Biographies and Memoirs Books

‘Walk a mile in my shoes’... Great biographies and memoirs are books that give us an insight that even the most personal and private conversation can’t provide. They have the power to deepen and enrich our own humanity, through the knowledge and understanding of another.

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What are Biographies and Memoirs?

biography, or simply bio, is a detailed description of a person’s life. It involves more than just the basic facts like education, work, relationships, and death; it portrays a person’s experience of these life events. Unlike a profile or curriculum vitae (résumé), a biography presents a subject’s life story, highlighting various aspects of his or her life, including intimate details of experience, and may include an analysis of the subject’s personality.

Biographical works are usually non-fiction, but fiction can also be used to portray a person’s life. One in-depth form of biographical coverage is called legacy writing. Works in diverse media, from literature to film, form the genre known as biography.

Source: Wikipedia > Biography

Unless you are extremely fortunate, it is unlikely you will be surrounded by people who have lived extraordinary lives who are ready to sit you down and teach you all the lessons they learned. Nothing captures those insights and lessons of a life lived, better than a book.

Whilst many people find it difficult to prioritize the time to sit down and read fiction, thinking it is ‘entertainment’ and not essential. A great biography or memoir can provide lessons to improve your life, or the work you do.

Fascinating lives captured impeccably: the great  and the best biographies and autobiographies are more than books, they are a record of our shared humanity.

Action and Adventure books classic - The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum

Biography Catherine The Great by Robert K. Massie

Action and Adventure books classic - The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum

Memoir The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby

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PT 109

The extraordinary World War II story of shipwreck and survival that paved John F. Kennedy's path to power – hailed as a “breathtaking account” by James Patterson, “masterfully written” by historian Douglas Brinkley, and “the finest book” ever written on the subject by...

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American Kingpin

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER. The unbelievable true story of the man who built a billion-dollar online drug empire from his bedroom -- and almost got away with it In 2011, a twenty-six-year-old libertarian programmer named Ross Ulbricht launched the ultimate free market:...

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The Gentle Tamers

A fascinating history of women on America’s western frontier by the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. Popular culture has taught us to picture the Old West as a land of men, whether it’s the lone hero on horseback or crowds of card...

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I Remember Nothing

Nora Ephron returns with her first book since the astounding success of I Feel Bad About My Neck, taking a cool, hard, hilarious look at the past, the present, and the future, bemoaning the vicissitudes of modern life, and recalling with her signature clarity and...

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The Warner Boys

An emotional, revealing memoir of one family’s life in seclusion—and the love, strength, and faith it took to save it.Seahawks star running back Curt Warner and his wife, Ana, were prominent figures in Seattle in the early 1990s. When they dropped from the public eye...

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The Sky Below

“Scott Parazynski’s drive, curiosity, inventiveness, and great humor shine through the pages of The Sky Below and will certainly inspire future generations to pursue their dreams with every fiber in their being.” —John Glenn, NASA astronautAn epic memoir from a man...

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Never Stop Walking

An extraordinary memoir of one woman’s fight to find her true self between the life into which she was born and the one she was given.Christiana Mara Coelho was born into extreme poverty in Brazil. After spending the first seven years of her life with her loving...

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A Beautiful Work In Progress

Runners’ vocabulary is full of acronyms like DNS for “Did Not Start” and DNF for “Did Not Finish,” but when Mirna Valerio stepped up to the starting line, she needed a new one: DNQ for “Did Not Quit.”Valerio has tied on her running shoes all across the country, from...

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Freckled

For fans of The Glass Castle and Educated, comes mystery author Toby Neal’s personal story of surviving a wild childhood in paradise.We never call it homeless. We're just "camping" in the jungle on Kauai...We live in a place everyone calls paradise. Sure, Kauai’s...

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David Mitchell: Back Story

David Mitchell, who you may know for his inappropriate anger on every TV panel show except Never Mind the Buzzcocks, his look of permanent discomfort on C4 sex comedy Peep Show, his online commenter-baiting in The Observer or just for wearing a stick-on moustache in...

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Antony and Cleopatra

The acclaimed historian reveals the truth behind the myths of antiquity’s legendary lovers in “this thoughtful, deeply satisfying” dual biography (Publishers Weekly, starred review).   In Antony and Cleopatra, preeminent historian Adrian Goldsworthy goes beyond the...

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Trauma: My Life as an Emergency Surgeon

In this pulse-pounding medical memoir, trauma surgeon James Cole takes readers straight into the ER, where anything can and does happen.TRAUMA is Dr. Cole's harrowing account of his life spent in the ER and on the battlegrounds, fighting to save lives. In addition to...

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Banging My Head Against the Wall

Seinfeld writer Andy Cowan's 2018 comedy memoir, Banging My Head Against the Wall: A Comedy Writer’s Guide to Seeing Stars, foreword by Jay Leno, was recently acquired by The National Comedy Center in Jamestown, New York, a 2019 USA Today Best New Attraction.“The...

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What Would Mary Ann Do?

So, what would Mary Ann do?As the sweet, polite, and thoughtful Mary Ann Summers from Kansas in the hit series Gilligan’s Island, Dawn Wells created an unforgettable and beloved character that still connects with people fifty years from the show’s debut in 1964. As...

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The Happy Isles of Oceania

The author of The Great Railway Bazaar explores the South Pacific by kayak: “This exhilarating epic ranks with [his] best travel books” (Publishers Weekly).   In one of his most exotic and adventuresome journeys, travel writer Paul Theroux embarks on an eighteen-month...

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River-Horse

New York Times bestseller: “A coast-to-coast journey by way of great rivers, conducted by a contemporary master of travel writing” (Kirkus Reviews).   In this memoir brimming with history, humor, and wisdom, the author of Blue Highways and PrairyErth “voyages across...

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Braver Than You Think

Newly married and established in her career as an award–winning newspaper journalist, Maggie Downs quits her job, sells her belongings, and embarks on the solo trip of a lifetime: Her mother’s.As a child, Maggie Downs often doubted that she would ever possess the...

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Long Way Back to the River Kwai

Loet Velmans was seventeen when the Germans invaded Holland. He and his family fled to London on the Dutch Coast Guard cutter Seaman’s Hope and then sailed to the Dutch East Indies—now Indonesia—where he joined the Dutch army. In March 1942, the Japanese invaded the...

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The Measure of a Man

"I have no wish to play the pontificating fool, pretending that I've suddenly come up with the answers to all life's questions. Quite the contrary, I began this book as an exploration, an exercise in selfquestioning. In other words, I wanted to find out, as I looked...

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Slouching Towards Bethlehem

The “dazzling” and essential portrayal of 1960s America from the author of South and West and The Year of Magical Thinking (The New York Times). Capturing the tumultuous landscape of the United States, and in particular California, during a pivotal era of social...

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My Anecdotal Life

More than once, Carl Reiner has had friends say, "Hey, Reiner, you ought to write those things down." And at eighty, he finally has. In this funny and engaging memoir, one of the best raconteurs on the planet recalls his life in show business in short comic takes....

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My Struggle (Book 1)

My Struggle: Book 1 introduces American readers to the audacious, addictive, and profoundly surprising international literary sensation that is the provocative and brilliant six-volume autobiographical novel by Karl Ove Knausgaard. It has already been anointed a...

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Jack The Ripper

The mystery of Jack the Ripper and the murders he committed in London’s East End in the late nineteenth century has horrified and fascinated spectators and readers for over a century. In one of the first recognized mass murderers, he terrorized some of London’s...

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Doc: A Memoir

A brutally honest memoir of talent, addiction, and recovery from one of the greatest baseball pitchers of all time. As a shy nineteen-year-old, Dwight Gooden swept into New York, lifting a team of crazy characters to World Series greatness and giving a beleaguered...

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The Mad Sculptor

2015 Edgar Award Nominee Beekman Place, once one of the most exclusive addresses in Manhattan, had a curious way of making it into the tabloids in the 1930s: “SKYSCRAPER SLAYER,” “BEAUTY SLAIN IN BATHTUB” read the headlines. On Easter Sunday in 1937, the discovery of...

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Paris Letters

A New York Times bestsellerFinding love and freedom in a pen, a paintbrush...and ParisHow much money does it take to quit your job?Exhausted and on the verge of burnout, Janice poses this question to herself as she doodles on a notepad at her desk. Surprisingly, the...

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Thunder Dog

Faith. Trust. Triumph. “I’m sorry,” the doctor said. “He is permanently and totally blind. There is nothing we can do for him.” George and Sarah Hingson looked at each other, devastated. Their six-month-old son, Michael was a happy, strawberry blond baby boy, healthy...

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When Women Were Birds

The beloved author of Refuge returns with a work that explodes and startles, illuminates and celebratesTerry Tempest Williams's mother told her: "I am leaving you all my journals, but you must promise me you won't look at them until after I'm gone."Readers of...

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Dust Tracks on a Road

From Zora Neale Hurston, one of the most important African American writers of the twentieth century, comes her riveting autobiography—now available in a limited Olive Edition.First published in 1942 at the height of her popularity, Dust Tracks on a Road is Zora Neale...

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Thomas Jefferson

In this unique biography of Thomas Jefferson, leading journalist and social critic Christopher Hitchens offers a startlingly new and provocative interpretation of our Founding Father. Situating Jefferson within the context of America's evolution and tracing his legacy...

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Walden on Wheels

In this frank and witty memoir, Ken Ilgunas lays bare the existential terror of graduating from the University of Buffalo with $32,000 of student debt. Ilgunas set himself an ambitious mission: get out of debt as quickly as possible. Inspired by the frugality and...

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A Drop of Midnight

World-renowned hip-hop artist Jason “Timbuktu” Diakité’s vivid and intimate journey through his own and his family’s history—from South Carolina slavery to twenty-first-century Sweden.Born to interracial American parents in Sweden, Jason Diakité grew up between...

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The Pirate King

A compelling account of history's most famous pirate.The Pirate King is the compelling true story of a Welshman who became one of the most ruthless and brutal buccaneers of the golden age of piracy. The inspiration for dozens of fictionalized pirates in film,...

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Frontier Follies

New York Times bestsellerA down-to-earth, hilarious collection of stories and musings on marriage, motherhood, and country life from the #1 New York Times bestselling author and star of the Food Network show The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond.In this relatable, charming...

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There is no Goat

A comical, disturbing and engaging look into the Pashtun-Afghan culture, written by a female veteran of the U.S. Army.Tasked with leading a team in support of U.S. Army Counterintelligence, Jennifer Dunham spent fourteen months in Eastern Afghanistan. Charged with...

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The Vodka Diaries

A Peace Corps Volunteer's Adventures In Russia!In a radio broadcast on October 1st, 1939, Winston Churchill referred to Russia as, “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” During my tenure as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Russian Far East, I found...

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