The Best Biographies & Sports Books About New Jersey – The Boss, The Devils, & More

New Jersey is known for growing things, so it shouldn’t be surprising that our fertile soil has produced a thriving crop of authors and literature about our fair condition. Philip Roth, Judy Blume, Janet Evanovich, and Harlan Coben are just a few of the bestselling authors born in New Jersey. With these literary credentials in hand, we have compiled a list of some of our favorite sports figures, teams, and people that we are proud to say around all about New Jersey.

Sandwiched between two major cities, New Jersey is a breeding ground for famous celebrities, athletes, and sports teams.

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The Best Biographies of New Jersey

The Boss
  • If you're going to read about this Freehold native, you may let him tell his own story. We always knew he could write music; now we know he can write prose equally well. This book is not just for the fan set.

  • Everyone knows about Edison and the lightbulb. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edmund Morris instead has chosen to focus on the lesser-known persona of Edison. Founder of nearly two hundred and fifty companies, he was also a philosopher, futurist, and advisor to the defense department. Married twice and father of six – we get a complete picture of Edison the man – beyond his brilliance and behind the myth.

Including Duke Farms
  • Like me, if you have ever visited Duke Farms in Hillsborough, you must have fantasized about the twentieth-century heiress Doris Duke who once called this area home. She was rebellious, defiant, generous, extravagant, private, and so much more. Her friend list included; Jackie Kennedy, Imelda Marcos, and Michael Jackson. She lived life out loud and was a woman ahead of her time. I suggest reading this book while at Duke Farms on a lovely Spring Day; I don't think Doris would mind.

  • Born in Summit and schooled at the Yale School of Drama – Streep is undoubtedly the pride of New Jersey. This book takes Streep from a high school homecoming float through her beginning years in the 1970'and early stardom. There are also eight pages of beautiful black-and-white photos. This is her origin story.

  • Born in Livingston, one of six children, she has come a long way from her New Jersey roots. Handler is a comedian, actress, writer, television host, and producer. This book came out when her popular show, Chelsea Lately, was running on E! Network. This collection of sometimes raw, candid, honest, and humorous stories culled from her life on the edge are probably all true knowing Handler. Her books are always a fun read.

  • Sayreville native Jon Bon Jovi is so much more than a rock star. This book will give you the classic rock n' roll stuff – sex & drugs, and all that. But there's more to this frontman than music. The book talks about his roles on T.V. shows like Ally McBeal and Sex in the City. But there's also the charitable side of Bon Jovi's work that takes up a part of his life and legacy. It's nice to read about someone leveraging their fame and good fortune to benefit others for a change. Even if you don't love his music, you must respect the man.

  • The short spectacular life of Whitney Houston as told by someone who knew her best, her childhood friend. Whitney's life was complicated – and only a true friend could tell her story now.

It Almost Didn't Happen...
  • Sinatra tried to sue to stop this book from publication. Kelly puts it all out there; the mob connections, the women, and the entire messy life of Sinatra. The skinny kid from Hoboken went on to live a full life – and Kelly is happy to tell all.

  • This book is a total 360-degree view of the poet who lived in Camden and the "Leaves of Grass'' author. The book follows Whitman from the influence of Emerson to his New York City days and beyond to the publication of his most famous works. The author deals with his sexuality in a straightforward way which is refreshing.

  • Almost everyone recognizes the depression era photo, "Migrant Mother." But fewer people know the photographer, Dorothea Lange, and even fewer realize she, like Sinatra, is a proud product of Hoboken. This book honestly retells Lange's life, her work, and the difficult choices she had to make to pursue her truth. Lange's journey to San Francisco, then to photographing the stark reality of the dust bowl years, and her later work at Japanese internment camps are outlined in detail. Lange was a crusader for social justice before these concepts had a name. The book also contains one hundred and twenty-eight stunning photos.

The Boss

If you're going to read about this Freehold native, you may let him tell his own story. We always knew he could write music; now we know he can write prose equally well. This book is not just for the fan set.

Everyone knows about Edison and the lightbulb. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edmund Morris instead has chosen to focus on the lesser-known persona of Edison. Founder of nearly two hundred and fifty companies, he was also a philosopher, futurist, and advisor to the defense department. Married twice and father of six – we get a complete picture of Edison the man – beyond his brilliance and behind the myth.

Including Duke Farms

Like me, if you have ever visited Duke Farms in Hillsborough, you must have fantasized about the twentieth-century heiress Doris Duke who once called this area home. She was rebellious, defiant, generous, extravagant, private, and so much more. Her friend list included; Jackie Kennedy, Imelda Marcos, and Michael Jackson. She lived life out loud and was a woman ahead of her time. I suggest reading this book while at Duke Farms on a lovely Spring Day; I don't think Doris would mind.

Born in Summit and schooled at the Yale School of Drama – Streep is undoubtedly the pride of New Jersey. This book takes Streep from a high school homecoming float through her beginning years in the 1970'and early stardom. There are also eight pages of beautiful black-and-white photos. This is her origin story.

Born in Livingston, one of six children, she has come a long way from her New Jersey roots. Handler is a comedian, actress, writer, television host, and producer. This book came out when her popular show, Chelsea Lately, was running on E! Network. This collection of sometimes raw, candid, honest, and humorous stories culled from her life on the edge are probably all true knowing Handler. Her books are always a fun read.

Sayreville native Jon Bon Jovi is so much more than a rock star. This book will give you the classic rock n' roll stuff – sex & drugs, and all that. But there's more to this frontman than music. The book talks about his roles on T.V. shows like Ally McBeal and Sex in the City. But there's also the charitable side of Bon Jovi's work that takes up a part of his life and legacy. It's nice to read about someone leveraging their fame and good fortune to benefit others for a change. Even if you don't love his music, you must respect the man.

The short spectacular life of Whitney Houston as told by someone who knew her best, her childhood friend. Whitney's life was complicated – and only a true friend could tell her story now.

It Almost Didn't Happen...

Sinatra tried to sue to stop this book from publication. Kelly puts it all out there; the mob connections, the women, and the entire messy life of Sinatra. The skinny kid from Hoboken went on to live a full life – and Kelly is happy to tell all.

This book is a total 360-degree view of the poet who lived in Camden and the "Leaves of Grass'' author. The book follows Whitman from the influence of Emerson to his New York City days and beyond to the publication of his most famous works. The author deals with his sexuality in a straightforward way which is refreshing.

Almost everyone recognizes the depression era photo, "Migrant Mother." But fewer people know the photographer, Dorothea Lange, and even fewer realize she, like Sinatra, is a proud product of Hoboken. This book honestly retells Lange's life, her work, and the difficult choices she had to make to pursue her truth. Lange's journey to San Francisco, then to photographing the stark reality of the dust bowl years, and her later work at Japanese internment camps are outlined in detail. Lange was a crusader for social justice before these concepts had a name. The book also contains one hundred and twenty-eight stunning photos.

The Best Sports Books of New Jersey

  • There used to be a Velodrome in Nutley opened in 1933, and bicycle racing was a popular spectator sport. Newark had a Velodrome from 1911 – 1930. For a brief time, New Jersey was the epicenter of bicycle racing. The heyday of bicycle racing in New Jersey was short-lived; by 1940, other events were being hosted in these Velodromes. It's nice to read about something besides football and baseball – especially if you live in our state, lacking a major league team now and constantly torn between Philly and New York alliances.

Great For Quotes!
  • He may have been born in St. Louis, MO, and played for the Yankees, but he called Montclair his home for over fifty years. If Yogi chose us – we can certainly claim him! This is a guide to all things Yogi, from timelines to photographs and plenty of notable quotes here.

  • Carl Lewis grew up in Willingboro. He went on to win nine gold medals in four consecutive Olympics before retiring from Track & Field competition in 1996. This book is a frank look at the world of college recruiting, the story of his record-breaking 100-meter dash in 1991, and a candid look at drug use in sports.

Complete Devils coverage from the early years to the success of three Stanley Cups; hockey fans can read all the behind-the-scenes stuff told by former players and fans. If you love hockey – you are in your element here.

There used to be a Velodrome in Nutley opened in 1933, and bicycle racing was a popular spectator sport. Newark had a Velodrome from 1911 – 1930. For a brief time, New Jersey was the epicenter of bicycle racing. The heyday of bicycle racing in New Jersey was short-lived; by 1940, other events were being hosted in these Velodromes. It's nice to read about something besides football and baseball – especially if you live in our state, lacking a major league team now and constantly torn between Philly and New York alliances.

Hockey fans will be delighted to read a retelling of the 1994 face-off between rivals N.J. Devils and N.Y. Rangers in intimate detail. It took three double overtime games for the Rangers to sink the Devils that year, finally. This book details it all.

Great For Quotes!

He may have been born in St. Louis, MO, and played for the Yankees, but he called Montclair his home for over fifty years. If Yogi chose us – we can certainly claim him! This is a guide to all things Yogi, from timelines to photographs and plenty of notable quotes here.

Carl Lewis grew up in Willingboro. He went on to win nine gold medals in four consecutive Olympics before retiring from Track & Field competition in 1996. This book is a frank look at the world of college recruiting, the story of his record-breaking 100-meter dash in 1991, and a candid look at drug use in sports.

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