I'm participating today in Booking Through Thursday, and the question is:
There are so many crappy biographies … would you rather read a poorly-written biography of a fascinating life, OR an exquisitely well-written, wonderful read of one of a not-so-interesting life?
I had to think about this for a minute. Biography (along with autobiography) is my second-favorite genre, after fiction.
I love to read about the lives of interesting people. Delving into how they were raised, what made them tick, how they rose to prominence...it all just fascinates me.
To get to those fascinating facts, I will, and have, read biographies that are written in a mediocre fashion.
But if I had my druthers, I'd want the best of both worlds: to read about the story of a fascinating person, written well by a wonderful author.
The images you see are two such biographies, albeit of two men who were vastly different. Jim Elliot, the missionary who lost his life bringing the gospel to the primitive Auca Indians, was a man who was sure of his faith and his destination.
Branwell Bronte was a tormented soul who was unable to attain success or happiness in this world.
Both books are brilliantly and compellingly written--prime examples of biographies of people who might not be in the highest strata of celebrity, but whose stories are written by master wordsmiths--Shadow of the Almighty by Elliot's widow, Elisabeth Elliot; The Infernal World of Branwell Bronte, by acclaimed novelist Daphne DuMaurier.
When I think of "crappy biographies," I think of those "unauthorized" paperbacks about Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga that you see at the grocery store. No, I won't be reading those. :)