2022 must-reads from Kerri Miller: 3 biographies to top your new year reading pile

Three bookcovers.
"The Code Breaker" by Walter Isaacson. "Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival & Hope in an American City" by Andrea Elliott. "The Chancellor: The Remarkable Odyssey of Angela Merkel" by Kati Marton.
Courtesy of publishers

Last week, I brought you three memoirs from 2021 that I think should top your 2022 reading pile.

Today features three biographies not to be missed. They include Walter Isaacson’s “Codebreaker," since I can't resist any story about a great scientist.

The story unfolds first in Hawaii, where Jennifer Doudna is a nature-loving introvert who falls in love with a book about DNA. Competitive and brilliant, Doudna ends up at the University of California, where she joins with a group of international researchers who see the potential and the methods for gene editing. That research, led in part by Doudna, will become CRISPR, a technique that is revolutionizing genetic medicine. Doudna shared the Nobel Prize in chemistry with French scientist Emmanuelle Charpentier in 2020.

My second not-to-be-missed biography of 2021 is Andrea Elliott’s deeply reported, beautifully written “Invisible Child.” I read the book after I heard Elliott, who is a New York Times investigative reporter, on a podcast. To tell the story of 11-year-old Dasani, Elliott spent time in a homeless shelter with her family, followed her to school and watched as social safety nets failed her repeatedly. She is learning what it means to be poor in a city of great riches.

And my third biography is Kati Marton’s “The Chancellor.” Full disclosure: This book is on the top of my to-be-read list, but I can’t wait to dive in. Angela Merkel's life as a scientist, a student of history and an avid reader is as intriguing as her four terms as German chancellor, where she essentially ran Europe before stepping down officially this week.

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