Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Submit Your Book Ideas! Read Outside the Box: Biographies and Memoirs

On Monday, I reached out to my readers to see whether you'd be interested in a recurring feature listing the "best" books outside the YA genre, featuring a different genre each time. The response was overwhelmingly positive. I'm so excited that you're interested in my idea!

My first topic is going to be Biographies and Memoirs. The idea for this feature came to me while I was reading Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. I read the 600 biography in five days and it is one of the best biographies I've ever read. I wanted to discuss the book on the blog, but I have a self-imposed rule on staying within the YA genre. An occasional feature is a way I can promote Steve Jobs and other non-YA books I love without changing the focus of my blog.

Unlike most young women, I spent my teen and college years mostly reading biographies and historical and political non-fiction. Lots of people won't touch biographies/memoirs with a ten foot pole, but they are my favorite non-fiction genre.

My plan for this feature is to highlight my favorite biographies/memoirs and my readers' favorite books. I'm not sure exactly how it will shape up, but I'm excited to start this new project.

What are one or two of the best biographies / memoirs you've ever read?


Email me at with your suggestions.

I'm hoping to post the list in the first week or two of April, so be on the look out for the first edition of Read Outside the Box!!!


  1. I don't read many memoirs or biographies. I really enjoyed Keeping the Feast by Paula Butturini.

  2. I don't read that particular genre, but I'm really looking forward to seeing what books everyone recommends. My dad is a huge fan of biographies, so maybe I'll get some great ideas for him:)

  3. I haven't read any biographies or memoirs now that I think about it but if I do pick up one my first read would probably be Bossy Pants by Tina Fey because I love her work and I'd imagine her biography would most likely make me laugh.

  4. I have only read a couple of bigographies, but I quite liked them! I should really read more, especially Steve Jobs one!

  5. I enjoy reading memoirs, but I haven't read many lately. One that I loved was Dispatches from the Edge by Anderson Cooper. It's the best memoir I've read!

  6. I like the idea, but I haven't read any lately, either!! I reviewed a book today that was written like a memoir, but... um, it wasn't really. Definitely not, actually. My husband read one on the Orange County Chopper! :-) He thought the book was no good... nothing new or interesting. Hardly a candidate for your great idea!

  7. Hmm, I've only remember reading one and it called The Girl's Guide to Homelessness by Brianna Karp. It was very sad, but good book.

  8. I don't read alot of non-fiction but i read a memoir I enjoyed. Its called Iron and silk by Mark Salzman.

  9. Russell Peter's Call Me Russell is pretty good

  10. I've read two recently.

    Farewell, My Subaru: An Epic Adventure in Local Living by Doug Fine which was such a great, fun read that I finished it in a day.

    Chosen by a Horse: How a Broken Horse Fixed a Broken Heart by Susan Richards was great too. My horse-loving friend enjoyed it as well.

    Happy reading,

  11. Do you remember the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989, when thousands of peaceful student demonstrators were brutally murdered by the government?

    A few months back, I read A Heart For Freedom by Chai Ling - the leader of the student democracy movement - and I could not put the book down. It was one of the most compelling and courageous stories I think I have ever read. I reviewed it on my blog - the link is below if you would like more info:

    Enjoy - I can't wait to see the list!


  12. I love biographies and I have to recommend Life by Keith Richards. Can't believe the man is still alive after all he put himself through.

  13. I have not read many memoirs and so I am looking forward to this new feature on your blog with great anticipation!

  14. I know you said to e-mail you, but it's a lot quicker to comment. Plus the comments go to your e-mail, so it's practically the same thing right?

    I memoir that I read recently that I really loved was Someday My Prince Will Come by Jerramy Fine. The basic idea is that Jerramy moved to London after college in hopes of falling in love with royalty and becoming a princess. It has a feel of a YA book, except it's hard 20-something adventures in London going out to parties and hooking up with guys. It wasn't what I expected it to be, but I loved it.

    Other good memoirs are Jen Lancaster's which actually feel quite a bit like reading a blog. (Makes since especially since that's how she got her start.)

  15. Well, I haven't read many, but my favorite was Marie Antoinette by Antonia Fraser. I've always loved anything to do with the French Revolution and everything that led to it.

  16. bossy pants was funny/was a library lend/ooh so funny

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