The best biographies for sheer inspiration

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a man who has led two lives. The first was as a junk dealer’s son from Buffalo, New York, who worked his tail off in school, won a full scholarship to Columbia University in 1958, and began dreaming of entering politics and someday becoming governor of New York State. The second life arrived suddenly during the third semester of my junior year when blindness seemed to rob me of my dreams. It didn’t, and along with dear friends and a loving family, these biographies have played a central role in keeping my dreams alive.


I wrote...

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend: How Daring Dreams and Unyielding Friendship Turned One Man's Blindness into an Extraordinary Vision for Life

By Sanford D. Greenberg,

Book cover of Hello Darkness, My Old Friend: How Daring Dreams and Unyielding Friendship Turned One Man's Blindness into an Extraordinary Vision for Life

What is my book about?

It’s a memoir built around a tragic event—the day in February 1961 when a Detroit surgeon blinded me ironically to save my eyes—but it is far from a tragic tale. My future wife, Sue, my college roommate Art Garfunkel, and others got me back on my feet and helped me find my way from there. Today, I consider myself, as did Lou Gehrig in his distress, “the luckiest man in the world.” That’s the story I tell, in part to understand my own life and in part to encourage others. It's also available in a Young Adult edition.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Churchill: A Life

Sanford D. Greenberg Why did I love this book?

“I esteem biography,” Samuel Johnson once said, “as giving us what comes near to ourselves, what we can turn to use.” None of us is ever likely to be called upon to save Western democracy, as Winston Churchill was. But democracy can use some help these days, and all of us can be inspired by the absolute boldness Churchill showed when Great Britain was facing its darkest hour.

By Martin Gilbert,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Churchill as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This edition of the highly acclaimed one-volume Churchill: A Life, is the story of adventure. It follows Winston Churchill from his earliest days to his moments of triumph. Here, the drama and excitement of his story are ever-present, as are his tremendous qualities in peace and war, not least as an orator and as a man of vision. Martin Gilbert gives us a vivid portrait, using Churchill's most personal letters and the recollections of his contemporaries, both friends and enemies, to go behind the scenes of some of the stormiest and most fascinating political events of our time, dominated by…


Book cover of Leonardo Da Vinci

Sanford D. Greenberg Why did I love this book?

Walter Isaacson’s biography left me in a constant state of awe. How in the world could one human being accomplish all that Da Vinci did, across so many fields of endeavor, in a single human lifetime? Ultimately what I took away from this book is how limitless human potential really is, especially if we pursue big dreams.

By Walter Isaacson,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Leonardo Da Vinci as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The #1 New York Times bestseller from Walter Isaacson brings Leonardo da Vinci to life in this exciting new biography that is "a study in creativity: how to define it, how to achieve it...Most important, it is a powerful story of an exhilarating mind and life" (The New Yorker).

Based on thousands of pages from Leonardo da Vinci's astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work, Walter Isaacson "deftly reveals an intimate Leonardo" (San Francisco Chronicle) in a narrative that connects his art to his science. He shows how Leonardo's genius was based on skills we can improve…


Book cover of Edison

Sanford D. Greenberg Why did I love this book?

Like Da Vinci, Thomas Edison was possessed of great genius, but the point Edmund Morris drives home so well is that Edison was also indefatigable. The Wizard of Menlo Park worked untold hours on end, often sleeping on a mat on the floor, hard by whatever his current project was. It’s such a simple concept—enormous work can lead to enormous accomplishments—and Morris gives us a living example of one man whose work ethic changed civilization.

By Edmund Morris,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Edison as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edmund Morris comes a revelatory new biography of Thomas Alva Edison, the most prolific genius in American history.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Time • Publishers Weekly • Kirkus Reviews

Although Thomas Alva Edison was the most famous American of his time, and remains an international name today, he is mostly remembered only for the gift of universal electric light. His invention of the first practical incandescent lamp 140 years ago so dazzled the world—already reeling from his invention of the phonograph and dozens of other…


Book cover of Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life in American History

Sanford D. Greenberg Why did I love this book?

The Notorious RBG was my neighbor at the Watergate complex in Washington, DC, for forty years and my dear friend through all of them. I can still see her sitting on her patio, even with advanced cancer, contemplating the issues that shaped her own life and the nation’s: What is right? What is just? What is fair? Is it possible to spend a life any more usefully than that?

By Nancy Hendricks,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ruth Bader Ginsburg as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book offers both a biography of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, only the second-ever woman appointed to the Supreme Court, and a historical analysis of her impact.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life in American History explores Ginsburg's path to holding the highest position in the judicial branch of U.S. government as a Supreme Court justice for almost three decades. Readers will learn about the choices, challenges, and triumphs that this remarkable American has lived through, and about the values that shape the United States.

Ginsburg, sometimes referred to as "The Notorious RBG" or "RBG" was a professor of law, a member…


Book cover of The Path to Power

Sanford D. Greenberg Why did I love this book?

Great biographers never ignore the warts, and Lyndon Johnson—the subject of Robert Caro’s masterful quartet of biographies—had plenty of them. For starters, LBJ mishandled the war in Vietnam, for which history will never forgive him. But Johnson was also a stunning contradiction—a rural Texas conservative who did more for urban society than anyone in modern history—and an absolute force of nature. I served as a White House Fellow under him in 1966-67. Close to Johnson, you could sense his nobility.

By Robert A. Caro,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Path to Power as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'The greatest biography of our era ... Essential reading for those who want to comprehend power and politics' The Times

Robert A. Caro's legendary, multi-award-winning biography of US President Lyndon Johnson is a uniquely riveting and revelatory account of power, political genius and the shaping of twentieth-century America.

This first instalment tells of the rise to national power of a desperately poor young man from the Texas Hill Country, revealing in extraordinary detail the genesis of the almost superhuman drive, energy and ambition that set LBJ apart. It charts his boyhood through the years of the Depression to his debut…


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The Unproposed Guy

By Bhavik Sarkhedi, Suhana Bhambhani,

Book cover of The Unproposed Guy

Bhavik Sarkhedi Author Of The Unproposed Guy

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Wanderlust Film Aficionado Bibliophile Solo Traveler Movie Buff

Bhavik's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

The Unproposed Guy is a captivating journey through the life of Kevin, a character stuck in a mundane existence and unfulfilling relationships, who discovers his passion for stand-up comedy and rapping amidst an existential crisis.

This contemporary fiction is peppered with humor, sarcasm, and poignant insights into modern relationships and societal expectations. Kevin's struggles and transformations offer a unique blend of comedy and emotional depth, making it a must-read for those seeking a fresh, humorous perspective on love, life, and self-discovery. Dive into Kevin's character of failed relationship and who portrays himself as "Every guy's best friend and every girl's worst nightmare".

The Unproposed Guy

By Bhavik Sarkhedi, Suhana Bhambhani,

What is this book about?

There has been no significant change in the life of Kevin—a monotonous routine, ordinary family, and miserably failing relationships—until he finds out he is going through something abnormal: 'Existential Crisis'.

He has always been a marvellous entertainer, but has a mysterious way of putting off girls. The talent in him is growing creatively, and abundantly, but his inability to impress a girl keeps pulling him down slowly. He realises he can be any guy’s best friend, but he also seems to be every girl’s worst nightmare.

Hop onto the rollercoaster journey of Kevin’s life, as he navigates through mocking friends…


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