Twelve celebrity memoirs to read, from Britney Spears to Jennette McCurdy

Hollywood stars frequently choose to write about their lives and careers for fans, warts and all

From left, Jada Pinkett Smith, Prince Harry and Jennette McCurdy have released memoirs in the past year. Photos: HarperCollins UK, Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster
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There is no book genre more intriguing to readers than the celebrity memoir.

Whether written by the stars themselves or penned by a ghostwriter, over the years a growing number of A-listers have decided to tell their own stories. They share intimate details of their childhoods and relationships, while offering their side to the rumours that have plagued their careers and personal lives.

From child stars to Oscar-winning actors, multi-platinum singers and pop culture heroes, here are the most revealing celebrity memoirs from the past few years to add to your reading list.

Inside Out, Demi Moore (2019)

Demi Moore's memoir Inside Out takes readers into the struggles of her childhood with alcoholic parents, to the start and success of her career and her marriage to Bruce Willis. Most shocking are the details Moore reveals about her marriage to Ashton Kutcher, which include his negative influence on her drinking habits and losing their child when she was six months pregnant at 42.

Open Book, Jessica Simpson (2020)

Jessica Simpson has done it all – music, acting, reality television and business ventures. Her memoir Open Book is a very personal account of her life in all her career phases where she openly discusses her struggles with the media, body image and relationships. The memoir also reveals many unknown details about her marriage and divorce to pop star Nick Lachey and her relationship with singer John Mayer.

Greenlights, Matthew McConaughey (2020)

Originating from diaries and journals that Matthew McConaughey had been keeping since the age of 15, Greenlights is an unorthodox memoir. It is a collection of stories about his life. McConaughey openly writes about his unconventional family and the influence of his parents on his life and prompts readers to think about their own place in the world.

The Meaning of Mariah Carey, Mariah Carey (2020)

Multiple Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Mariah Carey takes readers deep into her childhood, family dynamics, personal and professional relationships and, most fascinating of all, her career. The audiobook version of the memoir is read by Carey herself on Audible; she even sings during passages about her music.

I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette McCurdy (2022)

I'm Glad My Mother Died is a deeply personal and honest account of former child Disney star Jennette McCurdy about her life and tumultuous relationship with her mother. McCurdy, who found fame in the Nickelodeon show iCarly, writes honestly about the abuse she suffered under her mother, her own struggles with an eating disorder and her harrowing experiences in Hollywood as a young star.

Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, Matthew Perry (2022)

In a raw, heartfelt and funny tone, actor Matthew Perry – known mostly for his role as Chandler Bing on the sitcom Friends – candidly takes readers on a journey through the ups and downs of his life, of which there have been many. From starring in one of the most famous TV shows of all time to his lifelong battle with addiction, Perry details the wins of his life along with his darkest hours.

Finding Me, Viola Davis (2022)

Academy Award-winning actress and star of How to Get Away with Murder, Viola Davis doesn't shy away from sharing her history and journey to stardom. From living in abject poverty as a child with an abusive father to facing issues of racism and dealing with the complicated and judgmental world of Hollywood, Davis’s memoir chronicles how she rose from her difficult past to become one of the world’s most revered actresses working today.

Spare, Prince Harry (2023)

Perhaps one of the most talked about memoirs of this generation, Prince Harry’s memoir Spare made headlines for his unflinching honesty about his life as a part of the British royal family. The public got more than a peek into the prince’s life from details on his relationship with his father, King Charles III, his feelings about the death of his mother Princess Diana when he was 12, his personal relationships and drug use as a teenager and eventually his relationship with Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

Love, Pamela, Pamela Anderson (2023)

From her childhood in Vancouver, Canada, raised by young and poor parents to becoming one of the world’s most famous women, Pamela Anderson writes about her life in powerful detail. She covers her tumultuous relationship with American rocker Tommy Lee and raising two sons while attempting to take control of her own image and narrative of her life.

The Woman in Me, Britney Spears (2023)

Britney Spears’s memoir has been one of the most anticipated since the termination of her conservatorship. Passages from the memoir have gone viral describing not only the behaviour of her parents during her conservatorship but the many details of her relationship with Justin Timberlake.

Worthy, Jada Pinkett Smith (2023)

Jada Pinkett Smith’s Worthy has been making international headlines since its release. In the memoir, Pinkett Smith includes details on her relationship with rapper Tupac Shakur, her struggles as a teenager and, perhaps most shockingly, that she and husband Will Smith have been separated for years.

Thicker than Water, Kerry Washington (2023)

Kerry Washington’s memoir shares many intimate details about her life. She chronicles her upbringing, revealing for the first time that the father who raised her is not her biological father, and how she navigated through many traumas and setbacks while excelling in her career as an actress, director and activist.

Updated: November 01, 2023, 7:34 AM