Biographies and memoirs are a favorite reader’s choice because they offer a glimpse into someone else’s world—whether this person is an historical figure or a contemporary. Readers can learn from others’ experiences how to endure hardships and overcome adversity. Biographies can be inspirational but they can also be downright fun.
A case in point is last Fall’s hit Still Foolin’ ‘Em by Billy Crystal which manages to be both funny and touching. This season’s memoir which will satisfy readers who love humor with their story is Little Failure
by novelist Gary Shteyngart. Shteyngart immigrated to the U.S. with his family when he was seven years old. From a background of Jewish persecution in Stalinist Russia to being labeled the “red nerd” at school in America, it is easy to imagine how difficult this guy’s adolescence was. The book is certain to be both hilarious and moving.
Robert Gates, the former Secretary of Defense, has been on the recent best seller lists with his memoir titled Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War. He is widely respected for his honesty and years of experience in many different government positions. This book sheds light on the presidency, Congress, the Pentagon and the military. There are several other new books of interest to those who care about the military. Defiant: The POWs Who Endured Vietnam’s Most Infamous Prison by Alvin Townley focuses on eleven men who developed an underground resistance in prison and the terrible suffering they endured as a result. Kayla Williams wrote her first book Love My Rifle More Than You based on her Iraq War experience. Now she is back with a new book—Plenty of Time When We Get Home— detailing the return to civilian life by herself and her fellow veteran husband while both are still experiencing psychological and physical wounds from their service. If you want to learn about the problems current military members are facing, this book will be informative and inspiring.
Click here for a list of recent biographies: