Monday, October 25, 2021

The Personal Librarian


Authors: Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray

Narrator: Robin Miles

Publisher: Penguin Audio

Year: 2021

How could I not enjoy a book about a trailblazing librarian? 📚

The Personal Librarian is a fictional account of the life of Belle de Costa Greene. Belle become the librarian for J.P. Morgan, one of the richest tycoons of the twentieth century, when he built the Pierpoont Morgan Library. 

Belle, a Black woman, passed as a white woman to get the job. According to this account, Belle’s mother encouraged Belle and her siblings to pass in order to get better educations and have more opportunities. This decision caused her father, a noted civil rights leader, to leave the family. 

Belle curated the collection of rare books, manuscripts, and artwork for Morgan. Her expertise, taste, and formidable negotiation skills helped build the world class library. She used her knowledge, expertise, and charm to power her way into a male dominated world. Still, Belle had to protect her secret at all costs for fear of losing everything. After Morgan’s death, she urged his son to convert the private library into a public institution. She became the library’s first director and served in that role for over 20 years. 

Authors Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray do a fine job of imaging Belle’s world and filling in the blanks about the personal life of this rather private woman. The narration by Robin Miles was excellent. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Happy Monday friends! We already had the dogs out on the beach for a nice walk. Rain moving in soon and high winds expected tonight. Trying to finish Girl, 11 today because another library hold is ready for me. What are you reading this week? 

#thepersonallibrarian #mariebenedict #victoriachristophermurray #robinmiles #penguinaudio #jpmorgan #pierpontmorganlibrary #library #librarian #badasslibrarian #newyorkcity #rarebooks #collectiondevelopment #audiobook #audiobookstagram #racism #librarylife #historicalfiction #basedonatruestory 

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