Calling all Biography Lovers.


Happy Tuesday, friends!

We are going to do a fun little giveaway today!

For the last several evenings I’ve been reading Eric Metaxas’ biography on Dietrich Bonhoeffer until the wee hours of the night. I was going back and forth between reading Metaxas’ biography (Thomas Nelson, 2010) and Eberhard Bethge’s (Revised Ed. Augsburg Fortress Press, 2000). Bethge’s book obviously has the advantage insofar as he was Bonhoeffer’s close friend and he also married Bonhoeffer’s niece, Renate. In the end, I decided to go with Metaxas’ biography because I heard great things about it from a good friend, and, well, it is 591 pages and not 1049. Seemed like reason enough to me.

For those of you who are not familiar, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a Christian theologian who was executed for his involvement in a conspiracy to assassinate Adolf Hitler. Among his writings are well-known books such as The Cost of Discipleship and Life Together.  He was murdered on April 9, 1945, evidently under Hitler’s direct command. I thought that I knew quite a bit about Bonhoeffer since I have studied some of his theology in the past, but now I realize that I knew so very little about this extraordinary man. Did you know that his older brother worked on splitting the atom with Albert Einstein? At age 23? Crazy, huh? Metaxas, in my opinion, is a particularly meaningful person to have written this Bonhoeffer biography as he is half-German. His grandfather was one of many unwilling soldiers who nevertheless lost his life in the war. Metaxas’ own background plays a poignant role in the intimacy with which he tells his subject’s story.

I’m not typically a biography reader, but this one may convert me. Since I am a little over halfway through with this book, I’m already thinking about the next one I may want to read. I asked my Mom, the biography enthusiast, what her favorite one is and she said one of her “many favorites” is A Chance to Die, Elisabeth Elliot’s biography about the life and legacy of Amy Carmichael.

So, what about you?!

Are you a biography reader?

Tell us what your favorite biography is, along with your first and last name and you will have a chance to win your choice of either Eric Metaxas’ book, Bonhoeffer: Pastor Martyr, Prophet, Spy:

OR,  Elisabeth Elliot’s book, A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael:

We’ll do a random drawing and report *ten* winners on Thursday afternoon, along with further instructions.

Now, talk to me.

What is your favorite biography?


920 Responses to “Calling all Biography Lovers.”

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  1. 651
    Sheryl Hill says:

    “A Chance to Die.” Elizabeth Elliot. Is my favorite! Talk about dedication and scarifice

  2. 652
    Shawn Wood says:

    Tramp for the Lord and The hiding place by Corrie tin Boom

  3. 653
    Andrea says:

    Andrea Moore

    George Muller

  4. 654
    Eposi says:

    Love this! How fun! I enjoy biographies and have read quite a few (especially as a new believer) but not a lot in recents years. I am just recently getting back into reading them (just went to Half-Price Book Store on Monday and bought a copy of John Adams by David McCullough). Here are some favorites that come to mind:

    1. No Compromise (about Keith Green was the first biography I read and it had a great impact on me).

    2. Shadow of the Almighty & Through Gates of Splendor (has had the greatest influence on me).

    3. A chance to Die

    4. Abandoned to God (about Oswald Chambers)

    5. The Autobiography of George Mueller (encouraged me to keep prayer journals which I still fail at).

    6. Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass

    7.The Diary of Anne Frank

    I am sure I will think of some other good ones after I post my comment, but this is all I can think of right now. I have watched movies and documentaries about Bonhoeffer but have not read this. Would love to read it.


  5. 655
    Martha Helen says:

    oh shoot! am i too late?? 🙂 just stumbled on this post today. well.. i have to admit i haven’t read a lot of biographies, not for some time at least. but the first that came to mind that i remember loving was Elisabeth Elliot’s “Through Gates of Splendor.”


  6. 656
    Sheryl says:

    I love anything Jane Austen but my favorite is Pride and Prejudice.

    Sheryl Dean

  7. 657
    Sheryl says:

    I did not put a biography in my previous comment. Sorry. I can’t remember the actual name of the book (got it at the library) but it was a biography on Jane Austen.

  8. 658
    Susan Freese "Evangelism Chick" says:

    Hi, friend! Well, I read bios nearly everyday…Matthew, Mark, Luke and John’s bios of Jesus are my favs.

    Since I know you’re looking for a different answer, I’ll go with A.W. Tozer’s bio, since I finished it not long ago. Very interesting…his ministry vs. his family life. Underscores Beth’s point that no success in ministry makes up for failure at home. Not that he had failure at home, but…that’s a different topic for a different day.

    Love you all very much!

  9. 659
    Jennifer Hamm says:

    Anything about Hudson Taylor. But, my favorite is Hudson Taylor’s autobiography. His full name is J. Hudson Taylor. He took the Gospel to China! Enjoy!

  10. 660
    Margaret Schlechty says:

    Henrietta Mears Dream Big

  11. 661

    I agree with many of the biographies already mentioned…A Chance to Die, Abandoned to God (Excellent!), Hiding Place. Hard to pick a favorite but I’d have to say “Hiding Place” holds a special place in my heart. It was the first Christian book I ever read. I was in my early twenties and it made such a huge impression on me. I have given it as a gift probably close to 15 times.

    I read a lot of Christian nonfiction so I thought I’d include some of my other favorites just in case they give others some ideas.

    Another great biography on Amy Carmichael is “Amy Carmichael of Dohnavur” by Frank L. Houghton. I’ve read it twice.

    Margaret Jensen has some great books – “First We Have Coffee,” “Papa’s Place” but my favorite is “Lena.”

    Dr. Helen Roseveare, who was a missionary in the Belgium Congo, has some great books that tie in real life experiences from her time in the mission field. My favorite is “Living Faith”.

    Another goodie is “Dream Big: The Henrietta Mears Story” edited by Earl O. Roe.

    Happy Reading!

  12. 662
    Angie Ehrenreich says:

    I love biographies myself. Here are a few of my favorites that quickly come to mind:
    Heavenly Man by Brother Yun
    Oswald Chambers
    The Hiding Place and Tramp for the Lord by Corrie Ten Boom
    John and Betty Stam
    The Lost Boy by Greg Laurie
    Diary of Anne Frank

  13. 663
    Sherri Moore says:

    I loved Corrie Ten Boom’s, The Hiding Place! I love seeing what other siesta’s have read or are reading…there is nothing like a good book! I guess God new all about that one!

  14. 664
    Joy Pickering says:

    The Hiding Place -best biogrpahy

  15. 665
    Anne Barrows says:

    Vanya – by Myrna Grant

  16. 666
    Siesta Stephanie says:

    One of my favorite biographies is Helen Keller. Her life is so interesting and amazing.

  17. 667
    Donna says:

    I LOVE to read biographies! I find them so encouraging! I have been wanting to read this book about Dietrich Bonhoeffer! I heard Eric Metaxas interviewed on Ravi Zacharias’ today. I would love to get this book. I have checked the library but they do not have it.

    My favorites are The “Hiding Place” and “A Chance to Die”

  18. 668
    YC says:

    This is one of my favorites and a recent read:
    A Thousand Hills: Rwanda’s Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed It by Stephen Kinzer

    It is about Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda.

    Another favorite but it’s an autobiography:
    A Rebel with a Cause by Franklin Graham

  19. 669
    Melissa Houser says:

    I think I would have to say Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place.
    But I also love Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas.
    Thanks for doing this!
    Melissa Houser

  20. 670
    Joan says:

    I’m reading an astonishing biography on intercession. This is beyond prayer and beyond being a prayer warrior. It is deep intercession into the heart of God. Breathtaking! It’s a biography called “Rees Howells Intercessor” by Norman Grubb. Mind-blowing and eye-opening all at the same time. Am only 1/3 of the way through it, and I’m a mess for reading it, but in a really good way.

  21. 671
    Diane Vaccaro says:

    Night by Elie Wiesel

  22. 672
    Jan Hixson says:

    Rebel Without A Cause: The Story of Franklin Graham

    Does Frank Sinatra count? (it had more photos 🙂 )

  23. 673
    Kristi Spangler says:

    I heard part of an interview with Eric Metaxas regarding this new biography which really intrigued me. I didn’t realize he wrote “Amazing Grace” about William Wilberforce also. While I haven’t read either of his books, I have read “A Chance to Die” and it is definitely among my favorites. One of my other favorites is also by dear Elisabeth Elliot, “These Strange Ashes,” which is a portion of her pseudo ‘multivolume autobiography.’ Thank you for the added encouragement to read such great books!

  24. 674
    Peggy Savage says:

    My favorite biography is NIGHT by Elie Wiesel. It is a poignant look into the life of 16 yr old survivor of the Holocoust. Elie Wiesel also wrote two more novels, DAWN and DAY describing his life after his release from prison. NIGHT shows you the in depth relationship this young boy had with his God-from entering the Nazi camp loving his God to falling into a pit of despair denying the very existence of his God to emerging a young man who had to find his way back to God and life. Such a powerful story…..

  25. 675
    Beck says:

    With out a doubt, Through Gates of Splendor, by Elisabth Elliot! My mom read it to me as a child and it changed my life. My dad has been reading Metaxas’ Bonhoeffer book and loves it. My mom says that it seems to be influencing him so much that she can see growth in him. Amazing man Bonhoeffer, amazing Savior Jesus!

  26. 676
    Stephanie T says:

    The most fascinating biography I have read, was julie andrew’s memoir..She has only written about the firsr half of her life thus far, but it was great…

    I would love to read Boenheffe(sp)..

  27. 677
    Wendy McClellan says:

    Corrie ten Boom’s “The Hiding Place” (my favorite) and Leonie Frieda’s “Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France”. Being a descendant of French Huguenots, the biography on the life Catherine de Medici enlightened me as to the religious wars of that period between the Catholics and the Huguenots and the persecution the Huguenots unjustly suffered.

  28. 678
    Kate Brodbeck says:

    Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life

    A great book about an American who married the King of Jordan.


    Kate Brodbeck

  29. 679
    Yvonne Gibson says:

    I love to read biographies. A few of my favorites are:
    Hiding Place – Corrie Ten Boom
    The Practice of the Presence of God – Brother Lawrence
    Helen Keller
    George Mueller
    God has spoken to me through each of these biographies.

    Yvonne Gibson

  30. 680
    Mercy says:

    I just started reading biographies. I am currently reading “Just as I am ” by Billy Graham. It’s pretty good.

  31. 681
    Leslie Leonard says:

    My favorite biography is A Chance to Die by Elisabeth Elliot about Amy Carmichael. I have read various bios about Amy, but this is my favorite. There is no holding back with Amy. She is straight-forward and real. There are some especially touching stories about dear children that entered His Rest at a tender age. Absolutely precious! Amy’s biography about Mimosa (I think) was wonderful. Hope I’m not too late, but figured I’d take a chance. Go Siestas!

  32. 682
    Brenda Johnson says:

    I just finished reading Mary Beth Chapman’s book, which I think is sort of a Biography. It was so good. Her life is truly a testimony of God’s grace and mercy! I admire the whole family.

  33. 683
    Elizabeth says:

    Mine is actually an autobiography- Lou Holtz. He was a collage football coach which may seem odd for us women to enjoy. But it was very inspiring how he motivated the players to perform at their best and he puts a lot of emphasis on God and seeking him and his will for your life.

  34. 684
    Lou Ann says:

    A Chance to Die. I was glad to hear that Beth recommended that one. I have a copy sitting here on my bookshelf. It tugged upon my heart making me want to be that humble and obedient – a true dying to one self.
    Also, Rebel with a Cause by Franklin Graham. I remember reading portions of it aloud to my husband as we traveled and he drove. Amazing.

  35. 685
    Sarah says:

    They Call Me Coach by John Wooden
    Daktar about Viggo Olsen, missionary doctor to Bangladesh

  36. 686
    dawn gifford says:

    My favorite biography right now is by Stephen Singular it is called When men become Gods. It is the history of Warren Jeffs and the Poligamist group that live in Hill-dale and Colorado city . The abuse that Women endure and how the younger children were treated.
    Young boys are thrown out of town so the older men could be have the younger women. How so many people will follow false prophet.

  37. 687
    Rose says:

    I love, love, LOVE missionary biographies, and your mom’s favorite happens to be one I have also loved dearly since I read it in college. How can you not be completely inspired by Amy’s example?
    I also really grew in my faith from reading George Muller’s autobiography, and biographies of Mary Slessor (Cameroon) and Gladys Alward (China, Taiwan). The single missionary women inspire me tremendously!


    • 687.1
      Sita says:

      Hi Rose,
      I also love the story of Gladys Aylward The Small Woman”. Did you know there is an old movie based on her story?…”the story was made into the Hollywood film The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, starring Ingrid Bergman.”
      Not many people know of her. Blessings.

  38. 688
    HoosierMama says:

    I love anything by Alison Weir. Her biographies appeal to the history buff in me. My preference is American history, but Alison makes the people of the Tudor dynasty come alive – and not always in a good light.

  39. 689
    Shannon Torgerson says:

    God’s Smuggler – Brother Andrew This book affected me deeply, especially the idea that he is not against anything, he is for Jesus. I think it’s time to read it again.

  40. 690
    Lisa R says:

    I have been reading Laura Bush’s biography – Spoken From the Heart and have really enjoyed learning all the behind the scenes events of George W’s Presidency especially about their perspective of September 11th. It has quickly become one of my favortite biographies!

  41. 691

    Have not read a lot of biographies but am recently motivated to and your post gave me some great advice as to where to start. I have read “Heavenly Man” by Brother Yun and enjoyed that one.

  42. 692
    Shelley Christensen says:

    The Hiding Place – Corrie Ten Boom

    Thank you!

  43. 693
    Kari says:

    Read “Hiding Place” to my kids this summer by Corrie Ten Boom. WOW! Currently we are reading “God Smuggler” – another good one.

  44. 694
    Tracy Reynolds says:

    Any historical figure and amazing saints of God

  45. 695
    Beth says:

    I really enjoy reading biographies. Earlier this summer I read Immaculee Ilibagiza’s Left to Tell about how she survived the Rwandan genocide–powerful story of forgiveness! I also love Diet Eman’s Things We Couldn’t Say which is her story of surviving the Holocast. These are stories of strong women!

  46. 696
    Katelind Wingfield says:

    My favorite biography is “When Dreams Come true”- it’s the stories of both Leslie and Eric Ludy and then their love story together!
    Katelind Wingfield

  47. 697
    Cheri D. says:

    “Assignment In Jerusalem” – by Derek & Lydia Prince – biography of Lydia Prince. Amazing, amazing story!

  48. 698
    Lisa says:

    In 1994, I had the privilege of sitting under Elizabeth Elliott’s teaching at the Billy Graham Training center, The Cove, in Asheville, NC. While there I purchased a copy of the book “A Chance to Die” from her dear sweet husband. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. I have read many great bios, but this one probably impacted my life the most. I also, love “The Hiding Place” and have a real heart for the Jews as my great grandmother was Jewish.

  49. 699
    Melissa says:

    Two of my favorites…

    The Hiding Place…Corrie Ten Boom
    No Compromise: The Life Story of Keith Green

  50. 700
    Sandy says:

    Oswald Chambers Abandoned to God by David McCasland