Monday, October 11, 2010

Biography Buzz for Fall 2010

Swimming against the current, I have been looking for promising biographies at a time when memoirs are flooding the book market. Fall 2010 seems to have a shortage of straight third-person biography, and many of the forthcoming titles seem to recount frequently-told stories, such as those of Edward Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Mickey Mantle, and Frank Sinatra. Still, here are a few suggestions to keep your biography shelf from being empty this fall.

Catherine of Aragon: The Spanish Queen of Henry VIII by Giles Tremlett - Biography of the tenacious woman who was Henry VIII's wife more than twice as long as the other five combined. (Out in late November)

Colonel Roosevelt by Edmund Morris - Teddy Roosevelt could easily be in the frequent-biography list above, but this book focuses on Roosevelt's less-studied last ten years. Morris completes his series on the president. (Out in late November)

Hedy Lamarr: The Most Beautiful Woman in Film by Ruth Barton - An intimate look at a recluse actress of the 1930s who was also a painter and inventor. (Available)

Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia by Michael Korda - Korda is a respected biographer, and Lawrence's story is worth resurrecting. (Out in November)

Judging Edward Teller: A Closer Look at One of the Most Influential Scientists of the Twentieth Century by Istvan Hargittai - Teller is often demonized for his support of the hydrogen bomb. This book is by a friend. (Out in October)

Lion of Liberty: Patrick Henry and the Call to a New Nation by Harlow Giles Unger - Many readers know his name but not what he did. (Out in late October)

Muhammad: A Story of the Last Prophet by Deepak Chopra - Novelized biography about a prophet that Chopra says was "much like us." (Available)

Nelson Mandela: A Force for Freedom by Christina Scott - While there are well-known memoirs written by Mandela, few biographers writing for adult have tackled the task of writing about him. (Out in November)

Sarah: The Life of Sarah Bernhardt by Robert Gottlieb - This should be a great rag-to-riches story. (Available)

Titanic Thompson: The Man Who Bet on Everything by Kevin Cook - Thompson was the model for Sky Masterson in the musical Guys and Dolls. (Out in late November)

William and Harry by Katie Nicholl - The two British princes were shielded as boys but they are now closely followed by the public. (Out in November)

No comments: