September means summer is over, and for many people it also means reading habits are changing. No more beach books and vacation readings, make way for… whatever appeals to you. Or, just as likely, whatever you have time for.
One genre of non-fiction that never goes out of fashion is that of biographies, including autobiographies and memoirs. Prince William Public Libraries have historically published a wide variety of biographies of and about political leaders, public figures, celebrities, athletes and “ordinary” people who have experienced extraordinary things or lived remarkable lives.
Because so many biography topics are famous or notable for a particular area, era, or event, many biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs are cataloged based on career, vocation, or historical event or era they are associated with – or because there is sometimes a facet in a famous person’s life of particular interest.
Here are some recent biographical works that are not listed as “BIO” in our catalog.
“Madame: The Biography of Polly Adler, Icon of the Jazz Age”, by Debbie Applegate: In the 1920s, a woman named Pearl “Polly” Adler became a staple of New York City nightlife, and later gained national notoriety, for her unusual entrepreneurial endeavor.
She started and ran an infamous brothel that has become an institution on both the bohemian scene and the black market. Artist, writers, boxers and gangsters mingled in his brothel under his supervision.
Adler finally retired from her career as America’s most famous lady and wrote a book about her experiences. Today, author Debby Applegate brings her history and the world of the Jazz Age to life in New York City in “Madam: The Biography of Polly Adler, Icon of the Jazz Age”.
“Little Sister: My Investigation into the Mysterious Death of Natalie Wood”, by Lana Wood: IIt’s been more than four decades since legendary actress Natalie Wood drowned in circumstances that continue to mystify – and trouble – millions of people. Now her own sister, Lana Wood, has written an account of her own investigation in “Little Sister: My Investigation into the Mysterious Death of Natalie Wood”.
“You can’t be serious,” from Kal Penn: On a much lighter note, but still touching on serious issues, actor Kal Penn wrote a lifetime memoir that touches both his career in Hollywood and in politics and advocacy, including his experiences as child of immigrants and person of color trying to make it the entertainment business. “You Can’t Be Serious” is indeed sometimes very funny, but unlike the title, it is sometimes very serious.
“3 dimensions”, by Dwayne Wade: Retired NBA star Dwayne Wade is no stranger to stardom. Besides his own career as a top player winning championships and MVP awards, he is also married to actress Gabrielle Union.
In “3 Dimensional”, Wade joins forces with photographer Bob Metalus to produce a unique memory in words and images.
These are just a sample of the wide variety of books that show just how many different ways there are to approach writing someone’s life story – or part of it. this. Head to your local library and meet someone you’ve never heard of or learn things you never knew about a famous name.