2020 Biographies & Memoirs – Part Three

Part three of three of my biography and memoir reads from 2020! These include some heavier reads but all were incredibly inspirational and revealed a different side of personalities I have looked up to for many years!

Steve Jobs – Walter Isaacson (3/5 Stars)

This book was an extremely detailed story of Steve Jobs’ life. While I did enjoy that it was thorough, there were a ton of details about the technical development of Apple products that was somewhat interesting but definitely difficult to grasp for someone like me who only knows how to turn these devices on and off… I did appreciate the extent the author went to to present all opinions of Jobs and the work that he did, including many interview details from people in both his personal and professional worlds.

This book is the biography of Apple cofounder Steve Jobs. The details in this book are based on many interviews done over the course of two years, with Jobs as well as his friends, colleagues, and professional competitors. In this book, Isaacson details the roller-coaster life and intense personality of the entrepreneur who put forth his passion for perfection in every industry he worked in.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou (5/5 Stars)

Even without knowing Dr. Angelou’s life story, she is a model of strength and determination. After reading the account of her early life, it is even more inspiring to know that she fought through so much adversity in order to live the life that she has today.

As a young girl, Maya and her bother were sent by their mother to a small Southern town to live with their grandmother. From this early experience of abandonment to the prejudice shown by other people in the town, Maya learns many difficult lessons that stayed with her for a lifetime. When she is finally reunited with her mother at eight years old, she is attacked by a much older man, which leads to consequences even years later. Once she is an adult living in San Francisco, Maya finally learns to love herself and be free.

The Autobiography of Gucci Mane – Gucci Mane, Neil Martinez-Belkin (5/5 Stars)

I’ve always been a huge fan of Gucci Mane’s music and knew vaguely of his criminal history, but seeing it all laid out and how he got into his legal troubles was really eye-opening. Although I found some of his story a bit frustrating because I kept hoping he would have learned from his past and made better choices, it was great to see how he fought back in order to stay relevant in the music scene and become the success that he is today.

This book details the life of Radric Delantic Davis, born in Atlanta and reborn as Gucci Mane in East Atlanta, a pioneer of trap music. Gucci Mane began writing this memoir in a maximum-security federal prison, which he was released from in 2016 completely transformed – sober, career-driven, and positive. From there, he became an inspiration and mentor to a whole new generation of artists and producers, and in this book, he reflects on each step along the way.

The Meaning of Mariah Carey – Mariah Carey, Michaela Angela Davis (4/5 Stars)

I’ve always been a HUGE Mariah Carey fan, but I think I was too young to follow her relationships and her world outside of her music in general. Reading this book, I couldn’t believe what she had overcome in order to be as successful and independent as she is today, all while consistently building her music and film career. While I did enjoy this book overall, I did find that there were a LOT of details included in it, which sometimes made it feel a bit dense.

In this book, Mariah tells the story of all the ups and downs in her career and personal life, from childhood to the height of her career. She recounts many of the stories previously covered in the media but adds details of her own experience in those moments, not filtered through some else’s lens.

Stay tuned for all of the biographies and memoir reads coming in 2021!

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