3 Inspiring Biographies that Give More than Just Facts

Hello All!

This year, I’ve pushed myself to read more biographies and have been incredibly moved by some of them. It’s inspiring to look deeply into a great man or woman’s life. Perhaps, like me, you want to get more than just the rote, historical facts when you read a biography– you want to understand the person. That’s why I want to share three biographies that delivered a glimpse inside the person they’re about. Not all of these were books I read this year, but each provide inspirational and impactful examples to learn from.

Not A Tame Lion by Terry Glaspey

This wonderful biography on C.S. Lewis had to come first. It’s probably the best biography I’ve read, which is funny since the section on the events of Lewis’ life is rather short. However, Glaspey helps you come to understand this man through not only what happened in his life, but also his philosophy on different matters. The sections are divided into Lewis’ life, writings, and legacy.

Particularly, reading about his writing and thoughts moved me the most, giving me insight on challenges in my own life. Many times, I stopped to ponder a quote that was startlingly relevant to my spiritual or emotional situation. C.S. Lewis’ humility, wisdom, compassion, and intellect shine through every page. While I wouldn’t recommend this book if you’re looking for a scholarly narration of Lewis’ life, I would absolutely suggest it if you want to come face to face with who this beloved author and Christian apologist really was.

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

Some of you might recognize this as the biography behind the hit Broadway musical Hamilton. Let me just say, this book is impeccably written. While Chernow includes some raunchy details that I would have preferred left out, he gives the reader an in-depth look at the life and mind of a complex founding father.

The knowledge imparted makes this biography worth the read on its own, but its emphasis on Hamilton’s prolific writing is the reason it made this list. Hamilton’s intensity and dedication to writing challenged me to grow in my own consistency. There are some minor issues I have with this book, but overall, it’s definitely one to read. Studying the life of this man will give any writer plenty to emulate and point out pitfalls to avoid.

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

Another popular biography, this book relates the experiences of black women working at NASA. What truly made it stand out was that it got me, a person who’s usually disinterested in math and science, engaged in those topics. I found myself getting invested in the space race and eager see the women tackle the mathematical problems facing them. Any book that can do that is a win!

Even more, though, are the examples of calm courage and dignity in the face of adversity. These women didn’t just display brilliance in mathematics and engineering, they also strove to be excellent people. Dignity, resilience, and serenity are three lessons exemplified that I think anyone can learn from this book.

So, there you have it! These are three biographies that left me feeling like I understood the historical figures at the end and had been given a chance to see the world through their eyes.

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