The world is brimming with successful people and their success stories are beyond our imagination and worth knowing about. We see, hear and know about legends through stories, movies or by people around us, which is not enough to know what it really takes to become a “legend”. That is why, as a summer book challenge, we have compiled a list of some inspiring autobiographies for you to read, know, and learn.
Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume I
Mark Twain’s real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens. He is known for the great novels such as ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’ and ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’. Twain’s autobiography was his last work before his death but it was not published until 2010, a whopping 100 years after his death! Exactly as he directed, the book contains 5,000 pages of memoir which he had left in the care of the University of California at Berkley. Unlike many other autobiographies, it does not follow a chronological order but is an engaging read. There are two more volumes of his autobiography.
The Diary of a Young Girl
It is one of the most heart-touching and well-known autobiographies ever written. This 1947 published book is a collection of writings from the personal diary of Anne Frank wrote overthe span of two years while she was hiding with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.
In the book, Anne shares intimate details about her family, crushes on boys, her religion, and the saddening and heartbreaking effects of the war. The book is a reminder of how a person can remain hopeful even in extremely trying and painful times.
Richard Wright, an African- American writer, is best known for his books ‘Black Boy’ and ‘Native Son’. Published in 1945, Wright’s autobiography throws light on theformative years of his life – childhood and young adulthood – in Chicago. The book became an instant best seller, like Mark Twain’s autobiography.
Long Walk to Freedom
Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, Nelson Mandela became the first black president of South Africa in 1994 and served till 1999. He is one of the most famous and inspiring personalities in history. Autobiographies of such people who suffer a lot to work for the welfare of the society, such as that of Mandela, are worth a close reading. In his autobiography, Nelson Mandela has mentioned details about his remarkable life from his childhood to his training as a lawyer. It also chronicles his life in prison for 28 years. It’s motivating to read about the journey of a normal child becoming one of the great leaders of our times.
A Moveable Feast
‘A Moveable Feast’ is a memoir by Ernest Hemingway about the struggle he faced during his young age as a journalist and a writer in Paris in the 1920s. Hemingway was a novelist, short story writer, journalist and a Nobel Prize winner in Literature in 1954.
In his lifetime,Hemingway published seven novels, six short story collections, and two non-fictions. Three of his novels, four short story collections, and three non-fictions were published posthumously. In his autobiography, Hemingway describes his apprenticeship as a young writer while he was married to his first wife, Hadley Richardson. If you want to know what goes on in the mind of a great writer, then this superb autobiography is a must read for you.
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Written almost 200 years ago, ‘The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin’ is still considered as one of the best autobiographies ever published. The book enlightens the readers about the childhood and adult hood of Franklin.
One of the most notable sections of this autobiography is Franklin’s attempt to achieve “moral perfection” through the accomplishment of 13 virtues, including temperance, silence, and order. Franklin’s suggestions for living an ideal life still remain essential for all humans.
Wings of Fire
The autobiography of APJ Abdul Kalam, former president of India, was co-written by Arun Tiwari. The book tells us about Kalam’s childhood, hardships he faced, his fortitude, luck, chance and all that eventually led him towards leading Indian space research, nuclear and missile programme. Know about the journey of a great leader, a scientist and a truly humble human through ‘Wings of Fire’.
‘Mein Kampf’ (meaning‘My Struggle’), is the autobiography of Adolf Hitler,one of the most criticized and notorious leaders in the world. Read about how Hitler became anti-Semitic in this chilling book. It outlines his political ideology and future plans for Germany. The first volume of the bookwas published in 1925 and the second volume was published in 1926. If you are a history lover, then this autobiography is a must read for you.Know about the World War II, holocaust and a lot more from the point of view of Hitler.