Brief Biographies for Non-Fiction Readers

The CPL collection includes short biographies on major historical figures.  The Penguin Lives Series from publisher Penguin Random House is an innovative series that pairs celebrated writers with famous individuals who have shaped our thinking.  The broad and diverse subjects of these biographies come from around the world and from all walks of life.

Here is the complete list of the 28 ‘mini-biographies’ owned by the library:

Abraham Lincoln by Thomas Keneally
Andy Warhol by Wayne Koetenbaum
Branch Rickey by Jimmy Breslin
Buddha by Karen Armstrong
Crazy Horse by Larry McMurtry
Dante by R.W.B. Lewis
Elvis Presley by Bobbie Ann Mason
Frank Lloyd Wright by Ada Louise Huxtable
George Herbert Walker Bush by Tom Wicker
Herman Melville by Elizabeth Hardwick
Jane Austen by Carol Shields
Joan of Arc by Mary Gorden
Joseph Smith by Robert V. Remini
Julia Child by Laura Shapiro
Leonardo da Vinci by Sherwin B. Nuland
Mao Zedong by Jonathan Spence
Marcel Proust by Edmund White
Martin Luther by Martin Marty
Martin Luther King, Jr. by Marshall Frady
Mozart by Peter Gay
Napoleon by Paul Johnson
Pope John XXIII by Thomas Cahill
Robert E. Lee by Roy Blount, Jr.
Rosa Parks by Douglas Brinkley
Saint Augustine by Gary Wills
Simone Weil by Francine du Plessix Gray
Winston Churchill by John Keegan
Woodrow Wilson by Louis Auchincloss

They can be found on the Lower Level in the Biography section.

From the Reference Desk : Penguin Lives Series

Do you want to get a good overview of the life of a famous historical figure but don’t have the time to plough through an 800 page book of his or her life?  Try some short biographies for easy reading this summer.  Penguin Group Book Publishers has published the “Penguin Lives Series,” and Cheshire Library owns 29 of the titles.  The average length of these books is under 200 pages.   This is a beautifully designed, innovative series of biographies pairing celebrated writers with famous individuals who have shaped our thinking.

biosHere is a sample of the wide variety of biography subjects available: Julia ChildElvis (Presley of course), Andy Warhol, Leonardo da Vinci, Frank Lloyd Wright, Robert E. Lee, Buddha, Mozart, and Crazy Horse.

For a complete listing of all of these titles, go to the library’s online catalog.  In the search box, enter penguin lives then choose the series tab.  All of these books are shelved in the biography section, located on the library’s lower level.