Skip to main content
UMW Libraries
Simpson | Stafford | Special Collections

Popular Reading: Biography

View popular reading books by genre and make suggestions for what you would like to read.

On My Own

PN1991.4.R438 A3 2016  

In a deeply personal and moving book, the beloved NPR radio host speaks out about the long drawn-out death (from Parkinson’s) of her husband of fifty-four years, and of her struggle to reconstruct her life without him.

 

Lafayette in the Somewhat United States

E207.L2 V69 2015

From the bestselling author of Assassination Vacation and The Partly Cloudy Patriot, an insightful and unconventional account of George Washington’s trusted officer and friend, that swashbuckling teenage French aristocrat the Marquis de Lafayette.  

Chronicling General Lafayette’s years in Washington’s army, Vowell reflects on the ideals of the American Revolution versus the reality of the Revolutionary War.  Riding shotgun with Lafayette, Vowell swerves from the high-minded debates of Independence Hall to the frozen wasteland of Valley Forge, from bloody battlefields to the Palace of Versailles, bumping into John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Lord Cornwallis, Benjamin Franklin, Marie Antoinette and various kings, Quakers and redcoats along the way. 
 
 

Freedom

HV6574.U6 D8 2016 

In the follow-up to her #1 bestselling memoir, A Stolen Life, Jaycee Dugard tells the story of her first experiences after years in captivity: the joys that accompanied her newfound freedom and the challenges of adjusting to life on her own.

 

My Fight, Your Fight

GV1113.R687 A3 2015

In this inspiring and moving book, Ronda Rousey, the Olympic medalist in judo, reigning UFC women's bantamweight champion, and Hollywood star charts her difficult path to glory.  

Marked by her signature charm, barbed wit, and undeniable power, Rousey’s account of the toughest fights of her life—in and outside the Octagon—reveals the painful loss of her father when she was eight years old, the intensity of her judo training, her battles with love, her meteoric rise to fame, the secret behind her undefeated UFC record, and what it takes to become the toughest woman on Earth. Rousey shares hard-won lessons on how to be the best at what you do, including how to find fulfillment in the sacrifices, how to turn limitations into opportunities, and how to be the best on your worst day.

Packed with raw emotion, drama, and wisdom this is an unforgettable book by one of the most remarkable women in the world.  

Blackout

HV5279 .H47 2015

For Sarah Hepola, alcohol was "the gasoline of all adventure." She spent her evenings at cocktail parties and dark bars where she proudly stayed till last call. Drinking felt like freedom, part of her birthright as a strong, enlightened twenty-first-century woman.
 
A memoir of unblinking honesty and poignant, laugh-out-loud humor, BLACKOUT is the story of a woman stumbling into a new kind of adventure--the sober life she never wanted. Shining a light into her blackouts, she discovers the person she buried, as well as the confidence, intimacy, and creativity she once believed came only from a bottle. Her tale will resonate with anyone who has been forced to reinvent or struggled in the face of necessary change. It's about giving up the thing you cherish most--but getting yourself back in return.

Kardashian Dynasty

PN1992.4 .K35 A3 2016

#1 New York Times bestselling author and investigator Ian Halperin pulls back the curtain on America’s notorious Kardashian family—exposing their shaky foundation for fame—one shocking revelation at a time.

 

Sick in the Head

PN1969.C65 A63 2015

From the writer and director of "Knocked Up" and the producer of "Freaks and Geeks "comes a collection of intimate, hilarious conversations with the biggest names in comedy from the past thirty years including Mel Brooks, Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Roseanne Barr, Harold Ramis, Louis C.K., Chris Rock, and Lena Dunham. 

Before becoming one of the most successful filmmakers in Hollywood, Judd Apatow was the original comedy nerd. At fifteen, he took a job washing dishes in a local comedy club just so he could watch endless stand-up for free. At sixteen, he was hosting a show for his local high school radio station in Syosset, Long Island a show that consisted of Q&As with his comedy heroes, from Garry Shandling to Jerry Seinfeld. They talked about their careers, the science of a good joke, and their dreams of future glory (turns out, Shandling was interested in having his own TV show one day and Steve Allen had already invented everything).

Thirty years later, Apatow is still that same comedy nerd and he's still interviewing funny people about why they do what they do.