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The Personal Librarian
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
92 posts | 88 read | 75 to read
The remarkable, little-known story of Belle da Costa Greene, J. P. Morgan's personal librarian--who became one of the most powerful women in New York despite the dangerous secret she kept in order to make her dreams come true, from New York Times bestselling author Marie Benedict and acclaimed author Victoria Christopher Murray. In her twenties, Belle da Costa Greene is hired by J. P. Morgan to curate a collection of rare manuscripts, books, and artwork for his newly built Pierpont Morgan Library. Belle becomes a fixture on the New York society scene and one of the most powerful people in the art and book world, known for her impeccable taste and shrewd negotiating for critical works as she helps build a world-class collection. But Belle has a secret, one she must protect at all costs. She was born not Belle da Costa Greene but Belle Marion Greener. She is the daughter of Richard Greener, the first Black graduate of Harvard and a well-known advocate for equality. Belle's complexion isn't dark because of her alleged Portuguese heritage that lets her pass as white--her complexion is dark because she is African American. The Personal Librarian tells the story of an extraordinary woman, famous for her intellect, style, and wit, and shares the lengths to which she must go--for the protection of her family and her legacy--to preserve her carefully crafted white identity in the racist world in which she lives.
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suvata
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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#LMPBC Round 14 - #GroupA
@Jerdencon @smalldogs_bigbooks2419

@suvata has mailed a book to @IndoorDame

Thanks, y‘all. It was a fun round.

smalldogs_bigbooks2419 You read that SO fast!! I feel like I‘m way behind. Leaving for a camping trip today. Debating whether I‘m comfortable bringing a book that doesn‘t belong to me. We‘ve all managed to keep each other‘s books in pretty good shape and I‘m nervous something will happen to it. 1d
suvata @smalldogs_bigbooks2419 The only reason I am able to read so quickly is because I‘m retired. Don‘t worry about camping. As long as the book isn‘t completely trashed every other little mark just gives it character. Happy camping! 🏕 1d
smalldogs_bigbooks2419 @suvata I did spill a drop of coffee on it a few days ago and still feel really guilty. I don‘t mind so much when things happen to my books, but I feel awful when things happen to other people‘s property because I wasn‘t paying enough attention. 😞 1d
See All 8 Comments
suvata @smalldogs_bigbooks2419 Believe me, it happens to all of us. 1d
Jerdencon Think I never got this months book? The Birth of Venus should it have been? Just want to make sure it wasn‘t lost @IndoorDame @smalldogs_bigbooks2419 1d
smalldogs_bigbooks2419 @Jerdencon uh oh! Not a big deal if my book did get lost. I got it for free. I would have liked to read everyone‘s thoughts though. I‘m also not sure @IndoorDame got a chance to read The Secret Wife. I haven‘t come across any notes from her and I‘m coming up on the half way point in the book. 1d
Jerdencon @smalldogs_bigbooks2419 I don‘t think she had read it 1d
suvata Well I definitely read it and passed it onto @IndoorDame 1d
32 likes8 comments
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suvata
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Pickpick

• Read in June 2022 for Litsy Markup Postal Book Club #LMPBC Round 14 - Group A

Interesting historical book about New York City society in the early 1900s and of the lifetime fear of a woman “passing” in a world made up of rich white men. Belle was a remarkable person.

Great book to wrap up #LMPBC Round 14

41 likes1 stack add
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smalldogs_bigbooks2419
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Pickpick

@suvata I just brought the book to the Post Office. Estimated delivery date 6/22. Tracking number 9549 0101 4222 2165 0116 34
@Jerdencon @IndoorDame I can‘t believe we‘re almost done with this swap! It‘s been so fun and I‘m really looking forward to getting our own books back and reading each other‘s comments. 🥰

suvata Great! I‘ve heard this is a really good book so I‘m anxious to start it. 2w
smalldogs_bigbooks2419 @suvata it‘s definitely been the one I‘ve enjoyed the most so far. My glasses getting damaged definitely threw me off, but I was also just savoring an amazing story and not wanting it to end. 2w
suvata @smalldogs_bigbooks2419 pretty much everyone that I know, that has read it, loved it. Happy that you did too. 2w
smalldogs_bigbooks2419 @suvata I might take a little break from historical fiction after we‘re done with this swap, but I want to read more books by Marie Benedict. 2w
suvata @smalldogs_bigbooks2419 Yes, I think she is a wonderful author. And I know what you mean about historical fiction. I am very burned out on World War II books. Lol 2w
28 likes5 comments
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Lizwarnerpdx
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
Pickpick

What a fascinating story! Learning the intimate details of how JP Morgan‘s personal librarian carved a role for a successful women in the world of art & wealth was really interesting. It to learn that age did it while passing as white and all the struggles that come with that really made it intriguing. Very well written & enjoyable.

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TheBookKeepers
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Finally got some shelving for our library we were renovating! I‘m so in love!! How do you guys organize your books?

I went with genre. But if I had multiple shelves of the same genre I grouped them as TBR or Read 😂

Suet624 Beautiful shelves! 1mo
Ruthiella Beautiful! 😍 I also (loosely) shelve by genre. 1mo
Amiable Gorgeous! I group by genre (fiction and nonfiction) and then by subject matter within the nonfiction. 1mo
See All 15 Comments
MaureenMc Love this! My organization is nearly nonexistent- simply divided into “read” and “unread.” 1mo
Kimberlone Fabulous shelves! I wish I had room for that many! 1mo
Soubhiville Very pretty! I group by genre, then shelves alphabetically by author. My TBR has an entire case to itself! Lol. 1mo
Nute Spectacular! I love to see people‘s book spaces!💕 1mo
Oryx Beautiful 1mo
Aims42 I organize by genre. I read an interview with an author who organizes her books by which books/characters could be good friends with other books/characters and I liked that 😊 1mo
Tamra Love it! 1mo
LiteraryinLawrence Gorgeous! I group into Fiction, Nonfiction, and YA. Within Fiction and YA it‘s alphabetical by author, and Nonfiction is by topic. But then I have the next 10 or so books I want to read in a different location altogether. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 1mo
LeahBergen It looks gorgeous! I shelve my genre, too. 1mo
Simona Your library looks perfect❣️I have just two categories on my shelves - fiction and nonfiction. 1mo
TheLudicReader Love your shelves. I organize by author‘s last name and I have an entirely different shelf for my tbr books, and another couple shelves for miscellaneous books including childhood books, university books, travel books etc. 1mo
TheBookKeepers Thank you everyone!!! I love seeing all the different ways everyone organizes their shelves! 🤗 1mo
82 likes15 comments
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BarbaraJean
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Mehso-so

I‘m so far behind on writing reviews, it‘s ridiculous—but I was reminded of this one when I finished reading Passing today. Similar themes, but a very different book. I was fascinated to learn more about Belle da Costa Greene, personal librarian to J.P. Morgan, but I was disappointed in the book overall. The writing felt too bland & the characterization too gossipy/sensational. That said, I was impressed that Marie Benedict sought out ⤵️

BarbaraJean (Continued) …a Black woman co-author who could speak to Belle‘s experience and understand Belle in ways a white woman could not. I do think I‘m going to seek out a biography of Belle to fill in the history that felt overly sensationalized here! (edited) 1mo
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melissajayne
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Mehso-so

3.5⭐️ I read it for a number of reasons, namely because I had heard about the subject of the novel on one of my numerous book podcasts. I thought the book was ok, despite the subject matter. #2022 #bookreview #bookstagram #historicalfiction #fiction #ebook #overbookedclub

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Litsi
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Mehso-so

The gist of this book is that JP Morgan‘s librarian was both super successful and passing as white. Here‘s her photo. Honestly, she is obvs not white to me. I think she passed despite her appearance because people couldn‘t believe that a black woman could be so capable and not only out negotiate men but understand and cherish the whitest of things: 12th-17th c European art. Full review https://www.facebook.com/1082882538/posts/10224799137740767/

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smalldogs_bigbooks2419
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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@Jerdencon @suvata @IndoorDame Look what was waiting for me when I got home from work!! This is the one I‘ve really been looking forward to. I can‘t wait to get started! 🤗 #LMPBS #groupA #round14

IndoorDame I hope you enjoy it! 2mo
Jerdencon Enjoy! 2mo
RenePenn Loved this one. 2mo
See All 8 Comments
LatrelWhite Excellent👏🏽👏🏽 2mo
Jerdencon @IndoorDame just wondering if you mailed my book yet this month - just wanted to make sure it wasn‘t lost somewhere 2mo
IndoorDame @Jerdencon I‘m actually mailing it today. I‘m SO sorry it‘s late. I was ill last month and kept hoping I‘d get to finish it before I sent it out, but it‘s not going to happen and I want the cycle to continue relatively unbroken, so hopefully it‘ll be at yours in a few days. 2mo
Jerdencon No worries - if you want to try to finish it - im a pretty quick reader as long as I have 5 days or so. I hope you are feeling better! 🤗 @IndoorDame (edited) 2mo
IndoorDame @Jerdencon thank you 🙏 that totally makes me feel better about being so late! But I‘m just going to send this one on and concentrate on reading this month‘s. I have so much to catch up on after being sick for so long. Luckily I am on the mend though! 2mo
39 likes1 stack add8 comments
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megnews
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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BarbaraJean I really appreciated that Marie Benedict saw that she needed to team with a voice who could understand and tell Belle's story in ways she herself could not. I loved their descriptions of the friendship that grew between them during the process of writing this book. 2mo
megnews I really appreciated this as well. The book just wouldn‘t have been the same without Murray‘s voice. 2mo
4 likes2 comments
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megnews
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
This post contains spoilers
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sblbooks 6. I think JPMorgan was unaware of her ethnicity. I don't think he would have let that slide. 2mo
sblbooks 10 I have read about passing and other historical fiction novels, it's understandable specially in times of slavery. 2mo
sblbooks 11 Belle sacrificed a relationship with her family, including her father. She was never able to really be honest, or have a true friend. She was able to have an easier life in lot of ways. Belle was able to care for her family monetarily. She was able to travel and live the high life, so to speak. She was able to have a career and prestige and she never would have had otherwise. 2mo
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BarbaraJean 10 - I was somewhat familiar with passing--I have a friend who struggles with this as part of her heritage; she and her family are light-skinned and she was brought up to use passing as a way to navigate the world. But reading this helped me see that passing has very different nuances in different settings and probably looks different for everyone who passes at some point or another. 2mo
BarbaraJean 14 - I think she was satisfied with her choices, but I don't know if she was happy. I also don't think she would have done anything different. Her work was too important to her. @sblbooks I can't imagine having to constantly hide who you really are, never being able to fully confide in anyone, never having a true friend. And the pressure that would have placed on family relationships, as when the family returned for Belle's grandmother's funeral. 2mo
megnews @BarbaraJean I agree. To not be able to share your authentic self. To not be able to have kids. To navigate a racist world around you and not be able to say anything or feel anything. I can‘t imagine 2mo
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megnews
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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sblbooks 2 If Belle's father had not been treated the way he was, then her mother wouldn't have thought it was necessary for them to pass. 2mo
BarbaraJean 2 - To have the position her father held, to see his ideals seemingly becoming realized, and then to have it fall apart was heartbreaking. And the very different reactions by both of Belle's parents made perfect sense, but their separation was equally heartbreaking. 5 - I think Belle must have felt deserted by her father, but I think she also understood why he had to take a different path. I loved that the authors imagined a reunion between them. 2mo
megnews @sblbooks @BarbaraJean I really struggled with the mother‘s willingness to separate in order to pass. I had a few uncomfortable moments about her mother‘s choosing this route. It was interesting how Belle reflected on this throughout the novel. 2mo
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megnews
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Time for #OverBookedClub discussion. Check my page for the other posts with questions marked with spoilers. Questions from readinggroupguides.com

sblbooks Belle was extremely intelligent, she had the opportunity to be educated. The fact that she was encouraged by her father helped her tremendously. Her bold, strong-willed personality was also a factor. 2mo
BarbaraJean @sblbooks I agree that her personality played a huge part in her success--I think it helped open the door for her to be taken seriously. Her boldness and determination, combined with her intelligence, enabled her to make the most of every opportunity she had. 2mo
megnews @sblbooks @BarbaraJean I agree with you both. I am always struck by women who made it during this time period when so few did. They had to have a strong personality and tenacity. While both her parents laid a foundation and provided for her to succeed, she had to have that drive to succeed. 2mo
Readswithcoffee Sorry to be late to the conversation. Her strong personality and her charisma (difficult to define, but you know it when you encounter it) combined with her intelligence and education all contributed to her success. 2mo
18 likes4 comments
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BeckyWithTheGoodBooks
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Mehso-so

As a bibliophile and lover of libraries, I wanted to love this book about J.P. Morgan‘s librarian. Belle de Costa Greene was a remarkable woman who absolutely deserves to be a more well known figure in our history. Her intelligence, wit, style, and tenacity are evident and the novel is well-researched. However, I found the book to be a dull and inadequate vehicle to bring this extraordinary example of Black excellence into the spotlight. 2⭐️

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megnews
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Pickpick

I struggled with the circumstances of Bella‘s family passing for white for the first third of the novel. There was something about it that made me so uncomfortable for them. But I enjoyed her life story more and more as I went on. Very interesting piece of history. #OverBookedClub

sarahbellum Yay! Glad you liked it! ☺️ 2mo
57 likes1 comment
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sblbooks
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Panpan

🌟
I'm sad to say that the #OverbookedClub pick was a major disappointment this time. This was like reading Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and all their indiscretions.
Small Great Things was much more interesting if you want to read about race relations. @megnews
#ThingsInCommon @Clwojick
The Story Collector & The Personal Librarian: Library
The Personal Librarian & Small Great Things: main characters are African American/Black/POC

sarahbellum I was really hoping it was a me thing with The Personal Librarian. Sorry you didn‘t like it either! 2mo
Clwojick 💖💖 2mo
44 likes2 comments
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Readswithcoffee
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Pickpick

This is an interesting novel about Belle de Costa Greene, J.P. Morgan‘s personal librarian. Belle becomes very influential in the art and book world all while hiding a huge secret - she is a Black woman “passing” as white (not a spoiler; info given in the book description).

37 likes2 stack adds
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sarahbellum
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Bailedbailed

Here‘s a cute picture of our pup, Gus, to make this review less of a bummer. As a librarian and decent human, I wanted to love this book so much. The story of Belle should be shouted from the rooftops, but her real story, not this dry and gossip-tinted one. I stopped halfway out of sheer boredom and complete disinterest in the romance that was brewing. No story arc in sight. Sigh. Sorry #overbookedclub, I hope I‘m the outlier here!
#dogsoflitsy

LeahBergen Blah! I read a very good biography of her which you might like better? 3mo
TrishB And it is a cute pic ♥️ 3mo
sarahbellum @LeahBergen I‘ve heard great things about that biography! 3mo
sarahbellum @TrishB We tuckered him out at the dog park today 😇 3mo
Megabooks What a cutie!! 💜 3mo
44 likes5 comments
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sarahbellum
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Friends, I‘m a little over 100 pages in and… I am so bored 🥱. I want to love this book, but instead I‘m contemplating bailing. Does anything actually happen or is it just a bunch of stilted writing and name dropping? #overbookedclub

megnews Ugh. I hope something happens! I haven‘t started yet so can‘t help you. 3mo
sblbooks Oh no, I haven't started it yet either. 3mo
sarahbellum @megnews @sblbooks I really hope you both wind up liking it more than I did! 3mo
sblbooks @sarahbellum well, I didn't like it either.😞 2mo
sarahbellum @sblbooks aww bummer! 2mo
36 likes5 comments
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Branwen
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Happy Monday, littens! I have a super exciting bookish thing to share! 💕📚💕 My library is hosting a bestselling author this fall; to do an interview, sign books, and talk to the community. Historical fiction author Marie Benedict is who was chosen! AND I WAS CHOSEN TO BE THE MODERATOR/INTERVIEWER FOR THIS EVENT! 😲 Can you believe it?! I sure can't! Out of everyone that works at both branches THEY CHOSE ME! 🎉 I am so grateful AND SO EXCITED!

KateReadsYA That's amazing. Congrats, I'm happy for you!!!! 🤗 3mo
Ruthiella Congratulations! 👏👏👏 3mo
CoffeeNBooks Congratulations! That's awesome! 3mo
See All 15 Comments
glowyone *someone we hope will be Marie! Cross your fingers! 3mo
squirrelbrain How exciting - congratulations! 🎉 3mo
MaureenMc Fantastic! 👏 3mo
DaveGreen7777 WOO-HOO!!! Congratulations, Becky! 🙌 3mo
Branwen @KateReadsYA @DaveGreen7777 @MaureenMc @squirrelbrain @glowyone @CoffeeNBooks @Ruthiella Thank you so much everyone! 😃💕📚 @glowyone Hee hee! I am keeping all my fingers crossed! And toes too! 😄❤📖 And I'm clinging to that 90% hope you gave me! 😁😂 3mo
glowyone 😁😁😁😁😁 3mo
Branwen @glowyone Also...I'M SO HAPPY TO SEE YOU ON HERE! DOES THIS MEAN YOU'LL BE USING LITSY MORE?! 📚📚📚📚📚📚📚📚📚📚📚 3mo
Nute That‘s exciting news! Congratulations! 3mo
Branwen @Nute Thank you so much! 3mo
Dragon Congratulations 🎉 what an honour! You‘re a great choice! 💚🐉 3mo
vivastory A big congrats! They def chose the right person! 3mo
Branwen @Dragon @vivastory Thank you so very much! That means a lot! 📚❤ 3mo
57 likes15 comments
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LitsyEvents
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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All are welcome to join #OverBookedClub in reading The Personal Librarian in April. Discussion at the end of the month. I‘ve tagged those who expressed interest. If you‘d like to be tagged, please let me know.

Repost for @megnews

megnews Thanks! 3mo
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megnews
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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All are welcome to join #OverBookedClub in reading The Personal Librarian in April. Discussion at the end of the month. I‘ve tagged those who expressed interest. If you‘d like to be tagged, please let me know.

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I‘m interested! 3mo
megnews @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I‘ll add you to the list! 3mo
Readswithcoffee Please keep me in the loop. 3mo
See All 6 Comments
Zuhkeeyah I‘d love to join the discussion. I read the book earlier this year and really enjoyed it. 3mo
megnews @Zuhkeeyah sounds great! I‘ll add you to the list. 3mo
50 likes6 comments
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Jerdencon
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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IndoorDame Glad it arrived safely 😊 3mo
35 likes1 comment
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IndoorDame
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Clwojick ❤️❤️❤️ 3mo
LitStephanie I want a personal librarian. 3mo
57 likes1 stack add2 comments
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IndoorDame
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Pickpick

#LMPBC #Round14 Update

I finished this month‘s books & definitely enjoyed both! I‘ll be sending The Personal Librarian to @Jerdencon & Snapdragon to @LibrarianRyan tomorrow

I got The Secret Wife in the mail today. Thanks @suvata Looking forward to reading that one!

I don‘t think I have The Perfume Thief back from #Round13 yet. @phantomx Do you have that one? If so, can you let me know when you send it out so I know when to be on the lookout?

phantomx @IndoorDame I will definitely let you know when I send The Perfume Thief back to you 3mo
LibrarianRyan Yeahhh 3mo
IndoorDame @phantomx awesome, thx! 3mo
phantomx @IndoorDame Sent out your pick, should arrive to you by Saturday or Monday 3mo
IndoorDame Great! Thanks 3mo
68 likes5 comments
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LitsyEvents
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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#OverBookedClub picks for April to June! Looking forward to reading and discussing with you. All welcome!

Visit @megnews for more information

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Purpleness
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Pickpick

A fascinating fictionalised look at a tough, smart, and persevering woman of colour whom I am sad to say I had never heard of before reading this book.

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Jnnlb
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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megnews
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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#OverBookedClub picks for April to June! Looking forward to reading and discussing with you. All welcome!

sblbooks I'm looking forward to these!🎉 4mo
SilversReviews Enjoyed THE EXILES. THE PERSONAL LIBRARIAN dragged a bit. BAND OF SISTERS - couldn‘t finish. I hope you have better luck with it. I should have kept going, though. A friend said it took a bit, but she got into it. 4mo
TheBookHippie I‘ll see you in June! I had issues with the personal librarian as she wrote real well known history incorrectly several times - but I loved The Exiles I may reread it! 4mo
See All 8 Comments
Kdgordon88 I‘ll probably skip April but will be back for May and June. 4mo
sarahbellum I might join y‘all in April if my other reading plans don‘t become too overwhelming 🙃 4mo
BarbaraJean I‘m going to try to join in for April—I‘ve been wanting to read The Personal Librarian! 4mo
Readswithcoffee I have the first one on hold and am hoping it comes through on time. C‘mon people ahead of me on the wait list, read faster! 😂 4mo
melissajayne I will try to read April‘s selection, but will for sure be there for May and June. 3mo
47 likes8 comments
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IndoorDame
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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I started my book for #LMPBC #Round14 #GroupA yesterday. I‘m loving this one so far! It‘s definitely thought provoking, and I‘m finding myself writing more notes that I often do, even in postal markup books. So far it‘s easy reading even though it‘s not really easy subject matter, so we‘ll see how far I get this weekend. @suvata @Jerdencon @smalldogs_bigbooks2419

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JackieGreco
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
Pickpick

I really enjoyed this book and the history of the personal librarian to JP morgan. She had to hide her true identity as an African American woman in order to rise to such a successful and influential position. 5/5

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suvata
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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review
crazyspine
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Pickpick

I'm not that big of a fan of Benedict. Not knocking her, just not my cup of tea. I don't know if it's the subject matter, the fact that this has a co-author, but I enjoyed this. Rather than exploring an alternate history, this is storacle fiction follows a true woman whose father was the first African American to graduate from Harvard, but she passed her adulthood as white, I'm broke gender barriers to become J.P. Morgan's personal librarian.

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SaraHasClass
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Pickpick

Historical fiction; this is the fascinating story of Belle da Costa Greene. Her notoriety as a career woman during the Gilded Age, personal librarian to JP Morgan, and partner in creating the Peirpont Morgan Library is an astonishing story, a nod to feminine strength & poise. Belle spent her entire life "passing" as white, hiding in plain sight & setting the art world on fire with her keen mind and sharp wits. This is moving story--one of a kind.

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BookBosomed1
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Pickpick

4 ⭐️ This 📖 is an acct of Belle da Costa Greene, a WOC who passed as white &, thus, was able to serve as J.P. Morgan‘s curator. The 📖 discusses the sacrifices, suffering, & courage it requires to hide the authentic self all bc of racism. This 📖 is a great tool for sparking discussion; also compelling is that the authors are from disparate racial backgrounds. In the 📖 notes & interviews, they share what it was like to work together.

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Ericalambbrown
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Pickpick

This is a wonderful book! It‘s the second I‘ve read of Ms Benedict‘s and the first I‘ve read of Ms Murray‘s. And it will not be my last for either author, I‘m sure. Of course, it‘s a fictionalization of Belle da Costa Greene‘s life, but the authors take care to call out where artistic license was taken in the historical notes at the end of the book. If you like thought-provoking historical fiction, I absolutely recommend this.

69 likes1 stack add
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crazyspine
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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19.The purpose of Power by Garza
20. The Deepest South of all.

Proud I read 6 books in January. If you count audio books, I'm on track to hit yearly goal. Here is my #Bookspin list. @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 5mo
34 likes1 comment
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Johanna414
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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I'm getting soooooo much accomplished at work today... if you count listening to an audiobook and #knitting an accomplishment 🤣
I'm almost 100 pages into this book and it really isn't doing much for me. I'm giving it another 50 to grab me or I'm gonna bail...
#audioknitting

BookBabe Pretty knitting! 🧶 5mo
49 likes1 comment
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ahomelibrary
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Pickpick

Highly recommend this historical fiction telling the important story of one of the US‘s most notable librarians, Belle da Costa Greene, who had to hide her racial identity during the early 1900s in order to work in an esteemed position. Her skills and knowledge resulted to a curated collection of amazing rare books + manuscripts. This his fic is a co-written project that tells her story. Excellent writing and genuinely interesting/educational! 💜

ahomelibrary Oh! And it‘s rumored that it may be made into a television series! 5mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Beautiful photo ❤️📚 5mo
ahomelibrary @AlwaysReading thank you :) 5mo
20 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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Shievad
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
Pickpick

Historical fiction novel about Belle Decosta Green, the African-American (who was passing for white) librarian to JP Morgan. Very engaging novel! I usually don‘t like historical fiction but I liked this one. Made me interested in reading her biography.

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BookBosomed1
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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The weekend forecast looks like a strong chance of books and more books.

SRWCF I will be reading The Laughing Policeman and finishing 5mo
RaeLovesToRead I'm going to be working on my resolution of sticking to book challenges by reading The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver... unless I get distracted by the sequel to Hyperion... orrrr another murder mystery 😁 5mo
BookBosomed1 @SRWCF Those titles are intriguing! 5mo
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BookBosomed1 @RaeLovesToRead 🤣 Distraction by another book is a real struggle. 5mo
tpixie I just finished The Personal Librarian & enjoyed it. I Will be discussed it with my IRL book club #FriendsWithBooks 5mo
BookBosomed1 @tpixie That‘s lovely! I‘m almost 1/2 way through. 5mo
21 likes6 comments
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tpixie
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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I‘m really enjoying reading about Belle Marion Greener / Belle da Costa Greene. Such an amazing woman who helped build JP Morgan‘s library, all while passing. There is great collaboration between the authors. Glad my IRL book club picked this book to read!

#FriendsWithBooks

62 likes2 stack adds
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Zuhkeeyah
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

First five star read of 2022.

Belle is passing as a white woman in the early 1900‘s when she lands the job as head librarian of J.P. Morgan‘s personal library. Her constant fear that discovery of her deception would erase all her achievements was frustrating to read. Not because it was harped on, but because it was true. Belle built a library full of wonder despite the odds being doubly against her as ⬇️

Zuhkeeyah A woman and as a Black person living through Jim Crow. The authors admitted to taking some license when writing the life story of Belle de Costa Greene, filling in details of meetings and interactions. I love how they captured her. They highlighted her wit, her desire to stand equal with the men of the artistic world, her deep love and protection of her family. This will definitely be a reread. (edited) 6mo
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staci.reads
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Pickpick

The story of Belle De Costa Green is fascinating. This fictionalized account of her life explores her complicated relationship with JP Morgan, her challenges as she became a powerful women in a time when women had very little position or power, and her inner turmoil that came with passing as a white woman. It's an interesting introduction to the life of anamazing woman. This was my January #Bookspin. @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 6mo
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Librarybelle
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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#September #12BooksOf2021

This was a fascinating historical fiction look at the personal librarian of American financier JP Morgan. And, the fact that she had secrets of her own…amazing! I loved learning Belle‘s story and would really love to learn more!

IndoorDame I just read someone‘s post yesterday about a nonfiction biography of her. Apparently it‘s a bit tricky to find, and a bit dense so I‘m keeping this one on my TBR for the moment, but it might be just what you‘re looking for. 6mo
Librarybelle Thanks, @IndoorDame ! I‘ll look for it! 6mo
Andrew65 Stacked. 6mo
82 likes4 stack adds3 comments
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Zuhkeeyah
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Ready to start 2022 off strong with my January #bookspin list!

Thank you for hosting another year @thearomaofbooks!

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 6mo
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jspoelker
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Pickpick

Set in mid 1900‘s East Coast USA, this story is told from first person of an extraordinary woman of her time who becomes famous for her intellect, wit, scarves, and grace to navigate high society. All the while she is hiding her true racial identity while she carefully crafts a place for herself in the all white blue blood world of JP Morgan.

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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Starting this one today! Thank you Penny and Alexandria! ❤️ I didn‘t realize it was based on a true story. I found this interesting article also!! And this bag!! A Christmas gift from William! I can put EVERYTHING in here!

https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2021/08/31/1031802246/the-story-of-j-p-m...

#LitsyLove

Soubhiville Great bag! 6mo
curiouserandcurioser @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Im so happy!! Beautiful bag!! We will check out the article and let me know if its good-Alexandria and i want to read it!! Merry Chrustmas❤ 6mo
REPollock My mom loved this book! I‘ve got it on my ToRead as well. 6mo
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StaceGhost I got this book too! Loved the article 6mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @curiouserandcurioser I will let you know!! Thank you ❤️❤️❤️ 6mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @REPollock I‘ve heard it‘s really good!! 6mo
tpixie Thanks for sharing the article! I just finished the book for my IRL book club! 5mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @tpixie you‘re welcome!! ❤️ 5mo
68 likes2 stack adds10 comments
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Such a beautiful, thoughtful, lovely package from two ladies very special to me! My favorite chapstick, butterflies 🦋 which I love, the most thoughtful necklace 🦋 (made me tear up) and this book sounds amazing!! My heart is so full! Thank you Penny and Alexandria from the bottom of my heart ❤️ I love y‘all 🤗

#LitsyLove

wordslinger42 Yay! I'm so glad it arrived and that it made you smile 😊💜 We love you, too!! 6mo
curiouserandcurioser @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks So happy it arrived!! We had so much fun shopping for you:) We love you, too💜💛 Merry Chrustmad!🎄 6mo
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RenePenn
The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
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Pickpick

I have seen mixed reviews on this one but I really enjoyed learning about Belle da Costa Greene. Even though it was historical fiction there was a lot of factual elements in the storyline and the authors tried to honor her by including as much of her real history as possible. There were some slow parts but the audiobook moved along pretty good. She was definitely a standout among women of her time!