Memoirs · Non-Fiction

Autobiographies | Book Reviews

I’m a huge fan of reading biographies or autobiographies. It’s incredibly interesting to read about how different people confronted their lives in their respective eras. Today, I’m going to be listing three autobiographies that I absolutely loved!

#1 The Diary Of A Young Girl by Anne Frank

1947 first edition.
Image Source: Wikipedia

This is not a biography, rather it’s a collection of writings from the diary Anne kept while in hiding during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. This book was the perfect combination of just about everything. I read it when I was 11 and then again at 15 and I found it thought provoking both times, even more at 15. The way she describes her days in the Annexe, her sarcastic tone of both speaking and writing, her coming of age thoughts; they are all wonderfully written echoing the young writer that dwelled in her. There were quite a few profound statements and at times, the child in her peeked through too. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone. It’s an authentic and heartfelt account of the holocaust from a young girl’s perspective.

It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”
― Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

#The Story OF My Life by Helen Keller

Image Source: Wikipedia

Yet another incredibly deep and wonderfully penned book, Helen Keller’s autobiography was a piece of art in itself. It was a journey of discovery to read and another one of exploration to ponder on it. As a writer, her words have a beautiful flow and depth to them. As a blind and deaf person, she has described in detail how the transition felt for her. The most moving of all was of course, her accounts of her days with her teacher Miss Anne Sullivan. A remarkable woman, Anne Sullivan’s methods of teaching and dealing with young Helen were pioneering in themselves. Again, this is a must read for everyone!

They took away what should have been my eyes (but I remembered Milton’s Paradise). They took away what should have been my ears, (Beethoven came and wiped away my tears) They took away what should have been my tongue, (but I had talked with god when I was young) He would not let them take away my soul, possessing that I still possess the whole.”
― Helen Keller, The Story of My Life

#3 Long Walk To Freedom by Nelson Mandela

Image Source: Wikipedia

A well known South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader and philanthropist, Nelson Mandela also served as the South African president from 1994 to 1999. His autobiography provides a deep insight into all aspects of his life beginning from his childhood. Mandela’s philosophies and perception of man are gems worth reading and provide a glimpse of how he perceived the people who practiced apartheid. His words echo his powerful patriotism and love for everyone. Here, he goes on to explain his political journey covering everything from his 27 years in prison to him becoming South Africa’s first black President.

I always knew that deep down in every human heart, there is mercy and generosity. No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite. Even in the grimmest times in prison, when my comrades and I were pushed to our limits, I would see a glimmer of humanity in one of the guards, perhaps just for a second, but it was enough to reassure me and keep me going. Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

On a side note, this blog hasn’t been quite active as of late. Something which was obviously coming, I am going to take a short hiatus from this blog till January 2021. I hope to write more consistent reviews next year!

Coming back to the post, how many of these books have you read? What were your takes on them? Thank you so much for reading!


Previously on Random Specific Thoughts (my creative writing blog):
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22 thoughts on “Autobiographies | Book Reviews

  1. Hey D!
    (Sorry, I’m very very late)
    I totally agree with you on the Diary Of A Young Girl. Anne’s perspective of the Nazis, especially in the beginning, was nonchalant. As life changed in the Annexe, (life in the Secret Annexe is suspiciously like that of quarantine. Except a lot more scarier)Anne’s view changes. It’s interesting to see how a little girl grows into a bold, young lady. Anne grew so much in just 2 or 3 years. Pity she didn’t live longer…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s fine, Moi. I’m glad you agree. Well said! I wouldn’t say it was like quarantine since they weren’t exactly staying inside voluntarily, and they were in hiding.
      It is indeed interesting to read and experience how she grows.
      Thank you for reading. Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t say that I have read any autobiographies, sadly. However, it does seem like an interesting venture. Personally, I would probably start with some 50s stars or something.😎

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you liked it, Cari! That’s wonderful! It’s incredible to read and get to know more about such remarkable people and their lives. That sounds great! Hope you read it soon! Thank you so much for reading!!✨

      Like

  3. This is super cool! I love biographies and autobiographies, too! Though lately I’ve sorta been draw away from them and focusing more on fiction.
    Really want to pick on up and read one now, though.
    Very nice post. Thanks 4 sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

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