Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

Top Ten Books: Biographies

A list of my top ten biographies is likely to connect with nobody completely, but that is because biographies are enjoyed because they connect with us for a variety of reasons. I’ve listed those that I’ve enjoyed the most and some of them because the biographer himself was such a good writer.

I could easily have limited this to major Christian figures or to other categories.

Feel free to comment on your one or two favorite biographies.

1. G. Sayer, Jack: C.S. Lewis and His Times.

2. G.K. Chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas: The Dumb Ox

3. P. Ackroyd, Dickens


4. W. Martin, A Prophet with Honor: The Billy Graham Story

5. E.K. Kaplan, S.H. Dresner, Abraham Joshua Heschel: Prophetic Witness

6. E. Bethge, Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Biography

7. F. Scott Elledge, E.B. White

8. T. Teachout, The Skeptic: A Life of H.L. Mencken

9. G. Marsden, Jonathan Edwards

10. A. Hoffman, Inventing Mark Twain

Others include:

A. Hollingsworth, The Simple Life of Mister Rogers
B. Reynolds, Dorothy L. Sayers
K.S. Lynn, Hemingway
M. Ignatieff, Isaiah Berlin
F. Kiernan, Seeing Mary Plain: A Life of Mary McCarthy
J. Cash, Flannery O’Connor: A Life
T. Branch, Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963-1965
T. Dudley-Smith, John Stott
J. McMorris, The Warden of English: The Life of H.W. Fowler
F.W. Dillistone, C.H. Dodd
C. Clinton, Hariett Tubman

Comments read comments(10)
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Lukas McKnight

posted August 19, 2005 at 1:55 pm

I don’t understand how you could leave off the biography of Dizzie Dean.

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Scot McKnight

posted August 19, 2005 at 2:44 pm

Luke,I had to omit my all-time favorite baseball books. Maybe another time.

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John Frye

posted August 19, 2005 at 3:16 pm

Scot, I’m glad to see a Hemingway biography on the list. I’m reading one now by Carlos Baker and I’ve got another one by Jeffrey Meyers.

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Ted Gossard

posted August 19, 2005 at 6:11 pm

With all of these “top ten books”, I was wondering what advice you can give us to help us in the art of reading.I tend to read just certain kinds of books due to time constraint, in my case exegetical and theological. With trying to do that and to read more Bible than any of the rest….

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posted August 19, 2005 at 7:12 pm

Have you read any biographies of William Carey that you have particularly enjoyed? I’ve read a bit of S. Pearce Carey’s work, which I must admit was somewhat slow-going and (understandably) a bit pietistic.

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Lukas McKnight

posted August 20, 2005 at 8:13 am

When are we going to see your top 10 novels, the true American art form?

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Scot McKnight

posted August 20, 2005 at 8:18 am

I’m not sure I could come up with ten novels I’ve read.I don’t count classics, like The Iliad and Odyssey or The Aeneid.After Huck Finn, Christmas Carol, and Old Man and the Sea, I think I would run out.How about you doing a guest blog for me on the top ten American novels?

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John Frye

posted August 20, 2005 at 9:04 am

Luke, would you put any of Pat Conroy’s novels on your list? Like BEACH MUSIC or THE GREAT SANTINI?

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Lukas McKnight

posted August 20, 2005 at 9:08 am

Give me a few hours and I’ll have something for you via email.

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Aaron Ghiloni

posted May 8, 2006 at 2:11 am

Richard Fox’s biography of Reinhold Neibuhr is awesome! A must read for anyone interested in the recent history of American religious life

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