- Kelly McDermott-Bay
- Hello, my name is Kelly and I welcome you to the Bookend Diaries book blog. I created this blog to share my own reviews of existing and new books, to discuss with other readers what we’re currently reading, update you on my book club picks, and of course, to ultimately support the work of the authors we all enjoy. I am addicted to reading and I thought this would be a great way to reach out to other readers who are as obsessed with books as I am.
Monday, March 14, 2011
Reading Jackie by William Kuhn
*** courtesy of Ramdon House
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis never wrote a memoir, but she told her life story and revealed herself in intimate ways through the nearly 100 books she brought into print during the last two decades of her life as an editor at Viking and Doubleday. Based on archives and interviews with Jackie's authors, colleagues, and friends, Reading Jackie mines this significant period of her life to reveal both the serious and the mischievous woman underneath the glamorous public image.
Though Jackie had a reputation for avoiding publicity, she willingly courted controversy in her books. She was the first editor to commission a commercially-successful book telling the story of Thomas Jefferson’s relationship with his female slave. Her publication of Gelsey Kirkland's attack on dance icon George Balanchine caused another storm. Jackie rarely spoke of her personal life, but many of her books ran parallel to, echoed, and emerged from her own experience. She was the editor behind bestsellers on the assassinations of Tsar Nicholas II and John Lennon, and in another book she paid tribute to the allure of Marilyn Monroe and Maria Callas. Her other projects take us into territory she knew well: journeys to Egypt and India, explorations of the mysteries of female beauty and media exploitation, into the minds of photographers, art historians, and the designers at Tiffany & Co.
Many Americans regarded Jackie as the paragon of grace, but few knew her as the woman sitting on her office floor laying out illustrations, or flying to California to persuade Michael Jackson to write his autobiography. Reading Jackie provides a compelling behind-the-scenes look at Jackie at work: how she commissioned books and nurtured authors, as well as how she helped to shape stories that spoke to her strongly. Jackie is remembered today for her marriages to JFK and to Aristotle Onassis, but her real legacy is the books that reveal the tastes, recollections, and passions of an independent woman.
My Review Comments:
This book is a treasure that everyone must read. It gives an insight into the life of one of the most talked about women that have graced the White House. It was interesting to me that you can tell a story of someone's live through the books that they pick to keep in their own private library. It explained so much about her interests, passions, and dreams of her life in such a private point of view. I found myself reflecting not only on Jackie's library but, also about my own. It made me think of her in a completely new light, I got to see the real Jackie. You will get to see the side of her that the public never knew about. The only thing that made me sad about the book was knowing that her children sold off her entire collection of books. If only they would have placed them into a museum for the world to be able to enjoy and view them it would have been worth the price of admission. They could have donated the money to her favorite charity or the charity that ultimately took her life.