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May 16 is Biographers Day

May 16 is designated as Biographers Day. It was on that day in 1763 that James Boswell first met Samuel Johnson, initiating what would become the most famous biographer-biographee relationship in history and resulting in Boswell's classic Life Of Samuel Johnson. Thus, according to Chase's Calendar of Events, "this day is recommended as one on which to start reading or writing a biography."

Pioneer Library System has thousands of biographies about fascinating people from all walks of life, as well as guides to help you put your own life story down on paper. The next great biography may be the one you write!


Cover - Homemade BiographyHomemade biography : how to collect, record, and tell the life story of someone you love by Tom Zoellner

How well do you really know the older people in your family? And how will you make sure their stories will be preserved for generations to come? This book serves as a practical guide to recording a relative's story so it will never be forgotten.


The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls Cover - The Glass Castle

Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation.  Walls' story is one of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.


Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life by Steve MartinCover - Born Standing Up

In the mid-seventies, Steve Martin exploded onto the comedy scene. By 1978 he was the biggest concert draw in the history of stand-up. In 1981 he quit forever. This book is, in his own words, the story of "why I did stand-up and why I walked away."


Old Friend From Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir by Natalie GoldbergCover - Old Friend From Far Away

To write memoir, we must first know how to remember. At once a beautifully written celebration of the memoir form, an innovative course full of practical teachings, and a deeply affecting meditation on consciousness, love, life, and death, this book welcomes aspiring writers of all levels and encourages them to find their unique voice to tell their stories.


Cover - FeynmanFeynman by Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick

This substantial graphic novel/biography presents the exploits of Nobel-winning quantum physicist, adventurer, musician, world-class raconteur, and one of the greatest minds of the twentieth century: Richard Feynman. The story of his life from his Long Island childhood to his work on the Manhattan Project and the Challenger disaster is presented in comic book form.


That Woman: The Life of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor by Anne SebbaCover - That Woman: The Life of wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor

"That woman," so called by Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, was born Bessie Wallis Warfield in 1896 in Baltimore. Neither beautiful nor brilliant, she endured an impoverished childhood, which fostered in her a burning desire to rise above her circumstances. Acclaimed biographer Anne Sebba offers an eye-opening account of one of the most talked about women of her generation.

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