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.
Subscribe to the Thread newsletter for the latest book and author news and must-read recommendations.
Your support matters.
You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.