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Touring my TBR Spreadsheet and Shelves – Random Treasures

>> Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Touring my TBR Spreadsheet and Shelves

Today I’m sharing one of the random treasures on my bookshelves.

The White House and it's Thirty-Two Families

The White House and its Thirty-Two Families by Amy La Follette Jensen.
*note - click on photos for larger versions
title pages
the title spread
Published in 1958, I have no idea how this book ended up on my parents’ bookshelves. I remember picking it up one day when I was bored and wanted something to read. It’s coffee-table book sized so it’s not something you carry around. I remember browsing through it looking at the photos and then starting to read it. It’s actually quite interesting.

During Benjamin Harrison's Presidency
During Benjamin Harrison's Presidency
I discovered that it was later updated and republished at least three times adding the 32nd through 35th families to live in the White House but I've never seen one of those later editions.

Quote from a letter by John Adams
Quote from a letter by John Adams written while he lived in the unfinished White House
The book is about two-thirds photos and one-third text. It covers the story of the White House and the families who lived in it from the time of the initial design process through the Eisenhower years.

East Room decorated for Alice Roosevelt's wedding
East Room decorated for Alice Roosevelt's wedding
I’ve read through the whole book a few times over the years. It’s got short sections about each president and his family and information not so much about their presidencies but about their life in the White House. The photos are fascinating. I was always particularly interested in the ones of the remodeling, expansion and construction over the years.

Discoveries during remodeling
Discoveries during remodeling
The near gutting and rebuilding during the Truman years was the most extensive but in reality the White House has been a work in progress ever since it was first designed.

Construction equipment inside during the rebuilding during the Truman years
Construction equipment inside during the rebuilding during the Truman years
I've hung on to this book because I still occasionally pick it up and browse through it.

What lost random treasures are on your bookshelves?


Trish 4/16/2013 11:16 AM  

Love this!! I love looking through old books like these but I don't have too many on my shelves. My great aunt had a vast book collection (10,000 titles) and I inherited some of her books and I think my favorite is The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce. Fun to see some of his witticisms for certain words.

Would be interesting to see how the White House has changed since 1958! I bet quite a bit...

Michelle Shannon 4/16/2013 7:23 PM  

I love books like this. You can look at them as many times as possible and still find new things to see. I would love to see an updated version!

SuziQoregon 4/27/2013 9:01 PM  

Trish: Yay! I was a bit hesitant about this post so I'm glad you liked it. Oh that Devil's Dictionary sounds like a fun book. So glad you have it.

Michelle: Exactly - that's part of the reason I still have it after all these years. I agree a totally current version would be good.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave a comment. I read and respond them here although not always right away. If you would prefer an email response let me know.

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