Why do people write biographies? What is it about reading about other people's lives that intrigues us so much? Inspiration comes in many ways, and looking at a fellow human being's life to see the hardships he or she faced before becoming successful is a great way to get inspired. There are so many people in the world who went the extra mile and suffered emotional pain but still made it big in life.
We all love to read an inspiring story because it gives us hope that we might have one of our own someday. It makes it easier for us to imagine success in whichever field we want. Be it a sportsperson, businessman, yogi, survivor, they all can push us to make that extra effort that we seem to be lacking at times. This article covers the best biographies in India to help you reach the goals you have set for yourself and also is reviewed by book blogger Suraj Kumar.
Suraj is a reader by passion and profession, and currently pursuing PhD from the Department of English & Cultural Studies, Panjab University, Chandigarh. He has been book blogging for more than 7 years. Suraj says, "All my life, I have drawn inspiration from others while trying my best to be inspiring for others, for I believe that is the only way to be a better version of ourselves." Check out Suraj's work on his Instagram account and website.
Bishweshwar Nandi, Digivijay Singh, and Vimal Mohan
The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan
Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping Our Future
Karmayogi: A Biography of E. Sreedharan
Irrfan Khan: The Man, The Dreamer, The Star
BYJU's Miracle: From 8 Students to $8 Billion
A Biography of Rahul Gandhi
Vajpayee: The Years that Changed India
The Wild Truth
Vivekananda: A Biography
Dipa Karmakar: The Small Wonder
Know How The Gifted Indian Mathematician Solves the Toughest of Problems
The Entrepreneurial Genius - Learn From the Person Who Does the Unthinkable
The Inspiring Story of The Metro Man - Learn the Management Skills
The Actor With the Most Impressive Eyes Who's Known for His Intensity
A Life of a Passionate Teacher
Not Just Another Brick in the Wall
The Poet Prime Minister With an Uncommon Approach
Society is a Crazy Breed - All About Taking Brave Decisions
India's Cultural Ambassador to the West
Pride of the Nation - The First Woman Gymnast to Compete in an Olympics
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Whether you are a new reader or an experienced one, you will love all the books mentioned here. We have tried to enlist books about people from diverse backgrounds such as mathematicians, businessmen, entrpreneurs, scientists, artists, survivors, etc.
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Read our buying guide to know the things to look out for in a biography book. These little details will make you a smart buyer. The factors that account for in buying the right book for your life situation, mindset, and interest are all discussed in this buying guide.
A biography is a collection of stories and incidents from a person's life, in which the main aim is to share the person's experience with the world. People want to read the life story of successful people so as to learn from them. A biography is written about a successful person by some other person because he or she may feel their life story worth sharing.
On the other hand, an autobiography is a book written by the person himself as he or she has attained unimaginable success in their career or life. For example, Playing it My Way is an autobiography by the Master Blaster batsman of India, Sachin Tendulkar. This book has received rave reviews as everyone wanted to know Sachin's story of life.
Autobiographies may be preferred over biographies, on the grounds of authenticity, as they are always a product of first-hand experience. But all autobiographies suffer from a congenital disability, that is, an autobiography can never be a complete account of a person's life.
On the other hand, biographies can capture the entire life of its subject, from birth till death. Thus, a biography can provide a larger and more comprehensive picture of a person than an autobiography.
Many people read biographies of men and women whom they know about or follow. It is very rare that you read a book about a person you have no clue about. But, in today's time of reviews and trending topics, you may easily come across books about people you are not aware of.
If you are an avid reader, you might even wish to read the book. However, we advise you to do a background check of the hero of the book. This little research will help you in knowing whether that person's story will interest you or not.
It is easy to read a brief description of the books on websites like Goodreads and Whichbook. The ten best books mentioned by us also contain the necessary details of the biographee and his or her story. This will help you immensely in making your purchase decision.
The primary reason behind reading someone's biography is that we admire that person's achievements and success and seek inspiration from them. As a rule, a biography has only one hero.
But in every person's life, there are supporting characters, who are often the driving force behind that person's success. As a reader, it is important that we identify such supporting characters in our hero's life and then in our own lives, for success is never a solo journey.
We all must have heard the story of a king who got inspired to fight by observing the relentlessness of a spider. He saw that the spider tried to throw her web on the opposite wall but kept on failing. Despite so many failed attempts, she did not give up. This inspired the king to charge up his discouraged army and fight.
The point over here is that no matter what profession you are from or what challenges you are facing, any tenacious person can motivate you. However, in today's time, the professions are very specific, and it is accessible to read about people from the area you are interested in.
If you are interested in business and want to learn what the best people do, you should read The Snowball, Warren Buffet's biography. This will not just motivate you but also give you the necessary knowledge of the right things to do in life in order to be like that person.
Sometimes it happens that despite your interest in the subject of the biography, you lose interest in reading the biography midway. Remember that it is the writer's task to keep the reader engaged and not the reader's duty to remain forcefully involved in a book. It is alright not to finish a book.
Many regular readers maintain a list of text that they DNF (did not complete). If you wish, you may return to the unfinished book sometime later.
You must have experienced that talking to a person who has faced similar challenges that you face right now relieves you more than anything else. It instills hope in you to overcome that obstacle in life. Empathy is much bigger than sympathy, and a book about a person who has had a similar life like yours but still made through can be the blessing you were hoping for.
You may read a little about the book's description online to find some details about the person. This would give you an effective idea about a person's life and hardships. It won't be hard to know whether you would relate to this person or not.
Biography, as a genre, caters to the basic human tendency of taking an interest in other people's lives. In this sense, every biography has two primary purposes. The first is to highlight the individuality of a person through their achievements.
The second, equally important, purpose is to emphasise the link between that individual and the larger humanity. In doing so, a biography showcases that the individual has risen from the masses only. Therefore each one of us can be successful and achieve what the other person has already achieved.
Your schedule might not allow you to read lengthy books. This is the reason you must consider the length of the book before reading it. If you buy a really long book and are usually struggling with time to read it, most likely you will get discouraged after a few days to finish reading it. If you usually remain busy, we recommend you to read a few pages of the book every night before going to bed.
If you have time on your hand and wish to delve into some comprehensive reading, you may go for lengthy books as well. In our list of the best biographies, we have mentioned the number of pages of every book in the specifications table. While making your purchase, keep your schedule as an important factor.
The length of the book is indeed a decisive factor while buying a book. One important thing to remember is to go for hardbacks whenever buying any text longer than 350-400 pages. Paperbacks are not very sturdy, and it is also difficult to hold a thick paperback while reading. E-books also may be discouraged because the longer the book, the greater the screen time and the greater the strain on the eyes.
Biographies are written about successful people by other authors. This makes it essential for you to read about the background and other works of the biography writer. Along with basing his writings on facts, the writer must also be articulate. The intention behind writing most biographies is to motivate and inspire the reader.
A book should be able to establish a connection between the story and the reader. You can gain knowledge on the author's previous work by reading about them on Goodreads, LibraryThing, Reedsy Discovery, etc. These portals also allow you to become part of a community where you can find fellow readers and their reviews.
Attempting to encapsulate someone's life in a book is a rather difficult task. Thus, a biographer has to be not just a writer but a social historian, a psychologist, and a philosopher, all at the same time.
A writer who is or has been closely associated with their subject is undoubtedly in a better position to write a biography. But the close association with the issue can also lead to a bias in the biographer's account. Thus, the biographer must maintain a detached attitude towards the subject.
A good biography should discuss and describe the life of a real person. It should narrate the story in a way that captivates you. Biography, as a genre, is non-fiction, so the information provided in the book must be backed by facts from reliable sources. The incidents and dialogues must be taken from first-person accounts as much as possible.
It is also important to know the time the person lived in. Many behaviour and incidents can be understood only by knowing the era the person belonged to. So, the writer must also tell you exactly the life situations around the inspiring personality were. Finally, the author must not try and carve the inspirer's image as a mythological or superhero figure as you would have a hard time relating to the person then.
"Character and exploits are for the biographical purposes inseparable," says Sir Sidney Lee, the famous 20th century English biographer. It is important to remember that a biography is not merely a collection of events in a person's life but also a work of art.
Thus, good biography is the study of a person's achievements (and failures) and personality. It can leave a lasting impression on the reader's mind only when a perfect synthesis between the two has been achieved.
Many talk about the benefits of reading but not many talks about the 'scientific benefits of reading.' Here, check out the information on:
Reading opens up your mind to so many new possibilities. It also gives you unmatched perspective on various things. If you are not a regular reader but want to start reading avidly, make sure you pick a genre first. We have a few articles from various genres here that can be a good start for you. Take help of our deep research into picking the best books for you, and make it a habit to read a little everyday.
Books have the power to uplift, inspire, and push you to break the shackles in your life. Every successful person emphasizes on the power of reading. Reading biographies, especially, make you feel like you are in control of your own destiny. There are people out there who have used chaos to become the best versions of themselves, so you can do it too.
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