It can be incredibly inspiring to read about famous people’s stories and experiences in life, their struggles, trials and tribulations – all of which makes them appear ‘more human’. An autobiography is a first hand narrative about the author written by the author. From Prince to Michelle Obama and Elton John, the Karma Group’s Book Curator, Philip Blackwell, shares his hot list of 10 must-read autobiographies.
1. The Mamba Mentality by Kobe Bryant
The Mamba Mentality takes us inside the mind of one of the most intelligent, analytical, and creative basketball players ever. In his own words, Bryant reveals his famously detailed approach and the steps he took to prepare mentally and physically to not just succeed at the game but to excel.
2. Becoming by Michelle Obama
As First Lady of the United States of America – the first African-American to serve in that role – she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history. With unerring honesty and integrity, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it – in her own words and on her own terms.
3. Me by Elton John
In Me, Elton John writes powerfully about his transformation from Reginald Dwight to international star. He talks about getting clean and changing his life, about finding love with David Furnish and becoming a father. In a voice that is humble and open, Elton speaks about his music, relationships, passions and mistakes. This is a story that will stay with you, by a living legend.
4. Lady in Waiting by Lady Anne Glenconner
From Maid of Honour at the Queen’s Coronation to Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret, Lady Glenconner is a unique witness to royal history, as well as an extraordinary survivor of a generation of aristocratic women trapped without inheritance and burdened with social expectations. Her complicated life is detailed by her here in all of its glamour, excess and pain.
5. Our House is on Fire by The Thunberg Family
This is the story of a family whose life suddenly fell apart, as their eleven-year-old daughter, Greta, stopped speaking and eating, and her younger sister struggled to cope. They desperately searched for answers and began to see how their children’s suffering reached beyond medical diagnoses. It is a parable of hope and determination in an emergency that affects us all.
6. The Book of Joy by Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu
Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama have been friends for many, many years. Between them, they have endured exile, violence and oppression. And in the face of these hardships, they have continued to radiate compassion, humour and above all, joy. This book is a gift from two of the most important spiritual figures of our time. Full of love, warmth and hope.
7. An Improbable Life by Sir Trevor McDonald
In An Improbable Life, Sir Trevor recounts his personal experience of world events and interviews with globally famous – or notorious – figures. He has witnessed war and death and risked his own life to meet and talk with despots and liberators. Engaging, intimate and moving, this is the life story of an exceptional journalist and broadcaster who over decades has expertly revealed to us history in the making.
8. Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking
Wide-ranging, intellectually stimulating, passionately argued and infused with his characteristic humour, this is the final, personal book from one of the greatest and most renowned minds in history. Brief Answer is Hawking’s personal view on the challenges we face as a human race including climate change and scientific endeavour, and he inspects in detail where we, as a planet, are heading next.
9. Home Work by Julie Andrews
In her new memoir, Julie Andrews picks up the story with her arrival in Hollywood and her astonishing rise to fame as two of her early films -Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music- brought her instant and enormous success, including an Oscar. It was the beginning of a career that would make Julie Andrews an icon to millions the world over.
10. The Beautiful Ones by Prince
From Prince himself comes the brilliant coming-of-age-and-into-superstardom story of one of the greatest artists of all time―featuring never-before-seen photos, original scrapbooks and lyric sheets, and the exquisite memoir he began writing before his tragic death in 2016. This work is not just a tribute to Prince, but an original and energizing literary work, full vision, voice and beauty.