5 Gripping Memoirs Under 300 Pages You Can Read This Weekend

The book world has been abuzz this week with talk of former FBI director James Comey's new memoir, A Higher Loyalty, which even had nonfiction haters turning the pages in search of the truth about *those* tapes. If you've already sped through his accounts of truth, lies, and leadership in Washington, and you want another dose of reality for your weekend reading list, check out one of these gripping memoirs you can finish before Monday morning hits.

In today's world of around-the-clock coverage and 24/7 news alerts, a lot of readers are turning to fiction books for a break from reality. Stories about made up places, fictitious people, and make-believe conflict provide a much-needed escape from your own real-life problems — but so can memoirs about other people. Although they deal with very real issues that are heartbreaking as often as they are inspiring, well-written memoirs can provide readers all the things they are looking for in fiction: captivating characters, gripping plots, and the occasional happy ending.

If you haven't picked out your weekend read yet, try turning to the nonfiction section of your local bookstore or library for one of these powerful reads. From courageous stories about mental health to fascinating tales of true crime, these five memoirs are so absorbing, you won't be able to stop yourself from binge-reading them before Monday comes.

'Because We Are Bad: OCD and a Girl Lost in Thought' by Lily Bailey

Hardcover Page Count: 272

Growing up, debut author Lily Bailey's debilitating obsessive compulsive order made her believe she was truly bad, that it was her fault whenever someone around her got hurt, sick, or even died. As a child, she was overtaken by uncontrollable compulsions and a second personality that helped keep her in check, and as a young adult, she struggled to "normalize" herself around her peers. That is, until eventually, Lily learned to make sense of herself and the disordered world around her. A powerful and poignant memoir about identity, mental illness, and growing up, Because We Are Bad will take your breath away.

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'Air Traffic: A Memoir of Ambition and Manhood in America' by Gregory Pardlo

Hardcover Page Count: 272

In this searing memoir about family, race, addiction, redemption, and reaching for your dreams, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gregory Pardlo recounts the stories from childhood and young adulthood that shaped the man he has become. The son of a labor organizer who loses his job during the air traffic controllers' strike of 1981, Gregory watched his father succumb to addiction, and fled to the Marine Corps boot camp to avoid the same fate. When he finds himself in recovery years later, Gregory is forced to come to confront the reality of his memories, his father's influence, and his own role as a parent and an aspiring poet. A rich and thoughtful meditation on the ways our personal histories and childhood memories influence our everyday, Air Traffic is a truly stunning work.

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'Monsoon Mansion' by Cinelle Barnes

Hardcover Page Count: 252

In this gut-wrenching rags-to-riches story, author Cinelle Barnes recounts growing up in the shadow of her family's fall from grace in the Philippines, and what exactly it took to survive. Once a grand mansion, Cinelle's family home transformed into a dark and dangerous place after the monsoons came her mother's awful new lover took over what was once her father's domain. Despite repeated tragedy, trauma, and betrayal, though, Cinelle is able to conquer her circumstances and emerge a true survivor. Beautiful prose, evocative detail, and make the pages of Monsoon Mansion fly.

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'No Way Home: A Memoir of Life on the Run' by Tyler Wetherall

Hardcover Page Count: 320

Tyler and her family moved around a lot — she had lived in thirteen houses in five countries by the time she was nine, to be exact — but she never questioned why until the Scotland Yard showed up to arrest her father, a criminal who had fled the country ten years earlier after the FBI became interested in his organization. A gripping narrative that will have you furiously flipping the pages, No Way Home is the perfect blend of a riveting true crime tale and a compelling coming-of-age story.

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'Feast: True Love in and out of the Kitchen' by Hannah Howard

Hardcover Page Count: 235

In this honest emotional memoir, one courageous woman shares her struggles with addiction, trauma, and self-acceptance. Hannah Howard, a freshman at Columbia with a passion for the elite world of Manhattan's restaurant scene, is intoxicated by food and desperate to learn all she can about its wonders, but her destructive eating disorder makes it nearly impossible. Before she can learn to love her relationship with food, though, she must first confront her relationship with her body, fears, insecurities, addictions, and all.

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