This Best Selling Biographies Page contains a growing list of our favorite Biography Books for you whole family!
We love reading biographies because they are a great way to be inspired to achieve things we never dreamed possible. We especially like reading about men and women, past and present, who have overcome great obstacles and reached success.
Best Selling Biographies #1 – Lincoln the Unknown by Dale Carnegie
We love biographies and the book, “Lincoln the Unknown” caught our attention while reading “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”
Dale Carnegie spent ten years researching the life of Abraham Lincoln. Carnegie lived in Springfield, Illinois in the 1920s and spoke with people who actually knew the President. He presents an unvarnished view of Lincoln’s hard life, his work ethic, his desire to learn and his political aspirations.
What amazed us most is that Lincoln never really wanted to be President. He was content helping poor people get the legal protection they needed. He was a very simple man who was coerced into marrying a complicated, wounded woman. Mary was ambitious to marry a man who would become The President of the United States.
His melancholy countenance was precipitated by many of the issues that stemmed from an unhappy marriage. He loved his children, loved spending time with friends and loved telling a good story.
The Lincoln’s Frugality
From a financial perspective, Mrs. Lincoln was a spend-thrift and her husband was frugal to the bone. Having grown up in poverty his needs were very simple. As a result of their very different backgrounds, much conflict arose.
You’ll find his path to the White House intriguing. Lincoln was nominated for President because of the animosity a publisher had for a front-running candidate. He was also nominated because a delayed vote happened at the Republican convention. Some call it chance, others call it Providence. Read this book and you can decide for yourself. This book is wonderfully written and full of stories that we had never heard before. If you love history and love our 16th President, you’ll absolutely love this book.
Best Selling Biographies #2 – The Essential Abraham Lincoln by John Gabriel Hunt
The Essential Abraham Lincoln is not so much a biography as it is a compilation of personal letters, speeches, letters to the editor of various newspapers and letters to political affiliates that Abraham Lincoln wrote throughout his life. The earliest speech that appears in the book is from March 9 of 1832. Lincoln is addressing the people of Sangamon County, Illinois as he was a candidate for the House of Representatives for the sate of Illinois. There are letters addressing the issue of Temperance, Dueling with Pistols and several letters to his good friend Joshua F. Speed where he discusses a number of personal issues.
Lincoln’s Writing Style
The amazing thing about this book is how it reveals Lincoln’s absolute genius at reasoning and arguing, and his fantastic command of the English language. Some of his reasoning was hard to understand during a first read but became clearer after a second review. But the book also reveals Lincoln’s ability to write in the simplest of terms to friends and family. He writes in tender and touching sentences that show his heart and his ability to communicate in a way that the other person can understand.
Letters from President Lincoln
Some of the most amazing letters are from the White House to various people including General Ulysses S. Grant, General William T. Sherman, Horace Greeley and Mary Todd Lincoln. It is fascinating to read his thoughts and directives to subordinates and how carefully worded his communications are.
We love biographies, but biographers often spin the story based on their preconceived impressions of the person about whom they are writing. The Essential Abraham Lincoln is raw Lincoln and leaves the reader to develop their own opinion about the character and motivations of Lincoln. If you are a Lincoln buff, you are going to love this book – it’s a must read!
If you like rags to riches stories; if you like love stories; and if you like listening to the radio; you’ll love Good Day! The Paul Harvey Story. Paul Harvey was a radio legend. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1918 as Paul Harvey Aurandt, he struggled through the murder of his father. Paul was raised by a single mother who loved him unconditionally. But he experienced a childhood of poverty and attempted to eek out a living without a college education.
None of these facts deterred the indomitable young Paul. His high school drama teacher got him his first job in radio. But when he was told that he was no good as a radio voice because his delivery was too “quirky” he left that radio station and moved to another. Paul always strived for excellence and always appeared for work looking professional. Throughout his young adult years, he moved from radio station to radio station honing his craft.
Eventually, he met the love of his life, his sweet Angel, Evelyn Cooper, who was to be his confidant, producer, manager and number one fan for the next 68 years.
We Talked to Paul Harvey
We love this book, not only for the story it tells but for the man who lived the story. Our paths never crossed with Paul Harvey in person, but we did have the opportunity to speak with this kind, gentle-man on the phone when we were in the process of finishing the edits on our first book. His gracious demeanor and kind words will ever remain in our hearts and minds.
From what we read in Good Day, we are not the only people Paul Harvey treated with grace and respect. This was truly his character with everyone he met. So great was his life story that our copy of this book is dog-eared and underlined. He truly was a great American and a great example of a gentleman. We miss hearing Paul Harvey on the radio but are sure that his reunion in Heaven with his “Angel” was one for the ages.
If you want to be inspired, encouraged and motivated to stand for what you believe in, read Good Day!
Best Selling Biographies #4 – By Faith, Not By Sight by Scott Douglas MacIntyre
We’ve known Scott Macintyre and his singing family since 1999 well before he became a national phenomenon and finalist on American Idol.
In Scott’s book By Faith, Not By Sight, you’ll read the behind the scenes story of triumph—Scott is an amazing student— and pain as he learns of a life-threatening illness that could have shattered all of his goals and dreams. His parents (Doug and Carole) are awesome and you’ll be inspired as you read about the obstacles they overcame. You also learn about the power that family, faith, and friends can have.
We are inspired by Scott’s story. It was wild to read about things we saw him go through, and then hearing his thoughts and other details we were unaware of as we read this book. You’ll be inspired too, that in spite your obstacles you can still accomplish great things, unbelievable things. That’s what we think of when we see and talk with Scott. He’s walking by faith, not by sight.
Scott MacIntyre and American Idol
Scott Macintyre captivated the nation as the first blind finalist on American Idol. As an acclaimed singer-songwriter, he has toured in arenas across North America, headlined concerts in Japan, Austria, England, Canada, and the US, and written and released his 2010 CD Heartstrings (Heartstrings – Scott Douglas MacIntyre).
As an in-demand inspirational keynote speaker, Scott has shared his unique and dynamic life story with many different audiences.
Scott has partnered with Donate Life America — the group that helped to saved his life with a new kidney.
See some of Scotts clips from American Idol here.
Best Selling Biographies #5 – Squanto: Friend of the Pilgrims by Clyde Robert Bulla
This is an excellent chronicle of the life of Squanto, an American Indian who is used by God to save the lives of the pilgrims. Squanto — Friend of the Pilgrims is a compelling account and will be hard to put down. Only 112 pages, it is perfect for reading the week prior to Thanksgiving. Annette knows, because she just read through it this week. It traces Squanto’s life from a young child to his being travels in Europe.
Squanto went to Europe two different times, once as a slave and a second time by choice. As you will discover, Squanto’s difficult life was a blessing in disguise. He didn’t let his mistreatment by a few mean-spirited, white-men taint his view of all white-men in America. His command of the English language as a result of his years in Europe, and his care and devotion to the pilgrims, was nothing short of miraculous. Our kids have read this book and heartily endorse it.
We recently purchased a Focus on The Family Radio Theater dramatization (written by Paul McCusker) of the story and absolutely love it. It is EXCELLENT!! Great listening for road trips or just sitting in front of the fire.
Best Selling Biography #6 – The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokow
Even though you may not think these books relate directly to finances, they do. The Greatest Generation was comprised of the people that fought and were supporting the troops from home during World War II were forever changed by what they experienced. They were able to survive because of the strength of character they possessed. In fact, character qualities such as a strong work ethic, commitment, loyalty, faithfulness, and integrity are regularly evident in the stories that Brokaw recounts in this book.
These same character qualities, when applied to personal finances produce great dividends, not only in your bank balance but in personal relationships. These people – and maybe some of you – were, in a large part, responsible for changing and growing America into the great country that it is today. Had their character been any less deep-seated, we wouldn’t be the “Shining city on a hill,” that Ronald Reagan spoke of. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll truly be inspired to hold to the principals that these veteran’s lives represent.
Brokaw was born in Webster, South Dakota in 1940 and married his high-school sweetheart, Meredith, in 1962. They have three daughters. Tom Brokaw was the Anchor and Managing Editor of the NBC Nightly News. His television journalism career started in 1962 at KMTV in Omaha, Nebraska. From 1973 to 1976 he was NBC’s White House correspondent. He has worked at NBC for over thirty years. He also authored a sequel, The Greatest Generation Speaks.
Best Selling Biography #7 – My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business by Dick Van Dyke
My Lucky Life is a great book about Dick Van Dyke and written by himself. Dick shares about his childhood growing up in a small town in the midwest. He got his his start doing drama in school and working at a radio station. He then had a two man traveling act called the Merry Mutes. From there he got a break staring in a Broadway show called Bye Bye Birdie. Dick is well know for his TV sitcom The Dick Van Dyke show as Rob Petrie. And of course there is an all star cast including Mary Tyler Moore.
He shares all the folks that played a role in his life during his climb to stardom. Dick also shares family details and many details about his personal life. He is truly a likable guy. You will enjoy reading this biography and so glad you picked it up to read.
If you have a favorite Biography, please mention it in the comment section and we’ll consider it for this page.