President Biographies and Election 2016 books

President Biographies and Election 2016 books

The 2016 US Presidential Election might still be a few months away, but the race to be the next President is hotting up.   Our list of US President biographies includes past, current and possible presidents.  Learn about the person who might be the next President.  How much do you know about past Presidents?

Reading about leaders is also highly recommended to develop leadership skills.  Leaders face challenges and set backs.  Reading about successful leaders can help us in similar situations.

Past President Biographies:

1. Washington: A life – Ron Chernow

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Think you know all there is to know about America’s first president? Chernow’s biography of Washington goes beyond the formal portrait of President Washington, and introduces us to George Washington, the man. From this book, you will read about accounts that demonstrated all the qualities that made Washington a great leader, plus the other facets of his personality that are rarely found in other biographies. The author also spared no words at pointing out the president’s faults. It is a refreshing biography that brings to light the more human sides of America’s founding father in great detail – flaws and all.

2. John Adams – David McCullough

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John Adams was the 1st Vice President, and 2nd US President, succeeding George Washington in 1797. Relying mostly on correspondences through letters written between Adams and his wife Abigail, McCullough pieced together a vivid and compelling picture of American’s second president. This Pulitzer-winning biography skips the line-by-line history of America’s founding and focuses on Adams’s role in the journey. You will be quite delighted to read about Adams’s relationship with his wife and how she impacted his success.

3. Truman – David McCullough

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Truman was the 33rd President in office from 1945 to 1953. At a length of approximately 1000 pages, this is a big book. Fortunately, McCullough is a skilled biographer capable of making the life story of Harry S. Truman read like a novel. Filled with fascinating insights, great details and factually accurate, you will breeze through the 1000 pages on the life and times of one of America’s greatest presidents.

4. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt – Edmund Morris

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26th President, 1901 – 1909 What makes a biography such an amazing read is when it zooms in on details of the subject’s life that are not already covered by history books. Roosevelt is considered one of the most venerated American presidents of the 20th century, but Morris choose to focus, not on his presidency, but the various aspects of his life – from childhood all the way to his presidential greatness. This is not your run-of-the-mill formal biography and all you can expect from a Pulitzer winning biographer.

5. Theodore Rex – Edmund Morris

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Unlike his previous book The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt which offers a closer look at the president’s life, this follow-up volume covers his prolific presidency. Going beyond what history books already tell us, Morris also covers a great deal about Roosevelt’s relationship with family and contemporaries while in office. The author, while mostly on the president’s side, is also fairly critical of the Roosevelt’s unpopular choices. Both of Morris’s Roosevelt books are definitely recommended reads for anyone with a keen interest in 20th century American history.

Current President Biographies (2016)

6. Dreams from My Father – Barack Obama

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An autobiography written prior to his presidency, Dreams from My Father offers candid look into Obama’s backgrounds, personal life and his leadership aspirations. The book is simply filled with Obama’s intelligent, insightful and at times surprising observations of issues that are deeply personal to him. It is interesting to note that this book was written when the president was just out of law school, and was offered a publishing deal after being elected president of Harvard Law Review. Though not a new book, it is still an interesting read on America’s 44th president, in his own words.

7. The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama – David Remnick

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Remnick’s book could not have been more perfectly times, especially as Obama reaches the end of his time as 44th President of the United States. It is arguably one of the few books written about Obama that goes beyond history and public portrait of the president, with inclusion of interviews with former acquaintances and colleagues of the president. The author also does a fantastic job of taking an unbiased stance. It is an excellent material to look back on the milestones in American civil rights history in past eight years of Obama being in office.

Possible President Biographies (2016)

8. HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton – Jonathan Allen & Amie Parnes

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Hilary Clinton may or may not be the next and 45th US president, but she has definitely made her mark as a political figure. There are several books written about Clinton, including her own memoir. This book by Allen and Parnes examine her seven-year tenure as Secretary of State. HRC is more political than personal, and may not be for everyone. However, if you have an interest in taking a closer look at Clinton’s role in the Obama administration, the book would be an interesting read.

9. The Truth About Trump – Michael D’Antonio

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With Trump’s election campaign roaring along, D’Antonio has updated his bestselling hardcover book  Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success (read our review of this book here) and released it in paperback with a new title.  This Pulitzer prize-winning reporter draws on extensive research and exclusive interviews.  Telling the whole story, from starting out in business, scandals, triumphs, successes and failures,  D’Anontio charts the path that made Trump. The Washington Post describes it as “a brisk and entertaining read”.  

10. The Essential Bernie Sanders and His Vision for America – Jonathan Tasini

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This is an informative volume for supporters of Sanders who want a deeper understanding of his vision for the country. It compiles his speeches, public addresses and policy proposals – mostly in his own words – with commentary from the author. The chapters are short and easy to read, which makes it an ideal guide to Sanders as he makes his bid for the White House in 2016.

Best Selling Non-Fiction Lucky Dip

Best Selling Non-Fiction Lucky Dip

Non-Fiction is a very broad range. This list of best selling non-fiction from 2015 is a lucky dip of topics.
From dating practices, pet stories to the people of New York, this eclectic list is sure to give you an idea or two for the summer holidays.

1. Modern Romance – Aziz Ansari

best selling non-fiction
This is not another book by a comedian about their career. Ansari is demystifying modern dating, with the backing of data from expert research – albeit in his humorous an entertaining ways. The book is a social study that focuses mostly on online dating, but also enlightens with studies and observations of dating culture in other parts of the world. Whatever your stance is on modern dating trends, this book will at least help you understand the curious ways people are looking for love in the 21st century.

2. Humans of New York stories – Brandon Stanton

best selling non-fiction
If you are active on Facebook, and have a rather global friend list, chances are you may have come across Stanton’s page. In 2010, Stanton set out on an ambitious project of photographically documenting the diverse people living in the Big Apple on his blog, which resulted in a book of the same name. This book is a follow up, with more stories from the people Stanton photographed and interviewed. HONY is a passion project that shines the spotlight on the fascinating individual lives of people in a big bustling city. After going through this compilation, you may not look at another passed in the streets the same way again.

3. Between the World & Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates

best selling non-fiction
Drawing on his personal experience and those of other African American youths, Coates paints a clear and humane picture of what it means to be a person of color in America. He brings to light obvious issues regarding race that many people are aware of, but often subconsciously choose to turn a blind eye. Whether we care to admit it, racial politics does affect each and everyone us, and Coates shows us why we should not ignore them.

4. H is for Hawk – Helen Macdonald

best selling non-fiction
This book is Macdonald’s heartfelt personal account of adopting and raising a goshawk named Mabel. More than just a human-animal bonding book, Macdonald’s account of her experience if rife with astute observations and reflections on human emotions that are rarely found in other books in a similar vein. Particularly insightful is how she demonstrates that we tend to project out emotions, temperament and belief on our relationship with animals – it is something people with pets can nod to.

5. Missoula – Jon Krakauer

best selling non-fiction
In this engaging, somewhat unsettling and infuriating book, Krakauer carefully documents the flawed justice system when it comes to sexual assault cases. Exhaustive in details, the author presents the heroes and villains involved in a college town rape case. Perhaps the only missing piece is interviews with locals that could offer a perspective of the average citizens’ take on rape culture. As depressing and upsetting as the subject matter is, the book is still must-read that could raise awareness of the impact of sex crimes on the victims’ lives, especially when their assailant walks free.

6. Pirate Hunters – Robert Kurson

best selling non-fiction
If you enjoy stories of treasure hunt and sunken ships, you will enjoy Pirate Hunters. The ‘pirate’ in question of Kurson’s book is Joseph Bannister – notorious 17th century English pirate. The book is extensively researched and factually accurate, but it is far from the dry historical account you’d expect. The author has done a great job in presenting a story that may just get you excited to go on a scuba diving trip.

7. So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed – Jon Ronson

best selling non-fiction
The internet can be a powerful for vigilante justice where “shame war” can be waged on perpetrators by people banding together, each “online vigilante” safe behind their computer screens. Ronson had once ignited a virtual war that brought down a group of men using his name for a Twitter account. Somewhat ironically, in his book, he examines the impact such internet justice has on those of a receiving end. There are some philosophical questions raised throughout the book about internet justice. They might make you think twice the next time you post something online.

8. For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards – Jen Hatmaker

best selling non-fiction
If you are looking for some light reading from a Christian perspective, you will love Hatmaker’s book. The beauty of this book is that though coming from a religious standpoint, it does not feel too preachy and dogmatic. Instead, the author presents a practical approach to theology, some of which are great points non-Christians can find agreeable.

9. Rising Strong: The Reckoning, The Rumble, The Revolution – Brene Brown

best selling non-fiction
The basic message of this book is to be your authentic self.  Find the courage to rise up to the occasion in the face of adversity and failure. There may be a few too many personal anecdotes in the book for some.  But the main message of strength and courage stands. The book is a practical and inspiring reference, drawing on the author’s voice and experience.

Graphic Novel Memoirs and Biographies for Adults

Graphic Novel Memoirs and Biographies for Adults

Hate reading? Many successful writers of books are now writing graphic novels (aka comics for adults); including graphic novel memoirs.

Because, lets face it, not everyone is a born reader or loves to read. When a picture paints a thousand words – and some us just understand pictures, or drawings better a graphic novel is the answer.

No longer just for kids, this list of the best selling graphic novel memoirs and graphic novel biographies, is for Adults!  As a graphic novel has far fewer words it can draw you into the imagery of the story quicker – which is encouraging for slower and reluctant readers of all ages.

5 Best Selling Graphic Novel Memoirs for Adults

1. Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened – Allie Brosh

graphic novel memoir
Unique, witty and insightful, Hyperbole and a Half is a collection of comics that touch on many mundane and also serious subjects. This book contains a collection of comics, some that have appeared in Brosh’s hugely popular blog of the same name, but more than half are never before published material. While the illustrations are deceptively simple, Brosh demonstrates a special knack for capturing complex emotions and presenting her thoughts on a subject matter in a darkly humorous, yet brutally honest way.   To quote Allie, its about “stories about things that happened to me” and “stories about things that happened to other people because of me”.

2. Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir – Stan Lee

graphic novel memoir

One can only expect the man who created many of the most iconic comic book characters would be quite an interesting persona himself. Indeed, in his aptly titled memoir; presented in the medium which he has been known for, one will come to find out there are many interesting aspects of Stan Lee’s life that even the most hardcore fans of his work will be surprised and amused about. If you have always been a lifelong fan of superheroes and the graphic storytelling medium, you will enjoy reading about the man whose imagination they sprang from.

3. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic – Alison Bechdel

graphic novel memoir

When the ‘fun’ in the book title actually refers to funeral, you’d expect a dark and depressing memoir. While Fun Home does deal with dark themes like death, the pains of growing up homosexual and coming out of the closet, it is hardly a sullen memoir.

It is gripping, thoughtful and somewhat funny graphically rendered account of growing up in rural Pennsylvania. One can’t help but empathize with Bechdel, who managed to make peace with herself and her past after all.

Ed: This book is now a Broadway Musical!

4. Persepolis: – Marjane Satrapi

graphic novel memoir

Featured in many of our book lists before; our list of graphic novel memoirs would not be complete without this well known graphic novel.

Rendered in beautiful black and white illustrations, Persepolis is an autobiography that conveyed what it was like to experience the Iranian revolution and the Iran-Iraq war as a child in the 1970s and 80s. It presents a rare brutally honest view of Iranian society, without too much emphasis on history and sociology.

After all, the autobiography is not meant so much as a social commentary as it is a personal account of childhood during an interesting period in a nation’s history.

5. Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir – Roz Chast

graphic novel memoir

One of the greatest concerns many people have as they grow old is being a burden to their children. Cartoonist Chast is the only child, born to older parents. In her graphical memoir, she provides an honest and very personal account of her mixed feelings dealing with her parents as they aged, and eventually could no longer care for themselves. It may be a difficult story to read, but it does offer some food for thought on the uncomfortable subject of aging and losing one’s independence.

Political Biographies – mind blowing non fiction

Political Biographies – mind blowing non fiction

The saying ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ definitely applies to biographies of political leaders.

If you want some truly mind blowing non fiction to read, then try these. 5 biographies and autobiographies of some great past and present (and want to be) political leaders.

1. Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela

The book that inspired the major new motion picture Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

This is the original and unabridged version of the inspiring autobiography by the internationally acclaimed South African president from the mid to late 1990’s.  Read his personal life account written in secret while spending 27 years in prison. Learn how to always have hope from a man who changed a nation due to an unbreakable devotion to freedom.

2. Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life StoryArnold Schwarzenegger

How can lifting weights lead to a being an international movie star surrounded by wealth and power? Arnold Schwarzenegger explains how he achieved this unforgettable dream life in his autobiography, Total Recall. Self-serving drives and a larger than life ego lead him to become the best at one thing, Body Building. But, if being the best at one thing can be achieved then why stop there? Discover “Arnold’s Rules” to success and his amazing transformation from a poor Austrian boy to a world icon who married into one of the most famous of families, The Kennedy’s. Definitely a mind blowing non fiction book that seems like it should be fantasy.

3. Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success – Michael D’Antonio

Although he’s not a rags to riches tale, Donald Trump has had a career of ups and downs that have ultimately led to him being one of the most successful businessmen in the world. Learn why the belief in yourself and an undying drive for success can lead to becoming a living symbol of wealth. Having one of the most entertaining personalities in the modern world, Trump tells us what he thinks it takes to be worthy of respect.  Whether he will succeed as a political leader, only time will tell.

4. Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln – Doris Kearns Goodwin

Focusing on his political cabinet rather than his life story, we have a fresh look at Abraham Lincoln’s presidency and his rivals. An unpopular Illinois lawyer uses his opposing contenders to his advantage in the 1860 presidential nomination. This book of multiple biographies reveals how Lincoln used his leadership skills to keep a separating nation together with the help of his well accomplished rivals turned allies.

5. The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin – Steven Lee Myers

From his childhood struggling in the aftermath of WWII to his rise to the top of the Russian political climate, Vladimir Putin has a story worth studying. Author and journalist Steven Lee Myers gives us a serious understanding about the fascinating career of a man who is shaping modern history. This biography is one where we can truly learn to have a vision from a man who’s life was shaped by loyalty and ambition.

Want more mind blowing non fiction?  Visit our other biographical lists including Best Autobiographies of 5 Extraordinary Men

Best Autobiographies of 5 Extraordinary Men

Best Autobiographies of 5 Extraordinary Men

So what is Autobiography?  And we don’t mean the new Range Rover Autobiography! (hint thats a car)

The definition of autobiography is it’s an account of a person’s life, written by that person.  If the story is written by someone else it is a Biography.  Sometimes an autobiography is co-written by a journalist or other experienced writer.  If the story is written without the approval or permission the subject, it is an unauthorised biography

The benefits of reading autobiographies are many and perhaps unexpected.  The opportunity to look into other people’s lives in different times, different places can be more exciting than any fiction, with real people portrayed in real events and real experiences.  We can learn from others experiences, making their lessons our own; without the pain.  We can appreciate other points of views, develop compassion and empathy.

This list of best autobiographies covers five extraordinary men who have done extraordinary things from very different beginnings in very different arenas of life.

We all need hero’s to look up to, to encourage us and uplift us by their examples.  You may not be able to hang out with these men, but through their autobiographies you can get to know them, learn from them and learn their values, potentially transform yourself into a better you through their ‘mentorship’.  Add them to your list of hero’s to draw on in your personal mastermind.

1. Autobiography of a Yogi – Paramahansa Yogananda

Reading Paramahansa Yogananda’s autobiography feels like receiving a crash course in eastern mysticism, exemplified by the exceptional life experiences of an acclaimed yogi and spiritual teacher. While some of Yogananda’s talks of miraculous and extraordinary happenings may come across as bizarre, even unfathomable to some, his views provide good food for thought when approached and taken into consideration with an open mind. Plus, there is also a consistency and confidence to his tone that makes reading the autobiography somewhat provocative to the intellect, if not life-altering.

2. The Autobiography of Malcolm X

How can a kid who grew up in poverty and was once a hustler became one of the most respected human rights activists in the history of America? This book is an enlightening read, presenting Malcolm’s aggressively uncompromising – though at times, troubling – views on religion, society, race and African-American rights. From reading his unapologetic and candid thoughts, one can’t help but become more aware of the innate racism in our world and how it affects our daily lives.

3. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

There is something fascinating about getting a glimpse of what goes inside the minds of brilliant individuals who had led extraordinary lives; to find out what drove them to excellence. When someone as multi-faceted as Ben Franklin writes his life story, you know it will make for an interesting read. His autobiography, called a memoir by Franklin, is unfinished, initially written with his son in mind, to be a sort of guide. Even so, it paints a picture of a remarkable man who grew up in poverty, and invented himself through an unending thirst for knowledge and persistent effort to improve himself.

4. Toward- Freedom: An Autobiography of Jawaharlal Nehru

Written almost entirely during his imprisonment, the autobiography of India’s first Prime Minister offers a gripping personal insight on his outlook in various aspects of life. Jawaharlal Nehru was a freedom fighter and a prolific political figure, jailed for anti-government activities. In his autobiography, his views on marriage, religion, politics, colonialism and even nature are eloquently and sincerely documented. It is a reflection of his tenacity, wisdom and passion. Such a book by a remarkable individual is not to be missed!

5. Autobiography of Mark Twain

Writers have always sparked our imagination with their work. One has to wonder what really goes on in their active imaginations. The only way we can ever find out is if they even bother leaving behind a piece of writing about themselves, such as what Mark Twain did. The great American writer’s three-volume autobiography is filled with observations and accounts of his own life, peppered with the familiar wit and humor. Literature buffs who enjoyed Twain’s novels will find it a delight to get an overview of the writer’s world, from his own perspective. There is a curious fact to this lengthy autobiography; Twain specifically instructed that it was to be published 100 years after his death, for fear of offending some of the people whom he vented about in the book.

For women autobiographies, see our Best Ever list here

An English Teachers Non-Fiction Book List

An English Teachers Non-Fiction Book List

Most people read fiction for entertainment – humor, mysteries, horror – we escape to another world. Non-fiction can also entertain. Non-fiction can be “how to” or text books and documentaries, but also includes memoirs, biographies, science, self-help,  business and art. Non-fiction is basically anything based on real people, events or facts. This list of non-fiction books is guaranteed to entertain you as it expands your knowledge and view of the world.

1. LeviathanJohn Birmingham

Leviathan: The unauthorised Biography of SydneyThis award winning book is subtitled “The unauthorized biography of Sydney”, as in Sydney, Australia – a city . More like techno-thriller, this book is underpinned by extensive research. It will teach you more about this gorgeous harbor city than most locals would know. Highly recommended.

2. Notes from a Small IslandBill Bryson

In this humorous travel memoir, Bill Bryson records his jaunt around the old country, England (and Wales & Scotland). Enjoyable, funny and educational. Learn about British quirks and oddities whilst being entertained.

3.Moab Is My WashpotStephen Fry

Actor and comedian Stephen Fry shares his early life story in this autobiographical novel. Brutally honest, Fry shares his mistakes and misconduct along side the difficulties and challenges of growing up gay in a British boarding school in the 1960’s. There is no pointing the finger of blame here, simply a wry, funny and wise memoir.

4. Fever PitchNick Hornby

Featured in the fiction of out English Teacher’s lists with his novel High Fidelity Hornby returns with his tribute to his obsession to football (soccer). An easy to read coming of age story, fans of any sport will relate to the highs and lows of his team dictating the happiness and direction of his life. Mandatory reading (or ideal gift!) for any obsessive sports fan.

5. No LogoNaomi Klein

Written by an award winning journalist, this 10 year anniversary edition was published in 2009 following the GFC. Part exposé, part political and cultural study, Klein dives into the world of image and brands in the global economy. Well-reasoned, she shows how the “superbrands” of huge corporations are penetrating our lives and manipulating many of our choices. Certainly if the rise of ‘product placement’ in movies and sports fields is any indicator, she is spot on.  A book that will change the way you view the world, marketing and brands.

See also Conspiracy Theory book list for a review of her earlier book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.

6. The FightNorman Mailer

The Fight is an account of the classic 1974 heavyweight boxing title fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. Transcending the sporting event, the book captures the drama of the struggle both in the sporting rings and in the psyche with a unique insightful literary style.

7. Down and Out in Paris and LondonGeorge Orwell

This was Orwell’s debut book, written before his works of political fiction such as the classic 1984 and Animal Farm.  It is, as The Nation put it, “the most lucid portrait of poverty in the English language.”  With vivid and precise descriptions he humanizes and brings empathy to the poorest people (including himself as narrator) in a simple sociological study of homelessness in France in early 1900’s and Edwardian England.

Previously reviewed in 10 books that will broaden your life perspective.

Charles Dickens Biography: Charles Dickens – A Life Biography

Charles Dickens Biography: Charles Dickens – A Life Biography

Charles Dickens Biography

Charles Dickens Biography
The biography of Charles Dickens, named A Life, is billed as such:

The tumultuous life of England’s greatest novelist, beautifully rendered by unparalleled literary biographer Claire Tomalin.

When Charles Dickens died in 1870, The Times of London successfully campaigned for his burial in Westminster Abbey, the final resting place of England’s kings and heroes. Thousands flocked to mourn the best recognized and loved man of nineteenth-century England.

About The Book: Charles Dickens- A Life Biography

Claire Tomalin is a wonderful biography writer. She has told familiar stories very well (Thomas Hardy, Jane Austen); has brought unknown stories to life and she has re-introduced us to the amazing Samuel Pepys.

Her Charles Dickens biography is a fantastic book on a great man. In Tomalin’s biography of Dickens, he seems to leap off the pages. He is boundlessly energetic; he is inconceivably brilliant; he binds friends to him for life. But like you would expect from an authentic biography, it’s not all good. He treats his children horribly, and not them alone.

It is a well-known story, enriched by Tomalin’s unique understanding of the life of Nelly Ternan, Dickens’ mistress. Nelly has a complicated story herself, but the reader comes to share the author’s admiration for her character and for the difficult choices she made.

Charles Dickens has created thousands of unforgettable characters, and he was also known as a hard-working journalist and as a writer of essays.

Charles Dickens Biography

His life was short. He died at the age of 58 but its clear that few writers could have achieved such success in such a short life. In 1862, the Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky, an ardent admirer of Dickens who read “The Pickpick Papers” and “David Copperfield” in prison, visited Dickens in London. Dickens told the Russian that there “were two people in him: one who feels as he ought to feel and one who feels the opposite. From the one who feels the opposite I make my evil characters, from the one who feels as a man ought to feel I try to live my life.”

“Only two people, I asked?”, added Dostoyevsky.

In fact he was right. Dickens had many personalities in him and Claire Tomalin did a wonderful job in trying to describe the many faces of this titan of literature in her biography of him. She writes about his successes and failures. Dickens was very successful allover the world and his tour to the United States only served to prove this. But there were also those, among them his daughter Katey, who despised him and regarded him as an evil man.

Another Russian writer, Leo Tolstoy, confessed that all of Dickens’ characters were his friends, adding that he kept a portrait of the novelist in his room and considered Dickens to be the greatest novelist of the nineteenth century.

This book is a splendid introduction to two great writers: Charles Dickens and Claire Tomalin. Read it, and go on to any of her other books.

JRR Tolkien Biography Documentary – A Study Of The Maker Of Middle-earth

JRR Tolkien Biography Documentary – A Study Of The Maker Of Middle-earth

JRR Tolkien Biography

JRR Tolkien BiographyJohn Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973) was a scholar of the English language, specializing in old and middle English. He’s best known as the author of the classic fantasy books The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.

Tolkien was incredibly devoted to the world he created, and you can see his love for it in the attention he gives to every detail. He knew how the first beings got there, the hierarchy, the history, etc of Middle Earth intimately. All this before he even wrote the book. There were other fantasy stories before him, but in the way he created his world and his stories, he changed the game. He didn’t write books to build a world, he built the world and then wrote about it. Everything follows the rules he has laid out, regarding geography, location, and now history.

No other book compares because no other author has ever done so much preparatory work for a story.

One of the biggest observations about the story is the one about language. Tolkien was a philologist and a professor of both language and mythical texts. Whenever characters from the Lord of the Rings use language that seems archaic or outdated, Tolkien had a sense of how those sentences would be structured. A lot of his story elements come from older myths, so he’s putting himself in that narrative tradition, but at the same time subverting those elements in new ways, to reflect his own English heritage.

There is a lot to know about Tolkien and the world he created. The documentary below gives a complete JRR Tolkien biography and history of Tolkien and all his writings. Told by all his children, friends, scholars and Tolkien himself. If you like J.R.R. Tolkien, this will answer almost any question you could conceive of.

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.

Born: January 3, 1892, Bloemfontein, Free State

Died: September 2, 1973, Bournemouth

Movies: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return Of The King, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Children: Christopher Tolkien, John Tolkien, Priscilla Tolkien, Michael Tolkien

Education: Exeter College, Oxford, University of Oxford