What to read? 8 noteworthy biographies coming in early 2011

The new year holds the promise of a fresh crop of intriguing titles. Here are eight biographies likely to attract attention in the new year.

1.The Lies of Sarah Palin, by Geoffrey Dunn

"The Lies of Sarah Palin: The Untold Story Behind Her Relentless Quest for Power," by Geoffrey Dunn (St. Martin’s Press, 320 pp.)
You may adore or disdain her, but you can’t ignore her. Award-winning investigative reporter Geoffrey Dunn relies on more than 100 interviews and a wealth of documents to pull together this portrait of Sarah Palin, the woman who many believe has her eye on the 2012 presidential race. (April)

Jackie as Editor, by Greg Lawrence

"Jackie as Editor: The Literary Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis," by Greg Lawrence (Thomas Dunne Books, 320 pp.)
The public may have thought of her primarily as either first lady or fashion plate, but Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was also a successful editor. Biographer and ghost writer Greg Lawrence tracks the publishing career of one of America’s most glamorous public figures. (January)

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My Father at 100, by Ron Reagan

"My Father at 100," by Ron Reagan (Viking Adult, 240 pp.) Feb.6, 2011, would have been Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday. To mark the occasion, the former president's son Ron Reagan examines the life of the man that he admits, in some ways, remained an enigma even to his youngest child. (January)

The Obamas, by Peter Firstbrook

"The Obamas: The Untold Story of an African Family," by Peter Firstbrook (Crown, 352 pp.) Author and filmmaker Peter Firstbrook traces Barack Obama's family back to Kenya. To create this biography of a family, Firstbrook goes back more than 400 years, discovering presidential ancestors who were 17th-century tribal warriors and moving on up through to those who fought for Kenyan independence. (February)

Great Soul, by Joseph Lelyveld

"Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle With India," by Joseph Lelyveld (Knopf Doubleday, 448 pp.) Pulitzer Prize-winner Joseph Lelyveld offers a compelling portrait of both Gandhi and India. (March)

J.D. Salinger, by Kenneth Slawenski

"J.D.Salinger: A Life," by Kenneth Slawenski (Random House, 464 pp.) Author Kenneth Slawenski traces the life of reclusive American author and icon J.D. Salinger, from his privileged youth in New York City to his decades-long seclusion in New Hampshire. (January)

The Alice Behind Wonderland, by Simon Winchester

"The Alice Behind Wonderland," by Simon Winchester (Oxford University Press, 128 pp.) What is the real story of the little girl who inspired the creation of "Alice in Wonderland"? Journalist Simon Winchester delves into Lewis Caroll's writings and diaries to explore this curious tale. (March)

Branch Rickey, by Jimmy Breslin

"Branch Rickey," by Jimmy Breslin (Penguin, 160 pp.) You don't have to be a baseball fan to take an interest in the life of Branch Rickey, the man who integrated Major League Baseball by signing Jackie Robinson for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Jimmy Breslin offers a lively portrait of Ricky and his era. (March)