Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy

Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. KennedyJacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well, hmm. I suppose I listened to Jacqueline Kennedy's oral history out of sheer curiosity. I had read Mimi Alford's Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath and became a little curious as to what Jackie Kennedy had to say after the death of her husband.

This audio recording stretched from March 1964, four months after JFK's assassination, to June 1964. There are seven conversations in total.

She came across as a doting wife who supported her husband in whatever venture or thought he had. She made it seem that his every thought was her thought, they agreed on nearly everything, he was such a good husband and truly cared about her. Historical recollections of others tells a completely different story. Perhaps he did love her, perhaps not. I'm sure he loved her beauty and poise and her rich background, but being married, I'm not convinced that JFK, whom I think was a scoundrel, liked being married. It was a political front I think.

I think a lot less of JFK, not that I had anything really to judge him on before. I think Jacqueline Kennedy worked with what she had but I think her eyes truly opened up in the years after his and Bobbie's deaths. They were political machines who had dirty agendas that were hidden from the unassuming public.

Going back to Jackie Kennedy's oral history, there was a lot of information that bored me. I hadn't heard of many, many of the people she and Mr. Schlessinger discussed nor did I really care. It was a gossip session of, "what did Jack think of so and so, or this or that". There were a few juicy bits and the one that I was most surprised by was her candid dislike of Martin Luther King Jr. She thought he was a horrible man because he often had orgy's. She thought him a fraud, phony. I had never heard that before! I find it ironic she thought him lowly for that, yet her husband had more romps than a rabbit in heat.

I can't imagine having these conversation so quickly after her husbands death. There is no doubt she was mortified and devastated by his death but there had to a great strength to be able to talk at that point of time. She never did discuss that horrific day or anything really leading up to it. No thoughts about it. I imagine it would be too soon for that.

In the recording you can hear the kids, their TV in the background, planes flying over head, her continuous lighting up and smoking and even the clinking of ice cubes in glass. I wonder what was in there? A stiff drink perhaps? I would need one!

Overall, I suppose I'm glad I listened to her oral history because I do like the subject. Did I come away feeling smarter and able to feel as though I knew Jackie Kennedy? Nope. Would I recommend this read to anyone. Not really. I think you'd have to be a real history nut or be looking for some gossip about the Kennedy white house years. I'm a little of both.

It makes me a little sad that Jackie Kennedy nearly completely withdrew from the public eye after JFK and Bobbie's death. I can't blame her though, but my curiousity is itching to know what she thinks of JFK looking back in the years before her death in 1994.

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Monday, March 19, 2012


WanderloveWanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm not really an adventurer, I'm certainly not a global back packer but that doesn't mean I didn't like this book. Nor am I a big fan of contemporary lit. I like books that take me away from reality. Whether it be in the past, the future or something of a fantasy, contemporary tends to bore me. Not this contemporary, it did take me away from my reality and on to an adventure, it was fantastic!

I really didn't understand what this book was about but my first thoughts were, "uh oh, liberal loving vegetarian hippies". Well, it kind of was but that was such a background issue that it mattered not to me. If anything, I could say I learned a lot outside my sheltered conservative bubble of a life.

I was in love with the insecurity the main character had but her willingness to try a new adventure; to be something that no one else thought she could dare to be. I guess in a way I had my own back pack adventure right out of high school, one that made sense to no one either. I can absolutely relate to that because I joined the Army right out of high school. I too met a guy but that's where the similarities would end!

This is another one of those books that I had never read before. It was the perfect amount of adventure, romance, and craziness!

Great, great book. One of my favorites.

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Viscount Breckenridge To The Rescue

Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue (The Cynster Sisters Trilogy #1)Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue by Stephanie Laurens

I could not get into this book. Finding time to read is getting harder for me and this book couldn't hold my attention. Books with too many adverbs are a total turn off to me. I got to about 50 pages in and it would have been more like 40 if it wasn't so wordy. Hard to follow. I will not try to read this one again. Abandoned.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy

Once Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its AftermathOnce Upon a Secret: My Affair with President John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath by Mimi Alford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I kind of liked this more than I thought I would. It wasn't ground breaking, I had already watched her interview with Meredith Viera so nothing was too surprising in the book. She was a woman with a secret that she kept after it was demanded by her then fiance.

Times were different then. You held things in, you didn't dredge up bad emotions. She explained that keeping the secret from the beginning is what ultimately killed her marriage. Keeping it confined from the beginning meant they could never communicate well about anything. Kind of good learning lesson for marriage in general I think. If you keep things from each other in the beginning, it's only going to snowball from there on.

I don't think this was at all a smear campaign. I think it's a woman who was seduced into a sexual relationship by the most powerful man in the United States...and only at 19. You can't blame her, she was young, naive, sheltered. If anything, I learned JFK was more of a tramp than I had ever known of before. I think Jacqueline Kennedy knew but tolerated all of his partners. Gross. Again, those were the times. I've heard that she may have been doing her own business on the side too. Who knows. I sure don't.

I think Mimi Alford wrote this book to let it all out. I think the money was secondary to the therapeutic benefit for her. If this were 1950, she wouldn't have done this. But everyone these days has a story and hungry publishers want to make money off of them. Why not write about it?

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