For the letter B I mixed two things I really enjoy. The first is Biography. Biographies have always appealed to me because they feed my appetite to know more about a person. They provide answers of behind the scenes influences and personal experiences of interesting people.
When I was 16 I worked as a page in a library. I floated around the library during the time that I worked there, but my primary places for re-shelving books were in the 800s (mainly classic literature and poetry), 900s (history and biographies) and in the children's area.
The library manager knew that I wanted to be a writer someday and I think he placed me in those spots as his own immersion attempt. Every day I was surrounded by powerful people, important influencers and exceptional talent. These books became my friends, the biography section my home away from home.
My reading choice for this category is obvious to anyone that knows me. I love Louisa May Alcott and am greatly inspired by her writing.
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I always knew that I loved Louisa May Alcott. What I didn't know is that I also loved Marmee.
Oh, I loved the character "Marmee" in Little Women, but I didn't realize how real this larger than life character was.
Abigail May Alcott was a huge inspiration to her daughter and in The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother: Marmee & Louisa clarity is given to the personality traits she skillfully embedded in her daughter's spirit.
What can be better than hearing a story firsthand?
In this expansive biography you can learn all about Abigail from the pages of her own journal.
The Author, Eve LaPlante, is family to Abigail and stumbled across some journals kept by her. Imagine such an extraordinary find.
With personal family stories and direct text written in Abigail's own voice, readers and fans come to know Louisa's mother in a personal way.
Reading this biography brings a deeper understanding of Louisa and her writings.
So many of the events, stories, people, personalities and experiences are dramatically similar to events and characters that eventually land on the pages of Louisa's books. There is no mistaking the sly sneaking of her own life onto the pages and plot of her stories.
After knowing the sources of her influences it isn't surprising that she embedded them in her work. She was surrounded by a lot of wisdom and personality to pull from and it would have been almost a crime not to catalog them in her fiction somehow.
As a writer, I found deeper respect for the art of writing life. Louisa writes inspired by life but her work is also fiction. It takes skill to incorporate real family events in a way that is original and separate. Her writing reflects her own life without copying it entirely. It's just enough, a complete balance that earns her work even more respect.
As a mother, I am overwhelmed by the beauty of Abigail's strength and her nurturing influence that shaped her daughter (by example and education) into a writer we all admire.
Do you have a favorite biography? Is there anyone that you would like to learn more about by reading a biography? If so, please don't hesitate to share in the comments section below.