National Biographer’s Day

May 11th, 2022 – Kayla Thompson, Adult Services

Hello and good afternoon to all of our lovely patrons and community members! National Biographer’s Day is next week, so I am here to talk a little history and recommend some of my favorite biographies. 

National Biographer’s Day happens every year on May 16th to commemorate the first meeting of Samuel Johnson (poet, editor, literary critic, etc.) and his biographer James Boswell in 1770 (roughly). Though not the first biography, it was apparently very well written and popular enough to create the day. Biographies have been around since the Roman Empire (think of Plato’s biographies) and are still a popular genre of writing today. 

It seems like everyone at some point or another attempts to have something written about themselves, someone they know, or someone in history that sparked their interest and curiosity. And I don’t blame them one bit! It can be fascinating to learn about people, their histories, and their life experiences.

A biography is defined as “the story of a real person’s life written by someone other than that person” ( These days, many libraries and bookstores lump biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs into the same sections. Biography sections then just become “books about people”.

So without further ado (it’s going to be a short one this week) here are some of my favorite books about other people:

Gold Dust Woman: A Biography of Stevie Nicks by Stephen Davis
Me by Elton John
A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings by Helen Jukes
Cleopatra: A Life by Stacey Schiff 
The Death of Caesar by Barry Strauss
The Other Madisons: The Lost History of a President’s Black Family by Bettye Kearse
Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold

Ones I look Forward to Reading: 
Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci
Becoming by Michelle Obama
Crying in H-Mart by Michelle Zauner 
Poet Warrior by Joy Harjo
No Time Like the Future by Michael J. Fox
Pertinax: the Son of a Slave Who Became Roman Emperor by Simon Elliot
Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley
Alexander the Great: His Life and His Mysterious Death by Anthony Everitt
Ripperology by Robin Odell
Frida in America by Celia Stahr


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