I’ve generally enjoyed autobiographies more than biographies, but even the best autobiographies have their limitations. As someone who is about to have a published memoir, I’m very aware of how impossible it is to be objective when you write about yourself. You always wind up funnier, sadder, smarter, etc, than you could ever be in person.
Today I want to give you a brief list of some great biographies to read. I’ll be updating the list as I find more, remember more, and have more time. Feel free to add to the list.
Einstein by Walter Isaacson
Isaac Newton by James Gleick
God: A Biography by Jack Miles
John Adams by David McCullough
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography by Humphrey Carpenter
Dr. Seuss and Mr. Geisel by Judith and Neil Morgan
The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester (not quite a traditional biography, but I’m going to leave it here in hopes that someone will love it)
Galileo’s Daughter by Dava Sobel
The Creators by Daniel J. Boorstin (a survey-type biography of just about everyone who ever invented anything)
I’ve got to run for now, but I’ll be back to grow the list. If you know any more of the best biographies to read, toss ’em into the comments.
If you’re a reader, you might enjoy the book club. I send out one or two emails a month with recommendations and news about my own writing.