Poll: What Are Your Favorite Biographies?

Friends, I’m on a fact-finding mission. Or to be more specific, I’m interested in the different ways people write about facts. Biographies can vary in style — journalistic, salacious, or massive in scope — and I want to know what biographies you all have enjoyed.

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Book Review: “The Fry Chronicles” by Stephen Fry

Even if you’ve never seen him or don’t know what he’s done, I believe everyone has at least heard of Stephen Fry. I have often seen him lauded as a “national treasure” of England, so you must at least know his name. If you have, however, somehow avoided hearing about the comedic partner of Hugh Laurie and want to know more, this is the book for you. The Fry Chronicles, written by Stephen Fry, is an autobiography that tells how Stephen Fry first started out in show business. Indeed, this is a compendium of his time at Cambridge and where his comedic dabbling on campus took him afterwards. If you ever wondered how Fry met Laurie or how Stephen Fry came to be interested in comedy at all, the answers lie in this tome.

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Book Review: “Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?”

I first heard the title of this book at a talk at a writer’s festival, before the book was written. Jeanette Winterson was – is – one of my favourite writers, and as a speaker she didn’t disappoint either. During the talk – which was articulate, engaging, lyrical, witty: a more down-to-earth form of her writing – Jeanette referred to her mother only as “Mrs Winterson,” telling us that the final thing she said to Jeanette, when she left home as a teenager, happily in love with another girl, was: “Why be happy when you could be normal?”
*Trigger warning for references to physical and mental abuse*

The Cheerfulness of a Stalwart Man: An Evening with Stephen Fry

Way back in April it was announced that Stephen Fry would be stopping in The Hague on his book tour to promote his new autobiography, The Fry Chronicles. My friend Anne and I jumped at the chance to see him live and immediately reserved our tickets at the theatre where he would be speaking. Last night, that magical moment finally arrived.

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Mark Twain on Mark Twain

100 years after his death, as stipulated by the man himself, The first volume of Mark Twain’s autobiography was released this week.  NPR has an excellent story on the background behind it’s release, as well as several clever passages in Twain’s familiar cadence.  Read More Mark Twain on Mark Twain