I am not sure I should admit it, but I like to read pretty much everything with words. Of course, there are some genres I like better than others, but I just really love to read. That being said, if I don’t like a book from the beginning, I generally will not finish it. This is how I found out I can actually return books to Amazon and Audible (Not that I am encouraging this).
Lately, I have been reading historical fiction. Some of my favorite authors are Marie Benedict, Kristen Hannah, Pam Jenoff, and Jillian Cantor. I recently read several books by Marie Benedict and I liked all but one.
The ones I have read are The Personal Librarian, Carnegie’s Maid, The Only Woman in the Room, and The Other Einstein. I struggled with The Mystery of Mrs. Christie which is about Agatha Christie. I might turn out to be good, but I gave up around chapter 3.
The Personal librarian is a story about J.P. Morgan’s personal librarian Belle da Costa Greene. Born to the first black graduate of Harvard, Richard Greener, Belle hides her identity as she passes for a white woman. This is based on a true story and the author and co-author (Victoria Christopher Murray) do a superb of weaving in the issue of race and racism.
The Only Woman in the Room is the story of actress Hedy Lamarr. Her story is captivating as it takes the reader from her 1st marriage to an Austrian arms dealer to landing in Hollywood, and finally to her idea that would revolutionize modern communication. I read this one in just one sitting straight through.
The Other Einstein was the first book I read by Benedict. The book is certainly a piece of fiction and should be read that way, more for the story than to accept it as fact. The reviews on this book range from 5 star to people who are angry that the information portrayed is not backed up by fact. If you read this book, it is good to do some additional reading about the Einstein couple. Scientific American posted this blog which tells more of the story. Time Magazine also printed a story that talks about the lack of historical standards. I found it to be an enjoyable book and wonder how much of the story is actually true.
Lastly, Carnegie’s Maid is definitely fiction as the author created the character of the maid, but it still provides a glimpse of the life of Andrew Carnegie and how he rose from a poor immigrant to become very wealthy and eventually philanthropic.
I plan to read Ms. Benedict’s other books including Lady Clementine, about William Churchill’s wife, and Her Hidden Genius about Rosalind Franklin who discovered the double helix structure of DNA, which will be released on January 25th.