I have been doing a lot of reading lately especially when I am sitting with my Mom.
A few weeks ago I finished reading Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. What a wonderful book. It is definitely my favorite book of all the books that I have read in the last year. Goodwin is a wonderful story teller. I loved learning about the key figures of the American Civil War. Every person who aspires to being a great leader should read this book. Lincoln understood leadership and has to have been one of the most amazing leaders in American History.
Einstein’s Wife – Work and Marriage in the lives of Five Great Twentieth Century Woman by Andrea Gabor is about the lives of Mileva Maric Einstein, physicist and wife of Albert Einstein, Lee Krasner, a great American painter and Jackson Pollack’s wife, Maria Goeppert Mayer, winner of the Nobel prize in chemistry, Denise Scott Brown, architect and urban planner and Supreme court justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Other than O’Connor I knew nothing about any of these women. I liked learning about them but on the whole the book was plodding. When you compare it to books like Team of Rivals or John Adams you realize what excellent, compelling writers Goodwin and McCullough are.
My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud’homme is the life story of Julia Child focusing on the period between when she moved to France and started cooking and 1961 when she published Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Although at times the book drags a bit I found It inspiring and interesting . Child and her co-authors spent 10 years developing and researching the recipes and writing the cook book. I really admire Child’s persistence and commitment.
1776 by David McCullough is another wonderful book that I really enjoyed. Even though I knew how it would come out, the story of the beginning of the American revolutionary war is amazing. I highly recommend it.
I also just finished John Adams also by David McCullough and really loved it too. Authors like McCullough and Goodwin make writing history look easy but I know they have rare skills. John Adams, Team of Rivals and 1776 are better than fiction.
I think I will try to read at least one book about each of our presidents. I just started His Excellency George Washington by Joseph J. Elllis which promises to be a great read.