AudioFile’s 2021 Best Memoir Audiobooks include powerful memoirs narrated by the authors themselves and those performed by talented narrators. Each gives the listener a window into the lives of the author, making for a moving and outstanding listening. For the full list of 2021 Best Audiobooks, visit AudioFile’s website.


 Eartha & Kitt: A Daughter’s Love Story in Black and White

by Kitt Shapiro, Patricia Weiss Levy | Read by Karen Chilton
Dreamscape | 8 hrs.

AudioFile Earphones Award Winner

Entertainment icon Eartha Kitt’s daughter, Kitt Shapiro, offers a stirring and nuanced memoir of both her mother and herself — their lives were so very intertwined. Narrator Karen Chilton’s performance is a showstopper, at once superb, stunning, evocative and moving. The love shared by mother and daughter is most palpable throughout the transfixing bravura narration.

 Just As I Am

by Cicely Tyson, Michelle Burford | Read by Viola Davis, Cicely Tyson, Robin Miles
Harper Audio | 16 hrs.

AudioFile Earphones Award Winner

Narrator Robin Miles delivers 16 riveting, thought-provoking hours on the life and times of the author. Miles is truly remarkable as she relates wonderfully amusing anecdotes of Tyson’s life in the public eye, as well as revealing painfully intimate moments with her parents, her own family and jazz great Miles Davis, with whom she had a longtime, turbulent relationship. Miles delivers all with elegance, dignity and charm.

 My Broken Language: A Memoir

by Quiara Alegría Hudes | Read by Quiara Alegría Hudes
Random House Audio | 10.75 hrs.

AudioFile Earphones Award Winner

Playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes brings warmth and exuberance to her narration in this memoir of family, language, home and coming of age as an artist. This is a memoir about language — how it shapes lives, how it lives in the body — and Hudes’s voice is as powerful as her words. The audiobook is a gorgeous mix of English and Spanish, open and musical, full of laughter and sighs, a spoken-word celebration as vibrant and overflowing with life as the stories she tells.

 Somebody’s Daughter: A Memoir

by Ashley C. Ford | Read by Ashley C. Ford
Macmillan Audio | 8.75 hrs.

AudioFile Earphones Award Winner

Ashley C. Ford brings listeners into her life in this outstanding coming-of-age story. Her father was incarcerated when she was a toddler. Ford clearly differentiates the two sides of her mother: “Mama,” who was easygoing and kind, and “Mother,” who was physically and verbally abusive. Ford frequently fended for herself but believed her absent father offered her unconditional love. 

 The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family

by Ron Howard, Clint Howard | Read by Ron Howard, Clint Howard, Bryce Dallas Howard
Harper Audio | 13.25 hrs.

AudioFile Earphones Award Winner

Entertainment icon brothers Ron and Clint Howard share a memoir that never strays far from being a sincere loving tribute to their late Midwest-born parents and grandparents for the values they instilled. With voices bright with high style and that special talent some actors have for making the conversation seem so intimate and direct, the tales of the Hollywood television and film industries of the 1950s, 1960s and beyond are gently and effectively told.

This story appears through BookTrib’s partnership with AudioFile. It first appeared on AudioFile’s website.