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#594427 - 04/06/10 08:17 AM Does anyone read memoirs or autobiographies?
kkgarcia Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Newbie

Registered: 10/21/09
Posts: 15
I have been reading alot of these types of books ~ In fact the two books for the Journals Book Club this month are both diaries.

I am learning so much about the different styles of writing and how my journaling can change the lives of those around me if I want to see them as an extension of who I am.

What do you think of when asked about memoirs or autobiographies?

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#594433 - 04/06/10 08:26 AM Re: Does anyone read memoirs or autobiographies? [Re: kkgarcia]
Lori - Marriage Offline
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Koala

Registered: 11/26/09
Posts: 2691
Loc: Orange, CA USA
I love to read biographies, memoirs and autobiographies! There are pros and cons to the autobiography, I think. You'll obviously get subjective content. Biographies tend to use various sources for a more balanced view. Autobiographies will include only what the author wants you to read about his life.

But what I love about them is that you get the full internal emotional landscape of the author's mind to which a biographer is not privvy. What was this person feeling? What were his thoughts? Biographies tend to include only events of a person's life. An autobiography includes so much more. With an emotional authenticity that can't be duplicated by anyone else but the author.

When I read them, I wonder why I do not keep a journal for very long. Perhaps I add too many unnecessary things in them and it ends up taking two hours a day to write in it.
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#594446 - 04/06/10 09:56 AM Re: Does anyone read memoirs or autobiographies? [Re: Lori - Marriage]
YogaEditor Offline
Gecko

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 489
I do. One of my favorites is "Tis Herself" by Maureen O'Hara. Fascinating woman. I love reading how a person got the idea to become something or whether it just sort of happened. And I love the differences in periods. People who grew up before computers and TV lived a quieter life I think.

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Nancy Welker
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#594470 - 04/06/10 11:04 AM Re: Does anyone read memoirs or autobiographies? [Re: YogaEditor]
Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames Offline
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Highest Posting Power Known to Humanity

Registered: 01/04/04
Posts: 22515
My father reads these all the time, and he enjoys them a lot. Right now my own reading backlog is HUGE with all the review books I have to get through so I don't get to choose what I read smile Maybe someday I will catch up.

I agree that both types of books are very valuable, and that they have different reasons for being great to read. If I was going to sway, I would personally sway towards the autobiography because I want to hear their inner thoughts.
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#594480 - 04/06/10 12:06 PM Re: Does anyone read memoirs or autobiographies? [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]
Silverwolf Offline
Shark

Registered: 07/08/08
Posts: 228
Loc: Bellingham, Washington, USA
I find autobiographies of sports personalities a mixed batch. Some are good, others bland, especially of pro wrestlers. Autobiographies of politicians is at times pretty interesting such as Harold Ickes' Diaries - the three volumes gives a good deal of inside information about FDR and his policies and decision making style. I agree that most autobiographies are more one sided and tend to dismiss any controversial subjects as sensationalism or overly excessive media hype.Most biographers do a better job of being more objective and searching out sources for the darker side of their subjects. But there are exceptions like Paul "Red" Fay's book on JFK - The Pleasure of His Company - which was pretty much just a biography of an old friend without picking on any faults.

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#594496 - 04/06/10 03:01 PM Re: Does anyone read memoirs or autobiographies? [Re: Silverwolf]
Jilly Offline
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Registered: 02/26/03
Posts: 14392
Loc: Verde Valley, AZ
I enjoy memoirs - a lot of the books i read for Amazon are memoirs. They tend to be easy reads. smile

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#594602 - 04/07/10 09:47 AM Re: Does anyone read memoirs or autobiographies? [Re: Jilly]
Lori - Marriage Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Koala

Registered: 11/26/09
Posts: 2691
Loc: Orange, CA USA
True, Jilly. I just read Queen Latifah's autobiography. It's short because, well, she's still young with a lot of living left to do.

I remember reading Dan Quail's memoirs and couldn't help but feel some sympathy for the guy after all the media and Washington put him through, especially mean and conniving old Bob Dole.

And although we may never have autobiographies written by historical notables, I appreciate when a biographer includes writings from a diary, letters, memos, etc. that give some indication of the person's private thoughts. I was amazed, for example, by Abraham Lincoln's vivid and prophetic dreams that often helped guide his weighty decisions for the country.

I was inspired by Dorothea Dix's pioneering work for the mentally ill and how it is paradoxical that a seemingly hard woman could have such deep compassion for those on the fringes of socity. And how Ghandi, despite his stand for non-violence, struggled with his frustration with his own wife and kicked her.

There's so much to be learned from other people's lives.


Edited by Chi-Japanese Food (04/07/10 09:48 AM)
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Lori Phillips
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#594682 - 04/07/10 02:29 PM Re: Does anyone read memoirs or autobiographies? [Re: Lori - Marriage]
Dreamingfish Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/25/10
Posts: 12
Loc: Seattle, WA
I often enjoy memoirs but there's so many on the market these days it's hard to pick. If anyone has a recommended memoir, please post it here so I can check it out. I recently enjoyed "Eat Pray Love" along with everyone else on Earth. :)

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#595215 - 04/10/10 10:40 PM Re: Does anyone read memoirs or autobiographies? [Re: Dreamingfish]
Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Highest Posting Power Known to Humanity

Registered: 01/04/04
Posts: 22515
If you haven't tried audio books yet, I highly recommend them. They're a great way to get involved in a story while you drive or take a bus or even go for a walk!
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#602146 - 05/26/10 02:28 PM Re: Does anyone read memoirs or autobiographies? [Re: Lisa LowCarb / VideoGames]
sarahredhawk5 Offline
Jellyfish

Registered: 09/07/09
Posts: 169
Loc: Niagara Falls,NY USA
I love memiors and autobiographies especially of the old film stars.
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