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Biographies Too Good to Miss       View List as Printable PDF

All Over But the Shoutin'

All Over But the Shoutin'
by Bragg, Rick

A Pulitzer Prize winning journalist's memoir about growing up dirt poor in rural Alabama.

All Rivers Run to the Sea

All Rivers Run to the Sea
by Wiesel, Elie

The memoirs of the Nobel Peace Laureate chronicle his prewar childhood, suffering in Auschwitz, adult struggles with faith, literary endeavors, and relationships with such figures as Golda Meir.

An American Childhood

An American Childhood
by Dillard, Annie

A moving and vivid recollection of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author's childhood in Pittsburgh in the 1950s conveys the keen mind and sense of adventure with which she experienced relatives, neighbors, nature, friends, and changes.

The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup: My Encounters with Extraordinary People

The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup: My Encounters with Extraordinary People
by Orlean, Susan

In a collection of essays from The New Yorker, the acclaimed author of The Orchid Thief offers a series of intriguing profiles of some of the colorful people she has encountered, from the first female Spanish matador to the African king who drives a New York City cab to Silly Billy, a popular entertainer on the children's birthday-party circuit.

Diary of Alice James

Diary of Alice James
by James, Alice

The sister of the psychologist William James and the novelist Henry James depicts her family and her life as an invalid. She was, in many ways, a victim of a society that severely circumscribed the lives of women, and that deprived even privileged and talented women like Alice of their intellectual, spiritual, and emotional-as well as physical-freedom.

The Diary of a Young Girl

The Diary of a Young Girl
by Frank, Anne

Traces the life of the Jewish girl who hid with seven other people in an attic for two years in Nazi-occupied Holland and chronicled her day-to-day life in a diary which was discovered after her death in a German concentration camp.

Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood

Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood
by Fuller, Alexandra

Fuller grew up in Africa during the Rhodesian civil war and tells her story of hardy resilience through family tragedies and bloody revolution in this emotional, yet sometimes humorous memoir.

Farewell to Manzanar

Farewell to Manzanar
by Houston, Jeanne Wakatsuki

The American-born author describes her family's experiences and impressions when they were forced to relocate in a camp for the Japanese in Owens Valley, California, during the Second World War.

Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation

Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation
by Roberts, Cokie

An inspirational but personal look into the trials and tribulations of historical women who helped shape our nation into what it has become exhibits the many facets of their lives and how they supported some of the founders of our country, profiling such key figures as Abigail Adams, Eliza Pinkney, Dolley Payne Madison, Deborah Read Franklin, and Catherine Littlefield Greene.

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin
by Abbey, Edward
BIO DODD
The bestselling author of "Devil in the White City" turns his hand to a remarkable story set during Hitler's rise to power. The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America's first ambassador to Hitler's Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history.

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire
by Foreman, Amanda

This Whitbread Prize-winning biography presents a rich evocation of 18th-century London, revolving around Lady Georgiana Spencer, the great-great-great-great aunt of Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Glass Castle: A Memoir

The Glass Castle: A Memoir
by Walls, Jeannette

Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. This is a story of poverty, family, and ultimately, success against all odds.

Henry James, a Life

Henry James, a Life
by Edel, Leon

A one-volume condensation of Edel's detailed five-volume biography. Traces the life of the prominent nineteenth century American novelist, examines his major works, and tries to capture his complex personality.

Hole in My Life

Hole in My Life
by Gantos, Jack

The author relates how, as a young adult, he became a drug user and smuggler, was arrested, did time in prison, and eventually got out and went to college, all the while hoping to become a writer.

I Am Third: The Inspiration for Brian's Song

I Am Third: The Inspiration for Brian's Song
by Sayers, Gale

The Chicago Bear discusses his pro career, his friendship with Brian Piccolo, and his comeback from a 1968 knee operation. A painfully honest account of his struggle to become the greatest running back in history and that agonizing moment between immortality and becoming a cripple.

Jane Austen: A Life

Jane Austen: A Life
by Tomalin, Claire

Providing detailed and absorbing accounts of Jane Austen's friendships and travels, Tomalin shatters the myth of the novelist as a sheltered and homebound spinster whose knowledge of the world was limited to the view from a Hampshire village.

Life Stories: Profiles from The New Yorker

Life Stories: Profiles from The New Yorker
by Remnick, David

An anthology of biographical profiles from "The New Yorker" covers some of the most influential and infamous people of the century, from Ernest Hemingway and Mikhail Baryshnikov to George W. Bush and Edna Buchanan.

Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America and American in Iran

Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America and American in Iran
by Moaveni, Azadeh

The story of the Iranian-American author's search for identity between two cultures torn apart by a violent history paints a rare and perceptive portrait of Iran's next generation.

Lucky Man

Lucky Man
by Fox, Michael J.

The popular actor recounts his childhood in western Canada, his rise in film and television, his diagnosis of Parkinson's disease, and how he has worked to raise awareness of the disease and find a cure.

Mountains Beyond Mountains

Mountains Beyond Mountains
by Kidder, Tracy

A thought-provoking portrait of world-renowned infectious disease expert Dr. Paul Farmer follows the efforts of this unconventional Harvard genius to understand the world's great health, economic, and social problems and to bring healing to humankind.

Paula

Paula
by Allende, Isabel

An exquisitely rendered, deeply moving mother-daughter story that doubles as Allende's autobiography, Paula is a prodigious evocation and a hymn to life, written from the heart.

A Summer of Discontent

A Summer of Discontent
Series Title: Matthew Bartholomew Chronicles
by Abbey, Edward

Skillfully blending history, medicine, and murder most foul, these intricate medieval mysteries follow the investigations of 14th century Cambridge physician and forensic sleuth Matthew Bartholomew. The pseudonymous author Susanna Gregory, a Cambridge academic, is a former coroner's officer.

"Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!": Adventures of a Curious Character

"Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!": Adventures of a Curious Character
by Feynman, Richard

The late Nobel Prize-winning physicist recounts in his own inimitable style exchanging ideas on atomic physics with Alfred Einstein, painting a naked toreador, and accompanying a ballet on his bongo drums.

Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith

Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith
by Lamott, Anne

Combining elements of spiritual study and memoir, the author of Bird by Bird and Crooked Little Heart describes her odyssey of faith, drawing on her own sometimes troubled past to explore the many ways in which faith sustains and guides one's daily life.

Truman

Truman
by McCullough, David

A biography of the U.S. president explores Truman's brutal frontier childhood, his education, his dogged optimism, his rise through the ranks of the Pendergast machine that controlled Missouri politics, and more.

West with the Night

West with the Night
by Markham, Beryl

Beryl Markham, an aviator, racehorse trainer, and beauty, tells of her life in Kenya of the 1920s and '30s. At 19, she was training winning racehorses. She then followed her passion for aviation and became the first pilot to successfully cross the Atlantic from east to west, against the headwinds.

The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts

The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts
by Kingston, Maxine Hong

A first-generation Chinese-American woman recounts the circumstances, conditions, and consequences of growing up in frantic America within a steadfastly tradition-bound Chinese family, and confronted with Chinese ghosts from the past and non-Chinese ghosts of the present.

The Years of Lyndon Johnson

The Years of Lyndon Johnson
by Caro, Robert

This three volume set traces the life of Lyndon Johnson, including his rise from Texas poverty to political power, illuminating his political relationships and accomplishments.

 

Related Websites...

  • Biography Resource Center
    A subscription database that includes nearly 80 biographical sources and 250 full-text periodical articles. Requires a Library card and PIN for remote access.