Thursday, April 30, 2009

The ABM Machine

Are you a fan of biographies, autobiographies and memoirs? I read them them on occasion but don't often go looking for them. I am, however, excited to read M.G. Vassanji's biography of Mordecai Richler that just came out last month:

Any favourites? Mine would have to be the Terry Sawchuk poetic biography, Night Work: The Sawchuk Poems by Randall Maggs, which is quite something considering I'm not all that into hockey and barely even heard of Sawchuk prior:

Of course, I still haven't read these yet, so my favourites may change:

Is there anyone out there that you'd like to read about but, perhaps surprisingly, no one has written about them yet? While I'm slightly ambivalent about her music, I think Jane Siberry/ Issa might be an interesting one.


Oil Can Boyd said...

Shakey by Jimmy McDonough on the man, Neil Young...
Meticulous, well-researched, honest, and very entertaining... He's got his biases sure -- loves Tonight's the Night, Zuma and On the Beach, while glossing over all his early commercial successes (Harvest, After the Goldrush)... but through interviews with seemingly anyone who crossed his path, paints Neil as the impulsive, awkward, honest loner he is

Remi said...

I just started into the Richler book.

A good biography of Kurt Vonnegut would be much appreciated. I am going to have to read Love as Always by Loree Rackstraw but that's a memoir and not a biography.

A biography of U. Utah Phillips could be a lot of fun.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I only recently started reading autobiographies, and found them surprisingly entertaining. although when you read someone like John Lydon's, you are never sure if you are getting truth or bullshit.

You know I would elbow little old ladies out of the way to get my hands on a Thom Yorke biography, if one ever surfaced. Bjork's would be pretty wild too.

John Mutford said...

Oil Can Boyd: I have that one on my wish list. Glad to hear you enjoyed it.

Remi: I admit having to Google Phillips. Done that, I must have come across his name before. Yes, I'd love to read a biography of him, for sure.

Barbara: It's hard to fully trust anyone's biases, auto or not, but yes, Lyndon hasn't exactly told us to trust his principles in the past. As for Bjork, there are a few biographies out there, but I don't know if they're any good. I'd definitely be interested in reading one.

Megan said...

I have Hasselhoff's autobiography. I'll lend it to you.

Stacy said...

I love them...some years they can make up half of my reading. I have a couple of favorites that I reread every so often: Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning (first half of the book is about his experiences during WWII) and Thomas Sowell's A Personal Oddysey. Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali and The Apprentice by Jacques Pepin follow close behind. Roald Dahl's Boy and Going Solo were fascinating, and one of the sweetest I ever read about chocolate and family is La Dolce Vita by Isabel Coe. Well I could go on and on but I don't want to leave my reading of Don't Hassel the Hoff for too long.

John Mutford said...

Megan: I thought you might. You can leave it on my doorstep and run away if you like. Not that I'm equating it with anything in particular.

Book Psmith: You just reminded me that I should add Satrapi's Persepolis as a favourite memoir, and Chester Brown's Louis Riel comic biography.

Melwyk said...

I agree, Night Work was a suprisingly good read (suprising to me mostly because I am not a hockey fan.

I would read a bio of Jane Siberry in a second! Good thought.