Top Ten Autobiographies and Biographies of 2013

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The Black Russian by Vladimir Alexandrov


A biography of the Mississippi-born entrepreneur who found a new life as an entrepreneur in Russia and Turkey during and immediately after the First World War. Full review...

The Spark: A Mother's Story of Nurturing Genius by Kristine Barnett


A mother's account of raising a son with advanced cognitive abilities and helping him to realise his potential. Full review...

Empress Dowager Cixi by Jung Chang


Jung Chang presents an extensively researched account of the life and times of Dowager Empress Cixi, a monumental figure in both Chinese and world history, responsible for instigating China's transition from medievalism to the modern age. Full review...

Judith Kerr's Creatures: A Celebration of the Life and Work of Judith Kerr by Judith Kerr


Judith's own story, told with humour and honesty - and her art. It's a gem of a book to treasure. Highly recommended. Full review...

Red Love: The Story of an East German Family by Maxim Leo


Life in a Socialist police state has never been as perceptively looked back on as here. Full review...

The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson


A memoir by one of the youngest people on Oskar Schindler's list of Jews saved from the Nazis. Simply, but evocatively and heartbreakingly told, this is something that should be read by children and adults alike. Full review...

Magic Words: The Extraordinary Life of Alan Moore by Lance Parkin


Compelling in its level of detail, this book shows us why Alan Moore is held in such high esteem – and deserves nothing less itself. Full review...

Bertie: A Life of Edward VII by Jane Ridley


The first full biography of King Edward VII written for many years, with the aid of full access to papers from the Royal Archives and elsewhere. Full review...

What Fresh Lunacy is This?: The Authorised Biography of Oliver Reed by Robert Sellers


A biography of film star Oliver Reed, remembered for his off-screen antics as much as his acting, written with the aid of interviews with family, friends and peers. Full review...

Circulation: William Harvey's Revolutionary Idea by Thomas Wright


Excellent biography of English physician William Harvey, and exploration of the development of his theory of circulation. Full review...


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