Thursday, July 14, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: Biographies

It's been awhile since I've checked in on the BTT meme so I thought I'd see what topic they were discussing today:

There are so many crappy biographies … would you rather read a poorly-written biography of a fascinating life, OR an exquisitely well-written, wonderful read of one of a not-so-interesting life?

This is an interesting one for me, because while I read a lot of memoirs, I don't read a lot of classic biographies. The only one I can think of reading in recent times was Dawn French's Dear Fatty which was hysterical.

However, it appears as though since I focus more on memoirs and memoirs are not about famous people at all, but your average person who makes their story really interesting with an angle, be it cooking, traveling the world, fixing up a house, getting over a loss, bottom line is, I would love to read a memoir about an unknown than a boring blockbuster biography.


Some great memoirs I've read recently are (all titles link to my reviews):
51/50: The Magical Adventures of a Single Life by Kristen McGuiness
I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti by Giulia Melucci
I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley
Pretty in Plaid: A Life, a Witch, and a Wardrobe, or, the Wonder Years Before the Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered, Smart-Ass Phase by Jen Lancaster
The Ramen King and I: How the Inventor of Instant Noodles Fixed My Love Life by Andy Raskin


What do you think?

12 comments:

  1. Poorly written / great biographies will always win, simply because "content is king".

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  2. I prefer memoirs too, though I have read very few.
    I have been meaning to try something by Jen Lancaster - I have heard quite a lot about her books.

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  3. Interesting question, I think I probably enjoy a mix of both. I've read a lot of memoirs lately and I just love them. I read "I Was Told There Would be Cake" and really enjoyed it. The story of the plastic ponies still makes me giggle.

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  4. It 's a hard question

    http://tributebooksmama.blogspot.com/2011/07/booking-through-thursday_14.html

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  5. Great post and lovely list of recommendations. So glad I came across your blog too, I absolutely love it! :)

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  6. I enjoy autobiographies. I prefer listening to them on audio books. I recently listened to Julie Andrews read her memoir "Home" and enjoyed it. it was 11 hours long, so know I never would have read the book, but I did enjoy listening to Julie read it. I am currently listening to Betty White reading her book "If You Ask Me (and of course you won't) and find it very enjoyable.

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  7. I like biographies and memoirs. However, I don't like the recent trend of people writing memoirs after they screwed up big time and somehow, through sheer luck or stupidity, managed to survive.

    http://wwww.ManOfLaBook.com

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  8. I am not a big fan, still I have read a few good ones. 2 of them taking place in Communist China before they jumped

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  9. I love memoirs and biographies, but don't read a lot of biographies. I'm not sure what I'd pick.

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  10. I enjoy both but probably memoirs a bit more than biographies because they tend to be less fluffy. As long as a famous person has an interesting experience or point of view, I am fine reading their biography.

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  11. Almost all biographies I've read have been amazing interesting famous people - like Harry Truman, John Adams (anything by McCullough is fabulous), Winston Churchill, Eleanor Roosevelt, and I have one to start someday on Virginia Woolf by Hermione Lee who is said to also be fabulous. Can't say I have ever read a crappily written bio! Memoirs tend to fall into my lap and are never by famous people (or not until the book gets good reviews?)

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  12. Almost all biographies I've read have been amazing interesting famous people - like Harry Truman, John Adams (anything by McCullough is fabulous), Winston Churchill, Eleanor Roosevelt, and I have one to start someday on Virginia Woolf by Hermione Lee who is said to also be fabulous. Can't say I have ever read a crappily written bio! Memoirs tend to fall into my lap and are never by famous people (or not until the book gets good reviews?)

    ReplyDelete

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