A Guide to The Latest Bestseller Biographies or Memoirs for Men.

 

The sun is out and the order of the day is very much reading in open spaces. I love nothing more than curling up with a good book – and recently it’s been biographies, or memoirs, that have been catching my attention. Here are a few of the best:

Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson. Anyone who’s ever wanted to know how the world’s trendiest company went from hippy-in-a-garage to hippy-on-the-Forbes-rich-list needs to read this book. Inspirational, gripping and tinged with sadness that a genius and genuine philanthropist has gone before his time. ISBN 978-1408703748.

A Man Called Intrepid, by William Stevenson. Reissued a couple of years ago but still top of the summer reader’s hit list, this classic true story of the man behind the secret armies that won World War II will have your jaw hanging open and your eyes falling out of your head. More thrilling than any thriller – unmissable. ISBN 978-1599211701.

A Spectacle of Dust, by Pete Postlethwaite. Sadly missed by fans of films from The Sins of the Father to Brassed Off, Postlethwaite lived a full and rich life as one of Britain’s best-loved actors. Once described by Steven Spielberg as “the best actor in the world”, his fascinating life makes for a read every bit as entertaining as the work he left behind. ISBN 978-0297864936.

In the year of his bicentennial, it would be rude not to get your teeth into Dickens, by Peter Ackroyd. I’d actually recommend seeking out the original 1990 edition if you can – one of the bestselling and most critically acclaimed biographies of all time, it’s a sweeping portrait of the author – revealing his private passions as well as his public life. The original book has the old 10 digit ISBN 0749306475. An abridged 2012 version bears the 13 digit ISBN 978-0099437093.

The technologically savvy amongst us may already have heard of www.dooce.com, a super-syndicated blog that gets thousands of daily visitors. Its doyenne, Heather B. Armstrong, edited a compendium of outstanding blog entries celebrating “all things dad”. It’s called Things I Learned About My Dad (In Therapy), and it’s ideal for everyone’s dad, for people who have dads or know dads – in fact just about everyone. Hilarious, heart-warming and oddball, this is a collection you’ll keep coming back to. ISBN 978-0758216595.

If you used to be a rock n roller, or you still are: then Life by Keith Richards is pretty much the definitive text on how to live fast, live fast and, well, keep on living fast. Rock n roll’s favourite immortal tells all in a book that’s as honest and quintessentially quirky as it is entertaining. ISBN 978-0753826614.

As well as the more traditional online booksellers (we all know who they are so I won’t bother linking to them here) you can find virtually any title at Abe Books, a site I first discovered when I was a bookseller, and which I have been using ever since.

For worldwide delivery, free eBooks and a massive catalogue of cheap reads, visit The Book Depository, an independent book distributor gone global.

Or you can Ask Granny for more great title suggestions.  Ask Granny, soon will have more news and reviews of the latest best sellers for adults and children from the wonderful Hay Book Festival in Wales. May 31st-June 10th, 2012.

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