March Genre Challenge: Biography, Autobiography, and Memoir
March's theme in the 12 genres in 12 months reading challenge is one of my favorites: biography, autobiography, and memoir. I love learning about how other people live, about their challenges and passions. (I'm also a sucker for movies "based on a true story.")
I've read a ton in this category, so it's a little challenging to make only a few recommendations. Here are a few that I enjoyed in the last couple of years:
- Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
If you've ever wondered what a geobiologist does all day, you'll enjoy this book. I do find myself studying the trees in my town much more closely since reading this book.
- Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter by Nina MacLaughlin
What happens when a newspaper reporter decides she wants a job that's more physical?
- Season to Taste by Molly Birnbaum
Think it wouldn't matter if lost your sense of smell? This book may convince you otherwise.
- MWF Seeks BFF by Rachel Bertsche
A newly transplanted Chicagoan is determined to find a new best friend.
Plus, here are a few more that I've enjoyed and reviewed in previous blog posts. (Links will take you to my reviews.)
- Confections of a Closet Master Baker by Gesine Bullock-Prado
- The Tao of Martha by Jen Lancaster
- Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl
What I Might Read
Here are the few books that made my short list:
Possibility #1: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
Why this interests me: I read a fair number of celebrity books. (I just finished reading Mara Wilson's Where Am I Now? Listening to her recall memories of the tooth fairy got me hooked.) What's unusual about Born a Crime is that I'm actually not that familiar with Trevor Noah as a celebrity; I don't watch the late night talk shows. For me, the draw of this book is the South African location.
Recommended by: I heard an interview with the author on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross. I'm find that more of my book recommendations come from podcasts these days.
Possibility #2: Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
Why it interests me: I've enjoyed other biographies on groups of women such as The Astronaut Wives Club and The Girls of Atomic City. (No, I haven't seen the movie Hidden Figures yet, but I'm planning on it.) I'm currently number 41 out of 90 holds on the library wait list for this book, so it's unlikely I'll read it this month. I'm planning on reading it whenever it becomes available.
Recommended by: I'm not sure how this book popped up on my radar since it's been on my "to read" list before the movie came out. It has now appeared on many recommendation lists including Best History and Biography of 2016 at Goodreads.
Possibility #3: Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
Why it interests me: I've been thinking about reading this ever since the Broadway musical "Hamilton" started playing.
Recommended by: This is the book that inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda's now famous musical, so that's why it's on my to-read list.
I'll be reading one (or possibly more) of these books this month.
For other book ideas, check out my Book Recommendations board on Pinterest. I'll be adding book lists throughout the year as I come across intriguing ones.
Next Month (April): Thrillers and Suspense. This is a tricky category for me. I read some books in this genre, but I find many too scary to read.