The best 100 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 best 100 Biographies books
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1
Biographies Books: The Man Without A Face by Masha Gessen

The Man Without A Face

Masha Gessen
The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin
4.3 (313 ratings)
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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

2
Biographies Books: Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance

Elon Musk

Ashlee Vance
Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
4.3 (511 ratings)
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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

3
Biographies Books: The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf

The Invention of Nature

Andrea Wulf
Alexander von Humboldt’s New World
4.5 (57 ratings)
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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

4
Biographies Books: Lawrence in Arabia by Scott Anderson

Lawrence in Arabia

Scott Anderson
War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East
4.8 (107 ratings)
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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

5
Biographies Books: Alexander the Great by Philip Freeman

Alexander the Great

Philip Freeman
4.6 (326 ratings)
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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

6
Biographies Books: On the Move  by Oliver Sacks

On the Move

Oliver Sacks
A Life
4.5 (79 ratings)
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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

7
Biographies Books: Napoleon the Great by Andrew Roberts

Napoleon the Great

Andrew Roberts
4.6 (202 ratings)
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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

8
Biographies Books: Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

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 (52 ratings)
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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

9
Biographies Books: American Lion by Jon Meacham

American Lion

Jon Meacham
Andrew Jackson in the White House
4.8 (42 ratings)
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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

10
Biographies Books: Titan by Ron Chernow

Titan

Ron Chernow
The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
4.5 (91 ratings)
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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

11
Biographies Books: Becoming Steve Jobs by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli

Becoming Steve Jobs

Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli
The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader
4.4 (143 ratings)
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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

12
Biographies Books: Isaac Newton by James Gleick

Isaac Newton

James Gleick
4.5 (104 ratings)
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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

13
Biographies Books: The Spider Network by David Enrich

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 (78 ratings)
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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

14
Biographies Books: Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

Alexander Hamilton

Ron Chernow
4.6 (86 ratings)
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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

15
Biographies Books: Conspiracy by Ryan Holiday

Conspiracy

Ryan Holiday
Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue
4.3 (63 ratings)
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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

16
Biographies Books: Billion Dollar Whale by Tom Wright and Bradley Hope

Billion Dollar Whale

Tom Wright and Bradley Hope
The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World
4.5 (163 ratings)
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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 

17
Biographies Books: Wise Guy by Guy Kawasaki

Wise Guy

Guy Kawasaki
Lessons from a Life
4.0 (41 ratings)
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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

18
Biographies Books: Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs

Small Fry

Lisa Brennan-Jobs
4.2 (51 ratings)
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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

19
Biographies Books: A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell

A Woman of No Importance

Sonia Purnell
The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II
4.7 (91 ratings)
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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 

20
Biographies Books: JAY-Z by Michael Eric Dyson

JAY-Z

Michael Eric Dyson
Made in America
4.2 (64 ratings)
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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

21
Biographies Books: Becoming Beauvoir by Kate Kirkpatrick

Becoming Beauvoir

Kate Kirkpatrick
A Life
4.5 (106 ratings)
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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

22
Biographies Books: Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino

Trick Mirror

Jia Tolentino
Reflections on Self-Delusion
4.0 (64 ratings)
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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”

23
Biographies Books: I Am Dynamite! by Sue Prideaux

I Am Dynamite!

Sue Prideaux
A Life of Nietzsche
4.3 (78 ratings)
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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

24
Biographies Books: The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

The Warmth of Other Suns

Isabel Wilkerson
The Epic Story of America's Great Migration
4.5 (96 ratings)
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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

25
Biographies Books: Bedtime Biography: Harriet Tubman by Catherine Clinton

Bedtime Biography: Harriet Tubman

Catherine Clinton
The Road to Freedom
4.6 (163 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

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

26
Biographies Books: The Volunteer by Jack Fairweather

The Volunteer

Jack Fairweather
One Man, an Underground Army, and the Secret Mission to Destroy Auschwitz
4.8 (72 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

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

27
Biographies Books: Bedtime Biography: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Bedtime Biography: Born a Crime

Trevor Noah
Stories from a South African Childhood
4.5 (54 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

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

28
Biographies Books: King Leopold's Ghost by Adam Hochschild

King Leopold's Ghost

Adam Hochschild
A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa
4.6 (76 ratings)
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00:00

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

29
Biographies Books: The Soul of a Woman by Isabel Allende

The Soul of a Woman

Isabel Allende
A personal meditation on life, feminism, and what it means to be a woman
4.4 (74 ratings)
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00:00

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

30
Biographies Books: Bedtime Biography: Stasiland by Anna Funder

Bedtime Biography: Stasiland

Anna Funder
Scenes From Behind the Berlin Wall
4.6 (290 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

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

31
Biographies Books: House of Gucci by Sara Gay Forden

House of Gucci

Sara Gay Forden
A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed
4.6 (155 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

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

 


32
Biographies Books: Bedtime Biography: Madame Curie by Eve Curie

Bedtime Biography: Madame Curie

Eve Curie
A Biography
4.7 (175 ratings)
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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

Listen to the Intro
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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

34
Biographies Books: Richard Nixon by John A. Farrell

Richard Nixon

John A. Farrell
The Life
4.3 (112 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

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

35
Biographies Books: Navalny by Jan Matti Dollbaum, Morvan Lallouet and Ben Noble

Navalny

Jan Matti Dollbaum, Morvan Lallouet and Ben Noble
Putin's Nemesis, Russia's Future?
4.4 (292 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

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

36
Biographies Books: Becoming Kim Jong Un by Jung H. Pak

Becoming Kim Jong Un

Jung H. Pak
A Former CIA Officer's Insights into North Korea's Enigmatic Young Dictator
4.2 (65 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

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

37
Biographies Books: How Proust Can Change Your Life by Alain de Botton

How Proust Can Change Your Life

Alain de Botton
4.6 (342 ratings)
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00:00

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

38
Biographies Books: You Are Your Best Thing by Edited by Tarana Burke and Brené Brown

You Are Your Best Thing

Edited by Tarana Burke and Brené Brown
Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience
4.1 (102 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

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

39
Biographies Books: Endure by Cameron Hanes

Endure

Cameron Hanes
How to Work Hard, Outlast, and Keep Hammering
3.9 (381 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

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

40
Biographies Books: Reagan by H. W. Brands

Reagan

H. W. Brands
The Life
4.3 (185 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

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

41
Biographies Books: Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

Crying in H Mart

Michelle Zauner
A Memoir
4.2 (123 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

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

42
Biographies Books: Cinema Speculation by Quentin Tarantino

Cinema Speculation

Quentin Tarantino
4.1 (133 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

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

43
Biographies Books: Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe

Empire of Pain

Patrick Radden Keefe
The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty
4.5 (61 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

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

44
Biographies Books: Elizabeth the Queen by Sally Bedell Smith

Elizabeth the Queen

Sally Bedell Smith
The Life of a Modern Monarch
3.9 (215 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

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

45
Biographies Books: And There Was Light by Jon Meacham

And There Was Light

Jon Meacham
Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle
4.6 (73 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

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

46
Biographies Books: G-Man by Beverly Gage

G-Man

Beverly Gage
J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century
4.5 (45 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

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

47
Biographies Books: Elizabeth Taylor by Kate Andersen Brower

Elizabeth Taylor

Kate Andersen Brower
The Grit and Glamour of an Icon
4.2 (166 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

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

48
Biographies Books: Your Turn by Julie Lythcott-Haims

Your Turn

Julie Lythcott-Haims
How to Be an Adult
4.6 (260 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

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

49
Biographies Books: Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

Kitchen Confidential

Anthony Bourdain
Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
4.3 (138 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

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

50
Biographies Books: Endurance by Alfred Lansing

Endurance

Alfred Lansing
Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
4.7 (273 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

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

51
Biographies Books: Confidence Man by Maggie Haberman

Confidence Man

Maggie Haberman
The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America
3.6 (304 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

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

52
Biographies Books: Faith, Hope and Carnage by Nick Cave, Seán O'Hagan

Faith, Hope and Carnage

Nick Cave, Seán O'Hagan
4.2 (142 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

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

53
Biographies Books: Spare by Prince Harry

Spare

Prince Harry
4.1 (661 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

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

54
Biographies Books: Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefèvre

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator

Edwin Lefèvre
3.8 (143 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Reminiscences of a Stock Operator about?

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator (1923) looks at the life and trading strategies of Jesse Livermore, a professional stock and commodities trader, through the pseudonymous character of Larry Livingston. It explores the psychological challenges and strategic complexities of trading, offering timeless insights into market behavior and the discipline required for success in the financial world.

Who should read Reminiscences of a Stock Operator?

  • Aspiring traders seeking market wisdom
  • Investors interested in trading history
  • Business students applying real-world trading

55
Biographies Books: Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus

Nabeel Qureshi
A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity
4.0 (97 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus about?

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus (2016) traces a young man’s dramatic spiritual journey from Islam to Christianity. Packed with insights into the faith he grew up with as well as the faith he adopted later in life, Quereshi’s story will challenge Christians, Muslims, and all those interested in the world’s greatest religions.

Who should read Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus?

  • Believers interested in interfaith dialogue
  • Anyone questioning their own faith journey
  • History buffs 

56
Biographies Books: Sully by Chesley B. Sullenberger III & Jeffrey Zaslow

Sully

Chesley B. Sullenberger III & Jeffrey Zaslow
My Search for What Really Matters
4.5 (149 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Sully about?

Sully (2009) chronicles the remarkable life journey of the pilot who landed US Airways Flight 1549 on New York's Hudson River, ensuring the safety of all on board. The memoir sheds light on his unwavering dedication, the significance of readiness, and the profound lessons from his military and aviation careers. Through his experiences, the book emphasizes the enduring values that can guide individuals through times of adversity and uncertainty.

Who should read Sully?

  • Fans of aviation and heroic true stories
  • Autobiography enthusiasts
  • Readers seeking inspiration in challenging times

57
Biographies Books: The River of Doubt by Candice Millard

The River of Doubt

Candice Millard
Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey
4.2 (54 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The River of Doubt about?

The River of Doubt (2005) is about former US President Theodore Roosevelt's perilous 1913–1914 expedition into the Amazon rainforest alongside Brazilian explorer Cândido Rondon. It chronicles the challenges they faced, from disease and dangerous wildlife to potential mutiny, as they navigated an uncharted river. The journey pushed every member to their limits and nearly cost Roosevelt his life.

Who should read The River of Doubt?

  • History buffs interested in Roosevelt's post-presidential adventures
  • Explorers fascinated by the Amazon
  • Anyone looking for tales of human endurance

58
Biographies Books: The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel

The Stranger in the Woods

Michael Finkel
The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit
4.3 (46 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Stranger in the Woods about?

The Stranger in the Woods (2017) recounts the extraordinary story of a man who chose to leave behind the comforts and social aspects of modern life – and instead opt for a solitary existence in the woods of Maine. 

Who should read The Stranger in the Woods?

  • Psychology lovers looking for stories of extraordinary people 
  • True crime buffs curious about what’s behind the headlines
  • Anyone fascinated by unusual tales of survival against the odds

59
Biographies Books: The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis

The Undoing Project

Michael Lewis
A Friendship That Changed Our Minds
4.0 (229 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

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

60
Biographies Books: Play Nice But Win by Michael Dell

Play Nice But Win

Michael Dell
A CEO's Journey from Founder to Leader
3.8 (194 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

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

61
Biographies Books: American Prometheus by Kai Bird & Martin J Sherwin

American Prometheus

Kai Bird & Martin J Sherwin
The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer
4.3 (202 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

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

62
Biographies Books: King by Jonathan Eig

King

Jonathan Eig
A Life
4.7 (151 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

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

63
Biographies Books: We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Shirley Jackson
4.6 (11 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's We Have Always Lived in the Castle about?

We Have Always Lived in the Castle (1962) tells the mysterious tale of the eccentric Blackwood sisters, Mary Katherine and Constance, who live isolated in their family estate after a tragic incident. As the sisters navigate their peculiar world, dark secrets unravel, making this a gothic and suspenseful exploration of family, mystery, and the haunting power of the past.

Who should read We Have Always Lived in the Castle?

  • Fans of gothic fiction
  • Readers who enjoy a strong female protagonist
  • Anyone interested in classic literature

64
Biographies Books: The Pursuit of Happyness by Chris Gardner

The Pursuit of Happyness

Chris Gardner
An NAACP Image Award Winner
3.3 (6 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Pursuit of Happyness about?

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) tells the harrowing yet uplifting journey of a man who, along with his young son, endures homelessness and severe financial challenges in his quest to become a stockbroker. It’s an inspiring tale of resilience, highlighting the power of determination and the human spirit in the face of overwhelming adversity.

Who should read The Pursuit of Happyness?

  • Aspiring entrepreneurs facing personal and financial challenges
  • Social workers and advocates for the homeless
  • Fans of rags-to-riches, success-oriented narratives

65
Biographies Books: The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

The Prince and the Pauper

Mark Twain
4.7 (23 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Prince and the Pauper about?

The Prince and the Pauper (1881) is a classic tale that explores the societal framework of the sixteenth-century English society. The story unravels the unexpected journey of two identical boys – Prince Edward, the royal heir, and Tom Canty, a destitute pauper, as they swap their lives. In exploring each other's worlds, they gain insightful lessons about society, identity, and human kindness, with the story offering a profound commentary on class disparities and social norms.

Who should read The Prince and the Pauper?

  • History enthusiasts
  • Fans of classic literature
  • Personal development seekers

66
Biographies Books: 12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

12 Years a Slave

Solomon Northup
4.8 (8 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's 12 Years a Slave about?

12 Years a Slave (1853) is a harrowing tale of Northup's abduction into slavery and his fight for freedom. It's a raw account of the brutalities of slave life and an insightful documentation of the American slave trade's inhumane practices.

Who should read 12 Years a Slave?

  • History enthusiasts
  • Abolitionist supporters
  • Human rights advocates

67
Biographies Books: Daniel Deronda by George Eliot

Daniel Deronda

George Eliot
3.0 (4 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Daniel Deronda about?

Moving between love and duty, Daniel Deronda (1876) explores the life of its eponymous protagonist, torn between his loyalty to his past and an unfamiliar Jewish heritage. It navigates through societal expectations, morality, self-realization, and the idea of destiny in Victorian England.

Who should read Daniel Deronda?

  • Fans of classic literature
  • Students of Victorian England
  • History and society enthusiasts

68
Biographies Books: Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

Moll Flanders

Daniel Defoe
4.1 (108 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Moll Flanders about?

Moll Flanders is an exploration of a woman's relentless quest for survival and prosperity in 17th-century England, weaving through her numerous marriages and criminal endeavors.

Who should read Moll Flanders?

  • Classic novel aficionados  
  • Social history enthusiasts  
  • Students of feminist literature

69
Biographies Books: The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Idiot

Fyodor Dostoevsky
4.1 (19 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Idiot about?

The Idiot (1869) follows the naïvely optimistic prince Myshkin as he moves through Russia’s confusing and cynical society, offering a profound discussion on the struggle between idealism and worldly disillusionment.

Who should read The Idiot?

  • Connoisseurs of Russian literature
  • Readers interested in philosophy
  • Enthusiasts of character-driven narratives

70
Biographies Books: The Warren Buffett Way by Robert G. Hagstrom

The Warren Buffett Way

Robert G. Hagstrom
Investment Strategies of the World's Greatest Investor
4.5 (286 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

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

71
Biographies Books: Unbroken Bonds of Battle by Johnny Joey Jones

Unbroken Bonds of Battle

Johnny Joey Jones
A Book of Heroism, Patriotism, and Friendship
4.0 (89 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Unbroken Bonds of Battle about?

Unbroken Bonds of Battle (2023) is a collection of stories from 11 US veterans. They tell us what drove them to military service, their experience of being on the front lines, and the profound lessons they’ve learned about life, loss, and friendship.

Who should read Unbroken Bonds of Battle?

  • Military veterans 
  • Individuals considering military service 
  • Those interested in war history 

72
Biographies Books: The Heart of Business by Hubert Joly & Caroline Lambert

The Heart of Business

Hubert Joly & Caroline Lambert
Leadership Principles for the Next Era of Capitalism
4.2 (25 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Heart of Business about?

The Heart of Business (2021) recounts how former Best Buy CEO, Hubert Joly, led the electronics retailer to a remarkable turnaround by building a people-centric culture focused on a higher purpose. It provides a roadmap for value-driven leadership that engages employees, serves customers, and creates sustainable value for all stakeholders.

Who should read The Heart of Business?

  • Leaders seeking purpose-driven business approaches
  • Struggling business owners or entrepreneurs seeking transformation
  • Students of modern management principles

73
Biographies Books: Becoming FDR by Jonathan Darman

Becoming FDR

Jonathan Darman
The Personal Crisis That Made a President
4.3 (115 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Becoming FDR about?

Becoming FDR (2022) tells the remarkable story of the personal health crisis and recovery that transformed Franklin D. Roosevelt from a self-centered, pampered golden boy to the mature, empathetic President who would go on to lead a nation through the darkest days of The Great Depression and the second World War. 

Who should read Becoming FDR?

  • History buffs looking for the inside story on one of America’s defining presidents
  • Political minds curious about the personalities that shaped the twentieth century
  • Anyone curious about how crisis and adversity can shape character

74
Biographies Books: An Ordinary Man by Richard Norton Smith

An Ordinary Man

Richard Norton Smith
The Surprising Life and Historic Presidency of Gerald R. Ford
4.6 (27 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's An Ordinary Man about?

An Ordinary Man (2023) is the complete biography of Gerald R. Ford, the thirty-eighth president of the United States. Under his leadership, America navigated its gravest constitutional crisis since the Civil War and confronted its most profound economic slump since the Great Depression. While Ford can be seen as an “accidental president,” historian Richard Norton Smith argues that his accomplishments were numerous and significant.

Who should read An Ordinary Man?

  • History buffs 
  • Politicos interested post-Watergate America
  • Fans of in-depth biographical works 

75
Biographies Books: Going Infinite by Michael Lewis

Going Infinite

Michael Lewis
The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon
3.8 (237 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Going Infinite about?

Going Infinite (2023) offers a behind-the-scenes look at the scandal surrounding Sam Bankman-Fried and the epic collapse of his cryptocurrency companies. It aims to answer the question: How can a man go from earning billions of dollars in a matter of years to losing it all in a matter of months?

Who should read Going Infinite?

  • News junkies interested in current financial events
  • Anyone who likes a good rise-and-fall story
  • People curious about the Sam Bankman-Fried trial

76
Biographies Books: Astor by Anderson Cooper & Katherine Howe

Astor

Anderson Cooper & Katherine Howe
The Rise and Fall of an American Fortune
4.3 (199 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Astor about?

Astor (2023) chronicles more than two centuries of family lineage, tracking the ambition that built America's first great fortune, as well as the excess and missteps that led to its decline. An intimate portrait of intergenerational wealth, it is both an engrossing family saga, and a broader commentary on shifting class privilege in America. 

Who should read Astor?

  • Anyone interested in the history of New York and the Gilded Age
  • Business buffs looking for stories about the great figures of the past
  • Those curious about the rise of an elite family, and the changing times that challenged them

77
Biographies Books: The Greatest Capitalist Who Ever Lived by Ralph Watson McElvenny & Marc Wortman

The Greatest Capitalist Who Ever Lived

Ralph Watson McElvenny & Marc Wortman
Tom Watson Jr. and the Epic Story of How IBM Created the Digital Age
4.3 (16 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Greatest Capitalist Who Ever Lived about?

The Greatest Capitalist Who Ever Lived (2023) narrates the remarkable journey of Thomas Watson Jr., the visionary leader of IBM who shook up the worlds of technology and business in the mid-twentieth century. Delving into his decision to develop the IBM System 360, a pioneering mainframe computer, it shows us how Watson’s IBM laid the foundations for today’s digital age. But this book isn’t only a study of business strategy – it’s also a fascinating portrait of a complex man and his equally complex relationship with his domineering father.

Who should read The Greatest Capitalist Who Ever Lived?

  • Fans of business history and corporate leadership stories
  • Admirers of IBM and tech industry evolution
  • Readers interested in personal transformation and family dynamics

78
Biographies Books: The House of Morgan by Ron Chernow

The House of Morgan

Ron Chernow
An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance
3.5 (160 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The House of Morgan about?

The House of Morgan (1990) chronicles the influential Morgan dynasty, who shaped the course of modern finance through their shrewd financial acumen and keen understanding of world economic currents. This portrait, spanning four generations, details the rise of the Morgans from Victorian London to their pinnacle during the 1987 financial crisis. 

Who should read The House of Morgan?

  • Financial enthusiasts
  • History buffs
  • Corporate professionals

79
Biographies Books: Poor Things by Alasdair Gray

Poor Things

Alasdair Gray
A Novel
4.2 (65 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Poor Things about?

Poor Things (1992) is an award-winning postmodern novel that takes readers on a whirlwind tour through the monstrous and gothic world of late-Victorian Glasgow. A Frankenstein-esque tale of a dubious scientific experiment, it playfully subverts genre conventions to provide a fresh perspective on the representation of women in literature.

Who should read Poor Things?

  • Fans of satirical postmodern literature
  • History buffs who love all things Victorian 
  • Sci-fi enthusiasts interested in a modern take on Frankenstein

80
Biographies Books: Thicker Than Water by Kerry Washington

Thicker Than Water

Kerry Washington
A Memoir
3.7 (87 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Thicker Than Water about?

Thicker than Water (2022) is an intimate memoir by acclaimed actress Kerry Washington, who opens up about the childhood experiences, activism, and personal challenges that shaped her groundbreaking career. With courageous vulnerability, Washington shares her winding journey to amplify underrepresented voices and make an impact as an artist, mother, and role model.

Who should read Thicker Than Water?

  • Those interested in uplifting marginalized voices in arts, culture and storytelling
  • People intrigued by behind-the-scenes Hollywood stories and celebrity memoirs
  • Anyone facing struggles with mental health, infertility, or overcoming adversity looking for inspiring biographies

81
Biographies Books: The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto Che Guevara

The Motorcycle Diaries

Ernesto Che Guevara
4.0 (36 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Motorcycle Diaries about?

The Motorcycle Diaries (1952) invites you on a pivotal journey across South America that transforms a youthful traveler into a revolutionary icon. As you delve into these vivid narratives, you'll experience an intimate glimpse of a continent’s rich cultures and the awakening of a profound social consciousness. This captivating odyssey is not just a travel tale, but also a profound coming-of-age story that challenges you to explore the depths of your own beliefs and ideals.

Who should read The Motorcycle Diaries?

  • Adventure enthusiasts seeking inspiration from epic journeys
  • History buffs interested in revolutionary figures and ideologies
  • Travel literature fans exploring diverse cultural narratives

82
Biographies Books: Native Son by Richard Wright

Native Son

Richard Wright
3.7 (3 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Native Son about?

First released in 1940, Native Son tackles the brutal realities of living in a racially prejudiced society. Through its protagonist's story, it illustrates the devastating and tragic effects that systemic oppression can have on an individual.

Who should read Native Son?

  •  Fans of social realism
  •  Readers interested in racial themes
  •  Followers of American literature

83
Biographies Books: The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

The House on Mango Street

Sandra Cisneros
3.6 (94 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The House on Mango Street about?

The House on Mango Street (1991) is a classic coming-of-age novel that tells the story of 12-year-old Esperanza Cordero, a Latina immigrant in Chicago who dreams of escaping poverty and rigid gender roles. Praised for its sparse but powerful prose, The House on Mango Street explores themes of identity, poverty, and community, offering a unique perspective on the adolescent search for belonging.

Who should read The House on Mango Street?

  • Young adult readers and aspiring writers
  • Those interested in Latinx culture and immigration narratives
  • Fans of feminist literature 

84
Biographies Books: The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Remains of the Day

Kazuo Ishiguro
4.1 (102 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Remains of the Day about?

The Remains of the Day (1989) features one of contemporary literature’s most unforgettable narrators, Stevens, a butler who reminisces on his life in service at one of England’s stately homes in the years leading up to World War II. 

Who should read The Remains of the Day?

  • Fans of contemporary literature
  • History lovers interested in a literary take on the interwar years in England
  • Period drama devotees seeking a look at life in a stately home

85
Biographies Books: The Storyteller by Dave Grohl

The Storyteller

Dave Grohl
Tales of Life and Music
4.3 (12 ratings)
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What's The Storyteller about?

The Storyteller (2021) captures Dave Grohl’s journey through the highs and lows of a life in rock music, from his formative years in the punk scene to superstardom with Nirvana and the Foo Fighters. Grohl shares candid stories of fame, music, and fatherhood, offering a window into the life of one of rock’s most enduring figures. Through his personal anecdotes, Grohl reveals the passion and perseverance behind his legendary career.

Who should read The Storyteller?

  • Fans of the music, Nirvana and Foo Fighters
  • Aspiring musicians and songwriters seeking inspiration
  • Anyone interested in rock music history

86
Biographies Books: Sula by Toni Morrison

Sula

Toni Morrison
A Novel
3.9 (71 ratings)
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What's Sula about?

Sula (1973) invites you into the lives of Sula Peace and Nel Wright, childhood friends whose lives take sharply different paths. Their story explores friendship, betrayal, and identity, as well as examining life in a quiet African American town in the 1920s.

Who should read Sula?

  • Avid readers of literary masterpieces
  • Anyone interested in themes of race, gender, or identity
  • Enthusiasts of African American history and culture

87
Biographies Books: Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

Midnight's Children

Salman Rushdie
3.8 (105 ratings)
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What's Midnight's Children about?

Midnight’s Children (1981) is the tale of Saleem Sinai, a child born at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947 – the exact moment of India’s independence. This biographical and historical coincidence shapes his destiny, connecting him to a thousand other midnight’s children endowed with miraculous powers and intertwining his own fate with that of his nation. 

Who should read Midnight's Children?

  • Readers who enjoy historical fiction with a touch of magical realism
  • Individuals interested in exploring the themes of identity, nationalism, and postcolonialism
  • Those looking to delve into a complex and imaginative narrative that challenges conventional storytelling

88
Biographies Books: Tired of Winning by Jonathan Karl

Tired of Winning

Jonathan Karl
Donald Trump and the End of the Grand Old Party
2.7 (172 ratings)
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What's Tired of Winning about?

Tired of Winning (2023) invites you into a gripping narrative of political intrigue and legal drama, centering on Donald Trump's unprecedented challenges and actions that reshaped American politics. Experience a compelling journey through political chess games, legal battles, and the ongoing saga of a figure who continues to dominate the American political landscape.

Who should read Tired of Winning?

  • Political history enthusiasts
  • Followers of US presidency studies
  • Anyone interested in contemporary American politics

89
Biographies Books: Endgame by Omid Scobie

Endgame

Omid Scobie
Inside the Royal Family and the Monarchy's Fight for Survival
3.5 (132 ratings)
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What's Endgame about?

Endgame (2023) is a penetrating investigation into the British monarchy's current state, grappling with challenges such as an unpopular king and a power-hungry heir. It examines the monarchy's struggles in a rapidly modernizing world, especially following Queen Elizabeth II's death, and the institution's conflicts with antiquated views on race, class, and money.

Who should read Endgame?

  • Royal family enthusiasts and history buffs
  • Followers of British politics and governance
  • Fans of biographies and investigative journalism

90
Biographies Books: Milton Friedman by Jennifer Burns

Milton Friedman

Jennifer Burns
The Last Conservative
4.2 (150 ratings)
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What's Milton Friedman about?

Milton Friedman (2023) provides a nuanced biography of the influential free-market economist. Tracing Friedman's groundbreaking work across diverse policy areas, it explores his instrumental role in the rise of modern American conservatism and free market ideology. 

Who should read Milton Friedman?

  • Those looking to understand the roots of modern neoliberalism
  • Students of public policy and political history
  • Anyone interested in impactful, paradigm-shifting thinkers

91
Biographies Books: Strangers by Taichi Yamada

Strangers

Taichi Yamada
Uncover a Haunting World Amid Tokyo’s Mysterious Shadows
4.6 (33 ratings)
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What's Strangers about?

Strangers (1987) is the story of a lonely Japanese script writer who returns to his childhood home and, by chance, meets a couple who are uncannily like his parents, who died in a car crash when he was 12. As he becomes increasingly involved with them, the narrative explores the boundaries between the living and the dead, past and present, and the deep longing for familial bonds.

Who should read Strangers?

  • Lovers of literature in translation 
  • Japanophiles eager to learn more about one of the country’s most beloved novels
  • Movie buffs interested in the book that inspired 2023’s All of Us Strangers

92
Biographies Books: Renegade by Adam Kinzinger & Michael D'Antonio

Renegade

Adam Kinzinger & Michael D'Antonio
Defending Democracy and Liberty in Our Divided Country
3.0 (9 ratings)
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What's Renegade about?

Renegade (2023) offers an insider’s perspective on the turbulent political landscape in the United States. Focusing on the challenges and divisions within the Republican Party, it delves into the personal and political consequences of standing against party norms during a time of heightened partisanship, showcasing the complexities of democracy and liberty in a divided country.

Who should read Renegade?

  • Political science students and researchers
  • Members of the Republican Party seeking introspection
  • American history and contemporary politics enthusiasts

93
Biographies Books: My Name Is Barbra by Barbra Streisand

My Name Is Barbra

Barbra Streisand
3.5 (16 ratings)
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What's My Name Is Barbra about?

My Name Is Barbra (2023) is an intimate and inspiring memoir from one of the entertainment industry’s most enduring icons. Candid and exhaustive, it traces Streisand’s journey from her challenging childhood in working-class Brooklyn to her status as the groundbreaking cultural legend she is today. 

Who should read My Name Is Barbra?

  • Die-hard Streisand fans
  • Aspiring entertainers and performers
  • Those keen to get a peek into the entertainment industry

94
Biographies Books: The Fund by Rob Copeland

The Fund

Rob Copeland
Ray Dalio, Bridgewater Associates, and the Unraveling of a Wall Street Legend
3.8 (125 ratings)
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What's The Fund about?

The Fund (2023) delves into the world of Ray Dalio and his hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, revealing the unvarnished truths behind its success and controversies. Explore its passionate culture and unique ideals, brought to life via painstaking research and exclusive interviews.

Who should read The Fund?

  • Wall Street aficionados
  • Corporate culture explorers
  • Financial leaders and entrepreneurs

95
Biographies Books: Oath and Honor by Liz Cheney

Oath and Honor

Liz Cheney
A Memoir and a Warning
4.1 (73 ratings)
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What's Oath and Honor about?

Oath and Honor (2023) is an insider account of the events leading up to the riots at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, and the long investigation that followed. In it, Cheney exposes this coordinated assault on American democracy and sounds a dire warning about safeguarding the nation's future from ongoing threats.

Who should read Oath and Honor?

  • American history buffs and political enthusiasts looking for insight into pivotal recent events
  • Memoir lovers wanting an inside look into events behind the news
  • Anyone curious about contemporary American politics, and the personalities that are reshaping democracy

96
Biographies Books: The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride

The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store

James McBride
A Novel
3.3 (85 ratings)
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What's The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store about?

The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store (2023) is the richly-textured story of a small, diverse community centered around the Jewish-owned Heaven and Earth Grocery store in Pottstown Pennsylvania in the 20s and 30s, and of the big events – love, death, murder, kidnapping – that mark the lives of the people connected to it.

Who should read The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store?

  • Lovers of historical fiction
  • Fans of contemporary American literature
  • Anyone who likes a tale full of twists and turns

97
Biographies Books: Hearts of Darkness by Jana Monroe

Hearts of Darkness

Jana Monroe
My Life Breaking Barriers in the FBI and Fighting the Evil Among Us
4.3 (9 ratings)
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What's Hearts of Darkness about?

Hearts of Darkness (2023) is a gripping memoir that details Jana Monroe’s career as one of the first female profilers in the FBI’s Behavioral Sciences Unit. It provides a riveting account of her encounters with some of history’s most notorious criminals and her explorations into their dark psychology. Far from just a chronicle of her professional achievements, it also delves into the psychological toll of her job and the challenges she faced as a woman in a male-dominated field. 

Who should read Hearts of Darkness?

  • True-crime enthusiasts
  • Women pursuing or working in law enforcement
  • Fans of The Silence of the Lambs interested in the inspiration for Clarice Starling

98
Biographies Books: Choosing to Run by Des Linden

Choosing to Run

Des Linden
A Memoir
2.9 (15 ratings)
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What's Choosing to Run about?

Choosing to Run (2023) explores the world of professional marathon running, offering a unique perspective on the challenges and triumphs of long-distance racing. It delves into the mental and physical preparation required to excel in such a demanding sport, highlighting the resilience and dedication needed for success. By blending personal experiences with broader themes of perseverance and determination, it provides a captivating look at the journey of a top-tier marathon runner.

Who should read Choosing to Run?

  • Amateur and professional marathon runners
  • Individuals seeking motivation and perseverance strategies
  • Fans of inspirational athlete biographies

99
Biographies Books: The Maniac by Benjamín Labatut

The Maniac

Benjamín Labatut
4.4 (13 ratings)
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What's The Maniac about?

The Maniac (2023) traces Hungarian polymath John von Neumann’s singular legacy on the dreams and nightmares of the twentieth century and our current age of artificial intelligence. A foray that spans the nuclear age and showcases the brilliant minds who helped define it.

Who should read The Maniac?

  • Technology enthusiasts interested in the impact it has on humanity
  • Those fascinated by mathematicians and scientists who transformed scientific thinking
  • Seekers of answers to moral questions surrounding innovation and discovery

100
Biographies Books: Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin

Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin
4.4 (36 ratings)
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What's Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin about?

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (1793) provides an intimate look at Franklin's successes and failures, revealing his views on practical wisdom and self-improvement. It showcases his journey from a young apprentice to a renowned figure in history, offering valuable life lessons along the way.

Who should read Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin?

  • History enthusiasts
  • Self-improvement seekers
  • Fans of personal narratives

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Biographies Books
 FAQs 

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
  • The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf
  • Lawrence in Arabia by Scott Anderson
  • Alexander the Great by Philip Freeman
  • On the Move by Oliver Sacks
  • Napoleon the Great by Andrew Roberts
  • Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
  • American Lion by Jon Meacham
  • Titan by Ron Chernow

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
  • Andrea Wulf
  • Scott Anderson
  • Philip Freeman