Biographies Are Not Boring!

Recently, it seems as if everyone has decided to write an autobiography or biography about either themselves, or a person of interest and importance. The biography shelves at the library have more choices than ever before and there are interesting reads for just about every age group. Choose from a range of rock stars and celebrities to political figures, as well as people of historical importance who have spurred major changes in the world. There are amazing and inspiring stories for all. The biographies written for our youngest audience are illustrated and open the door to some of the most influential characters in history.

In the past, biographies have been a dry recollection of facts. I remember being assigned projects where I would have to research a particular person's life story and have to do a report or presentation. The only biographies I read were boring. This is not the case anymore! Biographies are often filled with details that were previously unknown. The readers are privy to the subject's emotions and thoughts as they were living through life altering situations. We are given a firsthand account of the events of someone's life as if they are going through things in real time. Memoirs have become a way for people to let their experiences unfold again for a new audience. Sometimes the secrets of the past can free a person from guilt or judgement. Writing becomes cathartic and allows the writer to "let it all hang out" so to speak.

Biographies aimed for younger audiences come with colorful pictures and exciting stories. Whether you want to learn about Catherine the Great or Vice President Kamala Harris, the "Who Is/Was?" series of books are a great introduction to biographies. Our collections of these have been growing by leaps and bounds and are very popular because of their fun content. Some biographies now also come in graphic novel format, which was not common when I was a kid.

Recently, I stumbled across a book that has now become one of my favorites of all time! It comes under the category of autobiographical comics or graphic memoirs. These are a fairly new genre of biographical books that are fun, easy to read, and have illustrations. Certain memorable situations of the author's life are depicted with humor and colorful visuals that make it easy for the reader to connect to his/her story. That Can Be Arranged by Huda Fahmy is the story of her arranged marriage and how she met her husband. I thoroughly enjoyed the visual portrayal of herself and the other characters, especially her mother. Her hilarious responses in awkward situations are entertaining and had me laughing out loud, literally. Some of the aspects of her story are relatable for just about everyone while some are teaching moments for readers who like to learn about other cultures. After reading this book (twice), I am so excited to see what the author comes up with next!

If you are totally new to the world of biographies, our website has a feature that can introduce you to memoirs and biographies by area of interest ranging from immigrant stories, influential women, spiritual content and more - NoveList Plus! As always, an adventure awaits you on our website! Go to mcl.org for more information or visit your local branch of the Mercer County Library System and ask one of our amazing librarians where the biography section is. I promise, you will be amazed at the selection and the secrets that unfold!

– By Kaneeze at Hightstown

Comments