Musings From A Bookmammal

Musing Mondays–What I’m Reading Today


Click here to play along!

Click here to play along!

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB that asks you to muse about one of several “bookish” questions… or, you can just ramble on about anything you like that pertains to books! You can join in by clicking the graphic above. Go ahead–it’s fun!

This week I’m musing about the nonfiction book I’m currently enjoying via audiobookEmpty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell Jr.

empty mansionsThis book is about Huguette Clark, a reclusive heiress who was the daughter of W.A. Clark—a self-made man who made his fortune in copper, was one of the founders of Las Vegas, and was a US senator– and whose wealth was on par with Rockefeller and Carnegie. She was raised in the largest house in New York City—121 rooms for a family of four (One of the rooms was designed for the specific purpose of drying draperies! The home also included four separate art galleries).When her father built it, he would go so far as to actually buy various companies outright—such as the factories that manufactured the building supplies he wanted—to ensure that he was receiving bargain pricing during the building process.
As an adult, Huguette owned enormous homes in California, New York, and Connecticut, but she left them all vacant and lived her last twenty years in a hospital –even though she had no medical reason for doing so. Many of her employees, including her lawyer and the caretakers of her homes, never met her in person, despite being on her personal payroll for decades. When she died at the age of 104, it was discovered that she had signed two different wills—one favoring her family, and one leaving her fortune to various employees.
I’m only on Chapter 4 of this 400+ page book, but it is absolutely fascinating so far! I love reading books like this because it’s pure escapism for me. I’m intrigued to learn about the day to day lives of people who have such incredible wealth—and the whole mystery about the wills and the reasons for Huguette’s reclusive, eccentric behavior promises to be as riveting as any fictional thriller. If you enjoy nonfiction that reads like a novel, I’d suggest giving Empty Mansions a try!
How about you? Have you heard about this book or have you read it yourself? What are you reading this week? Please share!

Author: bookmammal

I love books, reading, writing, cooking, eating, reading while eating, and sharing thoughts about all of the above–plus a bit more! I usually post about topics relating to books and literacy during the week, and then participate in a variety of non-bookish memes on the weekend. Please feel free to join in! Some random things about me– –I have multiple bookshelves in every room of my home except the bathroom. They’re all filled to bursting. They help to make my house my home. –I have two cats who I love dearly, but who I definitely do NOT dress in human clothing. Ever. –I’ve never had a cavity. –I make a mean spaghetti sauce. –I’m a newcomer to yoga and I love it. –My day is not complete without a little chocolate.

10 thoughts on “Musing Mondays–What I’m Reading Today

  1. That cover is gorgeous! Too bad the subject matter doesn’t interest me. 😕

  2. I’ve never heard of this book, but it sounds like a must read. Very fascinating.

    Hope you visit my musing today at

  3. I’ve not read this book, but it does sound like something I would enjoy reading. However 400 pages scares me, it would take me a week or more to get it read. I hope you enjoy the rest of the book and I await your review.. Thanks for the visit to my Reading Corner today.

    • It is a big book, that’s for sure! However, when a book is as good as this one is, I enjoy the fact that it’s so long. And there is so much to this story that I’m not sure how the authors would have fit everything in if they had tried to write a shorter book.

  4. I’ve not heard of this book but it sounds absolutely riveting! 104 is certainly a ripe old age and two wills well… I bet that caused a few problems!

    • It truly does read like a novel! Right now it’s more about the EXTREMELY WEALTHY father–but I’m really anxious to learn more about the reclusive daughter. She only died a few years ago.

  5. That is great cover. The very wealthy family is one I am unfamiliar with. Sounds like you are enjoying the book. Mixed Book Bag

  6. Woo-how fascinating! I wish there weren’t so many good books floating around. I’ll add this to my queue though.

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