The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict

About (Goodreads)

In the tradition of The Paris Wife and Mrs. Poe, The Other Einstein offers us a window into a brilliant, fascinating woman whose light was lost in Einstein’s enormous shadow. This is the story of Einstein’s wife, a brilliant physicist in her own right, whose contribution to the special theory of relativity is hotly debated and may have been inspired by her own profound and very personal insight.

Mitza Maric has always been a little different from other girls. Most twenty-year-olds are wives by now, not studying physics at an elite Zurich university with only male students trying to outdo her clever calculations. But Mitza is smart enough to know that, for her, math is an easier path than marriage. And then fellow student Albert Einstein takes an interest in her, and the world turns sideways. Theirs becomes a partnership of the mind and of the heart, but there might not be room for more than one genius in a marriage.

My Thoughts

I don’t normally read historical fiction books because I’m not a huge fan of history, it bores me. However, I read this book because it was highly recommended at the library and I thought, ‘why not!’. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this book.

As with most books I review, I usually peruse others views on the book to see if I’m in the majority or minority on how much or little I liked the book. I’m really surprised at how many people had problems with this book. The author does her best to explain that she takes liberties with her story, as it’s fiction. Let’s remember that, shall we? FICTION. This is a novel based on real people but it. is. fiction. Are there truths? Sure, absolutely. But there’s also a lot of faslehoods, which, have you read fiction? Yeah? Well, guess what..fiction ain’t real.

Like I said, it surprised me how many people didn’t like Benedict’s “lies”. She told a story about a remarkable woman and that’s what people took from this telling.

Mitza Maric was ahead of her time. She was a genius in her own right who made a terrible mistake by marrying the selfish, egotistical Albert Einstein. When I first began reading this book, I honestly, 100% didn’t even know Einstein had been married. It’s not something that is ever mentioned when learning about him. Or maybe it was, but briefly and wasn’t stressed as important. I did a lot of google searches to see how much lined up with what Benedict wrote in this book of fiction. I was surprised to find out a good majority did line up. Mitza was remarkable. Truly. She was no doubt an outcast (as stated in the book for more reasons than just her brilliance), but that gave her determination to me. To me, even though she was this outcast with little to no confidence in who she was as a person or scientist, she was refreshing. And reading a refreshing book, opens your mind.
In the reviews I read, most people had a problem with the opening about her and Einstein’s courtship. I’m in the small percentage, who was riveted. This book captured me from the beginning. I’ll be honest, when any science-y stuff went down, I was like what? (confused face). But the story, her story, was what captured my attention and held it. Mitza was encouraged from a young age by her father, which means a lot back then, to further her education more than most daughters, or women in general, were usually encouraged. She had a limp from a congenital defect but that doesn’t really stop her. She uses as an excuse numerous times, but it never really stops her. She overcomes it as strong women do. And she is strong. Stronger than anyone, including herself, gives her credit for.

Let me be real. I was disappointed she fell for Einstein. In the novel, he seeps slimy. But she can’t see it. Was he truly in love with her? Sure, I’m sure he was well-intentioned at first. But I wonder if maybe he saw just how brilliant, just how genius she was, and he exploited that for himself. I mean he did exploit her genius. All you have to is read the book to see that. But it’s lack of compassion, empathy, love for their first child that made my blood boil. It made me despise Albert Einstein in the book so much that he could refuse to his own child. He was a selfish prick who I was so hoping Mitza would see.

My heart broke when her daughter died. As a mom, I just couldn’t even imagine the pain of losing a child and especially so young. The emotions this book provokes is astounding. Their flirtatious relationship in the beginning makes you happy and almost bashful for seeing their intimate moments, the heartache, the betrayal, the hurt and pain that Mitza endures in those couple of years from the birth of her daughter until Einstein decided to marry her are so heart wrenching that you wish to jump in the book and beat the shit out this man. He NEVER sees his beautiful daughter. I understand that back then, a child out of wedlock what a BIG no-no. But if he truly, loved and cared for Dollie as he said then wouldn’t he at least try to do something for this woman he wants to marry? Yes, is the answer all other answers are wrong.

The progression of their relationship is heart wrenching. I hated Albert Einstein so much at the end of this book I couldn’t believe that he was such a renowned scientist. Which according to this novel, he stole the success and brilliance of his works from his genius wife. Was he a genius in the book as well, yes he was. But he stole her works all because she didn’t have a degree to her name like he did. Because she I was so livid the last few chapters of the book. The way he treated Mitza made me furious. I think meeting Madame Curie did Mitza a world of good. It made her wake up from whatever awful nightmare she had been having.

It’s always nice to read a book about a strong woman. Even if it takes her some time to realize her own strength. Mitza was a brilliant, strong, funny woman who deserved more than was given in this book. I really enjoyed learning things from this work of fiction. It made me learn because I wanted to know the truth versus this novel. A book that inspires learning is a good book indeed.

4 out of 5 stars. Why not 5? I think my hatred for Albert E just is so BIG that I have to give it a 4. It made me really look at him in a new light (yes, I know it’s a work of fitction but still).


Melissa Explains It All: Tales from My Abnormally Normal Life by Melissa Joan Hart

Melissa Joan Hart explained it all-from dating to bullies-in her groundbreaking role as Clarissa Darling on Clarissa Explains It All. She cast a spell on millions more viewers as Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. Now, in Melissa Explains It All, Melissa tells the frank and funny behind-the-scenes stories from her extraordinary past and her refreshingly normal present.

Melissa has been entertaining audiences most of her life; when there were no girls named Melissa on her favorite show, the forceful four year old decided she’d get on television her way. From that moment on, Melissa has shown a singular determination and focus-whether it’s for booking three national commercials so her dad would build her a tree house or for nailing the audition for Clarissa.

From her first commercial to her current starring role in ABC Family’s hit Melissa and Joey, Hart never let fame go to her head. She always had one foot in Hollywood and one foot in reality-and still does. Melissa makes us laugh along with her as she talks about:

–guest appearances in shows like Saturday Night Live and The Equalizer
–auditioning for Punky Brewster and Clarissa
–her early Broadway days
–wacky parties she’s thrown and attended
— the actors who influenced her and whom she befriended, worked with and competed against
–her experiences both on and off-set-with Sabrina‘s Salem the Cat and Elvis the Alligator on Clarissa
–how she met the love of her life at the Kentucky Derby

Melissa Joan Hart explains all that she’s learned along the way-what’s kept her grounded, normal and working when others have not been so fortunate-and that she’s the approachable, hilarious girl-next-door her fans have always thought she’d be.

My Thoughts

Brace yourselves. It’s not gonna be pretty.

For someone who is a HUGE fan of MJH I was so disappointed and heartbroken after reading this book. If Melissa was a politician this would be her mud-slinging debut.

It’s absurd the amount of name dropping MJH does. It’s not even needed. Tell your story without being a total bitch to people. You don’t have to name drop every page. You don’t have to say someone’s unattractive just to make yourself look good…because it doesn’t.

I swear the only thing I took from this is that MJH was proud of herself and full of herself. She bashes people who really have no affect on her story. She also has a weird love/hate relationship with her mom. She loves her mom but complains non-stop about how she raised and managed her career. It gets exhausting having her complement and then berate her mother. Do you like her? Do you hate her? Do you meh her? Just tell me without being cryptic. I couldn’t tell you if she likes her mom or not..or if she just tolerates her.

I did enjoy hearing about Sabrina and how she got her acting parts like Clarissa. I like that she tried and stayed grounded but from the book, it just doesn’t come across that way. She comes across as a stuck-up celebrity who is just trying to write a book. It reads like someone who wrote a book to write a book about all the people she’s met along the way and to N A M E ┬áD

I think the one part I can relate to is the motherhood section. Potty training is the worst and teaching someone to poop in the potty is the hardest thing ever, that no one tells you about when you’re like, “Hey, I’m having a kid.” Tell people that part. (I’m doing you a favor now). Motherhood is a bitch but it is the best at the same time and that’s what you get across from Melissa. The crappy parts are mixed in with the good. It’s just how life goes.

I’m not sure why the publisher didn’t tell Melissa how conceited she was coming across. Because for someone who claims she’s down-to-earth and tries to say she never let celebrity get to her, she’s one of the most conceited people on Earth. I think what I’m sad about is that she didn’t even really tell you anything about the roles she’s best known for. She told us crap about Salem the cat, there’s 7 of them -5 real, 2 fake. Who cares? I want to know more about that time. I want to know more about your Clarissa times. Not about how genius your mom is about selling the name and getting it put on air. According to MJH, she has a great work ethic, great, swell. I respect a great work ethic. But come on, for the love of your fans, I don’t care that you did drugs- you’re a celebrity- it’s kind of expected from child actors. I want to know about Clarissa and Sabrina. Especially Sabrina. I loved that show! I still watch reruns when I can. ( I don’t care if you make fun of me for this, Sabrina is the shit).

I could go on, but my kids are being cranky…so nap time for all! Just believe me when I say, I wasted a good week of my life on this book. Yes, a week. Forever in the time of reading. I just couldn’t stop because I was HOPEFUL for it to get better.

Spoiler: It didn’t.

2 out 5 stars.


Seriously…I’m Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres

About (From Goodreads)

“Sometimes the greatest things are the most embarrassing.” Ellen Degeneres’ winning, upbeat candor has made her show one of the most popular, resilient and honored daytime shows on the air. (To date, it has won no fewer than 31 Emmys.) Seriously… I’m Kidding, Degeneres’ first book in eight years, brings us up to date about the life of a kindhearted woman who bowed out of American Idol because she didn’t want to be mean. Lively; hilarious; often sweetly poignant.

My Thoughts

First off, what’s not to love about Ellen DeGeneres? I mean she’s such a wonderful, giving, loving person and kind too. Not to mention hilarious.

I actually listened to this book because Ellen reads it herself and I feel like when the actual person reads their own book, it just makes sense to hear them read their story. I made the right call. She makes it hilarious and her inflection and pauses make the book much better than if you were trying to read her humor yourself.

She answers questions about her life, she shares some wisdom and she makes you laugh. All things you want from someone’s story. I do think listening to this book is the way to go because Ellen makes the book come to life and you get her humor better as she’s saying. It’s like a very long monologue before her show. But more personal. But I did have to relisten to a few parts because some of it was just there for the comedic feel of the book and you get lost in the comedy that you don’t hear the details of her life. So you can get bogged down in her humor that the good, feel- good, personal parts may go unnoticed.

I do recommend this book though. To everyone. Because it’s such a feel-good, humorous read.

4 out of 5 stars.