Friday, March 14, 2014

5 Biographical Books For Your To-Read List

This list comes to you courtesy of my dad (Kevin) who, unlike me, is a big reader of non-fiction books. When in a bookstore or looking for books online, I tend to gravitate towards the historical fiction and fantasy genres, so when it comes to these kinds of books my list of recommendations is rather short. I asked my dad to put together a list of five books that he'd recommend to other readers, and you'll find his picks below: 

I found it difficult to commit to a handful of books that I would recommend because as I began to develop a list it revealed my tendency to read mostly biographical material.  Ultimately I approached this as my list of autobiographies and biographies that I found relevant and engaging to read.  What seems to resonate throughout many of these books is how notable it is that the complexity of genius is so often shrouded by serious character flaws. 

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer traces the very intriguing journey of Christopher McCandless from college graduate to his ultimate demise on the Stampede Trail in Alaska. The fact is I would highly recommend anything written by Krakauer. 

  Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson qualifies as a must read based simply on the enormous impact that Steve Jobs and his life’s work has on modern day society. Has it been more than 5 minutes since you last touched a piece of technology whose origins can be traced back to Steve Jobs? 

American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in US History by Chris Kyle is an account of how this Navy Seal sniper came to accumulate more than 150 confirmed kills. The ironic prologue makes this a very compelling story.   

The Big Miss: My Years Coaching Tiger Woods by Hank Haney makes the list because Tiger Woods is, well, Tiger Woods. Around my house that is enough motivation. 

Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot by Bill O’Reilly is a pseudo history lesson that, unlike most in my experience, did not bore me to tears.    

One of the things that I love most about my family is that we are all readers. My brother and dad share most of their books (like father, like son) and my mom and I read some of the same adult literature but really connect when it comes to children's literature. Books are always a topic of conversation in our house, and I'm so glad my dad was willing to curate this list for you all. Thanks daddy!

Do you have a recommendation that you'd like to share? E-mail me at

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