I never thought I’d be someone who adored biographies and autobiographies. I mean, who would want to read about someone real when they could be reading about wizards or faeries or aliens? Who would want to read about someone talking about their own boring life like it was different to the rest of ours? Who’d be interested in writing about how they grew up, got a job, and did all the other mundane things which life entails? Certainly not me.
But then I read an autobiography. By read, I mean forced to by my literature teacher in 11th Grade as a part of an assignment. It was Bill Bryson’s memoir entitled The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid and I couldn’t have been more annoyed at having to waste my time reading that nonsense when I could have been rereading The Fault in Our Stars or delving deep into Wattpad to read more Drarry fanfic.
It wasn’t until I reluctantly opened up the autobiography (after trying to find a reasonable summary on Sparknotes. Believe me, I tried), did I realise that I might actually enjoy it. If my laughs at the strange and funny situations Bill found himself in as a kid where anything to go by, I actually really loved it. And that was the beginning of a whole new adventure for me.
I realised that reading biographies and autobiographies were not nearly as boring as the name suggested. I thought that reading about someone I didn’t know, and quite frankly, didn’t care to learn about, would be the most boring experience of my life. In fact, it was the opposite. I found that there wasn’t all that much difference between reading about a person in the real world as compared to reading about a fictional character. They both came with backstories and vibrant lives and things that made me connect with them or even be able to relate to them.
After I realised that I liked reading about so-called real people, I investigated some other biographies and autobiographies to pick up. While YA fiction remains my one true love, this whole new genre I found, thanks to my pushy literature teacher, has provided both some really fascinating and empowering reads. I couldn’t have been more thankful for not just opting to read the Wikipedia page on that book I was made to study.
I’ve now read a number of biographies and autobiographies, but I want to discuss who I picked up recently in depth. Those ones are Note to Self by Connor Franta and Finding Nevo by Nevo Zisin. While they’re both vastly different in the topics they discuss and how well they’re both known in general media, I loved reading both of them because they allowed me to do the one thing all great autobiographies and biographies should be able to do — they made me feel as though I knew the author in a more personal way, and it allowed me to not only learn from the experiences they recounted, but think about how I would be left a little different than when I turned the first page.Read More »