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Friday, January 18, 2013

Author Biographies You MUST Read

My husband does not read fiction. The ever-changing library stacks on our bedside tables would not be super good friends because my Enola Holmes mysteries (great historical middle grade by Nancy Springer) and Kate Messner books (you've got to read the Marty McGuire books) and Junie B. Jones books (Barbara Park is a GENIUS) wouldn't be able to relate well his copy of The New Evolution Diet: What Our Paleolithic Ancestors Can Teach Us about Weight Loss, Fitness, and Aging (to be fair, this one was actually super interesting) and The Body Ecology Diet and his issues of Golf Digest.

Every once in awhile, he'll throw a biography or autobiography into the mix and I'll steal it to learn more about a historical leader or sports figure. I have to admit it, even if the legendary golfer Ben Hogan wasn't on my radar before I met my husband, I'm glad I know about the man now. People are truly fascinating (which I suppose explains Twitter...why else would people feverishly follow Justin Bieber through his day to see what he was up to~ "Oooo!! He got a hair cut!" "Oh no! Now he got a paper cut!").

ANYWAY, if you're like me and have a constant stack of fiction on your bedside table, why not throw in a few nonfiction gems that are a pleasant bridge between writing craft books and pure fiction. That's right~ I'm talking about author biographies and autobiographies. 

Here are a few that have caught my eye (okay, so they're not necessarily MUST read, as advertised in this blog post's title, but they sounded interesting to me):

BIOGRAPHIES




Theodor SEUSS Geisel (Lives and Legacies) by Donald E. Pease


*The beloved Dr. Seuss. Enough said :)



J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography by Humphrey Carpenter


*There are tons of biographies out there about Tolkien. Take your pick of them, but DO choose one to read!





J. K. Rowling: The Wizard Behind Harry Potter by Marc Shapiro

*Again, there are tons of biographies out there on Rowling.





AUTOBIOGRAPHIES:

Boy: Tales of Childhood 

*This is a short memoir of Roald Dahl's childhood. I read this for a report in elementary school and still love it!








Autobiography of Mark Twain (100th Anniversary Newly Edited and Commented Edition)

*Samuel Clemens planned for this to be published a century after his death and it was kept in archives as promised until 2010. This one was listed at $2.99 for a Kindle version.




A Year in Provence By Peter Mayle

*A Year in Provence begins a charming three-book series about author Peter Mayle's life in France. Those who love travel memoirs with funny/poignant cultural and personal revelations about life, etc. will sink into these.



 
*Encore Provence and Toujours Provence
are the other books




That's all from me~ do you have any recommendations or author biographies and/or autobiographies?

33 comments:

  1. I do read some non-fiction, but very rarely are they biographies. Not sure why.

    Have a great weekend! :)

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    1. It's easier to slip into them if you're super interested in the person. Plus, not all biographies are created equal~ you see a lot of "pop" biographies that I wouldn't necessarily be interested in. I tend to like the ones about historical figures, because the process of how they gathered info about those people is fascinating in itself.

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    2. PS, that's me in the reply above~ my other account (named Jessica, not Jess) was in use at the time :)

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  2. It's not really a biography, but Madeleine L'Engle's book Walking On Water is good. It does give some insight into her writing and her methods.

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    1. Oh, good one~ thanks for mentioning it!

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  3. ooh, I always love a good biography... especially biographies of famous historical people and rulers, those are always interesting to read since you learn a lot about the period...

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  4. It has been YEARS since I've picked up a biography... this post makes me want to remedy that!

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    2. Oh good~ hope you find an interesting one!

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  5. I agree with you - biographies are fascinating. It's very true that truth is stranger than fiction. I watch documentaries and biographical movies whenever I have a chance. (I'm afraid my TBR pile is getting dusty because I'd rather watch TV than read. *blush*)

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    1. My TBR pile is ridiculously high right now. I love biographical movies, too!

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  6. I've read the Tolkien one.
    You should get him to read Doc by Mary Doria Russel. I haven't actually read it, yet, but my wife says it's great. [I'm currently reading her Dreamers of the Day.] She's great at historical fiction, so it might be something he could get into since it's very character driven.

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  7. I can't think of any biographies I'd recommend, but reading the comment above, I'm interested in the one by Mary Doria Russell. I absolutely adored her book "The Sparrow".

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    1. I'll have to look into that one, too!

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  8. This is such a good reminder. I get so hung up on fiction I forget that I've loved biographies through the years. I'm making note of J.R.R. Tolkein, would love to know more about him.

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    1. Yep, I go through phases where I basically forget that there are nonfiction books out there~ hope you find a Tolkien biography you like!

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  9. The most memorable biography I ever read read was that on Anne Sullivan, Helen Keller's teacher. I think I read it in 5th grade and I still remember being fascinated by her story.

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  10. Thanks for the recommendations! I am going to check out the autobiography of Mark Twain. Think I will love it. Hope you had a great weekend!

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    1. Oh good! You have a good weekend as well :)

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  11. All of thoese sound like great choices, especially Mr. Twain. :)

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    2. I'm right there with you on the Twain book!

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  12. I loved A Year in Provence, and learned so much about life in France from that book.
    BTW, thanks for stopping by my blog. Cezar is doing much better!

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