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Review: Library of Luminaries

September 8, 2016

Chronicle Books has a fabulous new Library of Luminaries series that celebrates famous women.  These small (about 6¼ x 6¼) books are beautifully illustrated and pack a lot into a few pages.

I am not a heroine.  But I have chosen the person I wanted to be.  — Coco Chanel, 1946

Coco chanelLibrary of Luminaries: Coco Chanel follows the famous French designer from birth to death.  Of course, her life is simplified, but author Zena Alkayat doesn’t shy away from the controversial parts of her life.  Except for two incidents that were reported (and not confirmed) the book is an accurate account of Chanel’s life.  There is a lot of attention to detail – from the gorgeous cover and end papers to the embossed title.  You’ll want to pick this book up over and over again.

It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light. — Frida Kahlo

Frida KahloLibrary of Luminaries: Frida Kahlo is just as beautiful as Coco Chanel.  I knew little about this wonderful artist going in, so I found this book particularly fascinating.  Author Zena Alkayat is faithful to the author’s life and, once again, there is much attention to detail.  Nina Cosford’s wonderful illustrations enhance this gem of a book.  I found myself Googling Kahlo after reading this book and would like to learn more about her.

Even though these books are small, they’re intended for a more mature audience and I recommend them to teens on up.  Be sure to check out the Library of Luminaries for you or someone you know who’s interested in strong women.  You won’t be disappointed!

Review copy provided by Chronicle Books.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.


18 Comments leave one →
  1. September 8, 2016 5:02 am

    Funnily enough, I know something of the details of Frida Kahlo’s life, having read Barbara Mujico’s Frida and having seen the movie of the same name, and also obtaining some information in Barbara Kingsolver’s The Lacuna.

    But of Coco Chanel, whose style I love, I know very little. Perhaps this is a good place to start: this book sounds lovely! Thanks so much for bringing it to my attention – and to my TBR list!

  2. September 8, 2016 6:49 am

    What a great series! I’m going to look for these books.

  3. September 8, 2016 7:54 am

    These look and sound fantastic!

  4. September 8, 2016 8:27 am

    Very attractive covers make me want to see/read more!

  5. September 8, 2016 9:09 am

    I loved the film Frida AND the book it was referenced as source. I should go make sure I have that in goodreads (I don’t remember the author.) Fascinating woman, Ms Frida and how she lived, when she lived and who she influenced.

    • September 8, 2016 9:15 am

      I read Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrara… fyi

  6. September 8, 2016 9:35 am

    These sound like a quick and painless way to learn about celebrities. Joni and I saw the Carole King musical Beautiful this past Sunday. I can’t believe how much I learned about her just from the show. I thought I knew more!

  7. September 8, 2016 11:18 am

    Now I must explore these…I am drawn to stories about women, famous or otherwise. Thanks for sharing.

  8. September 8, 2016 11:32 am

    I want the Frida Kahlo one. And the Jane Austen and Virginia Woolf ones as well. I like Chanel, but I’m not sure I’d care much for the one about her. They do sound like fun books 🙂

  9. September 8, 2016 12:11 pm

    I’ll have to check this series out.

  10. bookingmama permalink
    September 8, 2016 12:24 pm

    What a fabulous idea! LOVE THESE!

  11. September 8, 2016 1:08 pm

    These books look and sound wonderful! I’m pretty sure I’d enjoy them as well. 🙂

  12. September 8, 2016 4:23 pm

    I need to get these for my daughter

  13. Patty permalink
    September 8, 2016 5:54 pm

    I love the covers!

  14. Literary Feline permalink
    September 8, 2016 7:00 pm

    What a neat idea! I will have to look for these.

  15. September 8, 2016 8:02 pm

    I think I saw one of these books somewhere recently but can’t remember where. They look delightful! The cover is gorgeous too!

  16. September 9, 2016 3:29 pm

    I want to read these so badly! I hope my library gets them eventually.

  17. September 9, 2016 8:30 pm

    These books look great! I’m a long-time Kahlo fan (her life is fascinating, isn’t it?) so I’m interested in checking that one out. Thanks for putting these on my radar!

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