How was Chernow's biography of Hamilton? I own that yet haven't read it yet.
Sweet that may be the next book I read. I either want to read that or Bevridge's bios on Marshall, though the academic quality of Bevridge probably will be significantly lower, its more of a gush about Marshall than a real biography, but I want to read it nevertheless.
I recently read his excellency by joseph ellis. I am a history major, have pretty good taste is biographies and history books and generally recommend ellis--I think he is the most balanced biographer I have read, he has an aloofness and distance about his work that allows him not to gush on his subject, but also not to judge them too hard, that is pretty rare for biographers.
I also read Will in the World recently-its a good biography on Sheakespeare,the author is obviously a fan, and there just isn't enough historical data there to get a feel for who the dude really is, but if you like Shakespeare most people say its the best biography on him yet.
I also recently read the Dream Life of Sukhanov b Olga Grushin-a 2005 book that is quality fiction. Her characters are complex, her writing style is complex (at least near the end), but overall its a great book.
Lastly I read Madame Bovary's Ovaries a few months ago and enjoyed it. It went over the great pieces of literature from a evolutionary biologists point of view-asking quesitons like why do men cheat on their lovers so much in works of literature. It was enjoyable for me, and I'd recommend if you are the type of person who likes books about literature, or books that deal with what I call lighter science (not hardcore physics for example).