Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #11

13 Bio/Autobio Books On My Shelf

I have always been a big fan of bio/autobiographies and have quite an extensive collection. I enjoy reading about other people’s lives, because most times, if they’ve written a book about it, their lives have been or are more messed up than mine. It’s comforting to know that even people who make tons of money and either have fans fawning all over them or great power started out as a screwball from a dysfunctional family.

So taking a quick look at the shelves of books, here we go:

#1 – Every Beatle bio ever penned by anybody in any year, including Pattie Boyd’s recent addition.

#2 – Many of the Classic Star Trek folks attempts at making money after they decided there would be no more Trek movies with Kirk, Spock and McCoy. This includes: Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy.

#3 – John F. Kennedy. “Reckless Youth”, “A Thousand Days” and others about Jackie and the other Kennedy women.




#4 – Frederic Chopin. His life story (as told by Franz Liszt, a one-time pupil of Chopin’s) and then one just about his years in Paris.





#5 – Jim Morrison. “No One Here Gets Out Alive” Doesn’t everyone who lived through the 60’s have this one?

#6 – Barry Manilow. “Sweet Life”. Yes, I know, but his childhood was very tough. Poor Brooklyn kid from a broken home, his mother was alcoholic, suicidal and fought with his stepfather endlessly. He was bone-ugly and as backwards as you can get – but used his talent and chutzpah to get him to where he is now.



#7 – Van Cliburn. I adore Van. I’ve adored Van since I could listen to a record. He’s a world famous concert pianist who was the first to win the Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow during the height of the Cold War. The first pianist, I believe, to ever get a ticker tape parade in New York City!



#8 – Arthur Rubenstein. Another amazing concert pianist. He had terrible stage fright and went thru a period where he thought his hands were glass and would shatter if they touched the keys.





#9 – Joe Namath. “I Can’t Wait Until Tomorrow Because I Get Better Looking Every Day.” A true classic from a true classic.






#10 – Keith Richards. Sure he is a drug addled rock star, but he’s also an avid book collector and reader. Really. Look it up!



#11 – Alan Alda. “Don’t Ever Have Your Dog Stuffed”. His mother suffered from mental illness, his dad was semi-famous and Alda had polio as a child. Another testimony to brains, perserverance and talent.



#12 – Vincent Van Gogh. “Lust for Life” A great read about a sad, tortured life.

#13 – Abraham Lincoln. The Sandberg “Prairie Years” along with many others – “The Wit and Wisdom of”, “Selected Speeches and Writing”, “With Malice Toward None”.

I could really go on and on – but these are the first 13 I ran across!

11 comments:

yh said...

Another avid reader... many TTers are avid readers! :) How cool!

Yen said...

WOW! You have really awesome lists here! :) And yup to yh some amazing avid readers in TTers! Totally cool:)

Anonymous said...

Ah, Reckless Youth! One of the most moving books I've ever read. It epitomizes what you said -- no matter how charmed a life looks from the outside, you have no idea how it FEELS from the inside.

Anne

ellen b said...

I'm impressed...
I have very few auto/bio's...

Nicholas said...

I have Albert Goldman's book on Lennon, which was excellent. I have a lot of biographies, though not the ones you list. At least not yet!

WorksForMom said...

Great list. I only have the Kennedy auto-bio on our shelf of all of these.

Lori said...

I just cant get in to bio's....its nice to know someone reads them though. Im sure they are filled with awesome info. Happy TT.

colleen said...

I love to read bios of writers. I wrote about books today too. Tomorrow is my 100th TT!!

Believer in Balance said...

Very interesting list!

Nicole said...

I've thought about reading the Alda book. Though I'll admit that what got my interest was the title...

Happy TT!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Hmm. I was going to suggest you check out Pamela DesBarres' books, but then I remembered you're a Barry Manilow fan and you may not dig them as much as I do.

I just gave up on a memoir after thirty pages last night. Bummer; I'd been really excited about it. That seems to be how the majority of them go for me.