Who doesn’t love getting books for Christmas? Here are a few recommended biographies for those hard-to-buy-for folks that accumulate on your list:
Becoming Nicole, by Amy Ellis Nutt
When one of their two-year-old adopted twin sons declares himself a boy-girl, it becomes clear that the Maines family is in for an interesting ride. This is a moving story of an extraordinary family and it illuminates a subject at the forefront of our cultural conversation. A great gift for anyone who has been a parent, found themselves outside social norms, or who wants to know more about the transgendered.
Elon Musk, by Ashlee Vance
Musk, inventor of the Tesla electric car, paypal, and SpaceX, is plainly a genius at the forefront of the tech revolution. This biography explores the maker-spirit of innovation that imbues his sometimes turbulent life, plus it’s a really good read. Santa recommends this one for all who liked Isaacson’s Steve Jobs, Moneyball by Michael Lewis, or anyone interested in technology.
The Girl with Seven Names, by Hyeonseo Lee
This compulsively readable memoir of a North Korean defector provides a different perspective than other books on this subject. Lee, from the privileged class, slipped across the border into China as a momentary act of teenage rebellion – then found she could not return. A terrific gift for those interested in international affairs, or in page-turning non-fiction.
A stranded vanload of puppies falls into Greg Mahle’s lap just as he finds himself at loose ends, and his life is changed forever. He becomes a dog rescuer, transporting abandoned strays from hard-luck neighbourhoods in the southern U.S. to “forever families” in the north. A heartwarming gift choice for any animal lovers on your list, particularly the dog people.
Open Heart, Open Mind, by Clara Hughes
A six-time Olympic champion, Hughes’ life appeared successful and vibrant. But as she matured she realized her extreme athletic ambition and party-hearty attitude were masking serious depression. Retiring from sports, she determined to heal herself – and emerged as a powerful advocate for mental health and other social causes. Recommended for sports aficionados, and anyone looking for an inspiring read.
Binge, by Tyler Oakley
Pop culture phenom and gay Youtube celebrity, Tyler Oakley, has penned a collection of biographical essays loosely linked together. Conversational in tone, Oakley lurches between honesty and absurdity giving the reader a hardcopy version of his online personality. A perfect gift for the plugged-in teen, particularly if they are part of the LGBTQ community.
Happy Shopping! Hope you get a parking space.