Not being a great fan of biographies, researching these recent biographies on Good Reads has fundamentally changed my mind and I can’t wait to get stuck into this eclectic mix of personalities – do tell us your favourite biographies……..
Cleopatra – A life by Stacy Schiff
This Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer brings to life the most intriguing woman in the history of the world: Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt. Married to brothers, she waged war on one and poisoned the other and had children by Julius Caesar and his protégé Mark Antony (while both were married). Though her life spanned fewer than forty years, it reshaped the contours of the ancient world. Stacy Schiff boldly separates fact from fiction to rescue the magnetic queen whose death ushered in a new world order.
Published 1 November 2010 by Little, Brown and Company
See more on Good Reads.
The Man Who Quit Money by Mark Sundeen
In 2000, Daniel Suelo left his life savings (all $30 of it) in a phone booth. He has lived without money or the welfare state ever since and has gained a new found sense of freedom. This is an account of how he learned to live, sanely and happily, without earning, receiving, or spending a single cent, living in a cave and finding food from the land. In retracing the surprising path and guiding philosophy that led Suelo into this way of life, Sundeen raises questions about the decisions we all make, by default or by design, about how we live and how we might live better. He explains in a YouTubeQ&A. Published March 6th 2012 by Riverhead Trade
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Working on the same tobacco farm as her slave ancestors, Henrietta Lacks’ cells were taken without her knowledge and became one of the most important tools in medicine. HeLa cells were the first “immortal” human cells grown in culture and became vital for developing the polio vaccine; revealing the secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping and have been bought and sold by the billions. “Intimate in feeling, astonishing in scope, and impossible to put down, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences.”
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
It is a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur, whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing. Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally, about the people he worked with and competed against. His friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business. Driven by demons, Jobs could drive those around him to fury and despair but his tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values.
Published in October 2011 by Simon & Schuster.
Open by Andre Agassi
Agassi brings a near-photographic memory to every pivotal match and every relationship in this captivating autobiography. Never before has the inner game of tennis and the outer game of fame been so precisely told. He reveals a shattering loss of confidence and his spectacular resurrection and opens his soul for inspection.
Published November 2009 by Knopf
What biographies do you recommend?
P.S. Did you know the Cape Town Book Fair is coming up on 15-17 June at the CTICC? See more on their website.