Monday, February 22, 2021

Book Pairing: Let's Talk About the White House


I always find it interesting that often I will unintentionally pick up a couple (or sometimes more) books that pair so well together.  This month I read along with Janssen at Everyday Reading who picked Upstairs At The White House by J. B. West for her online book club and then picked up a new book in my middle school library: Exploring the White House by Kate Andersen Brower.  

Upstairs At The White House: My Life With the First Ladies by JB West is a re-read for me. I am totally enthralled with life in the White House and love that West served several presidents and is able to provide anecdotes about each one.  I chuckled to myself when I read the story of Mamie Eisenhower thinking she was rubbing Vics under her nose while in bed one night, only to awaken the next day with ink all over her face, having mistaken the two containers in the dark.  I also am more appreciative than ever that West's book really isn't a tell-all. He is careful about what he shares and doesn't try to tear anyone down or divulge personal details (he never makes mention of JFK's affairs or the fact that Roosevelt had a mistress).  I loved listening to this one on Audible and may even listen again someday.

Exploring the White House by Kate Andersen Brower is perfect for elementary or middle grade readers- or even an adult like me who enjoys learning more about the White House.  This is broken up into easily digestible pieces that can be picked up and put down easily.  I loved that there were references to JB West and his experiences in it, especially since I had just finished West's book.  This is slightly different because while West's book focuses on the administrations he served under, Brower's book looks at all of the presidents and their families who have lived in the White House.  

I know there are more White House related books out there.  If you've got a title to recommend that fits in that group, feel free to share it with me. I can't seem to get enough of this topic.

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