Few things in life are as inspiring as books. And, although fiction can give us a real insight into different facets of the world, real stories can be even more inspiring, altogether. I’m referring to biography books – which offer a window into the lives of prominent people. Today I’ll introduce you to some of the most compelling ones I’ve read so far.
The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell
By all means, this is a dramatic, compelling biography focusing on the life of a great man, namely Samuel Johnson. Instead of the usual recollection of dutiful events, this biography incorporates an unexpected assemble of dramatized vignettes, which have a comic appeal to them.
Churchill: A Life by Martin Gilbert
Aiming at grasping the facts behind World War II without comprehending Winston Churchill and his role is impossible. This is a rather lengthy biography, but it is a worthwhile read. It expands on Churchill’s life, including the role he played in the World War II and his belief in technology, and how it would change the world.
The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell
Elizabeth Gaskell was Charlotte Bronte’s contemporary; hence, this is a biography that is perhaps a tad more subjective than it should be. Still, considering that Gaskell thought very high of Bronte, it is evident that she wanted to present her in a positive light. Overall, though, her work is filled with insightful facts, and interesting information regarding Bronte’s activity, her family, and her life. Plus, the fact that Gaskell was a writer herself adds a different style to the biography.
Oscar Wilde by Richard Ellman
This biography by the US literary critic Richard Ellman is an in-depth analysis of Wilde’s work and life. The style of the writing is witty and unique, being kind of characteristic of Wilde’s style, as well. Essentially, the book indicates the way in which Wilde threw himself towards self-destruction, claiming that nothing is good in moderation.
Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson
We all acknowledge Einstein as being a genius; hence, it comes as no surprise that numerous books have aimed at covering the life of this great man. But this biography is different, in the sense that it aims at highlighting the aspects that made Einstein relatable and human. To that end, the book covers Einstein’s personality in connection with the discoveries he made, as well as his relationship with his closest ones.
Marie Antoinette: The Journey by Antonia Fraser
Marie Antoinette is thought, by many, to have caused the French Revolution. This biography, however, aims at revealing the real character of this complex woman, the way in which she grew from an unprepared, ill-educated woman to becoming a courageous, defiant woman who challenged her enemies.
Marie Curie: A Life by Susan Quinn
Everyone reckons that Marie Curie’s contributions to modern science ultimately changed the field of medicine. Still, it is widely unknown that she had to get over numerous obstacles in order to accomplish what she had, due to gender discrimination. Her journey is definitely inspiring.
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
This isn’t your typical kind of biography. Still, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth reading, considering that it teaches you the importance of living freely, and standing for what you believe in.
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
Without fear of contradiction, Steve Jobs is one of the most famous figures, and his success story can serve as inspiration for us all. This biography clearly shows how Jobs’ shortcomings allowed him to become the person he is today, being one of the most innovative geniuses.
Lincoln by David Herbert Donald
David Herbert Donald is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, whose aim was to present the way in which Lincoln ascended from rural Kentucky to becoming one of the most acclaimed presidents of the United States.