Me and biography

Talk about neat
Talk about neat

This barn and other outbuildings are in such good condition, I wonder why other farmers don’t do the same. But maybe if they did, they wouldn’t have time to farm.


The first biographies that I remember reading were written (probably) in the 1950’s. There was a series of biographies about famous Americans, such as George Washington. The¬†books were written for youth. At least that’s where I found them, in the youth section of the library. I remember that they were hardback books with blue covers. Back then, paperback books were aimed at the adult crowd. I believe that I read every one of those blue bound books that the LaPorte County library had. That’s what got me started on biographies.

After I outgrew those books, I put aside biographies unless they were required reading for a class. There was too much good fiction around to fill my spare reading time. But at some point, when I was in high school, I picked up a copy of I Kid You Not by Jack Paar. There were some great stories in that book. From there I went on to a regular on Paar’s Tonight Show, Alexander King. First I read Mine Enemy Grows Older, and then May This House Be Safe From Tigers. I’m not sure how much of King’s books were true, but they were good reads. Thus, I went from historical biography to celebrity biography.

When I got to college I again put aside biography except for required reading. That carried on until I was in the army, stationed in Heidelberg. I stayed mainly with fiction. Fantasy, pulp fiction, and spy novels topped my reading lists. But I also bought a copy of The Seven Pillars Of Wisdom, T.E. Lawrence’s autobiography. I developed a love/hate relationship with that book. I would start reading it, get around fifty pages into it, and then put it aside because…well, because…I’m not sure why, but I couldn’t get into the book. Six to nine months later I would pick up the book again and go through the same sequence. By the time my third attempt at the book came around, I was out of the army, and in grad school. I tried at least three more times¬† while I was still in school, out of school, and working for the state while living in Auburn.

And then, at a point when I was dating nobody (which may be significant), I opened the book again, and I sped through it, relishing the words. I must have grown up somewhat.

Since then, historical biographies, political biographies, and more celebrity biographies have become a regular part of my reading. I still read more fiction, especially mysteries, but I’m always on the lookout for the biography of someone who interests me. Right now I’m about half way through a biography of Elizabeth I. After that…who knows.