What Is The Most Interesting Biography That You Have Ever Read And Why?
Posted on 23rd of August, 2018


I'm a bit of a film geek, so naturally when I read biographies I tend to veer towards the ones of people who lived their lives in front of the camera. Lucky for me there are many of these to pick from, but if I had to whittle the list down to just my absolute favorites it would be these:

1. The Princess Diarist - Carrie Fisher. Carrie calls this book a sort of memoir, which is apt as it deals more with her time in Star Wars playing Princess Leia than anything else. Carrie kept journals during the time period, which is an absolute treat for us fans as it deals with everything that happened in front of the cameras and, even more interesting, what took place behind the scenes. Carrie was a fiercely intelligent woman and this is something that is immediately obvious from her writing. If you are still mourning the loss of this incredibly gifted actress then her book won't fail to bring a smile to your face.

2. Little Girl Lost - Drew Barrymore. If you ever doubted that Hollywood is not a good place for children, then this biography will open your eyes. What fascinated me the most about this book is that it was published when Drew Barrymore was still a teenager, but by then she already had plenty of stories to tell. It is shocking to read how she was already drinking alcohol by the age of nine before moving on to switching to marijuana at ten and eventually even cocaine before turning thirteen. Barrymore is very open in this book, which is unusual for someone her age when she wrote it, but it definitely makes things much more interesting. Whether you are a fan or simply want to find out about how terrible the limelight can be for young stars this book carries my recommendation.

3. My Life So Far - Jane Fonda. If there is one woman who knew how to adapt with the times and stay relevant it is Jane Fonda. I can't think of many other women who managed to capture the public’s attention and hold it in the way that Fonda did for so long. She remains iconic to this day and after reading her book I discovered that her life was every bit as chaotic and eventful as I would have imagined from a star of her stature. It doesn't matter if you remember Fonda as the Hollywood siren who turned heads in Barbarella, the queen of workouts, or even the political speaker, her book will enable you to learn about a different and equally fascinating side of her.
Anyone can have a biography these days after their five minutes of fame, so my advice is to read all of these ones for stories that actually have substance from people who actually had interesting lives.

-Moon Walk by Michael Jackson. Yes, the king of pop had one and only autobiography and this is it. You can find lots of biographies about him, but there is something special about reading about him in his own words. It was published quite a while back and only chronicles what he went through up to 1985 or so, which was before most of his major problems surfaced. Nevertheless, if you are a fan of Michael Jackson this book is for you.

- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. Everyone knows Maya Angelou, but this autobiography is a great way to get to know her as a human being instead of just a historical figure. There are actually a couple of volumes in the series, but the first part covers everything from when Maya was age three until she became a mother at the tender age of 16. It might sound a little young for anything really interesting to happen, but nothing could be further from the truth. This is the type of biography that everyone should read if we want any hope of ever fixing the world.
What I have realized is that most of the biographies that clog up the bookshelves are from celebrities who are in the news so much that there is very little about them that the public doesn't already know. It is for this reason that on the odd occasions when I do have a hankering for biographies I usually look for stuff that is a little bit offbeat or strange. Typically, but not always, this results in reading biographies of band members, because let's face it, they usually have the best stories to tell thanks to living their lives on the road.

Marilyn Mansion & Neil Strauss with The Long Hard Road Out of Hell. - If you can still remember what a controversial figure Manson was during the nineties then you are going to love this biography. Manson isn't shy about how he transformed from Brian Hugh Warner into the shock rocker Marilyn Manson or what exactly happened behind the scenes with his band. It features all the expected sex, drugs and rock and roll, but plenty more besides.

Peter Criss & Larry Sloman with Makeup to Breakup: My Life In and Out of Kiss. Peter Criss real name Peter Criscuola) was one of the founding members of KISS, but most people remember the band as Gene Simmons strutting around the stage in platform shoes and his tongue hanging out. After reading this book, it became clear to me that Criss or the "Catman" of the group was the real driving force. One thing I will say is that Peter doesn't hold back, so if you are a fan of the band or of other members in the band you might end up hating the guy a little bit, but overall it’s very entertaining even if Peter can become a little melodramatic at times.
If you are looking for interesting biographies you should probably stay away from all the recent ones written by "famous" people who think they have lived interesting enough lives by the age of 21 to warrant having a book all about it. The one exception to this would be "I Am Malala" by Malala Yousafzai. If the name rings a bell it would be because she won the Nobel peace prize at the tender age of 16. This is the girl who dared to stand up to the Taliban when they took control of her region in Pakistan and her efforts to campaign for education resulted in her getting shot in the head. Well, not only did Malala recover from this horrific injury, but she also wrote a book about her life and the events leading up to the incident.

Going from one of the youngest people with a biography worth reading to one of the oldest with If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won't) by Betty White. White has spent something like seven decades in the limelight already when this book was published and, oh boy, she doesn’t hold back with her opinions. The funny thing is that White is so long-lived that she has already penned something like five autobiographies in her lifetime! Instead, If You Ask Me reads more like her reflecting on some of the more recent aspects of her interesting life. I would definitely recommend reading her other biographies as well as this woman is really a national treasure.

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