Love is a timeless and universal theme that has found its home within the pages of the most iconic literature. The world of books has gifted us with tales of love, sacrifice, and enduring devotion. Marking the month of love, we revisited the classics that stole our hearts.
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Shakespeare’s most famous and tragic masterpiece takes us to Verona, where the love between Romeo and Juliet transcends the feuds of their families. Their passionate yet ill-fated romance has become the epitome of young love. The play not only explores the depths of devotion and love at first sight, but also serves as a cautionary tale about the consequences of longstanding grudges and societal expectations. Centuries and countless adaptations later, William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet has stood the test of time and remains one of the greatest love stories ever to be written.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
In the drawing rooms of 19th-century England, Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy navigate societal expectations and personal biases. Jane Austen’s wit and keen observation make this novel a timeless exploration of love overcoming obstacles. Austen’s work not only delves into the complexities of class and societal expectations but also offers a nuanced view of character growth and self-discovery in the pursuit of true love. A revolutionary mind and master author, Austen skillfully crafts a narrative that encourages readers to reflect on how genuine love can break down societal barriers. 200 years after its first release, Pride and Prejudice is one of the bestselling romance novels worldwide, selling over 30 million copies!
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
Nicholas Sparks is known for his gripping romance novels, and ‘The Notebook’ is one of his most iconic works. The novel follows Noah Calhoun and Allie Nelson, two individuals from contrasting social backgrounds who fall deeply in love during the summer of 1940. Set against the backdrop of the post-World War II era, the book flits between the past and present, capturing how love can endure both time and obstacles. Now also a film adaptation, ‘The Notebook’ has become a contemporary classic, adored for its emotional depth, evocative storytelling, and the exploration of themes that resonate with readers of all ages.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
In the moody halls of Thornfield Hall, Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester’s love story unfolds, challenging conventions and prevailing over hardships. Brontë’s classic novel explores the
complexities of love in the face of societal expectations. “Jane Eyre” also serves as a feminist narrative, with its eponymous heroine embodying resilience and independence in the pursuit of a love that respects her individuality. Jane’s unwavering commitment to personal integrity and her refusal to succumb to societal expectations make “Jane Eyre” a powerful exploration of love as a force that empowers individuals to defy societal constraints and carve out their own paths.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
This beloved classic unfolds in the haunting moors of Yorkshire, following the passionate yet tumultuous love between Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw. Emily Brontë’s dark and Gothic tale delves into the destructive power of love. ‘Wuthering Heights’ explores the consequences of unchecked passion and societal expectations, leaving readers pondering the thin line between love and obsession. Brontë’s portrayal of Heathcliff and Catherine’s relationship transcends romance, evolving into a haunting exploration of the human psyche. As the characters grapple with their desires and the collective constraints that bind them, ‘Wuthering Heights’ captures the corrosive effects of unresolved emotions and the enduring impact of love beyond the grave. Two centuries after its release, Brontë’s love story is a timeless tale that continues to captivate and intrigue readers across generations.
The Fault in our Stars by John Green
In this best-selling and established modern-day classic, readers meet Hazel-Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters, two teens whose lives have been affected by terminal illness. The pair embark on a journey that transcends the boundaries of illness, exploring how love can impact the human spirit. Green’s novel beautifully captures the complexities of relationships and the resilience of the human heart in the face of adversity. Full of witty dialogue, philosophical reflections, and a sincere exploration of life’s uncertainties, ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ has resonated with readers worldwide, earning praise for its genuine portrayal of love and loss.
Every great love starts with a great story. Let us at My Story Told, be the storytellers that immortalise your own epic love story on paper.
Books are a powerful tool for individuals to share their life stories, triumphs, and struggles. In recent years, several compelling autobiographies, memoirs and biographies have made their way from the pages of books to the big screen. Here are the well-crafted film adaptations that have stuck with us:
‘The Pursuit of Happyness’ by Chris Gardner
Chris Gardner’s inspiring journey from homelessness to a successful career on Wall Street is chronicled in his autobiography, ‘The Pursuit of Happyness.’ Will Smith brought Gardner’s story to life in the 2006 film adaptation. The recipient of critical acclaim and both academy award and golden globe nominations, The Pursuit of Happyness.’ captures the emotional rollercoaster of Gardner’s life, emphasizing the power of determination and resilience in the face of adversity.
‘A Beautiful Mind’ by Sylvia Nasar
Sylvia Nasar’s biography of Nobel laureate John Nash, ‘A Beautiful Mind,’ delves into the mathematician’s struggles with mental illness. The 2001 film adaptation, starring Russell Crowe as Nash, skillfully portrays the complexity of his mind and the impact of mental health on his personal and professional life. The film received critical acclaim for its sensitive depiction of Nash’s journey.
‘Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail’ by Cheryl Strayed
Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, ‘Wild,’ recounts her solo journey of self-discovery and healing as she hikes over a thousand miles on the Pacific Crest Trail. Reese Witherspoon stars in the 2014 film adaptation, capturing the raw emotion and challenges of Strayed’s trek. The film beautifully translates the physical and emotional journey of the author onto the cinematic canvas. Witherspoon’s portrayal earned her critical acclaim, culminating in a well-deserved Academy Award nomination and a win for Best Actress at the 2015 Oscars.
‘Malcolm X’ by Malcolm X and Alex Haley
The autobiography of Malcolm X, co-written with Alex Haley, is a powerful narrative that explores Malcolm’s transformation from a street hustler to a prominent civil rights leader. Spike Lee directed the 1992 film adaptation, simply titled ‘Malcolm X,’ with Denzel Washington delivering a powerful performance that earned him an Academy Award nomination for best actor. Beyond the accolades, ‘Malcolm X’ remains a potent cinematic portrayal of a man who challenged societal norms and left an indelible mark on the struggle for civil rights in America.
‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ based on “The Wolf of Wall Street” by Jordan Belfort:
Jordan Belfort’s memoir, ‘The Wolf of Wall Street,’ provided the source material for the 2013 film directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The film delves into the excessive and morally questionable world of finance, portraying Belfort’s rise and fall. Despite its controversial nature, the film received critical acclaim for its bold storytelling, Martin Scorsese’s direction, and Leonardo DiCaprio’s dynamic performance, earning him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy. The movie was also nominated for five Academy Awards and further solidified its place as a memorable exploration of greed and excess in the financial world.
But you don’t need to create a Hollywood blockbuster, every person’s story is worth telling. At My Story Told, we are dedicated to turning personal narratives into lasting legacies through our autobiography writing services. Your story matters, and we are here to help you share it.
Over the last couple of years, the literary landscape has seen the arrival of outstanding autobiographies from brilliant minds and compelling individuals, inviting readers into the lives of their icons through their own words and perspective – something that is often lost in this digital age. This month’s biography of the month offers authenticity effortlessly, even six years after its initial release, displaying how timeless a well-crafted autobiography can be.
In time for celebrating her 60th birthday, our pick for the biography of the month is Michelle Obama’s international best-seller, ‘Becoming’.
Michelle Obama’s autobiography has not only captured the hearts of millions but has also become a cultural phenomenon. Released in 2018, this best-selling book takes readers on a compelling and intimate journey through the life of the former First Lady of the United States.
Written by a former first lady, you may think that ‘Becoming’ is a political book, when in reality it is much more than that. ‘Becoming’ is a personal narrative that delves into Michelle Obama’s upbringing, her experiences, and the challenges she faced while navigating her role as the First Lady. The book allows readers a rare glimpse into the private life of one of the most influential women of our time.
One of the most profound elements that sets ‘Becoming’ leagues apart is Michelle Obama’s unfiltered authenticity and vulnerability. In this page-turner, the former first lady fearlessly opens up about the highs and lows of her life, revealing moments of self-doubt, vulnerability, and the endless pursuit for authenticity within the public eye. This unguarded honesty reminds readers that even those in the highest positions of power are, at their core, human, making the narrative not only relatable but deeply inspiring. The willingness to share personal aspects of her journey makes ‘Becoming’ not just a political narrative but a touching exploration of the shared human experience.
Beyond the personal narrative, ‘Becoming’ has had a significant impact on society too. Michelle Obama addresses issues encompassing race, identity, and the paramount role of education. On the topic of race, Obama delves into her personal experiences as an African American woman, discussing the impact of race on her life, her family, and her interactions with society. She reflects on the racial dynamics she encountered while growing up in Chicago, through her experiences as the First Lady. Shedding light on the challenges, discrimination, and stereotypes that she faced throughout her life, Michelle Obama contributes to a broader conversation about race, identity, and the ongoing struggle for equality.
Throughout the book, Michelle Obama also touches upon the theme of Womanhood, transparently reflecting on her experiences as a woman, discussing the challenges and triumphs associated with her roles as a daughter, sister, wife, mother, and, notably, as the First Lady of the United States. She explores issues such as balancing career and family, navigating societal expectations, and the unique challenges that women face. Michelle Obama’s journey, as portrayed in ‘Becoming,’ highlights the empowerment and complexity that comes with womanhood.
Here at My Story Told, we understand the intricacies of your personal story and the power it holds. My Story Told is here to help tell your unique story, so that the moments within it live on in a biography, for you and the people you hold dear.
Happy New Year! Stepping out of the Christmas food-coma and into the New Year can seem rather dull, especially after all the exciting festivities that have just drawn to a close. However, there is much to look forward to in the New Year, especially in the literary world.
Here are autobiographies, biographies and memoirs to keep a look out for in 2024:
What Have We Here: Portraits of a Life – Billy Dee Williams
‘What have we here?’ follows the life of Billy Dee Williams, from his childhood growing up in Harlem, to his days on Broadway and starting out in Hollywood before landing the iconic role of Lando Calrissian in George Lucas’ beloved Star Wars, which would see his career soar to new heights.
With a career spanning over 60 years, Billy Dee Williams has done it all – Broadway, movies, television and even music! In this nostalgic biography, Billy takes readers on a journey through his career; recounting tales and travels with Lawrence Olivier, Marlon Brando, Henry Fonda, Berry Gordy, Diana Ross, Sylvester Stallone, and many more. Expected on shelves in early February, ‘What Have We Here’ will be the perfect read for die-hard Star Wars fans and those intrigued by the celebrity world.
The Trading Game: A Confession – Gary Stevenson
Former interest rate trader and equality campaigner, Gary Stevenson is a reputable name within the economics world. Crowned Citibank’s most profitable trader in 2011, Stevenson predicted that there would be an increase in economic inequality and caused waves in Canary Wharf.
In this biography, Stevenson recalls his humble beginnings in East London to when he was accepted into the prestigious London School of Economics – constantly dreaming of something bigger than what was expected of a child from his background. In a raw and outrageous recount of his career, Gary Stevenson invites readers into the world’s most daunting yet intoxicating workplace – the trading floor – where Stevenson did not only survive, but he thrived. Scheduled for a late February release, this book will be a great motivator for readers looking to get out of their new year slump.
The House of Hidden Meanings – Ru Paul
In his highly anticipated autobiography, international Drag icon Ru Paul shares his life story; growing up black, poor, and queer in a broken home to discovering the power of performance, self-expression, found family and self-acceptance. Quick-witted and a trailblazer for bringing drag to mainstream television, the public may think that they already know Ru Paul, however in his most intimate book yet, RuPaul makes himself truly known and strips away the stage persona.
Described by critics as ‘a manual for living’, Ru Paul’s story acts as a personal philosophy that attests to the value of finding chosen family, the power of embracing what makes you different and accepting all of yourself, fearlessly. Readers looking to learn more about the iconic Ru Paul and subsequently, themselves, can expect ‘The House of Hidden Meanings’ on 5th March.
Only Say Good Things: Surviving Playboy and finding myself – Crystal Hefner
Shrouded in glamour, luxurious parties and Hollywood star appeal, the playboy mansion has become an icon, synonymous with the playboy brand. However, behind the allure of a dream lifestyle lies a house built on darkness and façade.
After years of silence, Crystal Hefner exposes the toxic culture of misogyny that runs deep within the playboy mansion. Through a scathing and raw narrative, Hefner offers a look into her time at the playboy mansion and as one of Hugh Hefner’s infamous girlfriends – detailing the absurd rules the women had to follow, regarding everything from their hair and makeup to their curfews. In a series of hard-learned lessons, Crystal Hefner presents an honest perspective on how the need for validation can take hold on one’s life and why it is important to realize your worth. Readers won’t have to wait too long into the new year, as ‘Only Say Good things’ is expected to hit shelves on 25th January – prepare for the shockwaves to come.
Share your story
With a new year upon us, there are even more moments and memories ready to unfold. Before getting swept up in new moments, why not document past memories? As they are just as precious, if not more. At My Story Told, we understand the importance of capturing memories and the role they play in one’s personal story. My Story Told is here to help tell your unique story, so that the moments within it live on in a biography, for you and the people you hold dear.
An autobiography is a book written about an individual by the individual themselves. Though many may employ the services of a professional writer and editor to ensure the book’s content is grammatically correct, the essence of the book comes from the words of the individual about whom the book has been written, and they will have final say over its content. You can be assured then, that when reading an autobiography, as opposed to a biography (written about an individual by someone else entirely), that the subject of the book is telling you what they want you to know about themselves.
Over history, the genre of the autobiography has involved stories from people with a variety of backgrounds, including political figures, historical figures, entertainment stars and sportspeople. Whether you are reading about a success story within business or the life story of your favourite athlete, autobiographies allow the reader to share the experiences with the writer and hear it from their own personal perspective.
In this piece, we take a look at just a few of the most famous, bestselling and critically revered autobiographies that have ever been written.
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Written by Franklin himself (as all real autobiographies must be) in 1791, the book tells the story of Franklin’s life and success “for the benefit of his posterity”. It documents his own rise from obscurity and poverty to eminence and wealth while also outlining his struggles along the way, which can be relatable to the reader even in the modern age.
Franklin went on to become one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and was a vital component of the group responsible for The Declaration of Independence.
Anne Frank: The Diary of Anne Frank
A famous name, and one of the most famous autobiographies of all time, The Diary of Anne Frank was written during the Nazi occupation of Germany, starting in 1942 on Anne’s 13th Birthday and ends suddenly on 1 August 1944. During this period, Jewish citizens were forced to go into hiding as a result of Hitler and the Nazi Party’s treatment of Jews in Europe, and Anne documents the struggle she and her family endured.
The overall message of the importance of freedom in our society is at the forefront of this book, andit will stand the test of time as a vitally important historical document and lesson from history. Freedom is just as important today as it was then, and this book is a timeless classic.
Becoming by Michelle Obama
Former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama’s autobiography has become one of the bestselling autobiographies of all time, selling over 10 million copies worldwide. Released in 2018, the 426-page memoir centres on her childhood, relationship with former US President Barack Obama and life inside the White House.
A New York Times review of this book described Becoming as “refined and forthright, gracefully written and at times laugh-out-loud funny”, and is definitely a good choice for those interested in American culture.
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
Similarly to the Diary of Anne Frank, Long Walk to Freedom focuses on the idea of freedom and Nelson Mendela’s fight for equality. Mandela was involved in the efforts to abolish apartheid in South Africa during the 70s and sacrificed much of his life in prison in order to do so.
A great moral figure of our time, Mandela’s lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa, and worldwide, won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country. He was the first black candidate to do so – a truly inspirational story to be enjoyed by all.
Mamba Mentality: How I Play by Kobe Bryant
The late Kobe Bryant is considered one of the greatest competitors that the sporting world has ever seen. His ability to focus on the task at hand is unmatched by most and he chalked it down to “Mamba Mentality”, a term coined by Bryant that is based on five pillars – passion, obsession, relentlessness, resiliency, and fearlessness.
Released in 2018, this book is an inspirational blueprint to success, whether in the sporting industry or not, and its overall ethos is to “do more than the next guy”. Once again suitable for budding sportspeople of all ages, or those looking for motivational help.
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
Though not strictly an autobiography, as Steve Jobs was written by renowned biographer Walter Isaacson, Jobs authorised the book, and worked with Isaacson in its production with over forty interviews carried out over a two year period.
The late Apple founder Steve Jobs’ life and approach to invention and entrepreneurship are cleverly detailed by Isaacson, giving insights into his methods as well as personal and previously unknown details about him.
“The attention to detail is astounding, and this is an encyclopedic record of Job’s life right up to his battle against cancer and death … a fitting legacy to a flawed genius” – Evening Standard
If reading any of these brilliant autobiographies gets you thinking about writing your own life story, get in touch and we can help you every step of the way.