Best Live Stand-up in 2009 following his record breaking fifty-four date Arena tour.  But how did he get there?  Michael reveals all in his remarkably honest and hilarious autobiography Life and Laughing. His showbiz roots, his appalling attempts to attract the opposite sex, his fish-out-of-water move from public to state school and his astonishing journey from selling just one ticket at the Edinburgh Festival to selling half a million tickets on his last tour. Michael’s story is riveting, poignant, romantic and above all very, very funny.  (read more on GoodReads)

 

#5 At My Mother’s Knee…: and other low joints by Paul O’Grady

At My Mother's Knee...: and other low joints

In his own uniquely acid tongue, Paul O’Grady traces the hilarious tales of life in Irish Catholic Birkenhead that took him from a virtuous altar-boy (“my first drag”) to Britain’s best loved entertainer. It’s a life that includes, varyingly, stints in an abbatoir, as a social worker, in a high-class Mayfair brothel, and traipsing down to London to chase his dreams. By 23, Paul O’Grady had been a father, husband, drag queen, gay lover, divorcee, and degenerate. He did it all with a smile on his face, making a mental note to register the whip-smart one-liners that would later inform his star-studded path from the fringes of comedy to the heart of the British establishment, first as his own brilliant comic creation Lily Savage, then, triumphantly, as himself. Paul’s remarkable childhood and early life is littered with a dizzying cast-list of rogues, rascals, lovers, fighters, saints, and sinners. Oh, and one iconic bus conductress. Told with pathos, love, empathy, and naturally, biting humor, the story of Paul O’Grady is that of everyman, everywoman, and inevitably, every drag act ever. He has been rich and poor, posh and common, straight and gay. He has mixed with stars and whores and all that’s in between, slyly spotting the similarity between them all. His amazing and riveting life story reminds us that there is, when all is said and done, a bit of savage in all of us.  (read more on GoodReads)

 

#6 Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama

Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

Nine years before the Senate campaign that made him one of the most influential and compelling voices in American politics, Barack Obama published this lyrical, unsentimental, and powerfully affecting memoir, which became a #1 New York Times bestseller when it was reissued in 2004. Dreams from My Father tells the story of Obama’s struggle to understand the forces that shaped him as the son of a black African father and white American mother—a struggle that takes him from the American heartland to the ancestral home of his great-aunt in the tiny African village of Alego.  Obama opens his story in New York, where he hears that his father—a figure he knows more as a myth than as a man—has died in a car accident. The news triggers a chain of memories as Barack retraces his family’s unusual history: the migration of his mother’s family from small-town Kansas to the Hawaiian islands; the love that develops between his mother and a promising young Kenyan student, a love nurtured by youthful innocence and the integrationist spirit of the early sixties; his father’s departure from Hawaii when Barack was two, as the realities of race and power reassert themselves; and Barack’s own awakening to the fears and doubts that exist not just between the larger black and white worlds but within himself.  (read more on GoodReads)

 

#7 Dear Fatty by Dawn French

Dear Fatty

Dawn French is one of the greatest comedy actresses of our time, with a career spanning nearly three decades and encompassing a vast and brilliant array of characters that would eventually establish her as a national treasure.  She first appeared on the British entertainment scene as part of the groundbreaking alternative comedy group, the Comic Strip, which marked a radical departure from the more traditional comedy acts of the time. Later came the all-female Girls on Top with Jennifer Saunders, Ruby Wax and Tracy Ullman. Then, as part of the wildly successful duo, French and Saunders, Dawn helped create a repertoire of brilliantly observed recurring characters parodying popular culture and impersonating everything from Madonna and Harry Potter to The Exorcist. Dawn’s more recent role in The Vicar of Dibley again has showcased not only her talent but also her ability to take a controversial issue and make it mainstream and funny. From her early years as an RAF child to her flat-sharing antics with Jennifer Saunders, from her outspoken views on sizeism to her marriage to Lenny Henry, Dear Fatty will chronicle the fascinating and hilarious rise of a complex, dynamic and unstoppable woman. (read more on GoodReads)

 

 

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Verity M

Writer. Love Reading, Photography, & Life Design. I'm all about Curiosity & Creativity.

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