As much as we all adore fiction, you can’t deny the emotional and lasting impact of reading a very real and raw account of someone else’s life. A palette cleanser, if you will!
Lose yourself in the captivating stories of some of the world’s most interesting people and gain access to their innermost thoughts and the events that shaped them. From rock stars to political powerhouses, these are some of the most inspiring, hilarious, heartbreaking and engrossing biographies, memoirs and life stories we’ve ever read.
Heavier than heaven, the biography of Kurt Cobain
This will tell you a little bit about my teen years, i was a huge Nirvana fan and became a little bit obsessed with Kurt Cobain after reading this book. It’s a really heartbreaking read, he was so incredibly talented yet his demons never let him truly enjoy life or his success. You know the ending before opening the first page so it’s of course incredibly tragic but despite his short life his music remains absolutely iconic and will outlive generations.
Becoming – Michelle Obama
We chose this book for the Zoella book club last summer but I would have definitely picked it up anyway. Michelle is an incredible woman and has had a really fascinating life. I laughed, I cried and I felt hugely inspired by her, she is an absolute superwoman.
I’m not usually one to grab a biography, however, any that I have read, I’ve enjoyed (moral of the story, buy more biographies) I absolutely love learning about people and their lives.
Lily Allen – My Thoughts Exactly
One of the best biographies I’ve read. I’ve always loved Lily and have followed her career journey since she was just a page on Myspace. This book is so raw and real and I love her “not giving a shit” attitude when it comes to telling her story exactly how it is. I pretty much read it in one sitting!
Lily Collins – Unfiltered
Another Lily! This biography feels so poignant and if I had read this as a teenager I think it would have been the very thing I needed in order to feel confident in myself. So many things Lily writes about from her own experiences are so relatable and interesting! Would highly recommend!
Dolly Alderton Everything I Know About Love
I loved this coming of age memoir and inhaled it within a few days of picking it up. Dolly’s writing sparkles with relatable anecdotes, humour and heart as she recounts falling in love, getting pissed and learning to navigate the trials and triumphs of being a grown-up. It’s like sitting down with a friend and having a glass of wine, getting loose-lipped and then gesticulating how grateful you are for one another.
Jenna Jameson – How to make love like a pornstar.
Ok, bear with me! I have no idea how I came about reading this and it was released in 2004 so it was far too long ago to remember but boy is it a captivating read. Jenna’s life is non stop drama filled with drugs, strippers and dodgy business deals, suffice to say nothing I’ve personally experienced which made it super interesting. I’m sure it’s probably a much spicier version of how the sex worker industry plays out but it gives you a good through the keyhole look into what goes down. Highly recommend!
The Books of Albion: The Collected Writings of Peter Doherty.
I like most indie teens had a brief obsession with Pete Doherty and loved this book. Throughout his colourful career, he kept diaries, so many diaries, and this book is a collection of some of his musings, drawings, pictures and poems, it really is quite beautiful and would make a great coffee table book gift for any Libertines fans.
I’ll have to be truly honest here, I have only ever read two biographies, both Justin Bieber’s unofficial ones, at the age of 14. So, I’m no real biography expert (unless of course, you are wanting to read JB’s), however, with all the extra time we now have I am wanting to read more.
There are actually two biographies on my to-read list, firstly is ‘Becoming Michelle Obama’. I’ve wanted to read this for a while now and have just never got round to it. Secondly, I want to read ‘How to Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned from Things Going Wrong’ by Elizabeth Day, where she looks at how failure in her own life has taught her so many lessons and why we need to all fail to ultimately grow.
I’ve not read many biographies, but the one book that stands out from this genre and that I’ve read multiple times is The Diary of Anne Frank. I first read this book when I was much younger, and then again after visiting the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam which was such a moving experience and stark reminder of all that Anne, her family, and millions of others went through in that time. Anne’s words not only inspire you to feel gratitude and appreciation for all that you have but also offer huge perspective on the issues we face today and the ways in which we can face them, together. She was an intelligent, kind and selfless young woman and I think we can all learn so much from her strength and poignant words.