Other people’s lives

I read a lot.  I work in a library, and the best part about that is having easy access to all kinds of books.  Here are the three I’m going to check out next: Garbage Land, by Elizabeth Royte; Snobbery, by Joseph Epstein, and Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.  I also have one ordered through interlibrary loan on sweeteners and sugar.

The book I just finished was Einstein, by Walter Isaacson.  I belong to an online book club of sorts, the Book a Month Challenge, and there’s a new topic each month.  This month’s topic was knowledge, and I figured if ever there was a person with some knowledge, Einstein would be there.  He had a really interesting life, and the book was very readable.  One of the things that interested me was that the author went to some lengths to point out what a “sweet” man Einstein was.  He was the stereotypical absent-minded professor, and that caused him some problems in his interpersonal relationships (especially with his family), but overall seemed to be a very nice man.  I would have liked to meet him.

I don’t usually read a lot of biography, but this was the second one in as many months that I didn’t want to put down.  The other was Schulz and Peanuts, by David Michaelis.  It was a big, thick book too, just like Einstein, and also very readable.  I had been wanting to read it for a while; I’ve been a Peanuts fan since forever.  To my surprise, after reading it, I don’t think that I would have liked to meet Charles Schulz.  He came across as not being a very nice man.  And he didn’t particularly like children, in spite of having five of his own.

Schulz created characters loved the world over, even though he himself wasn’t very lovable.  Einstein had a hand in creating one of the world’s most destructive inventions, the atomic bomb, but was loved by nearly everyone who knew him.

As my grandmother would have said, you never know about people. 

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