Biographies: How to choose the best in 2021
Today we are going to talk about one of the literary genres most sought by readers: biographies.
Books that tell the real story about the lives of personalities, and even ordinary people, the biographies inspire overcoming challenges and expand knowledge about different times and cultures.
Amid so many different themes, we will show in this article what you should take into account before buying the best biographies.
First, the most important
- A mixture of journalism, literature and history, in which the story of a person’s life is told, biographies tend to be among the best selling books.
- There are several themes of this kind, from biographies about entrepreneurs, artists, politicians and even ordinary people.
- We will show you what you need to know about biographies before buying the best available on the market.
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Ranking: The 3 best biographies
Biography books have a huge diversity of themes that can inspire all types of readers. For this reason, publishers invest in the stories of people from various segments.
In the following, we will present you the best biographies available on the market today.
To choose the biographies that will hold your attention from beginning to end, in addition to stimulating the expansion of your worldview, you need to consider some factors.
That’s why we created this Buying Guide with all the information you will need to make the best decision when buying biographies.
What are biographies?
Curiosity about other people’s lives is an ancient habit of humanity. But nowadays, especially with the internet and the constant appearance of “celebrities”, that interest is even greater.
Biographies help to satisfy this curiosity, since they are a non-fictional literary genre in which the author narrates the life story of one person or several people.
However, biographies weave paper that goes far beyond just satiating the curiosity of others.
Because it is based on documents, research and interviews, whether with the biographer himself or with friends and close relatives, biographies play a fundamental role in also reporting and recording historical facts of a time.
In other words, biographies are not limited to the narration of personal and intimate events. This literary genre also records an analysis of how the actions of the characters in the story influenced or were influenced by the events of the time in which the person lived.
Therefore, it is often learned more about history, political and social context through the stories told in the biographies, whether from celebrities, personalities, entrepreneurs, artists and even ordinary people.
In the biographies, the facts can be told in chronological order, from the birth of the biographer to the arrival of adulthood, with its successes and failures.
But it is also possible to find biographies that are written on topics such as, love, defeat, trauma and so on. Thus, in general, biographies contain the following characteristics:
- It is a narrative type text
- Events are, in general, narrated chronologically
- Biographies are written in third person
What are the types of biographies?
Biographical texts can differ according to the narrative focus, that is, depending on whether the book is written in first or third person. In addition, it is also possible to classify biographies on account of their length.
Thus, according to experts, the biographical genre can be divided into the following types: biographies, autobiographies and mini-biographies.
Did you know that many people known to the general public, who want to expose themselves through autobiographies, but have no literary skills, use a professional called the Ghostwriter. He writes the biography in an autobiographical tone, so that the authorship becomes the responsibility of the person being biographed.
As the name implies, mini-biographies are short and more concise biographies. In mini-biographies, only the most relevant aspects of someone’s life are presented.
Autobiographies are biographies written by the character of the story. This genre includes memories and letters, which reveal intimate feelings and the author’s own experience.
The following are the main characteristics that differentiate the types of biographical texts:
What are the differences between authorized and unauthorized biographies?
It turns out that at the same time that biographies generate passion and interest in readers, sometimes this type of book also arouses controversy.
This is because, in order for biographies to be published, there is no need for prior authorization from the person to be biographed, nor from the other people portrayed in the book.
This prior authorization would be a form of censorship, not being compatible with the freedom of expression enshrined in the Federal Constitution.
By law, there is no need for authorization from the biographer or family for the biographies to be published.
Thus, when biographies are published in this way, they are therefore considered unauthorized biographies. In general, these types of biographies are usually written by journalists or former confidants of the person in question.
But even so, often, the publication of unauthorized biographies involves legal, ethical and moral issues such as the right to privacy, freedom of information, defamation and copyright.
The fact is that unauthorized biographies usually expose facts (and even secrets) that the biographer does not want to make public. Not for nothing, unauthorized biographies tend to attract more interest from the reading public.
On the other hand, the authorized biographies present the “official version” of the life of the biographer, that is, there is usually no impartiality in the report since, in general, the information comes from the biographer himself.
Below are the main differences between authorized and unauthorized biographies:
Why should you read biographies?
The fact is that biographies are books that inspire and encourage change, both personal and professional.
By reading about how people faced difficulties, found solutions or influenced the world, readers broaden their worldview and feel motivated.
More than that, as we have seen, when reading biographies you also open yourself up to broaden knowledge about different times, cultures and thoughts than yours. This can happen with other types of books, but here the advantage is that the examples are real.
Therefore, reading biographies can offer you valuable life lessons such as:
- Knowledge : By reading biographies, you learn about the social, political and environmental conditions of the character in the story.
- Self- discovery: Through other people’s experiences we can discover more about ourselves.
- Broaden opinions : By reading biographies, you expand your concepts and opinions on some subjects.
- Lessons : Many of the biographies of notable people have lessons on fear of failure and overcoming, for example.
- Worldview : With biographies, you can approach social contexts very different from yours, expanding your worldview.
- Reading biographies is easy : Biography books are usually easier to read.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of biographies?
The advantages of biographies are numerous. In general, reading has a positive impact on our psychological and emotional well-being.
By reading biographies you can effectively help keep your brain active and improve the feeling of empathy about the events in someone else’s life.
In addition, another advantage of biographies is that this literary genre brings us closer to different contexts and thoughts, which helps to broaden the worldview and opinions on certain topics.
Knowing the biography of a personality also allows us to understand the time in which she lived, what made her famous, how she achieved success, her failures and failures, which can serve as an example.
Another advantage of biographies is that they portray the real life of people who have overcome obstacles or achieved success in their areas of expertise. Themes that can positively influence your life.
Whether through inspiration or examples, biographies usually act in the reader’s self-knowledge process. Another advantage, as we have seen, is that, in general, biography books are usually readable texts.
On the other hand, as there is a growing wave of new celebrities nowadays, biographies can also have some disadvantages.
Among the disadvantages of biographies is the fact that some books are very partial and portray only the positive facts of certain personalities, which can cause a feeling of frustration in the reader.
After all, the great highlight of the biographies is that this type of book exposes the biographer as an ordinary person, with challenges, pains, failures and overcoming.
Not to mention that, with the popularization of this genre, many authors have also emerged who are not always committed to the veracity and verification of the facts in relation to the person portrayed in history.
To give you an overview on this subject, the following are the main advantages and disadvantages of reading biographies:
- Inspires and expands world view
- Extends knowledge about history and political and social contexts
- Offers lessons on overcoming obstacles
- Improves cultural level
- It is easy to read
- Wide variety of themes
- Some texts are very partial
- Some authors are not committed to the facts
The price of biography books can vary widely depending on the size, quality of the paper and cover, the person portrayed, the author and the publisher. But in general, you will find biographies costing between R $ 6 and R $ 500.
You don’t have to buy the most expensive book of all. In general, the cheapest biographies are usually small, paperback books. And the most expensive are rare or even autographed editions.
Where to buy?
You will find Biography books for sale in bookstores, department stores and hypermarkets and Extra. But we still recommend that you make your purchase at online stores such as Amazon.
With this, you will have more options of themes and biographies to choose from and, often, for promotional prices. Not to mention that you still buy your book from home, quickly and conveniently.
Purchase criteria: What to consider before choosing the best biographies
As we have seen, biographies are books that can inspire you. But, precisely for this reason, attention is needed when choosing the ones that best suit what you aim to achieve.
As it has become a very popular genre, you will often find shallow and written biographies without the necessary commitment. To avoid this, it is essential that you analyze what differentiates one book from another, and what makes a biography really quality.
To help you, we have listed below the main factors that must be taken into account before purchasing biographies:
- Edition and Publisher
Below, we’ll explain each of these topics in detail so that you can choose and invest in the best biographies available today.
The first factor that you must take into consideration before purchasing biographies is the author. As we have seen, with the fever of biographies, the author is not always committed to the truth of the facts.
Therefore, we suggest that you evaluate the writer’s curriculum and his experience in the area of biographies. In general, the best authors of this genre are journalists, researchers, academics and those who have already published other biographical books.
This is because, the elaboration of a biography requires a deep study about the person and the time in which he lived.
This study can be conducted based on the analysis of documents and interviews, either with the subject himself or even with people who know him or her.
And this commitment to the quality and veracity of the facts can be made, even if the biography is of the unauthorized type. In case the biographies are a work translated from another language, it is important that you also check the work of the translator.
In general, the best translators are those who are already familiar with the theme / personality of the biographies.
Next, we recommend that you look at the subject of the biographies before purchasing the book. This factor is a very personal choice. Here, you will find a huge variety of topics such as:
- Personalities who changed the history of the world
- Ordinary people who have overcome obstacles and achieved success
Also check which is the best format of biographies for you to read. In this regard, you can opt for both printed and digital biographies.
There are those who prefer to read books in printed format, as this way, in addition to being able to store and display the work on the shelves, they can also have the pleasure of leafing through the book.
Some people also prefer biographies on paper to be able to emphasize passages that matter most. However, in general, printed biographies are often more expensive and often heavier. Therefore, it is also worth checking the dimensions of the biography books.
With larger and heavier books it is clear that there is a difficulty in transporting the work.
On the other hand, digital books are more practical. With the help of kindle , for example, you can read biographies anywhere, as the device is small and light.
In addition, ebook biographies also have the advantage of being purchased and read immediately. For example, if the biography has two volumes, you can start reading the second part immediately after finishing the first.
With regard to price, digital books are generally cheaper, since production costs are lower. But this is not a rule, so stay tuned.
Below, you can see the main advantages and disadvantages between biographies in printed and digital format:
Edition and Publisher
Finally, take into account the edition and publisher of the biography books. The year of publication can reveal the popularity of the work and also increase or decrease the price.
The publisher is responsible for the quality of the paper, the printing, the layout and, mainly, the revision of the texts. These factors can influence the pleasure and ease of reading.
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