two great biographies

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(Hey, I’m back! Did ya miss me?)

I think I might’ve said before that sometimes biographies are more interesting than novels. I love reading about important people in history. I think it makes history come to life and seem a bit more real. Two great biographies I enjoyed and recommend (and actually got through in a reasonable amount of time, unlike some other bios I’ve attempted to read).

First up: Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie.
I don’t really know much about Russian history, aside from what I learned when I was on a World War 1 and 2 kick a few years back. (It was kind of an obsession.) This was a great book. In good biographies, they give you the life of the person as well as a historical backdrop of what was going on in the country or world at the time. Catherine’s life spanned decades of change, both in Russia and the world. Honestly, I don’t think I knew anything about Catherine before I picked this book up. Kings and queens intrigue me, except when the author decides to tell you a little too much about the monarch’s private life. Yeesh, I’ll pass, thanks.

Next: Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome’s Greatest Politician by Anthony Everitt.
Another obsession: Roman history. Yeah, I think I won’t ever grow out of it. Rome and its Empire are so much more fascinating than say, the Greeks. No offense, Greeks. Julius Caesar, Brutus, and Augustus all kind of steal the limelight when it comes to famous Romans. Cicero was pretty amazing. He managed to survive revolution after revolution, only to fall after Caesar. Mr. Everitt was able to quote from many of Cicero’s letters in this biography, which is neat. There are all the principle players in the fall of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Empire. (That sounds like the name of a Star Wars movie.)

(I’m not going to post on Wednesday, seeing as it’s Ash Wednesday. I will be back on Friday for YarnAlong.)

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