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Customer Discussions > Biography forum

What are some of the best biographies of women you've ever read.

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Showing 1-25 of 279 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 27, 2009 2:48:37 PM PDT
I've enjoyed Jane Fonda and Olympia Dukakis.

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 8:14:05 PM PDT
The recent bios on Emily Post, Alice Roosevelt Longworth, Evelyn Nesbit, Belle da Costa Greene, Alva and Consuelo Vanderbilt and Jennie Churchill.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 29, 2009 1:12:51 PM PDT
Let me suggest "Wu: The Chinese Empress Who Schemed, Seduced and Murdered Her Way to Become a Living God" by Jonathan Clements. Starting as a 13-year-old concubine favorite in the harem of Emperor Taizong, Wu seduced his son by whom she later became pregnant and murdered her rivals - including the empress - to become empress herself. Possibly guilty of infanticide, and of murdering her own sister, once she became the 'power behind the curtain Wu schemed and cheated her way to the throne and ruled personally under the name Emperor Shengshen from 690 to 705: the first woman ever to use the title emperor. After surviving two revolts against her, in her early 80s ailing Empress Wu was unable to thwart a coup.

Another excellent biography of a much maligned queen worth reading is "Marie Antoinette: The Portrait of an Average Woman" by Stephen Zweig.

Posted on May 3, 2009 2:11:07 PM PDT
definately read Marilyn Monroe: My Story. GREAT BOOK! but it was cut short due to her untimely death. Still worth reading, she was an amazing, strong woman.

Posted on May 3, 2009 2:50:53 PM PDT
K. Jeannette says:
The autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux, or The Story of a Soul, is a remarkable telling of this girl's short life. She died at only 24 from tuberculosis and yet described in soaring and achingly real words her life lived in love for God and Jesus. A true spiritual classic for all.

Posted on May 3, 2009 4:03:41 PM PDT
Little Lamb says:
My favorites are:

3. "Leap of Faith," by Queen Noor (2003), the former Lisa Halaby, who was an American "commoner" who met and married the King of Jordan, Hussein. The story of their courtship and her adaptation to a completely different way of life was hightned by their beautiful love story, so beautifully told.

2. "Cloris," by Cloris Leachman (2009), lately known for her appearances on "Dancing With the Stars," but best known for her fine acting skills and her many acting awards. She also has an incredibely moving writing style and I found myself red-lining many, many passages in her book. I look forward to more of her writing someday. Soon, I hope.

1. "Intermission," by Anne Baxter (1976), an actress best known for her Academy Award winning performance in "All About Eve." Also known as the granddaughter of none other than Frank Lloyd Wright, she writes about how she gave up her life in Hollywood for the love of her new husband and resettled in the Austrailian Outback. What an incredible journey and what an incredible story! I read this book back in the 1970s and have never forgotten it. Any day now, I'm going to reread it and enjoy it all again. I remember her writing style as being particularly engrossing and exciting. Enjoy . . . if you can find a copy of it!

Posted on May 3, 2009 8:41:14 PM PDT
LisaC says:
Jane Austen by Claire Tomalin - you'll truly feel like you know the woman inside and out, along with her family! Such a good book

Posted on May 4, 2009 10:07:39 AM PDT
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Posted on May 5, 2009 4:41:27 AM PDT
KOMET says:
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the following biography, which I read sometime ago...

INDIRA: The Life of Indira Nehru Gandhi - Katherine Frank
ISBN: 039573097X

In many respects, INDIRA GANDHI was a truly extraordinary woman who, despite her political pedigree (her father was Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India), had to overcome a host of obstacles (including tuberculosis, which killed her mother).

Though by nature a shy and modest person, Indira Gandhi steeled herself and strove to be a leader for all of India. She was far from perfect, but Indira Gandhi came to power at a time when there were virtually no women as Heads of State, and worked tirelessly to create an India that could stand on its own.

Posted on May 5, 2009 8:44:59 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 10, 2009 2:45:13 AM PDT
"The Sky my Kingdom" by Hanna Reitsch (autobiograohy).

Being a test pilot is a risky job at any time, but being a Luftwaffe test pilot during wartime is considerably more so. Hanna flew all manner of planes from giant transports to the "desperation" rocket plane designs near the end of the war.

The translation is stilted at times, but Hanna's passion for flying is very clear.

Posted on May 5, 2009 6:38:53 PM PDT
"Marie Curie" by Susan Quinn.

An exquisite story/biogrpahy of Maria Sklodowska Curie, the only woman who ever got two Nobel Prizes in science. Author's attention to detail, setting the mood that was congruent with the early XX century, descriptions of her country of origin and the Sorbone University later in her life were a masterpiece. I loved it. BG

Posted on May 7, 2009 11:03:21 PM PDT
Lucky - Alice Sebold

Posted on May 8, 2009 11:16:55 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 8, 2009 11:26:55 AM PDT
"Call me Anna" an autobiography by Patty Duke was very good and interesting. She talks so honestly about mental illness (in her case bipolar).
Also, Cloris Leachman's new book. As you read it you can picture Cloris sitting down with you and telling you her life story. I'm really enjoying it.

Posted on May 8, 2009 2:42:54 PM PDT
guppie says:
For people without enough time for long bios,or who are looking to discover remarkable women from the past... try checking out the "More Than Petticoats" series by Globe-Pequot Press. I had the delight of researching and writing the New Hampshire book. I have also read the Maine book and several others in the series. The women covered aren't always well known and the series guidelines limit us to women born pre-1900. BUT... they insist that the women be remarkable in their own accomplishments, not by marriage. I became completely captivated by the spunk, intelligence, and drive of the women I chose for the book. I had only heard of a few that I included [like Mary Baker Eddy] but became an awestruck fan of some of the women I found while write the New Hampshire book. [Ex: Marilla Ricker who ran for governor before women even had the vote!] I think you will discover some unique women way ahead of their times. Each book covers 12-15 women and I can almost guarantee you too will become fans of these women, whichever state book you read!

Posted on May 8, 2009 8:48:25 PM PDT
123 says:
Hey, I am reading a book called, I just want my daughter back by B C Levinson that I got on Amazon. It really is a great story about a mothers experiences with her daughters bipolar disorder. It is really inspiring me to keep my chin up and stay strong for my daughter who has bipolar 1. You guys have to get this book.

Posted on May 8, 2009 11:47:19 PM PDT
Try reading "Angels on Her Shoulders: An Iraqi Woman's Tale of Survival". It's really impressive, how a woman can change and grow when confronted with new challenges.

Posted on May 8, 2009 11:55:50 PM PDT
K.A.Goldberg says:
No Ordinary Time by Doris Kearns Goodwin was not really a biography, but a biographical look at both Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt during World War II. Really liked it.

Posted on May 15, 2009 9:32:23 AM PDT
Duane says:
Marilyn Monroe, The Donald Spoto. I have read SO many MM biographies, and this one is the best by far.

Posted on May 15, 2009 6:01:41 PM PDT
Josephine...The Josephine Baker Story by Jean-Claude Baker. It is an in depth look into who she really was

Posted on May 18, 2009 12:14:56 PM PDT
Art & Music says:
"West With The Night" -Beryl Markhams autobiography. Available in a deluxe edition with plenty of photographs.

Amazing saga of her free roaming youth (b. 1902) in Kenya and Tanganyika, her career a bush pilot and horse breeder, and her historic east to west transAtlantic solo flight in 1936. An undaunted spirit, truly amazing and inspiring.

Posted on May 18, 2009 2:34:40 PM PDT
Olivia's Mom says:
The Jean Sasson series of books. Start with the first one. Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia. Then go from there.

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2009 7:04:21 PM PDT
I agree. I'm not a particular fan of Hollywood or Marilyn Monroe, so it isn't the passion of a fan, but the just plain good writing that makes this book stand out for me. Of all the biographies I've ever read, this little thing - about 140 pages is all - is one of the best I ever read. When I saw the topic I immediately thought of this book, although it's been a good 30 years since I read it. I don't know what it is - the odd mix of simplicity and complexity that made up Marilyn Monroe? It's a short but inspiring story.

Posted on May 20, 2009 4:36:25 PM PDT
Jan says:
Beautiful Bad Girl:

"Mesmerizing and filled with powerful lessons." -- Books On Tape

Product Description
Vicki Morgan, mistress to department store heir and Ronald Reagan confidante, Alfred Bloomingdale, lived beyond her years and died before her time-the victim of a brutal murder. Seething with power, intrigue, sex and obsession, it's a ringside seat into the darker habits of the world's rich and powerful.

Posted on May 23, 2009 5:17:48 PM PDT
P. davis says:
"you might as well live" by john keats, a biography of dorothy parker.

Posted on May 25, 2009 4:57:37 PM PDT
"Dust Tracks on a Road" autobiography by Zora Neale Hurston

Her writing is just so witty and insightful.
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Discussion in:  Biography forum
Participants:  222
Total posts:  279
Initial post:  Apr 27, 2009
Latest post:  Oct 13, 2013

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