Monday, August 21, 2017

Ten Biographies of Interest

I was asked to create a bookmark or brochure of biographies to promote that section at the library. I used Goodreads and selected ten books which we have,  adjusting a bit to include more women.  The blurbs borrow slightly from the official descriptions.  I've read a couple of these and a few more are definite possibilities -- particularly Wild Swans.   Hidden Figures would dovetail nicely with We Could Not Fail.

1. Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson
The man behind the Apple II, the Ipad, and the Iphone – “The Innovator of His Generation”

2.  Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, Margot Lee Shetterly

3.  Marie-Antoinette, Antonia Frasier
France’s iconic queen, wrongly reviled, commanded by fate to feature in one of Europe’s most dramatic moments

4.  Alexander Hamilton, Rob Chernow
The story of a self-taught orphan from the Caribbean who rose to become the Treasury Secretary of the United States.

5. Wild Swans, Jung Chang.
The lives of three women tell the story of China’s tortuous path into the 20th century, as they lived through warlords and revolution

6. Catherine the Great, Robert Massie
The tale of a princess who went to Russia at age 14 and became one of the most powerful women in history

7.The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot
The story of a young farmwoman who unknowingly became a contributor to science throughout the 20th century, as her long-lived cells were used to combat viruses and cancer long after her death.

8. Theodore Rex, Edmond Morris
Highly-regarded treatment of a larger-than-life president famed for his energy, a man who insisted on delivering a speech even after being shot in the chest

9. John Adams, David McCullough
History on a grand scale about a colossus of independence

10. The Soul of a Butterfly, Muhammad Ali
The autobiography of the famed boxer.


  1. Great list! I'm always on the lookout for some good biography recommendations, so I'll have to check these out. I've read some of Edmond Morris' book and part of Massie's book on Peter the Great, but that's about it! Thanks for sharing.

  2. I have 'Hidden Figures' (a *great* film BTW) and 'Henrietta Lacks'. I was never a huge fan of biographies until recently. I'm really getting into them now.

  3. @Jordan Thanks! Massie is an unexpected biographer for me...I've only ever read his books on naval history.

    @Cyberkitten: I've thought about reading Henrietta Lacks, but when I skimmed through the book, it seemed to be more about the family and the discovery of her cells' use, than of the woman or the science. Maybe a closer look would bear more fruit..


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