What biography have you read that was interesting? Not interested in celebrities or sports
Sometimes I get a little burned out on fiction. What biography have you read that was interesting? Not interested in celebrities or sports.
Sometimes I get a little burned out on fiction. What biography have you read that was interesting? Not interested in celebrities or sports.
Educated…it is more of a memoir tho…
The Marvelous Dr. Mutter
Katherine Graham’s book is wonderful
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Kafir Boy by Mark Mathabane. Fascinating story about Mark Mathabane escaping abject poverty in Soweto South Africa. Not my normal genre, this book was a college read for an old friend and was passed to me. Beautiful book.
Not a biography, but The Hot Zone about the Ebola virus was fascinating
I have read this book.
A Schoolteacher in Old Alaska, Hannah Breece/ Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand / The Lost Airman, Seth Meyerowitz,
I’ll second Unbroken. Hillenbrand is masterful in her story telling.
My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead. Not exactly a biography. More of a memoir and commentary.
Love Lessons from the Old West, Wisdom from Wild Women, Chris Enss
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah was excellent. He is a celebrity, but the book only focuses on his early life in a South Africa during apartheid as a biracial child. The Boys in the Boat was interesting but somewhat slow in parts (in my opinion).
I loved Born a Crime and recommended it to all and sundry. A young colleague of Jamaican descent read my borrowed copy and then bought his own to share with his family.
Loved Born a Crime
Boys in the boat is great!
Born a Crime is amazing. The audio book is fantastic.
Just finished Unbroken. Wow. It was brutal to read at times, but truly unfortgetable.
Seabiscuit is great also.
Never saw the movie, and was so glad. The book, phenomenal. You might really like The Lost Airman, Meyerowitz
I agree! I started watching the movie and turned it off. It just didn’t do the story justice.
I will definitely add those to my list, thanks for the reccs!
I am a non-sport loving man and I loved Seabiscuit. Laura Hillenbrand writes so well that I absolutely fell in love with the characters involved with Seabiscuit. It helps that I always root for the underdog. ?
Actually, I have read Unbroken (very inspirational), but not Seabiscuit.
Anything by Doris Kerns Goodwin. I particularly like The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys
A good place to start. I have met her, but not read anything by her lately.
@Kathy then you should definitely start with one of her books. They are pretty thick books, but are one of the few non-fictions I have read several times. While the title escapes me for some reason, the one she wrote about FDR and Eleanor was also excellent.
I really enjoyed the one on Abraham Lincoln, too.
Wendy Greve, the name of the book about the Roosevelt’s was entitled No Ordinary Time and it was fascinating. Team of Rivals by her is also excellent!
@Karen. Thank you! And Team of Rivals is the one about Lincoln. I honestly do not think she has written a bad book,
2 memoirs I’ve read recently and really liked are North of Normal by Cea Sunrise Person and Etched in Sand by Regina Calcaterra. Etched was hard to read in places because she goes into great detail about the abuse she suffered at the hands of her mother. But both are worth a read in my opinion
This is history. Really good. The Rescue Artist, Edward Dolnick, about the theft of the painting, The Scream, from the Norway national art museum.
Destiny of The Republic. It is about James Garfield.
Yes agree on this one plus River of Doubt by same author…Roosevelt’s expedition down the Amazon
Educated by Tara Westover. Unbelievable.
Tis Herself by Maureen O’Hara was wonderful.
It was very good. I also liked Girl Singer by Rosemary Clooney. I know it’s by a celebrity but it was fascinating.
LIFE IS A GIFT: THE ZEN OF BENNETT by Tony Bennett. He’s such a wise, heartwarming soul.
Evicted: poverty & profit in the American city. Disturbing yet enlightening.
Have to try this one. One of my favorite fictions is The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair.
Unforgettable by Scott Simon of NPR fame was a wonderful book.
The Frontiersmen, and The Court Marshall of Daniel Boone, both by Allan Eckert.
Sisters-in-Law, about Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Sandra Day-O’Conner, Salt by Mark Kurlansky, Radium Girls, Devil in White City, Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, The Warmth of Other Suns…
Wild by Cheryl Strayed, Up by Patrícia Ellis Herr, Adventure Divas by Holly Morris, and Left to Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza
Left to Tell was a favorite of my book club
it was so powerful!
The Making of a Woman Surgeon (old, but good)
Ava’s Man, by Rick Bragg. Great southern story teller. This book about his grandparents survival during the Great Depression. My all time favorite.
Haven’t read this one, although I’m a southern girl!
If you like Steinbeck and Pat Conroy, you will love Rick Bragg.
This was great!
Florence Nightingale by Catherine Reef. It’s a young adult biography you can read in two evenings. It’s fascinating and outstanding.
The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton is simply an outstanding thought-provoking read on Justice. He was wrongly imprisoned for thirty years.
Eisenhower in War and Peace
By: Jean Edward Smith
It’s worth it just to see what a weirdo Byron was. Lol
Killers of theFlower Moon
The Hiding Place – Corrie Ten Boom 5⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Sisters in law by Hirshman – about the first two women to become Supreme Court justices
Grace Hopper by Beyer – about Admiral.Hopper and the invention of the information age
Tough as Nails – about the second class to have women at West Point
Furiously Happy, The Last Lecture, The Zookeeper’s Wife, Unbroken
Furiously Happy is one of my favorites of all time!
The Zookeeper’s Wife was totally fascinating!
@Chelsea and even funnier – Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. Jenny Lawson is SO hysterically wacky!
@Melissa I own it, but haven’t gotten around to it yet!!! Have you done the audio books? She’s hilarious to listen to
No I haven’t – I should. I’d love to hear her intonations. Next car trip!!
Carl Sandburg’s abridged Lincoln made me cry
Jennie, The Life of Lady Randolph @Churchill.
I also enjoy literary non-fiction, especially historical. Like The Devil in the White City, The Knife Man, The Professor and the Madman, The Meaning of Everything, anything by Bill Bryson, and A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard based on her diaries
I also really enjoyed The Professor and the Madman, and several of Bill Bryson’s works.
Oooohhh…Bill Bryson is such fun to read. My favorite is At Home.
@Kathy Mine is In A Sunburned Country. 🙂
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver is a good one, too
The Letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu are also very good.
I have read a lot of biographies and other non-fiction over centuries of time frame
@Laura, have not read anything by her since Poisonwood Bible. Loved all the Bean Trees books!
It’s non-fiction by her, about an experiment their family did in local eating. Funny and real. Recipes included, multiple voices
Not a biography, more of a memoir but “Home is a Roof Over a Pig”.
I’m listening to “Principles” by Ray Dalio. It’s a business/finance book. It’s not my usual read/listen, but I’m finding it interesting.
I’m also reading Educated by Tara Westover. Also interesting.
@Diane – loved Educated!!!!
Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff. She has other NF as well.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
I prefer memoirs to biographies. Right now I am reading The $64 Tomato by William Alexander, and I just finished It’s All Relative by AJ Jacobs.
The Holy or the Broken, by Alan Light (kind of a biography of a song)
To Reach the Clouds, by Philippe Petit (the man who walked the highwire between the Twin Towers)
The Great Shame
Just finished Educated…what a GREAT book!
One of the best I’ve ever read
@Alexandra At times I got frustrated when she kept returning home…but that was her challenge…to separate. Excellent writer!
@Eileen it was MADDENING! Ripped me apart every time she even acknowledged her brother…Took me til the end of the book to “get over it.” Can’t ever remotely understand her pain. Amazing story.
I know he’s a celeb but Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime is really good and really has nothing to do with his celebrity. It’s about growing up in South Africa. It’s focus stays on his childhood.
Yes- Trevor Noah’s biography was such a great read! ??
The Alan Cumming book is very interesting to me. Its obviously celebrity, but looks deeper to me
This was a great autobiography! I learned so much!
The Notorious RBG
Killers of the Flower Moon!
“Wild” by Cheryl Strayed
Pulitzer by James McGrath Morris.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s bio was great
Girl Walks Out of A Bar;
Personal History-Katharine Graham;
The Beautiful Fall;
Sleeping With the Enemy: Coco Chanel’s Secret War
A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah — one of the Sierra Leone boy soldiers. If you like Historical Biography’s, anything by Alison Weir (she also does novels). Joan Didion’s Year of Magical Thinking, Frances Mayles Under the Tuscan Sun and one of my favorites for people who love books: Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi.
Great book A long way gone?
I loved both Reading Lolita in Tehran and Year of Magical Thinking
Year of Magical Thinking….such a wonderful book!
Notes on a Cowardly Lion by John Lahr. An oldie but can find at Library. About a celebrity, Bert Lahr, but beautifully written by his son.
H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald… Gorgeous book and powerful language: part memoir of her response to her father’s death, part biography of T H White, part manual on how to train a hawk!
Galileo’s Daughter, by Dava Sobel
Catherine the Great by Robert K. Massie; Victoria the Queen by Julia Baird; Becoming Queen Victoria by Kate Williams; Appetite For Life: The Biography of Julia Child by Noel Riley Fitch; Charles Dickens by Clair Tomalin
Dancing Fish and Ammonites: A Memoir by Penelope Lively
[blurb: “Dancing Fish and Ammonites traces the arc of Lively’s life, stretching from her early childhood in Cairo to boarding school in England to the sweeping social changes of Britain’s twentieth century. She reflects on her early love of archeology, the fragments of the ancients that have accompanied her journey—including a sherd of Egyptian ceramic depicting dancing fish and ammonites found years ago on a Dorset beach. She also writes insightfully about aging and what life looks like from where she now stands.”]
Art of Memoir by Mary Karr
Every American would benefit from reading this book.
I am South African ,but the book was an eye opener for me. Well researched and beautifully written
its a hard read at times.he went through so much.but its worth reading.
Michelle Knight – Finding Me. She is one of the three kidnapped girls that were found many years later in Ariel Castro’s home.
The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki, it is about Elisabeth, Empress of Austria (Sisi)
Lab Girl , Hope Lahren
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks; Hamilton
I’ve just ordered Stella Rimmingtons bio x
I didn’t read a Biography but I’ve read Carl Sagan, amazing reading.
Slaves in the Family by Edward Ball. Excellent family history about the author’s slave owning family and how he finds and embraces his slave descendant relatives…. another that intrigued me was Dr. Snow about a University of Pennsylvania dental student who became a huge coke dealer in the 70’s.
The Wright Brothers by David McCullough
“Not Quite Lost” by Roz Morris – just a lovely collection of stories about some trips (mostly within England) that the writer took, but charmingly written. Right now, I’m reading “I am, I am, I am: Seventeen Brushes with Death” by Maggie O’Farrell – really interesting, lusciously written and not at all morbid as the title might suggest.
Oh, there’s also “Mastering the Art of French Eating” by Ann Mah, which is lots and lots of fun about foods that Mah learned about and ate when her husband was supposed to be stationed in France, but got called away, leaving her there on her own!
Not exactly a biography, but a fantastic true store. KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON by David Grann. Amazing book.
Cleopatra, A Life by Stacy Schiff
Love, Life, and Elephants by Dame Daphne Sheldrick. Highly recommend
I love memoirs, mainly travel ones, here are a few suggestions: 1. Birding Without Borders: An Obsession, a Quest, and the Biggest Year in the World by Noah Strycker 2. Safari Jema: A Journey of Love and Adventure from Casablanca to Cape Town by Teresa O’Kane 3. The View from Casa Chepitos: A Journey Beyond the Border by Judith Gille 4.The Raw Scent of Vanilla by Emilia Bresciani
Priestdaddy by patricia Lockwood. real autobiography, poetic writing and her father is at least twice as nuts as portrayed…I know him. one of NYT best books of 2017.
Educated! Hillbilly Elegy! A River In Darkness~one Man’s Escape From Darkness;
The Girl With Seven Names.
Fly Girls by Keith O’Brien, about five daring women who fought for a chance to compete in the national air races in the 1920s and 30s. Amelia Earhart was one of them, but I’m sure you’ve never heard of the other four, whose stories were lost until now. It’s an incredible read.
The Glass Castle; Lost in Shangrila; When Breath Becomes Air
I enjoyed all three of these books???
In the late 70s I was thoroughly taken with My Life by Isadora Duncan (the famous modern dancer). Now I see it was reissued in 2013 in paperback with added materials.
Stuart; A Life Backwards
In the Sanctuary of Outcasts by Neil White
Grandma Gatewood’s walk : the inspiring story of the woman who saved the Appalachian Trail
by Montgomery, Ben., author.
Educated, by Tara Westover.
The Stranger in the Woods: the extraordinary true story of the last true hermit, by Michael Finkel. https://www.amazon.com/Stranger-Woods-Extraordinary-Story-Hermit/dp/1101875682/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=&dpID=61SsYMkcs5L&preST=_SY344_BO1%2C204%2C203%2C200_QL70_&dpSrc=detail
A House in the Sky, by Amanda Lindhout. https://www.amazon.com/House-Sky-Memoir-Amanda-Lindhout/dp/1451645619/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1533076947&sr=1-1&keywords=House+in+the+sky
Is it just me, or are other people scribbling down tons of ideas for books they need to read! So many books; so little time!
Thanks to everyone for their suggestions!