Woman reading a book
Credit: Karolina Grabowska

In 2023, we have had several celebrities in entertainment, music, and sports open the door to their personal lives by writing and releasing memoirs.

There is something beautiful, courageous, and selfless about pulling back the curtain on your own life journey and experiences in hopes of inspiring and empowering others. 

Below you will find 5 buzzworthy celebrity memoirs that you should add to your reading list. 

Jay ‘Jeezy’ Jenkins ‘Adversity For Sale_ Ya Gotta Believe’ book cover

Adversity For Sale (Hardcover)

By Jay ‘Jeezy’ Jenkins (Author)

Price: $26.38

Release Date: August 8, 2023

Born into poverty and raised in a small town in the middle of South Georgia’s so-called “Black belt,” Jeezy realized at an early age that nothing was going to come easy, there were no handouts headed his way, and if he ever wanted anything in life, he was going to have to get out there and get it on his own.

So that’s what he did.

Now, for the first time, Jeezy retraces his steps, going back to day one to share how he turned nothing into something, stayed solid, survived the trap, and triumphed over adversity to become the successful artist, father, husband, entrepreneur, and philanthropist that he is today.

Adversity for Sale isn’t a street memoir. Like his music, these pages are filled with lessons from his deeply personal story to motivate you to go out and get after your dream.

Kerry Washington memoir 'Thicker Than Water'

Thicker Than Water (Hardcover)

By Kerry Washington (Author)

Price: $27.00

Release Date: September 26, 2023

While on a drive in Los Angeles, on a seemingly average afternoon, Kerry Washington received a text message that would send her on a life-changing journey of self-discovery.

In an instant, her very identity was torn apart, with everything she thought she knew about herself thrown into question.

In Thicker than Water, Washington gives readers an intimate view into both her public and private worlds—as a mother, daughter, wife, artist, advocate, and trailblazer.

Chronicling her upbringing and life’s journey thus far, she reveals how she faced a series of challenges and setbacks, effectively hid childhood traumas, met extraordinary mentors, managed to grow her career, and crossed the threshold into stardom and political advocacy, ultimately discovering her truest self and, with it, a deeper sense of belonging.

Throughout this profoundly moving and beautifully written memoir, Washington attempts to answer the questions so many have struggled with: Who am I? What is my truest and most authentic self? How do I find a deeper sense of connection and belonging? 

With grace and honesty, she inspires readers to search for—and find—themselves.

Rich Paul-Lucky Me Memoir

Lucky Me: A Memoir Of Changing The Odds (Hardcover)

By Rich Paul (Author)

Price: $26.49

Release Date: October 10, 2023

There’s a story about Rich Paul that everyone knows: A twenty-one-year-old kid from Cleveland who sells sports jerseys out of his car meets a high school basketball phenom named LeBron James at an airport—the two become friends and forge a decades-long partnership that reinvents the business of sports.

That random meeting might seem like the lucky break that changed Paul’s life. But a moment of good fortune means nothing without the struggle that gets you there.

And the truth is, Paul had always been lucky.

Rich Paul became a gambler at an early age—his fast mind and gift for finding an edge made him a devastating dice roller who could hold his own with grown men, win big, and walk away alive.

Shooting dice wasn’t just a pastime; it was a way to earn money for his family as his mother struggled under the weight of drug addiction.

He learned the secret science of dice in the same place he found all the lessons of his young life: the corner store his father operated, the center of the neighborhood’s frantic action.

Paul’s father had another family but kept his son close working at the store. Paul dreamed of becoming a star athlete, but the streets were where he thrived, building a lucrative enterprise on shaky ground.

When he found himself at a dangerous crossroads, he summoned the teachings of his past to create a different future.

Readers will follow the riveting journey of a young Rich Paul narrated by the Paul of today, who looks back with wit and insight, drawing out the lessons he learned at every stage—about business, people, and the values that lead to success.

It’s the inspiring story of the luck that’s all around us, if we know where to look.

Aida Rodriguez- Legitimate Kid

Legitimate Kid: A Memoir (Hardcover)

By Aida Rodriguez (Author)

Price: $28.99

Release Date: October 17, 2023

Aida Rodriguez has, to put it mildly, lived a whirlwind life. Her rags-to-riches story is mind-blowing: She was kidnapped as a child by her mother in the Dominican Republic and brought to the US.

She was later kidnapped again by her grandmother and uncle and moved from New York to Florida. As an adult, she ended a difficult marriage and endured homelessness with her children in Los Angeles.

But through it all, she never lost her sense of humor.

Born with a wonderful wit and an irrepressible spirit, Aida used her gifts and worked tirelessly, turning tragedy and pain into biting comedy that takes on everything from misogyny and racism to social media and news headlines.

She eventually released a hit HBO Max special which led to multiple development deals—success that won her a nationwide audience, opened doors, and helped her expand the way Latinos are represented in comedy.

In this, her highly anticipated first book, Aida charts her many ups and downs. From personal setbacks to career highs and everything in between, Legitimate Kid is endearing, shocking, and ultimately life-affirming.

Jada Pinkett Smith - Worthy book cover

Worthy (Hardcover)

By Jada Pinkett Smith (Author)

Price: $26.79

Release Date: October 17, 2023

Jada Pinkett Smith was living what many would view as a fairy-tale of Hollywood success. But appearances can be deceiving, and as she felt more and more separated from her sense of self, emotional turmoil took hold.

Sparing no detail, Worthy chronicles her life—from a rebellious youth running the Baltimore streets as an observer and participant in the drug trade, to the deep bond she shared with Tupac Shakur from the moment they met, to her move to Los Angeles and the successful career she built on her own terms, to becoming the wife of superstar Will Smith and mother to Jaden, Willow and bonus-mom to Trey.

A rollercoaster from the depths of suicidal depression to the heights of self-acceptance and spiritual healing, Worthy is a woman’s journey to finding herself again. 

In a media-driven landscape that crafts narratives for our celebrities, Smith shares herself in an intimate conversation with readers.

She answers questions about her difficult childhood, her marriage, her parenting style, her career choices, and the intense scrutiny that followed “the slap.” 

An impactful and rare memoir that engages and educates, Worthy shows why adhering to the status quo has never been the plan for Jada Pinkett Smith and why labels and stories crafted by others strip women of their authenticity. 

Worthy teaches us who Jada is, and how to embrace our most lovable qualities. Complete with thought-provoking writing prompts and meditations on how to discover who we really are and nourish our self-worth.

Black woman wearing headphones reading a book
Photo: Antoni Shkraba

Which celebrity memoirs have you read or plan to add to your reading list?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, or join the convo on our socials. (FacebookInstagram).

Oh, and feel free to share your own recommendations!

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