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Inspirational biographies: role models

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Showing 1-25 of 145 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 2 May 2011 18:50:25 BDT
C Wiggins says:
Does anybody have any recommendations for biographies about particulary inspiring people - celebrity or ordinary?! I've not read any before and I'm particulary interested in females and those who have taught at some point in their life. I'm looking for my role models!

Posted on 2 May 2011 20:24:36 BDT
Just Us Two: Ned and Rosie's Gold Wing DiscoveryChasing Rainbows: With Just Us TwoAlsoin Kindleand Kindleapps.
A true inspirational story of discovery,adventure and fun by a middle-aged couple who found their lost youth when they bought a Honda Gold Wing motorbike.And Rosie wasn'ta 'biker'.

Posted on 7 May 2011 09:46:57 BDT
A Hiscott says:
Sold: Story of Modern-day Slavery
Fatwa: Living with a Death Threat
The Damage Done: Twelve Years Of Hell In A Bangkok Prison
Anything by Tori Hayden sounds like it may be your type of book, i have not read any of her books but I believe that she was a teacher and now writes about her experiences.
I love all books and read just about anything but I always choose biography/autobiography over fiction, the three books I have listed are the most memorable I have read.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 May 2011 16:43:40 BDT
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Posted on 9 May 2011 22:34:08 BDT
Franmac says:
"A Fortunate Life" by A.B. Facey is one of the most inspiring memoirs I have ever read - OK, he's male, and he wasn't a teacher, but it's a marvellous story of strength of character and making the most of the circumstances you find yourself in.

Posted on 9 May 2011 23:30:21 BDT
1923: A Memoir 82p on Kindle
It's a personal as well as a social history. Smith has the knack of bringing the times to life in a way that few writers can manage. It's the ability to tell a story, the knowledge of when to move on & not labour a point.
--The Bookbag

1923 is a book that succeeds in two ways with ease, both as a personal memoir of a life lived in a volatile age and as a record of that age for all time. --The Current Reader

"1923" is uplifting and highly recommended. --Midwest Book Review

1923: A Memoir is a protest against social injustice, corruption, war, famine, poverty, and societies blinded by greed. More importantly, it is the story of hope and the notion that anything can be overcome if desired. --The Publishing Guru
Product Description
To say that Harry Smith was born under an unlucky star would be an understatement. Born in England in 1923, Smith chronicles the tragic story of his early life in this first volume of his memoirs. He presents his family's early history-their misfortunes and their experiences of enduring betrayal, inhumane poverty, infidelity, and abandonment.

1923: A Memoir presents the story of a life lyrically described, capturing a time both before and during World War II when personal survival was dependent upon luck and guile. During this time, failure insured either a trip to the workhouse or burial in a common grave. Brutally honest, Smith's story plummets to the depths of tragedy and flies up to the summit of mirth and wonder, portraying real people in an uncompromising, unflinching voice.

1923: A Memoir tells of a time and place when life, full of raw emotion, was never so real.

Posted on 10 May 2011 18:23:05 BDT

In reply to an earlier post on 10 May 2011 21:07:37 BDT
Yvonne Joye says:
Would never dare to be a role model but this is my biography, (well more of a snapshot of 13 months) when ordinary life was taken over by extraordinary events. Humour & tears, marriage & parenting, lessons & mistakes, life and loss. To read first chapter, log onto and scroll to p14 where it kicks off. Check out the following for some reviews Enjoy!

In reply to an earlier post on 20 May 2011 21:39:58 BDT
Urban Vaper says:
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Posted on 30 May 2011 11:29:17 BDT
Last edited by the author on 30 May 2011 11:43:15 BDT
Kate says:
Ordinary person...extraordinary far
This young woman was widowed at a very early age but instead of it being the end of her life it became the basis for everthing that she did next.

If you want to laugh... this is the book to read.
If you want to cry..... this is the book to read.
An emotional roller coaster across two continents.

Brilliant, inspirational read. You will not be disappointed whether you're laughing or crying.

Clockwise from Home

Posted on 1 Jun 2011 12:36:21 BDT
Moonlight says:
At the book launch of [Tied with an Easy Thread ISBN 978-0755213283] people were incredibly moved by readings from my book, which is a biography of my mother. They all wanted to know more...

Posted on 1 Jun 2011 15:29:18 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 2 Jun 2011 11:22:12 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jun 2011 16:24:00 BDT
catimini says:
A wonderful book I read years ago is Buchi Emecheta's "Head above water." A Nigerian woman with everything against her (poverty, lots of small children....) she managed to study. Very inspiring.

Posted on 10 Jun 2011 10:25:30 BDT
Last edited by the author on 10 Jun 2011 18:09:45 BDT
Chris says:
Ani Difranco. Her work is her autobiography. I was going to suggest Lawrence Anthony, author of The Elephant Whisperer, but I see it has to be female. I'm genuinely curious as to why women are so much more, for want of a better word, insular in that way. It's like female comedians and songwriters always have very feminine subject matter, so much so that a male could never reproduce it. Whereas males tend to go for much broader and more universal material. Why is that? Is it because women feel marginalised, and so develop a bit of a seige mentality? "Am I right girls".
I'm teasing abit, and it's ironic as two of my absolute musical idols are Tori Amos and Ani Difranco. Two very talented geniuses who are ultra feministic, though I ignore that. I'm just in it for the originality and musical brilliance, but I can never sing their songs without sounding gay. Broaden your horizons girls.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Jun 2011 20:03:58 BDT
ian says:
I have two suggestions, one female one male. The first is Born Free the second is Gorbachev - The Rise and Fall of a Hero both very inspiring people. Hope these help.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Jun 2011 23:36:53 BDT
pastmasters says:
Try Margaret Humphreys' book Empty Cradles now reissued as 'Oranges and Sunshine' as a result of the film of the same name if you need a female role model. This a powerful story of the difference a person can make if they persist and never give up, no matter how hard the road ahead may seem or how vast the obstacles.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jun 2011 23:18:17 BDT
L. M. Fraser says:
I'd recommend a series of biographies recently published by Argyll Publishing - I wrote the one on J K Rowling, so I'm clearly biassed but others in the series include Bob Dylan, The Williams Sisters, Charles Dickens and Nelson Mandela.

Posted on 25 Jun 2011 15:04:27 BDT
Last edited by the author on 25 Jun 2011 15:05:50 BDT
May I suggest reading 'Mr Versatility' by Delme Herriman. A remarakble story about a mixed race boy adopted in to a white family and environment in northwest England, and then following his dream to become a professional basketball player in the united states, all the while searching for belonging and trying to trace his biological father!
for all the details

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jun 2011 22:17:25 BDT
ian says:
I am not sure if this would fit your requirements, but you can always read the intro and even download a sample to see it is is what you require. was unable to find a link for you so have added the web page at The title is 'Be the best you can be (polio my constant companion)' inspirational..I think so.
Be The Best You Can Be ( polio my constant companion )

Posted on 24 Aug 2011 00:05:18 BDT
Elizabeth says:
If you really want to read an inspiring story, read Ghost Boy by Martin Pistorius.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Aug 2011 19:14:47 BDT
phoolan devi brill you wont put it down its about an indian lady very tough upbringing very poor she turns into a bandit wont spoil it just try it its cheap aswell another good one cupcake american bestseller brill as well

Posted on 28 Aug 2011 20:28:39 BDT
Elizabeth says:
Ghost Boy Truly inspirational, riveting one of the best books I have ever read.

Posted on 29 Aug 2011 17:19:25 BDT
L. Griffiths says:
Amy Johnson Queen of the Air
The Man Who Invented History: Travels with Herodotus
Colour Bar: The triumph of Seretse Khama and His Nation
Mrs. Chippy's Last Expedition: The Remarkable Journal of Shackleton's Polar-Bound Cat

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Aug 2011 19:08:57 BDT
Have you tried 'One Woman's War' by Eileen Younghusband? She is 90 and has written a book about her time during the Second World War. Her life is remarkable and Emma Soames, the daugther of Winston Churchill, said this about ther book. "One Woman's War, is published this month by Candy Jar Books. It is an account of a small, elite group of young women who became the filterers and plotters of the WAAF. They translated raw radar signals into usable data that was then passed on to the Ops Rooms. Thus they played a vital, but largely unrecognised role in winning the air war in the Forties. If you are interested in the untold stories of that time you will greatly enjoy her account; it's a valuable contribution to our overall knowledge of that war."

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Aug 2011 21:13:23 BDT
Last edited by the author on 29 Aug 2011 21:15:11 BDT
hard-hitting, inspirational and highly recommended is Angel Just-Rights; non-celebrity autobiography
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Initial post:  2 May 2011
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