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I very rarely read any fiction. I love biographies; I read about all kinds of people. I love theology and some philosophy.
I research the role, and if it's a literary character, I read the book, and if it's an historical figure, I research documents and biographies. If it's a fictional character, I work off the script.
I read a lot of biographies and books with an African background.
I sometimes think that, since I started writing biographies, I've had more of a life in books than I have had in my real life.
Writing Charles Dickens' biography is like writing five biographies.
I write about the period 1933-42, and I read books written during those years: books by foreign correspondents of the time, histories of the time written contemporaneously or just afterwards, autobiographies and biographies of people who were there, present-day histories of the period, and novels written during those times.
I mainly read histories and biographies, but I'm also a big fan of Graham Swift and Thomas Hardy.
I love reading. I'm very much into history, novels, biographies and I have a wide range of thrillers.
I once interviewed David Herbert Donald, the Lincoln historian, and we talked about how one deals with the secondary sources and the previous biographies. He said something which kept coming back to me as I worked on Cleopatra, which was: 'There's no further new material; there are only new questions.'
Biographies are, in their nature, far more difficult to make into films than novels, because novels come with plots constructed and dialogue written, whereas I don't invent dialogue for my subjects or plot their lives for them.
I've always enjoyed reading history, particularly presidential biographies.
I've been a lifelong horror fan, but at the same time, I would say 90 percent of my reading is biographies and nonfiction history.
On the other hand, when I give it closer thought, I realize I'm not enough of a dictator to conduct an orchestra because it requires a pretty awful person. When you read these biographies of famous conductors, they are all awful people who fail in their private relationships.
The difference between authorized and unauthorized biographies is the difference between riding in carriage or squatting in steerage.
I like a good fun chick-lit book as much as I like historical fiction, mysteries, or biographies, I like to be well-rounded!
I greatly enjoy reading the biographies of scientists, and when doing so I always hope to learn the secrets of their success. Alas, those secrets generally remain elusive.
Jack W. Szostak
I have hundreds of art books and the biographies of artists I love, such as Thomas Eakins and Edgar Degas.
In the late 1990s, I left the teaching field to write biographies and histories for young adults.
Charles J. Shields
I have believed in the biographies I have written. I truly can tell you that they have influenced our society politically, culturally, socially.
I love biographies. I read Patti Smith's 'Just Kids.' I'm into that time frame in New York, the '70s and '80s. In art school, I read 'Close to the Knives,' the autobiography of the artist and AIDS activist David Wojnarowicz.
That was par for the course but I also found that commissions were being canceled and in fact I considered this directly libelous - I write biographies for a living as well as being a journalist - for a non fiction book to be called fiction from beginning to end.
I love to read different books on completely different subjects at the same time. I cannot focus on one. I read a few pages of literature, then I jump to philosophy and at the same time I'm reading biographies of Mahler.
I see myself as writing biographies, the complete story of someone's life.
I used to devour biographies of people like Natalie Wood and Marilyn.
What novels do that biographies don't is get at truths by penetrating the facts, by going deeper to what's underneath fact, through invention.
I love memoirs and biographies, learning about other people's lives. Two of the ones that I loved so much were actually edited by the same person who edited my book, too. I loved 'Angela's Ashes.' I loved 'Glass Castle' so much.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.
Laura Ingalls Wilder
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