The best 95 Biographies books

Biographies offer a unique window into the lives of remarkable individuals, providing valuable insights into their successes, failures, and personal journeys. Our thoughtfully curated list aims to facilitate a deeper understanding of these inspiring stories.

Featuring a diverse range of subjects, our list caters to various interests and preferences. Delve into the world of extraordinary lives and uncover the secrets to their achievements. So, are you ready to get inspired and embark on this fascinating journey?
The Man Without A Face

The Man Without A Face

Masha Gessen
The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin
4.3 (292 ratings)

What's The Man Without A Face about?

A biography of Russian President Vladimir Putin, The Man Without A Face shines a clear light on one of contemporary history’s more shadowy political figures. The book charts Putin’s almost accidental rise to Russia’s highest office, starting from his benign beginnings in the state secret police. His vindictive personality, overwhelming greed and disdain for democratic norms continue to transform Russia today.

Who should read The Man Without A Face?

  • Anyone interested in Russia’s place in global politics
  • Anyone curious about the life of a notorious world leader
  • Anyone fighting for accountability and transparency in politics

Elon Musk

Elon Musk

Ashlee Vance
Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
4.4 (430 ratings)

What's Elon Musk about?

Elon Musk (2015) gives us an insight into the brilliant and difficult character of today’s most innovative entrepreneur. Interwoven with details of his turbulent private life, these blinks reveal why Elon Musk is so determined to save the human race, how he’s worked towards this goal so far, as well as what’s on the horizon for potentially the richest and most powerful man of our future.

Who should read Elon Musk?

  • Thinkers with crazy ideas (who need some support in getting them off the ground)
  • Proponents of the aerospace, automotive and solar industries
  • People curious about Elon Musk

Gutenberg the Geek

Gutenberg the Geek

Jeff Jarvis
4.1 (53 ratings)

What's Gutenberg the Geek about?

Gutenberg the Geek (2012) examines the life and business of Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press, and, by drawing numerous parallels between him and modern Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, explains how he was a pioneer of tech entrepreneurship.

Who should read Gutenberg the Geek?

  • Entrepreneurs, innovators and venture capitalists
  • Anyone interested in history

The Invention of Nature

The Invention of Nature

Andrea Wulf
Alexander von Humboldt’s New World
4.6 (47 ratings)

What's The Invention of Nature about?

The Invention of Nature (2015) shines a light on the extraordinary life of explorer and scientist Alexander von Humboldt. Discover Humboldt’s amazing perspective on our relationship to the world and find out how his ecological discoveries and observations are just as relevant and profound today as they were in the nineteenth century.

Who should read The Invention of Nature?

  • Environmentalists
  • Students of environmental history, art and science
  • Scientists, especially biologists and botanists

Lawrence in Arabia

Lawrence in Arabia

Scott Anderson
War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East
4.8 (91 ratings)

What's Lawrence in Arabia about?

Lawrence in Arabia (2013) reveals how a small cast of characters forever changed the Middle East during World War I and the Arab Revolt. At its center was T. E. Lawrence, a brash and untrained young military officer who was torn between two nations and experienced firsthand the broken promises of politics and the horrors of war.

Who should read Lawrence in Arabia?

  • Students and historians interested in World War I
  • People curious about the history of the Middle East
  • Anyone who likes a thrilling story

Queen of Fashion

Queen of Fashion

Caroline Weber
What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution
4.6 (21 ratings)

What's Queen of Fashion about?

Queen of Fashion (2006) reveals the untold ways in which Marie Antoinette, with her iconoclastic sense of fashion and her rebellious behavior, challenged the status quo of the eighteenth-century French court. Her daring originality was a way for her to share her voice and personality, and her story tells us a great deal about the revolutionary politics that can be found in the history of both fashion and France.

Who should read Queen of Fashion?

  • Fashionistas wanting to know more about the link between power and clothing
  • Francophiles obsessed with Marie Antoinette
  • History students interested in the French Revolution

Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great

Philip Freeman
4.6 (257 ratings)

What's Alexander the Great about?

The eponymous hero of Alexander the Great (2011) is remembered as one of the greatest military commanders who ever lived. Setting out from Greece at the age of 21, Alexander waged a ten-year campaign, during which he defeated the Persian Achaemenids and, in so doing, created the largest empire the world had ever seen. By spreading Greek culture and language throughout Eurasia, his legacy remained influential for centuries after.

Who should read Alexander the Great?

  • People interested in how Greek culture became so dominant
  • History buffs interested in military strategy
  • Students of ancient history

On the Move

On the Move

Oliver Sacks
A Life
4.6 (70 ratings)

What's On the Move about?

On the Move (2015) is a poignant memoir that tells the story of how Oliver Sacks became an acclaimed writer and neurologist. Published the year of his death, it provides a wistful account of his turbulent young adulthood – detailing his struggle with addiction and addressing his sexuality for the first time in print.

Who should read On the Move ?

  • Fans of Oliver Sacks   
  • Readers interested in medical writing
  • Anyone who likes a good coming-of-age story

Napoleon the Great

Napoleon the Great

Andrew Roberts
4.6 (155 ratings)

What's Napoleon the Great about?

Napoleon the Great (2014) is an in-depth look into the life and times of the infamous French conqueror, Napoleon Bonaparte. These blinks detail how Napoleon, once a penniless young man, became a general at the age of 24 before going on to revolutionize the French military and government, and leaving an indelible mark on European and world history.

Who should read Napoleon the Great?

  • History buffs
  • Students of European and military history
  • Anyone interested in a truly fascinating life story



Tim Reiterman with John Jacobs
The Untold Story of the Reverend Jim Jones and His People
4.0 (7 ratings)

What's Raven about?

Raven (1982) reveals the untold story of Jim Jones and his Peoples Temple in Jonestown, the site of a mass murder in which 917 people lost their lives on one fateful day in 1979. These blinks give you a closer look at the Jones, shedding light on how he rose to power and why his followers met such a horrific end.

Who should read Raven?

  • People interested in mass psychology
  • Cult fanatics
  • True-crime enthusiasts

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman

Catherine Clinton
The Road to Freedom
4.6 (18 ratings)

What's Harriet Tubman about?

Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom (2004) sheds light on the fascinating life of Harriet Tubman, a pioneering woman who not only escaped the bonds of slavery, but also helped hundreds of others do the same. In addition, the book offers insights on the vital role she played in the American Civil War, and in the fight for equal rights for women and African-Americans.

Who should read Harriet Tubman?

  • People of all ages seeking an inspirational story
  • Amateur historians who love learning more about the Civil War era
  • Activists and advocates for civil and women’s rights

Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures

Margot Lee Shetterly
The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians who Helped Win the Space Race
4.4 (45 ratings)

What's Hidden Figures about?

Hidden Figures (2016) reveals the untold story of the black female mathematicians who helped send John Glenn on his first orbit around the Earth and Neil Armstrong to the moon. These courageous, trailblazing women answered the call of duty by leaving their teaching jobs in segregated Southern schools behind and helping to shape the modern space program.

Who should read Hidden Figures?

  • Women in engineering
  • Those interested in the true history of the space program
  • Students of politics, science and history

Black Edge

Black Edge

Sheelah Kolhatkar
Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street
4.4 (20 ratings)

What's Black Edge about?

Black Edge (2017) tells the real-life tale of greed and financial crime on Wall Street during the 2000s. It describes large-scale, illegal insider trading at SAC Capital Advisors, a hedge fund founded by star investor Steve Cohen. SAC maintained a culture of trading on inside information, but while some traders at SAC were convicted of insider trading, US authorities could never stop Steve Cohen himself from making his millions – and he was never convicted of any crime.

Who should read Black Edge?

  • Investors and analysts
  • Lawyers and investigators
  • The 99 percent who don’t benefit from Wall Street trading

American Lion

American Lion

Jon Meacham
Andrew Jackson in the White House
4.8 (35 ratings)

What's American Lion about?

American Lion (2008) tells the story of Andrew Jackson, America’s seventh president. These blinks describe Jackson’s rise from poverty to the White House, and how he transformed the presidency from a relatively symbolic position into a powerful vehicle for representing the interests of the people.

Who should read American Lion?

  • Historians and students of history
  • Anyone interested in American politics
  • Fans of a good biography

The Making of Donald Trump

The Making of Donald Trump

David Cay Johnston
3.0 (42 ratings)

What's The Making of Donald Trump about?

The Making of Donald Trump (2016) examines the man behind the highly polished public figure presented to the media – and now the voting public – of America. His thousands of court cases and shady business dealings give a clear picture of the deception and dishonesty that Donald Trump would rather keep out of public view. Now more than ever before, it’s crucial that people know whom they’re dealing with.

Who should read The Making of Donald Trump?

  • Anyone interested in politics or social sciences
  • News junkies curious about Trump’s background
  • Readers who are puzzled by Trump’s success



Ron Chernow
The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
4.5 (81 ratings)

What's Titan about?

Titan (1998) is a comprehensive biography of John D. Rockefeller, Sr., the original oil tycoon and founder of Standard Oil, the industry’s biggest name through the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The book tells Rockefeller’s story from his humble childhood through to his becoming the richest man in American history and his quirky retirement. It provides an insight into Rockefeller’s personal life, business practices and philanthropic efforts.

Who should read Titan?

  • Lovers of biographies and inspiring life stories
  • Advocates and skeptics of capitalism
  • Entrepreneurs looking for inspiration

Becoming Steve Jobs

Becoming Steve Jobs

Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli
The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader
4.5 (117 ratings)

What's Becoming Steve Jobs about?

Becoming Steve Jobs (2015) tells the story of the life and work of this tech genius. These blinks offer an inside look at the history of Apple, chronicle Jobs’s personal development, explore his early successes, as well as his failures, and lay out how his drive and innovation gave birth to revolutionary products, such as the iPhone.

Who should read Becoming Steve Jobs?

  • Apple fans and admirers of Steve Jobs
  • Computer lovers everywhere
  • Business leaders seeking a better understanding of a historical entrepreneur

Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton

James Gleick
4.5 (99 ratings)

What's Isaac Newton about?

Isaac Newton (2003) takes readers on an insightful tour of the life and mind of one of history’s greatest thinkers. It’s more than a plain account of Newton’s life and accomplishments. Instead, we get a revealing glimpse of his habits, obsessions and eccentricities. It all makes for a revealing and rewarding biography.

Who should read Isaac Newton?

  • Students of history
  • People interested in learning how the modern world was shaped
  • Scientists curious about the mythology behind their interests

Hillbilly Elegy

Hillbilly Elegy

J.D. Vance
A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
4.2 (51 ratings)

What's Hillbilly Elegy about?

Hillbilly Elegy (2016) is an autobiographical walk through the life of a man who grew up in an impoverished neighborhood of Middletown, Ohio. These blinks tell the story of a boy who, despite a turbulent childhood, beat the odds and pulled himself out of poverty.

Who should read Hillbilly Elegy?

  • “Hillbillies” and people from Appalachia
  • Sociologists and scholars of the white American working class
  • Believers in the American dream

Epic Measures

Epic Measures

Jeremy N. Smith
One Doctor. Seven Billion Patients.
3.8 (16 ratings)

What's Epic Measures about?

Epic Measures (2015) tells the incredible story of how one man, Christopher Murray, came to build the most comprehensive medical study ever assembled. Find out what motivated Murray and his dedicated team of collaborators to build a worldwide map of every disease and illness known to man – and discover how his remarkable work has revolutionized the face of world health.  

Who should read Epic Measures?

  • Medical students
  • Readers working in the health sector
  • Humanitarians

The Spider Network

The Spider Network

David Enrich
The Wild Story of a Math Genius, a Gang of Backstabbing Bankers, and One of the Greatest Scams in Financial History
4.3 (73 ratings)

What's The Spider Network about?

The Spider Network (2017) tells the fascinating story of Tom Hayes, the man who took the fall for the banking industry’s secret habit of manipulating interest rates. It’s a tale of what happens when traders, brokers and bank executives are allowed to operate without oversight.

Who should read The Spider Network?

  • Traders, brokers and anyone interested in the stock market
  • Investors hoping to avoid getting fleeced
  • Fans of a good corporate crime story

The Radium Girls

The Radium Girls

Kate Moore
The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women
4.7 (24 ratings)

What's The Radium Girls about?

The Radium Girls (2016) tells the tragic yet ultimately inspiring story of American female workers in the early twentieth century who endured some of the worst corporate negligence imaginable. Their incredible fight for justice and responsibility continues to be a relevant story to this day.

Who should read The Radium Girls?

  • Those interested in the history of women’s rights
  • Students of corporate law
  • Readers interested in nuclear science

Imagine It Forward

Imagine It Forward

Beth Comstock with Thal Raz
Courage, Creativity, and the Power of Change
4.0 (53 ratings)

What's Imagine It Forward about?

Imagine it Forward (2018) charts the successes and setbacks of one of America’s most prolific businesswomen, Beth Comstock. Combining anecdotes from her tenure at General Electric with surprising insights and indispensable practical advice, these blinks explore the life and times of this remarkable change-maker and innovator.

Who should read Imagine It Forward?

  • Anyone looking for tips to instigate effective change
  • Those interested in the lives and careers of extraordinary women
  • Managers looking for fresh leadership insights

Personal History

Personal History

Katharine Graham
4.6 (15 ratings)

What's Personal History about?

Katharine Graham’s autobiography Personal History (1997) is the illuminating inside story of one of the United States’ most powerful media moguls. Beginning with her at times difficult childhood, which was shaped by her demanding and brilliant mother, this Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir sheds light on Graham’s rise through the ranks of the journalistic profession, all the way to the top of the Washington Post’s hierarchy.

Who should read Personal History?

  • History buffs
  • Journalists
  • Anyone who loves inspiring true stories

A Spy Among Friends

A Spy Among Friends

Ben Macintyre
Philby and the Great Betrayal
4.2 (47 ratings)

What's A Spy Among Friends about?

A Spy Among Friends (2014) details the life of Kim Philby, a highly respected operative who rose through the ranks of the British secret services during World War II and the Cold War. Though a seeming paragon of British values, he actually spent his career working as a double agent for the Russians.

Who should read A Spy Among Friends?

  • Fans of John Le Carré and other spy novelists
  • People interested in the history of the Cold War
  • Espionage enthusiasts and would-be spies

Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton

Ron Chernow
4.6 (81 ratings)

What's Alexander Hamilton about?

Alexander Hamilton (2004) tells the incredible story of a poor orphan boy whose limitless ambition, intelligence and tenacity shaped the course of American history. From his early years in the Caribbean to his role in the War of Independence and the drafting of the Constitution, this is the biography of Alexander Hamilton, the intellectual, soldier and politician who helped make the United States into the country that it is today.

Who should read Alexander Hamilton?

  • History buffs
  • Anyone captivated by the Hamilton musical and keen to learn more about its hero
  • Fans of epic true-life stories



Ryan Holiday
Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue
4.3 (61 ratings)

What's Conspiracy about?

Conspiracy (2017) reveals the incredible true story behind the downfall of one of America’s most controversial media outlets. The author explores the motivations and machinations of billionaire Peter Thiel, who conspired against Gawker Media, and details the dramatic courtroom trial that saw wrestler Hulk Hogan win millions in damages against the world’s most notorious gossip website.

Who should read Conspiracy?

  • Anyone interested in current affairs
  • Media buffs interested in journalism
  • Business students wanting strategy tips

Billion Dollar Whale

Billion Dollar Whale

Tom Wright and Bradley Hope
The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World
4.5 (158 ratings)

What's Billion Dollar Whale about?

Billion Dollar Whale (2018) is the definitive account of how a quick-witted and calculating Malaysian social climber called Jho Low defrauded a national investment fund and pulled off one of the twenty-first century’s most audacious heists. The fruit of years of painstaking research by two of America’s top investigative journalists, it sheds light on the shadowy workings of a globe-spanning network of swindlers, crooks and hustlers.

Who should read Billion Dollar Whale?

  • True-life story fanatics who love a rip-roaring yarn
  • Would-be detectives with a feel for finance 
  • Number-crunchers, bankers and accountants 

Wise Guy

Wise Guy

Guy Kawasaki
Lessons from a Life
4.2 (38 ratings)

What's Wise Guy about?

Wise Guy (2019) tells the story of entrepreneur and best-selling author Guy Kawasaki’s life. Born into an ambitious Japanese family living in Hawaii, he went on to shine as one of Apple’s leading lights after dropping out of law school. Kawasaki has seen it all. In these blinks, he guides readers through his ups and downs and the lessons he’s picked up along the way as a student, tech guru, parent and sixty-something surfer.

Who should read Wise Guy?

  • Self-starters and the entrepreneurially minded
  • Digital pioneers
  • Anyone who loves inspiring true stories

Small Fry

Small Fry

Lisa Brennan-Jobs
4.2 (36 ratings)

What's Small Fry about?

Small Fry (2018) is a candid and intimate memoir, tracing the author’s life from her birth to the death of her father, Steve Jobs. Beyond giving readers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Apple’s founder, the book offers an incisive portrait of a Californian childhood.

Who should read Small Fry?

  • Fans and critics of Steve Jobs
  • Memoir enthusiasts
  • Tech heads with a literary bent

A Woman of No Importance

A Woman of No Importance

Sonia Purnell
The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II
4.7 (85 ratings)

What's A Woman of No Importance about?

A Woman of No Importance (2019) sheds light on the shadowy world of wartime espionage and the career of one of the Allies’ most effective spies in the battle against Nazi Germany – Virginia Hall. In these blinks, we’ll follow Virginia from her Maryland home to the jazz clubs of interwar Paris and the warren-like streets of Lyon, the city in which she learned her trade. Along the way, you’ll discover how the “limping lady” dodged Gestapo agents, martialled the French resistance and revolutionized spycraft.

Who should read A Woman of No Importance?

  • Adventure addicts 
  • History buffs 
  • Francophiles 

Uncanny Valley

Uncanny Valley

Anna Wiener
A Memoir
3.8 (50 ratings)

What's Uncanny Valley about?

At the peak of the tech boom, Anna Wiener left a dismal professional life in New York for the modern Californian gold rush in Silicon Valley. Looking for money, stability, and social affirmation, she found an industry running on inflated valuations, gargantuan egos, toxic masculinity, and a whole lot of jargon. In Uncanny Valley (2020), you’ll follow her journey through three start-up jobs toward a more realistic valuation of herself.

Who should read Uncanny Valley?

  • Anyone terrified by big tech’s takeover of our lives
  • Those disappointed by the inaction following Snowden's revelations
  • Start-up employees wondering if they've made the right career choice

The Virgin Way

The Virgin Way

Richard Branson
Everything I Know About Leadership
4.4 (397 ratings)

What's The Virgin Way about?

The Virgin Way (2015) explores Richard Branson’s secrets of leadership. Drawing on real-world anecdotes from the author’s decades of experience and eccentric way of doing business, these blinks are an insight into one of the world’s most innovative minds.

Who should read The Virgin Way?

  • Budding entrepreneurs looking for inspiration
  • Business enthusiasts wanting a fresh perspective
  • Fans of uplifting true stories



Michael Eric Dyson
Made in America
4.2 (56 ratings)

What's JAY-Z about?

JAY-Z: Made in America (2019) explores the enormous political and artistic contributions of one of the most influential hip-hop artists of our time. JAY-Z is the only rapper to become a billionaire. His career spans three decades and 17 platinum albums. However, he is much more than just a mega earner. These blinks reveal that he is also an adventurous, experimental artist and a principled activist, using his considerable influence to fight against social inequality. 

Who should read JAY-Z?

  • Fans of JAY-Z who want to deepen their knowledge of their idol 
  • Memoir lovers who want to learn about the remarkable trajectory of a musical entrepreneur who turned his life around
  • Poetry lovers who want to read about one of the most unconventional poets of our time

Notorious RBG

Notorious RBG

Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik
The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
4.6 (29 ratings)

What's Notorious RBG about?

Notorious RBG (2015) chronicles the life story of US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. From her childhood in Brooklyn – when she was known by her nickname, Kiki – to capturing the public imagination with her scathing dissents on the bench, these blinks portray one woman’s relentless fight to give American women and men equal rights under the country’s legislation.

New York Times Bestseller

Who should read Notorious RBG?

  • Millennials interested in the life of America’s most unassuming pop icon
  • Students of US history, law, and politics
  • Social activists and feminists looking for inspiration

Becoming Beauvoir

Becoming Beauvoir

Kate Kirkpatrick
A Life
4.5 (90 ratings)

What's Becoming Beauvoir about?

Becoming Beauvoir (2019) recounts the story of French philosopher, writer and feminist icon Simone de Beauvoir for a contemporary audience. Making use of previously unpublished letters and diaries, Becoming Beauvoir describes how the famous intellectual became herself.

Who should read Becoming Beauvoir?

  • Those interested in feminism and gender studies
  • Budding existentialists
  • Philosophy students

Trick Mirror

Trick Mirror

Jia Tolentino
Reflections on Self-Delusion
4.0 (58 ratings)

What's Trick Mirror about?

Trick Mirror (2019) is the long-awaited first collection of writer and essayist Jia Tolentino. In nine intertwined stories, she tells of the trends and ideas – as well as the personal and collective delusions – that have shaped her life, our country, and the culture. Examining everything from the internet to workout crazes to modern marriage, Tolentino interweaves the personal and political, calling to mind great feminist writers like Susan Sontag and Joan Didion.

Who should read Trick Mirror?

  • Critical thinkers with an affinity for dissecting cultural trends
  • Lefties and liberals – and those who want to understand them better
  • Anyone who claims the label “feminist”

I Am Dynamite!

I Am Dynamite!

Sue Prideaux
A Life of Nietzsche
4.4 (65 ratings)

What's I Am Dynamite! about?

I Am Dynamite! (2018) is the explosive story of the life of Friedrich Nietzsche, the philosopher who revolutionized western thought. Despite his bold and visionary writing, Nietzsche lived a troubled life and received little renown before descending into madness.

Who should read I Am Dynamite!?

  • Philosophy enthusiasts
  • Biography fans interested in European history
  • Anyone looking to learn about Nietzsche and his work

You Never Forget Your First

You Never Forget Your First

Alexis Coe
A Biography of George Washington
3.9 (51 ratings)

What's You Never Forget Your First about?

You Never Forget Your First (2020) is a playful history of America’s first president, the first biography of George Washington to be written by a woman in over 40 years. A unique departure from the typical Washington biography, these blinks cut through the hero worship to reveal a nuanced character with problems – just like the rest of us. 

Who should read You Never Forget Your First?

  • Anyone who thinks they already know the story of George Washington
  • History hounds excited by how the discipline is changing 
  • Skeptics who love poking holes in an established narrative

The Warmth of Other Suns

The Warmth of Other Suns

Isabel Wilkerson
The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
4.4 (76 ratings)

What's The Warmth of Other Suns about?

The Warmth of Other Suns (2010) tells the story of the Great Migration – the biggest inner-border mass migration in US history. From 1915 to 1970, millions of Black Americans left the Jim Crow South in search of a better life in Northern cities. Focusing on the lives of three of those migrants, these blinks paint a vivid picture of the fears, hopes, and dreams that shaped the movement.

Who should read The Warmth of Other Suns?

  • Curious minds who want to learn about an underexplored chapter of US history
  • Fans of biographical and eyewitness accounts of the past
  • Anyone interested in the social and demographic forces that shaped America

Bedtime Biography: Harriet Tubman

Bedtime Biography: Harriet Tubman

Catherine Clinton
The Road to Freedom
4.6 (153 ratings)

What's Bedtime Biography: Harriet Tubman about?

Narrated by Valeri Ross

Music by Federico Coderoni

Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom (2004) sheds light on the fascinating life of Harriet Tubman, a pioneering woman who not only escaped the bonds of slavery, but also helped hundreds of others do the same. The book also offers insights on her vital role in the American Civil War, and in the fight for equal rights for women and African-Americans.

Who should read Bedtime Biography: Harriet Tubman?

  • People of all ages seeking an inspirational story
  • Amateur historians who love learning more about the Civil War era
  • Activists and advocates for civil and women’s rights

Talking to GOATs

Talking to GOATs

Jim Gray
The Moments You Remember and the Stories You Never Heard
4.4 (38 ratings)

What's Talking to GOATs about?

Talking to GOATs (2020) recounts the inside stories and memorable moments from some of the greatest athletes and sporting events the world has ever seen. These insights have been culled from the from the four-decade-long career of the renowned sports interviewer, Jim Gray.

Who should read Talking to GOATs?

  • Sports fans
  • Aspiring sports champions
  • Aspiring sports journalists



John O. Brennan
My Fight Against America's Enemies, At Home and Abroad
3.9 (22 ratings)

What's Undaunted about?

Undaunted (2020) sketches the life of former CIA director John Brennan, from his humble beginnings in a blue-collar New Jersey household to his rise through the ranks of the CIA. Packed with political intrigue and personal anecdotes, it’s a remarkable and surprising look at a man who has dedicated his life to keeping America safe.

Who should read Undaunted?

  • People interested in espionage, intelligence work, and international affairs
  • Americans curious about the CIA’s inner workings
  • Memoir lovers

His Truth Is Marching On

His Truth Is Marching On

Jon Meacham and John Lewis
John Lewis and the Power of Hope
4.2 (28 ratings)

What's His Truth Is Marching On about?

His Truth Is Marching On (2020) tells the extraordinary life story of the late congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis, interweaving his personal journey with the larger arc of American history.

Who should read His Truth Is Marching On?

  • History buffs intrigued by the personalities behind the civil rights movement
  • Political junkies interested in the life of a powerful leader
  • Anyone who’s been inspired by John Lewis

The Volunteer

The Volunteer

Jack Fairweather
One Man, an Underground Army, and the Secret Mission to Destroy Auschwitz
4.8 (66 ratings)

What's The Volunteer about?

The Volunteer (2019) is an account of Witold Pilecki’s extraordinary life and death. A patriotic Pole, Pilecki volunteered to be sent to Auschwitz, the Nazi concentration camp. Not only did he bear witness to the camp’s atrocities; he smuggled out reports of what he’d seen, alerting the world to the horrors of the Holocaust.

Who should read The Volunteer?

  • Anyone interested in WWII history
  • People thrilled by tales of derring-do
  • Lovers of biography

Bedtime Biography: Born a Crime

Bedtime Biography: Born a Crime

Trevor Noah
Stories from a South African Childhood
4.5 (43 ratings)

What's Bedtime Biography: Born a Crime about?

Narrated by Valeri Ross

Music by Federico Coderoni 

Born a Crime (2016) is about comedian and television host Trevor Noah's childhood and adolescence in apartheid-era and post-apartheid South Africa. A child of mixed heritage, Born a Crime details the challenges Noah faced and the social paradoxes that existed as he was growing up.

Who should read Bedtime Biography: Born a Crime?

  • Trevor Noah fans
  • Those interested in life during and after apartheid in South Africa
  • Anyone after an inspiring personal story



Laura Tunbridge
A Life in Nine Pieces
4.5 (77 ratings)

What's Beethoven about?

Beethoven (2020) takes a unique look at the legendary composer by digging into nine specific compositions that offer fresh insights on key moments in his life. The author challenges popular misconceptions of Beethoven as the reclusive, tortured, misanthropic genius – instead portraying an artist who values friendships, longs for love, and isn’t above haggling over publishing deals.

Who should read Beethoven?

  • Music aficionados
  • Anyone who likes learning about the lives of artists
  • People interested in what makes a genius tick

King Leopold's Ghost

King Leopold's Ghost

Adam Hochschild
A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa
4.6 (67 ratings)

What's King Leopold's Ghost about?

King Leopold’s Ghost (1998) is the devastating story of how one man – Leopold, King of the Belgians – developed a territory comprising one-thirteenth of the African continent into his personal fiefdom. While publicizing his supposedly benevolent intentions, Leopold enslaved vast numbers of people, forcing them to harvest ivory and rubber in appalling conditions. In all, an estimated ten million Africans died while he was the King-Sovereign of the Congo. 

Who should read King Leopold's Ghost?

  • Anyone too horrified by colonialism to look away
  • Those interested in little-known histories
  • Scholars of African history

Agent Sonya

Agent Sonya

Ben Macintyre
Moscow’s Most Daring Wartime Spy
4.5 (56 ratings)

What's Agent Sonya about?

Agent Sonya (2020) is the biography of a respectable housewife, who also just happened to be one of Soviet intelligence’s most intrepid and high-ranking spies. The book traces the life of Ursula Kuczynski, code-name Sonya, from her birth in Berlin, through her radicalization as a communist and her career as a spy who both foiled the Nazis and arguably kicked off the Cold War.

Who should read Agent Sonya?

  • World War II history buffs
  • Espionage enthusiasts
  • Anyone who loves the thrill and suspense of a good spy story

The Man I Knew

The Man I Knew

Jean Becker
The Amazing Story of George H. W. Bush's Post-Presidency
4.4 (20 ratings)

What's The Man I Knew about?

The Man I Knew (2021) is the simultaneously heartwarming, tear-jerking, and surprising story of George H. W. Bush’s life after the White House. Many people are aware of President Bush’s accomplishments as a politician – shepherding the US through the end of the Cold War, successfully navigating the Gulf War, and signing the Americans With Disabilities Act into law, to name but a few. But this isn’t the story of George Bush the politician –⁠ it’s the story of George Bush the husband, friend, and father.

Who should read The Man I Knew?

  • Fans of the Bush family and other prominent Republicans
  • Democrats who want to get to know someone on the other side of the aisle
  • Memoir-lovers

The Daughters of Kobani

The Daughters of Kobani

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
A Story of Rebellion, Courage, and Justice
4.4 (78 ratings)

What's The Daughters of Kobani about?

The Daughters of Kobani (2021) tells the riveting, edge-of-your-seat tale of a group of Syrian Kurdish women who took up arms against the terror group ISIS. Brimming with pathos and unimaginable courage, it’s a story of women fighting evil and winning, against all the odds. But it’s equally about women defying a culture that would deny them their rights –⁠ and striving toward a better one.

Who should read The Daughters of Kobani?

  • Fans of thrillers and action films
  • Feminists empowered by stories of brave women
  • Students of Middle Eastern conflict and international relations

All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days

All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days

Rebecca Donner
The True Story of the American Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler
4.5 (154 ratings)

What's All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days about?

All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days (2021) offers a deeply intimate look at individuals who risked their lives by establishing an anti-Nazi resistance movement in Germany. With years of research, and access to letters and declassified documents, this is a detailed story about people who have often been overlooked in the fight against fascism.

Who should read All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days?

  • Fans of real-world espionage stories
  • People curious about life in WWII-era Germany
  • History buffs

The Soul of a Woman

The Soul of a Woman

Isabel Allende
A personal meditation on life, feminism, and what it means to be a woman
4.4 (67 ratings)

What's The Soul of a Woman about?

The Soul of a Woman (2021) is an honest and personal meditation on life, feminism, and what it means to be a woman. Drawing on experiences from the author’s life, it explores issues around women’s oppression, love, ambition, aging, and abuse. It is at once the story of one woman and the story of all women.

Who should read The Soul of a Woman?

  • Anyone who has experienced misogyny
  • Men who want to understand what life is like for women
  • Fans of biographies and memoirs

Bedtime Biography: Stasiland

Bedtime Biography: Stasiland

Anna Funder
Scenes From Behind the Berlin Wall
4.6 (279 ratings)

What's Bedtime Biography: Stasiland about?

Read to you by Karen Cass.

In East Germany, a spy agency called the Stasi built the most sophisticated surveillance network the world has ever seen. For almost 30 years, East Germans were confined physically by the Berlin Wall, but the Stasi’s network of spies and informers was responsible for keeping them in check mentally. It’s hard to imagine what everyday life is like for victims of a surveillance state. Stasiland is their story.

Who should read Bedtime Biography: Stasiland?

  • Cold War buffs
  • People interested in true-life espionage
  • History fans

House of Gucci

House of Gucci

Sara Gay Forden
A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed
4.6 (150 ratings)

What's House of Gucci about?

The House of Gucci (2000) tells the true story of the Gucci family’s meteoric rise – and near fall – in the world of haute couture. Full of plot twists fueled by passion and greed, it goes behind the brand’s shiny facade to reveal that all that glitters isn’t gold.

Who should read House of Gucci?

  • Lovers of high fashion – or high drama
  • Fans of stranger-than-fiction true crime
  • Those intrigued by a world of glitz and glamour


Bedtime Biography: Madame Curie

Bedtime Biography: Madame Curie

Eve Curie
A Biography
4.7 (155 ratings)

What's Bedtime Biography: Madame Curie about?

Two Nobel Prizes, brilliant scientific breakthroughs, tragic losses, tireless work in the hospitals of the First World War: Marie Curie had an eventful life. In this Bedtime Biography, we will tell the story of Marie Curie, and introduce you to the woman behind the many myths.

Who should read Bedtime Biography: Madame Curie?

  • Those interested in the history of science
  • Fans of biographies
  • Parents in search of female role models

The Contrarian

The Contrarian

Max Chafkin
Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley's Pursuit of Power
3.4 (137 ratings)

What's The Contrarian about?

The Contrarian (2021) is a biography of controversial venture capitalist, tech investor, and PayPal founder Peter Thiel. It explains how Thiel’s politics have informed his career – and how he became one of the most powerful people in the US.

Who should read The Contrarian?

  • People looking for gossip on Silicon Valley
  • US politics junkies
  • Those interested in the intersection of tech and power

What's Bedtime Biography: Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World about?

Read to you by Marston York.

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World (2004) tells the fascinating story of Genghis Khan, the man who founded the great Mongol Empire. Today, he’s remembered as a ruthless, violent conqueror who thrived on bloodshed and destruction. What has largely been forgotten, though, is how he united disparate peoples, fostered trade and modernization, and advanced democracy – and in so doing, ushered in the modern world.

Who should read Bedtime Biography: Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World?

  • History buffs
  • Global citizens interested in the roots of the modern world
  • Anyone with preconceived notions about the Mongol Empire

Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon

John A. Farrell
The Life
4.3 (111 ratings)

What's Richard Nixon about?

Richard Nixon: The Life (2017) is a thorough biography of one of the most controversial American presidents. Tracing Nixon’s life from his humble upbringing through his meteoric political ascent to his crashing downfall in the Watergate scandal, it reveals a complex, troubled, and sentimental man.

Who should read Richard Nixon?

  • US-politics aficionados
  • Biography enthusiasts who love a scandal
  • People looking to deepen their knowledge of American history

Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale

Cecil Woodham-Smith
4.7 (78 ratings)

What's Florence Nightingale about?

Florence Nightingale (1951) tells the legendary story of the “Lady with the Lamp,” the famed nurse who arrived to soothe the souls of those wounded in the Crimean War. It chronicles her journey to the conflict’s horrific medical barracks, and how she used her experiences to forever change the way hospitals are run and how the sick are treated. 

Who should read Florence Nightingale?

  • People interested in amazing life stories
  • Those curious about life and hardships during Victorian times
  • History buffs



Jan Matti Dollbaum, Morvan Lallouet and Ben Noble
Putin's Nemesis, Russia's Future?
4.4 (186 ratings)

What's Navalny about?

Navalny (2021) is an in-depth look at the life and politics of Russian politician Alexei Navalny. This biography details how Navalny rose to prominence and what plans he has for Russia’s future.

Who should read Navalny?

  • Outsiders seeking to understand life in Russia 
  • Political thinkers keen to grasp the concept of power in a post-USSR world
  • All those invested in the future of world governance

Becoming Kim Jong Un

Becoming Kim Jong Un

Jung H. Pak
A Former CIA Officer's Insights into North Korea's Enigmatic Young Dictator
4.2 (61 ratings)

What's Becoming Kim Jong Un about?

Becoming Kim Jong Un (2020) tells the story of the North Korean dictator from his childhood as the son and grandson of two infamous Korean leaders through to his momentous summit with American president Donald Trump. Setting aside the insults and jokes about Kim that the media and internet often perpetuate, it takes a serious look at Kim’s enigmatic persona and behavior and diagnoses the grave threat that he and his nation⁠ pose to the world.

Who should read Becoming Kim Jong Un?

  • People fascinated by international politics and global issues
  • History lovers
  • Anyone with an interest in modern Asia

How Proust Can Change Your Life

How Proust Can Change Your Life

Alain de Botton
4.6 (315 ratings)

What's How Proust Can Change Your Life about?

How Proust Can Change Your Life (1997) melds literary biography with a self-help structure to argue that reading the work of twentieth-century French author Marcel Proust is not only culturally enriching, but potentially life-enhancing. Botton’s close reading of Proust’s masterpiece, In Search of Lost Time, offers up surprising and delightful insights into how to live better.

Who should read How Proust Can Change Your Life?

  • Voracious readers who have yet to embark on In Search of Lost Time
  • Reluctant readers who’d like to read more than they currently do
  • Anyone looking to take on a literary challenge

You Are Your Best Thing

You Are Your Best Thing

Edited by Tarana Burke and Brené Brown
Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience
4.2 (93 ratings)

What's You Are Your Best Thing about?

You Are Your Best Thing (2021) is an anthology of original essays that explore Black experiences of living, loving, and parenting in America today. It examines concepts like vulnerability and shame, and shows that the key to personal healing lies in confronting white supremacy and the racist systems that make Black people feel unsafe in their communities. 

Who should read You Are Your Best Thing?

  • Black people looking for tools to heal from trauma
  • Psychology-lovers seeking new perspectives on how the personal and political intersect
  • Those who want to deepen their understanding of the impact of racism in America



Cameron Hanes
How to Work Hard, Outlast, and Keep Hammering
4.0 (366 ratings)

What's Endure about?

Endure (2022) is Cameron Hanes’ inspirational story of strength, perseverance, and becoming the greatest bowhunter in the world. Drawing on the author’s anecdotes and life philosophies, it shows that anyone has the capacity to push their limits and be the best that they can be.

Who should read Endure?

  • Extreme sports enthusiasts looking for inspiration from the greatest in the field
  • Adrenaline junkies who need that motivational push to take things just a little bit further
  • The lost or directionless who want to get more out of life and themselves



H. W. Brands
The Life
4.3 (177 ratings)

What's Reagan about?

Reagan (2015) is the definitive account of the life of a towering figure in American history. Starting with his childhood in Illinois, the narrative follows the course of Ronald Reagan’s life, from his charmed days in Hollywood to his time as governor of California and, finally, from the White House to the world stage of the Cold War.

Who should read Reagan?

  • All those who think they know what Reagan was all about
  • History buffs
  • People looking to understand modern American conservatism

Crying in H Mart

Crying in H Mart

Michelle Zauner
A Memoir
4.2 (116 ratings)

What's Crying in H Mart about?

Michelle Zauner’s memoir, Crying in H Mart (2021), explores Zauner’s search for identity, her relationship with her Korean mother, and her beginnings as a musician. Key moments and emotions are constantly linked with food, which lies at the heart of Zauner’s connection with her mother, her heritage, and her true self.

Who should read Crying in H Mart?

  • Anyone who has experienced grief
  • Fans of Japanese Breakfast
  • Asian food aficionados

Cinema Speculation

Cinema Speculation

Quentin Tarantino
4.0 (126 ratings)

What's Cinema Speculation about?

Cinema Speculation (2022) is part personal history, part movie criticism, and part film reporting. It takes a look at several key 1970s movies from director Quentin Tarantino’s perspective. While he discusses each movie, he sometimes also indulges in a few what-ifs.

Who should read Cinema Speculation?

  • Film buffs eager to get inside Quentin Tarantino’s mind
  • Dirty Harry, Taxi Driver, and Escape From Alcatraz aficionados
  • Fans of Don Siegel and Martin Scorsese

Empire of Pain

Empire of Pain

Patrick Radden Keefe
The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty
4.6 (55 ratings)

What's Empire of Pain about?

Empire of Pain (2021) follows the rise and fall of the elusive Sacklers, the billionaire family behind Purdue Pharma. Its blockbuster drug, OxyContin, was aggressively marketed as safe, but would go on to spur a devastating opioid crisis that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. Yet the Sacklers’ fortress of lawyers, political connections and a philanthropic name would, time and again, protect them from responsibility.

Who should read Empire of Pain?

  • Current affairs enthusiasts
  • Lovers of family dynasty dramas
  • Anyone wanting to understand the opioid crisis

The Last Folk Hero

The Last Folk Hero

Jeff Pearlman
The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson
4.3 (4 ratings)

What's The Last Folk Hero about?

The Last Folk Hero (2022) dives into Bo Jackson's life and career as a multi-sport phenomenon. It details his early childhood days in Bessemer, Alabama, and the feats he accomplished as an amateur and professional player.

Who should read The Last Folk Hero?

  • People curious about Bo Jackson’s life
  • Football and baseball fans
  • Biography geeks

The Light We Give

The Light We Give

Simran Jeet Singh
How Sikh Wisdom Can Transform Your Life
4.3 (248 ratings)

What's The Light We Give about?

The Light We Give (2022) lights a defiant flame of hope for troubled times. Drawing on a lifetime of navigating racism growing up as a Sikh in Texas, it offers simple, guiding principles and daily practices that can help anyone live a more fulfilling, joyful life – regardless of their circumstances.

Who should read The Light We Give?

  • Anxious news junkies feeling overwhelmed by the world 
  • Optimists seeking meaning in an unjust world
  • Anyone looking to live with deeper connection, joy, and fulfillment

Elizabeth the Queen

Elizabeth the Queen

Sally Bedell Smith
The Life of a Modern Monarch
3.9 (213 ratings)

What's Elizabeth the Queen about?

Elizabeth the Queen (2012) is a brisk yet in-depth exposé of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. Tracing key moments in her life, big and small, lighthearted and tragic, it pulls back the curtain on a most singular figure. Elizabeth II was at once a woman who struggled to balance her roles as both mother and monarch; a leader who learned to embody dignity and diplomacy; and the calm epicenter of the drama that ever swirled around her closest relations.

Who should read Elizabeth the Queen?

  • Royal watchers and anglophiles
  • Americans interested in British politics
  • Biography lovers



Patrick Radden Keefe
True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks
3.9 (136 ratings)

What's Rogues about?

Rogues (2022) is a compilation of veteran journalist Patrick Radden Keefe’s most famous profiles for the New Yorker Magazine. Keefe delves into the lives of notorious criminals and con artists, exploring their complex motivations. He examines the societies that made them and the systems we have for bringing people to justice.

Who should read Rogues?

  • Fans of long-form journalism 
  • Anyone interested in how the rogues of this world get away with their crimes
  • People interested in psychology and how past events can influence human behavior

And There Was Light

And There Was Light

Jon Meacham
Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle
4.6 (63 ratings)

What's And There Was Light about?

And There Was Light (2022) is a biography of Abraham Lincoln that takes a nuanced look at a complex leader. Focusing especially on Lincoln’s evolving views on and actions around slavery, it’s a picture of a man who wrestled with his moral convictions while attempting to hold together a divided nation. Echoes of that struggle still ring out today, making it essential to keep Lincoln’s story at the forefront of American consciousness.

Who should read And There Was Light?

  • American history enthusiasts
  • People interested in controversial historical figures
  • Budding political pundits looking to add to their historical knowledge



Beverly Gage
J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century
4.5 (37 ratings)

What's G-Man about?

G-Man (2022) is a thorough and comprehensive biography of J. Edgar Hoover and the history of the FBI. Drawing from established history as well as newly uncovered documents, it covers the entire timeline of Hoover’s personal life as well as his role in shaping America as we know it.

Who should read G-Man?

  • American history buffs
  • People curious about J. Edgar Hoover
  • Anyone interested in the hidden forces influencing American politics

Lady Sings the Blues

Lady Sings the Blues

Billie Holiday with William Dufty
The 50th-Anniversay Edition with a Revised Discography
4.3 (128 ratings)

What's Lady Sings the Blues about?

Lady Sings the Blues (1956) is Billie Holiday’s tell-all memoir. The legendary jazz singer recounts her life, from a brutal childhood in Baltimore to the start of her musical career in Harlem and – eventually – stardom tainted by racism and drug addiction. 

Who should read Lady Sings the Blues?

  • Music lovers
  • Anyone curious about Harlem speakeasies
  • Fans of fast-paced, hard-edged memoirs

Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor

Kate Andersen Brower
The Grit and Glamour of an Icon
4.2 (164 ratings)

What's Elizabeth Taylor about?

Elizabeth Taylor (2022) is an enthralling authorized biography of one of Hollywood's most famous stars. This fascinating and complete portrait of the legend chronicles her life of fame, tragedy, love, and loss.

Who should read Elizabeth Taylor?

  • Elizabeth Taylor devotees
  • Classic Hollywood aficionados
  • Romance fans

The Revolutionary

The Revolutionary

Stacy Schiff
Samuel Adams
4.6 (213 ratings)

What's The Revolutionary about?

The Revolutionary (2022) offers a nuanced look at one of the most central figures in the lead-up to the American War of Independence. It reveals a man of character and contradiction, whose revolutionary thinking and deep commitment to civil liberties came to define a revolution.

Who should read The Revolutionary?

  • History lovers looking for a deep dive into characters that create change
  • Political thinkers looking for an inside view of revolutionary politics
  • Anyone seeking inspiring examples of ideals put into practice

Your Turn

Your Turn

Julie Lythcott-Haims
How to Be an Adult
4.6 (253 ratings)

What's Your Turn about?

Your Turn (2021) is a twenty-first-century guide to adulting – and self-discovery. Stories and insights covering everything from relationships to mental health to money paint a picture of what it means to be a grown-up. Rather than outlining a rigid definition or goal, it offers tools to help you feel empowered and excited about navigating the landscape of adulthood and living a rich, meaningful life.

Who should read Your Turn?

  • Twenty- and thirty-somethings wondering what it really means to “grow up”
  • Millennials who feel overwhelmed by the demands of adulthood
  • Anyone looking to better connect with the young adults in their lives

If You Tell

If You Tell

Gregg Olsen
A True Story of Murder, Family Secrets, and the Unbreakable Bond of Sisterhood
4.0 (16 ratings)

What's If You Tell about?

If You Tell (2019) details the story of Michelle “Shelly” Knotek, the mother of three daughters who subjected her family to an ongoing nightmare of abuse and torture. Those who got close to Shelly had a way of succumbing to her methods of manipulation and control. For some, it meant their death.

Who should read If You Tell?

  • True crime fanatics
  • Anyone interested in stories of incredible resilience
  • People curious about the psychology of serial killers

Kitchen Confidential

Kitchen Confidential

Anthony Bourdain
Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
4.3 (136 ratings)

What's Kitchen Confidential about?

Kitchen Confidential (2000) gives us an insight into life in the restaurant business. Full of larger-than-life tales about Anthony Bourdain’s life of sex and drugs and haute cuisine, it gives us a no-holds-barred taste of what goes on behind the kitchen door.

Who should read Kitchen Confidential?

  • Fans of Anthony Bourdain
  • Wannabe pro chefs
  • Home cooks looking for hints and tips from a professional

Killing the Legends

Killing the Legends

Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
The Lethal Danger of Celebrity
4.3 (27 ratings)

What's Killing the Legends about?

Killing the Legends (2022) takes a dramatic and insightful look at the lives and tragic deaths of three of the greatest names of the 20th century: Elvis Presely, John Lennon, and Muhammad Ali. These three celebrities all found early and overwhelming success, before losing control of their lives, being influenced and controlled by those close to them.

Who should read Killing the Legends?

  • Fans of Elvis, Lennon, or Ali, eager to learn a bit more about their heroes
  • Cultural history buffs interested in the big players of the 20th century
  • The morbidly curious looking for the tragic true stories behind the fame.

How to Live

How to Live

Sarah Bakewell
Or A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer
4.5 (479 ratings)

What's How to Live about?

How to Live (2010) is both a biography of the writer Montaigne and an overview of the monumental work for which he’s famous: the Essays – a genre of writing that he invented. Along the way, it suggests some lessons we can take from his life and apply to our own.

Who should read How to Live?

  • Students of the Stoics, Epicureans, or Skeptics who want to learn about one of their greatest prodigies 
  • Fans of biographies about writers and thinkers 
  • Anyone who wants to know more about the life and works of Montaigne



Alfred Lansing
Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
4.7 (252 ratings)

What's Endurance about?

Endurance (1959) is the epic saga of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s expedition across the Antarctic continent on foot – a journey that became a race against time, the elements, and the harshest climate on earth to rescue his crew.

Who should read Endurance?

  • Leaders longing for real-world examples of extraordinary ability
  • History buffs craving a front-row seat to the action
  • Adventure lovers seeking their next armchair thrill ride

Confidence Man

Confidence Man

Maggie Haberman
The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America
3.7 (291 ratings)

What's Confidence Man about?

Confidence Man (2022) is a full account of Trump’s life in the spotlight. It tracks his career from early New York real estate deals to his tumultuous tenure in the White House. It shows how his aggressive personality was molded early on and only intensified as the stage grew bigger.

Who should read Confidence Man?

  • Politics junkies
  • People interested in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol
  • Anyone interested in the unique life of Donald J. Trump

Faith, Hope and Carnage

Faith, Hope and Carnage

Nick Cave, Seán O'Hagan
4.2 (134 ratings)

What's Faith, Hope and Carnage about?

Faith, Hope and Carnage (2022) collects a series of interviews between legendary musician Nick Cave, whose primal, goth-tinged music has captivated and challenged audiences for nearly half a century, and the journalist Sean O’Hagan. The pair touch on writer’s block, romance, addiction, and the internet – but always circle back to the topic of grief, specifically how Cave has dealt with the death of his 15-year-old son Arthur in 2015.

Who should read Faith, Hope and Carnage?

  • Die-hard Cave fans, who’ve been following along since The Birthday Party years
  • New Cave fans who’ve fallen in love with Ghosteen or the Red Hand Files
  • Anyone dealing with grief in any form



Prince Harry
4.1 (615 ratings)

What's Spare about?

Spare (2023) is Prince Harry’s highly anticipated memoir, which offers unprecedented insight into life as a royal. With remarkable candor, Harry reflects on his mother’s death, his complex relationships with other family members, and his battles with the press.

Who should read Spare?

  • Fans of the British royal family
  • People who have mixed feelings about the royal family
  • Anyone who wants to know Harry’s side of the story



James B Stewart and Rachel Abrams
The Epic Battle for a Media Empire and the Redstone Family Legacy
3.8 (25 ratings)

What's Unscripted about?

Unscripted (2023) is the outrageous true story of Sumner Redstone, the former chairman and controlling shareholder of ViacomCBS (now Paramount Global). It focuses on the eventful final years of Redstone’s life, as well as the downfall of his successor at CBS, Les Moonves.

Who should read Unscripted?

  • Fans of TV dramas like Succession
  • People who enjoy juicy nonfiction and true crime
  • Anyone who wants a behind-the-scenes glimpse of corporate America

I Am the Storm

I Am the Storm

Janice Dean
Inspiring Stories of People Who Fight Against Overwhelming Odds
4.1 (33 ratings)

What's I Am the Storm about?

I Am the Storm (2023) is an inspiring dive into what it takes to stand as a David against a Goliath. From a single gymnast who took on a whole abusive system, to a grieving mother who chose to tackle the US opioid epidemic head on, it shows that anyone can make a stand for what they believe in, no matter how big their opponent may seem.

Who should read I Am the Storm?

  • Anyone looking for inspiration to face the challenges in their life
  • People sick of big organizations acting with impunity
  • Believers in the strength of human will



Randall Woods
Architect of American Ambition
4.6 (36 ratings)

What's LBJ about?

LBJ is the story of its namesake –⁠ Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the United States –⁠ from birth to death. Looking with a sympathetic, though not uncritical, eye on one of the nation’s most maligned and misunderstood leaders, it analyzes the dynamics that shaped him in his youth, the causes he championed, and the presidential decisions that turned him into an icon. By the end, you’ll come away with a much deeper, more nuanced understanding of this controversial, yet titanic, twentieth-century leader. 

Who should read LBJ?

  • American history buffs
  • Social justice activists interested in the history of their cause
  • Anyone with preconceived notions about LBJ.

The Undoing Project

The Undoing Project

Michael Lewis
A Friendship That Changed Our Minds
4.0 (213 ratings)

What's The Undoing Project about?

The Undoing Project (2016) transports you into the intriguing minds of two revolutionary psychologists: Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. This gripping narrative reveals their journey to reshape our understanding of human decision-making and how unseen biases are influencing us at every turn.

Who should read The Undoing Project?

  • Psychology enthusiasts fascinated by human decision-making
  • Fans of biographies that explore notable collaborations
  • Students of behavioral economics and cognitive sciences

Play Nice But Win

Play Nice But Win

Michael Dell
A CEO's Journey from Founder to Leader
3.7 (171 ratings)

What's Play Nice But Win about?

Play Nice But Win (2021) takes you into the thrilling world of tech entrepreneurship, offering a front-row seat to a saga of innovation, resilience, and reinvention. From humble beginnings to industry-shaping breakthroughs, you'll uncover invaluable lessons within the rollercoaster journey of one of technology's biggest disruptors. It's a riveting exploration that strikes the perfect balance between playing nice and winning big in business, and in life.

Who should read Play Nice But Win?

  • Aspiring entrepreneurs and technology enthusiasts
  • Business students and academics
  • Tech industry professionals and corporate leaders

American Prometheus

American Prometheus

Kai Bird & Martin J Sherwin
The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer
4.1 (41 ratings)

What's American Prometheus about?

American Prometheus (2005) captures Oppenheimer’s life in a way that echoes Prometheus’s audacity in gifting fire. From atomic breakthroughs to ethical entanglements, this is a nuclear narrative of epic proportions.

Who should read American Prometheus?

  • Quantum physics enthusiasts
  • Nuclear nerds with noble notions
  • History buffs seeking backstories



Jonathan Eig
A Life
4.5 (21 ratings)

What's King about?

King (2023) is a compelling biography of Martin Luther King. It tells the story of a man, not a saint, who had a remarkable career. His life was cut short at the age of 39, but in his 13-year career King’s vision of a United States based on equality and justice for all, lives on.

Who should read King?

  • History lovers particularly interested in the history of social justice movements
  • Civil rights activists and advocates inspired by King’s life and strategies
  • Inspiration seekers wanting to learn from a story of struggle, resilience, and monumental impact

The Warren Buffett Way

The Warren Buffett Way

Robert G. Hagstrom
Investment Strategies of the World's Greatest Investor
4.5 (19 ratings)

What's The Warren Buffett Way about?

The Warren Buffett Way (2013) chronicles the unprecedented success of one of the world’s greatest investors. From his first $120 investment to his ultimate $120 billion net worth, it focuses on the history and strategies of the man who seemed to do the impossible: beat the market.

Who should read The Warren Buffett Way?

  • Amateur and advanced economists and investors
  • People interested in success stories
  • Anyone who wants to learn about Warren Buffett’s life

Related Topics

Biographies Books

What's the best Biographies book to read?

While choosing just one book about a topic is always tough, many people regard The Man Without A Face as the ultimate read on Biographies.

What are the Top 10 Biographies books?

Blinkist curators have picked the following:
  • The Man Without A Face by Masha Gessen
  • Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance
  • Gutenberg the Geek by Jeff Jarvis
  • The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf
  • Lawrence in Arabia by Scott Anderson
  • Queen of Fashion by Caroline Weber
  • Alexander the Great by Philip Freeman
  • On the Move by Oliver Sacks
  • Napoleon the Great by Andrew Roberts
  • Raven by Tim Reiterman with John Jacobs

Who are the top Biographies book authors?

When it comes to Biographies, these are the authors who stand out as some of the most influential:
  • Masha Gessen
  • Ashlee Vance
  • Jeff Jarvis
  • Andrea Wulf
  • Scott Anderson