Friday, May 6, 2011

My Love of Biographies and Autobiographies

I love biographies and autobiographies.  These books cover a person's life in such a way - and at such an angle - that we are invited to see more than we would if we were to meet them in person.
I don't remember the time I began collecting these particular types of books, but I have enjoyed reading them from time to time.  The first one I loved reading was in 2001 'Most People I Know (Think That I'm Crazy)' by Billy Thorpe.  It's a hilarious book about the singer's life and times of being in the music industry; the first of two books he wrote before his untimely death.  It was a few years before I got my nose into another book similar to that one; 2003 in fact.  It was 'Sean Connery: A Biography' by Micheal Freedland; and what a book that was!  I loved it and couldn't get my nose out of it!  In 2004, I read Stephen King's 'On Writing: A Memoir' and have found the more times I read it, the funnier it gets.
However, I had a gap of four years before I picked up another biography; however I did get into collecting them by this stage, but not reading them.  This is a strange thing I do.  I love to collect a certain type of book, but not read them; I just think I might read them one day.  But with these, their one day is coming soon; as in 2008, I got my nose into 'Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself' by Alan Alda.  Now this man is hilarious in MASH and I have loved him in movies and other shows.  He's just one of those people where I could hear his voice whispering to me in my ear while I read this book.  And you know, I'd love to read anything else he's written.  
It's been a few years since I've read a good biography.  However, I did get my nose into David Tennant's one by Nigel Goodall... and found it was brilliantly written, easily read and I wanted to read more about the man; even though there wasn't anything else to know about him.
But I have been collecting biographies and autobiographies about all kinds of people from poets, writers and actors to bands and singers and explorers.  I want to know more about famous people and what makes them who they are and how they got where they are in this world.  It may seem silly to want to know this information; but it's just a curiosity I have (and have always had) about the famous.  
So, do you collect any biographies and autobiographies?  If so, which ones?  Below is a list of mine.
'The Autobiography of Santa Claus' as told to Jeff Guinn
'John Steinbeck: a Biography' by Jay Parini
'Wonderland Avenue' by Danny Sugerman
'Wild Swans' by Jung Chang
'Hide-and-seek with Angels: A Life of J.M Barry' by Lisa Chaney
'My Blue Notebooks' Liane De Pougy
'A Beautiful Mind' by Sylvia Nasar
'Wrestling with the Angel: A Life of Janet Frame' by Michael King
'Letters of JRR Tolkien' selected & Edited by Humphrey Carpenter with Christopher Tolkien (hardcover edition)
'The Stephen King Companion' edited by George Beahm
'The Stephen King Story' by George Beahm
'Jim Morrison' by Jon E Lewis
'Disraeli: A Biography' by Stanley Weintraub
'Nostradamus: The Evidence' by Ian wilson
'By the Light of my Father's Smile' by Alice Walker
'Mozart: A Cultural Biography' by Robert W Gutman
'Mozart: His Character and his Work' by Alfred Einstein
'Billy' by Pamela Stephenson
'Bono on Bono' Conversations with Michka Assayas
'Home: A Memoir of my Early Years' by Julie Andrews
'The Erotic Life of Anais Nin' by Noel Riley Fitch
'On Writing: A Memoir' by Stephen King
'Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself' by Alan Alda
'INXS: Story to Story: The Official Autobiography' INXS and Anthony Bozza
'The Open Road' by Pico Iver
'Captain James Cook: A Biography' by Richard Hough
'Paperweight' by Stephen Fry
'Sage-ing While Age-ing' by Shirley MacLaine
'Don't Fall Off the Mountain' by Shirley Maclaine
'Mary Poppins She Wrote: The Life of P.L. Travers' by Valerie Lawson
'Flute' James Galway
'Send Yourself Roses' by Kathleen Turner and Gloria Feldt
'Never Have Your Dog Stuffed' by Alan Alda
'No One Here Gets Out Alive' by Jerry Hopkins and Danny Sugerman
'Agatha Christie: An Autobiography'
'Einstei: The Life and Times' by Ronald W. Clark
'A Life in Time and Space: The Biography of David Tennant' by Nigel Goodall
'The Story of My Father' by Sue Miller
'Selected Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson' edited by Ernest Mehew
'A Life of Mark Twain' by Ron Powers

So, there you have it, my list of biographies and autobiographies!  And what a list!  I didn't know I had so many. 

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