A common New Year’s resolution is to make more time for reading. If you’re not quite sure where to start with this resolution and aren’t feeling appetized by works of fiction, why not marvel at the life of a historical icon? Biographies are an enchanting place to start, but there are also endless numbers of them, with too many impressive people to read about.
In this post, we will be narrowing down the choice to a selection of the six best biographies of all time, spanning politicians to literary revolutionaries.
1. Churchill: A Life — Martin Gilbert
Table of Contents
- 1. Churchill: A Life — Martin Gilbert
- 2. Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch — Sally Bedell Smith
- 3. A Beautiful Mind — Sylvia Nasar
- 4. Steve Jobs — Walter Isaacson
- 5. Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg — Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik
- 6. The Brontë Myth — Lucasta Miller
Gilbert’s biography of the man considered to be Britain’s greatest Prime Minister ever is an in-depth look at the intimate details of both his public and private life. It trumps its fellow Churchill biographies thanks to its meticulous use of documentation and exclusive nuggets of information.
2. Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch — Sally Bedell Smith
While this read predates the recent passing of Her Majesty, the content of Smith’s work is rendered no less reliable or captivating and is still on the list of the best biographies of all time. Smith’s bio of Queen Elizabeth II affords us a rare peak through the doors of Buckingham Palace at her life and years of service.
A far cry from the gossipy tabloid-esque scrutiny to which she had been subject throughout her long reign, the sophisticated style with which Smith writes serves up a humanizing image of the most untouchable, private figure we knew.
3. A Beautiful Mind — Sylvia Nasar
If you recall the multi-Academy-Award-winning film of the same name, this book was the inspiration. Written in a style mimicking the suspense novel, Nasar takes a deep dive into the troubled but unstoppable life of mathematician John Nash, cataloging his journey up to his Nobel Prize victory and plight with Paranoid Schizophrenia.
4. Steve Jobs — Walter Isaacson
Based on a two-year stretch of forty interviews with the formidable Apple CEO and conversations with over 100 people who knew Jobs best, there is no better account of the tech mogul’s life than that of the best-selling biographer Walter Isaacson.
So hailed was he for his previous works on Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton that he was requested to pen Jobs’ biography by none other than Jobs himself. The biography of Steve Jobs is on the list of the best books on millionaires.
5. Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg — Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik
Image source: amazon.com
If the title and front cover of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s biography isn’t enough to compel you on their own – we aren’t sure what will. Carmon and Knizhnik do a fantastic job at unpacking the life of the iconic Supreme Court Justice who became adored by millions, not least for her lifelong dedication to battling gender inequality in the workplace and in the law itself.
6. The Brontë Myth — Lucasta Miller
An unconventional biography, Miller blends information about the Brontë sisters with history and literary interpretation, debunking the myths that encircled the Brontë sisters in the process.
Much of the book will focus on Charlotte, but there are interesting tokens of information on Anne and Emily nonetheless.