Monday, April 3, 2017

A to Z Challenge: Bookish Thoughts: B

B Is for Biographical

Autobiographies, biographies, memoirs, biographical novels, etc.  They all have the honor of being lumped together into one blog post.

The problem with biographical literature is that it's about people.  It's really hard to accurately portray an interesting person in one book, and the boring people aren't worth reading about.  Add to the situation the high level of bias involved and it's a tricky genre.  I occasionally partake, but I usually prefer shorter books, and paperbacks over the hardbacks that are the norm for the genre.

Recommended biographical works:




  1. I do read quite a few bios and autobiographies. Over time I can figure out not only what is well written but what is quite biased. Chaplin' s autobiography I would not read because he left out key points like his 2 nod marriage. I wouldn't read George Wells ' bio on John Wayne because I read only snippets and I was laughing. Another bad autobiography is Joan Fontaine's No Bed of Roses....I just wanted to slap her. A great biography is Maria Riva's bio on her mother Marlene Dietrich and the bio on San Goldwyn written by his son

  2. I just finished a biographical book that said “based on a true story” on the cover. What does that even mean?! Does it mean it’s NOT a true story? If it’s not true, then is it a biography? This is all very confusing.

    Maus is on my TBR list. I’m waiting to find a cheap copy of it because I like to buy my books.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. It's definitely a blurry line. There are novels that are obviously biographical, like Kerouac's On the Road. But there are bios and memoirs that include embellishment or playing loose with the truth.

      There are two parts to Maus. I read them both. But it might be better if you can find them both in one book.