I love reading memoirs and autobiographies. They give you a gliimpse into how another person navigates life, and if they're very good, they show that person's struggles and emotional breakthroughs.

How does that improve your awesomeness? Well, accompanying another person on his or her journey helps you craft your unique story. It gives fresh insight into your own challenges. Conversely, if the memoirist is relating his or her successes, reading about triumphs can inspire and perhaps give guidance.

Being human is about connection, in some respect. Connecting with a good memoir can increase your empathy. You can actually feel a bond between you and the author. Whether you respect that person or not, a greater understanding of what they went through, and why they did what they did, can develop.

Some outstanding memoirs published in the past couple of years: Pour Your Soul by Mira Ptacin, Old in Art School by Nell Painter, Educated by Tara Westover, I'll be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, and It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell.

Matt is reading "Death: The End of Self-improvement" by Joan Tollifson.