For some time (cough *years* cough) I've been meaning to read Hermione Lee's biography of Virginia Woolf. But it's a bit intimidating. For one thing, it clocks in at nearly 1000 pages. That's a lot of biographical detail. Which is not to say I'm not that interested--I am--but that's a big commitment.
When I read that there was a shorter, perhaps more introductory bio of Mrs. Woolf by Alexandra Harris, I thought, hey, that might be just the thing to start.
And it was. Just 170 pages long, it obviously can't go into the level of analysis that the Lee bio can, but it's a good overview of Woolf's life, literary and otherwise. Sometimes the shortness of it means that little commentary is given to things like the abuse Woolf experienced as a child, or her attachment to Vita Sackville-West. Yet it still gave me a clearer picture than I had of Woolf as a person. Best of all, it increased my interest in reading the Lee bio. As soon as I read the novels I haven't yet read. Which now are leaping to the top of my TBR stack. For a short book, it sure did its duty.