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What's the best autobiography you've ever read?

Discussion in 'Book club' started by anon4046, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. I tend to accumulate these, I don't quite know how. I don't actually buy them.

    Anyway - I'm currently reading Tom Baker's autobiography for the third time (borrowed it from an ex many years ago and never gave it back) and without fail, parts of it make me laugh out loud.
    Any other good ones out there?
     
  2. I tend to accumulate these, I don't quite know how. I don't actually buy them.

    Anyway - I'm currently reading Tom Baker's autobiography for the third time (borrowed it from an ex many years ago and never gave it back) and without fail, parts of it make me laugh out loud.
    Any other good ones out there?
     
  3. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

    It doesn't really count, because it's a biography, but Kitty Kelley's unauthorised biog of Frank Sinatra was a doozy.

     
  4. I've read a Sinatra biog (yet another boyfriend's copy) but I don't think it was Kitty's version.
    It wasn't a very kind biography - made him out to be a total crunt, which I believe he actually was. :)
     
  5. Biogs count, too.
     
  6. landaise

    landaise Occasional commenter

    Angela's Ashes and 'Tis by Frank McCourt, probably a bit embroidered in places but very evocative. I love Irish writers, they have a way with words that others don't....
     
  7. delenn

    delenn New commenter

    not a big biograpy reader but love both of Peter Kays autobiography- make me laugh out loud.
     
  8. Lorna Sage's 'Bad Blood' is really good. Been out 10 years or so. No attempt to spin the low points into a misery memoir and lots of honesty/realism about who she is. Not trying to make any points/impress. Brilliant.
     
  9. katykook

    katykook New commenter

    Ditto 'Cider with Roadies' and 'The Tent, the Bucket and Me' can't remember who by but so funny.
     
  10. I really enjoyed that one as well - what an up lifting story.
    I've recently finished reading Anne Frank Remembered by Miep Gies (one of the people who helped to hide Anne Frank and the others). She was mentioned regularly in Anne's diary, but Anne was oblivious of the other activities that she was involved with. A fascinating, extremely principled and incredibly brave woman.
     
  11. I really enjoyed Jackie Chan's book
     
  12. Chris Evans first one was quite good. Liked Martin Johnson's, the rugby player too but the best one was Paul Merson: a life of booze and gambling addiction whilst somehow managing to play top flight football.
     
  13. Claire Tomlinson's biog on Pepys was fantastic.
    Dear Boy: The Life of Keith Moon by Tony Fletcher was also good.

    Too many others to mention - I'm a history buff so read lots.
     
  14. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    'Yeager' by Chuck Yeager and Leo Janos. All about the first man to break the sound barrier. He featured prominently in the film 'The Right Stuff' and was by all accounts America's greatest pilot. Stirring Boy's Own stuff.
     
  15. Best one ever - David Niven's 'The Moon's a Balloon'. Funny, witty, self-deprecating, sweet, insightful and sad (he tells the story about his first wife very movingly). I read it every year and it is amazing. Roger Moore's 'My Word is my Bond' is very good too - honest and funny. It also links to David Niven's life a little, which I found very interesting.
    Hubby has just finished Warwick Davis' 'Size Matters Not' - very moving too.
    I also loved Richard E Grant's 'With Nails' and Michael J. Fox's 'Lucky Man'.
    Fred Astaire's was a little disappointing for me - no real gossip! I also found myself a bit bored by Russell Brand's 'My Booky Wook' as there's only so much self-indulgence I can handle!
     
  16. Really enjoyed Dear Fatty by Dawn French. (her new novel is ***** though - very disappointed!)
    Also enjoyed Lucky Man by Michael J Fox
    Richard Hammond's book - can't remember the title - was good too - swapping between him and his wife to tell different parts of the story.
     
  17. Forgot to mention - a few years ago I read Maya Angelou's first and last autobiographies (she's written about 8, without one decent chapter between the lot of them)
    Hated them. Can't understand why people rave about her. Dreadful style. She is by far the most self-important self-appreciative person I've ever read about. She talks about the Watts riots - but only to mention that she was there. She talks about Martin Luther King, but only to say that he thought she was an amazing and wonderful person. She writes a whole chapter about an awful car accident her son was involved in, but only talks about how it affected her, and how other people kept telling her how brave she is. Selfish cow barely mentioned her son, and I have no idea how he coped with the accident.
    She came across as a very dislikable person.
     
  18. Streetcleaner

    Streetcleaner New commenter

    Alicia: My Story by Alicia Appleman-Jurman is absolutely amazing and should be read by all. I'm not usually keen on autobiographies, but that one is so good that I wanted to read it from the beginning again the second I finished it.




    'Gypsy Boy: One Boy's Struggle to Escape From a Secret World' by Mikey Walsh is another must-read.


     
  19. I was thoroughly absorbed by this one as well, but I am fascinated by the second world war, and by the Holocaust in particular. I've just finished A Bag of Marbles by Joseph Joffo, a memoir on a similar subject, although not as harrowing. You might be interested in that one as well.
     
  20. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Completely with post 20 (sorry, can't remember your name!) about Maya Angelou's books - couldn't understand all the hype.
    My recommendation is Bob Marley's story written by his mother. It had poor reviews but I think it tells his story as it is - Jamaican dialect and all, and from a mother who truly loved her son. Gave me an insight into Jamaican culture and I could really feel where BM's songs had come from.
    Joni
     

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