10 impressive biographies you should have read

Last Modified: 4th Apr

World-famous personalities such as Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, and Michelle Obama are at the centre of impressive biographies. The books, which are usually extensive, trace personal lives and provide an intimate look at the person they illuminate.

Lesser-known people such as Yusra Mardini or Bernadine Evaristo have also managed to change the world in their own way. Above all, their biographies tell of activism and the strong will to make a difference.

We show you ten impressive biographies that everyone should read.

The best biographies tell the stories of impressive personalities - be they politicians, world stars, or human rights activists. Mankind is fascinated by their inventions, their deeds, or their wise words. But what are the stories and events that have made these people the people they are? And what inspires them to continue to be successful or to stand up for their values? Answers to these questions are provided by biographies that deal with personalities such as Elon Musk, Michelle Obama, or Steve Jobs. Which ones should you definitely read because they are particularly motivating and impressive?

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Here are the 10 best biographies:

1. “I am Malala” by Malala Yousafzai

At the age of 17, Malala Yousafzai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize because she was prepared to pay a high price for her belief in equal rights and education for women. She grew up as a young activist in the Swat Valley in Pakistan. When one day the school bus she was traveling in was stopped by the Taliban, her life changed drastically. The Taliban have also heard about her activism and set out to find her. In the blink of an eye, Malala is hit directly in the face by two bullets. With her biography, the young woman decides to speak out now more than ever.

2. "Elon Musk" by Walter Isaacson

For two years, successful author Walter Isaacson was able to follow Elon Musk every step of the way. His new biography is an exciting insider's account that shows him up close and from different perspectives. The biography provides insights into Musk's childhood, his relationships, motivations, and business decisions, such as the purchase of Twitter. It also tells an astonishing story of success and asks what really drives the visionary Elon Musk.

3. "Butterfly" by Yusra Mardini

When a refugee boat on its way to the Greek island of Lesbos threatens to sink, the then 17-year-old swimmer Yusra Mardini jumps into the water with her sister. Together, they pulled the boat to the mainland for several hours and rescued the people who had escaped. Yusra then went on to compete in the 2016 Summer Olympics - this biography tells her story.

4. "Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson

Steve Jobs revolutionized the IT industry. iPod, iPad, iPhone, and iMac have made him a style icon of the IT age. Despite economic and personal crises, he made Apple a huge success. But who was Steve Jobs? For this biography, Walter Isaacson was able to spend many years at Steve Jobs' side and speak to him, his family, his companions, and also his rivals.

5. "Becoming" by Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama was the first African-American woman to become First Lady of the United States of America. But she has achieved much more: she is a lawyer, is committed to the rights of women and girls around the world, campaigns for a healthier and more active life for children, and is also the mother of two daughters, whom she had to raise in the spotlight. In her autobiography, she talks about her childhood in Chicago, her time at college, how she met her husband, and why she was not at all thrilled when he decided to go into politics.

6. "A Promised Land" by Barack Obama

In his autobiography, Barack Obama describes his presidency of the United States from 2009 to 2011, providing an intimate look at his experiences and thoughts during his time in office, including his efforts on healthcare reform, the killing of Osama bin Laden, and the challenges of working with Congress. The biography also provides insight into Obama's personal life, including his relationship with his wife Michelle Obama, and his daughters.

7. "Shoe Dog" by Phil Knight

In his autobiography "Shoe Dog", Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, describes the experiences and challenges of founding and building his company. He also takes a look at his relationships with other important personalities in the world of sports and business. The book offers an insight into the world of entrepreneurship and is well worth reading for anyone interested in the history of Nike.

8. "Manifesto" by Bernardine Evaristo

In "Manifesto", writer Bernardine Evaristo goes through the stages of her life. As a black, lesbian woman who grew up in the precarious conditions of poor South London, she fought against stigma for decades. She also spent her life campaigning for diversity, tolerance, and freedom. She talks about the highs and lows and how she eventually became the first black woman to win the internationally recognized Booker Prize.

9. "Too much and never enough" by Mary L. Trump

Mary L. Trump, the niece of Donald Trump, deals in her biography with the Trump family, but especially with her famous uncle, the former US president. In her book, the doctor of clinical psychology describes how her relatives created "the most dangerous man in the world". The book offers a unique insight into the Trump family and Donald Trump's personality.

10. "Jewish Fetish" by Deborah Feldman

After her great success "Unorthodox", Deborah Feldman has now published a new autobiographical story. This time, the Jewish woman who emigrated from the USA talks about her life in Berlin. What does "being Jewish" mean in general and what does it mean for a woman who was raised by Holocaust survivors and now lives in Germany? Feldman makes an honest plea for more togetherness and raises thoughts about the meaning of identity that are definitely worth thinking about. 

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