And One More Thing Before You Go by Maria Shriver


“And One More Thing Before You Go…” by Maria Shriver was a very quick 62 page book written for girls who have recently graduated high school and are heading off to college. I am past that age at 27, but a lot of the advice she gives applies to life.

Because I am so interested in Maria’s life as well as her famous Kennedy family, I always enjoy when she adds tidbits of her personal life into her books. It is so clear from reading this book and hearing Maria talk about her upbringing how much she loves and adores her parents.  She clearly had a close relationship with both of her parents and they shaped her personality greatly. She seems very loving, caring, and nurturing as a mother.


“You know what used to drive me nuts when I was a teenager? Just when I was dressed and had one foot out the door, my mother would inevitably say, “And one more thing before you go…” Needless to say, it was never just one more thing. It was more like five or ten. That’s a mother for you. So of course, now that I have four kids, I’m the one who says, “And one more thing before you go.” I’m the one with the daughters rolling their eyes and plugging their ears.”



The opening of her book make me smile. Because as much as some of us try to avoid it we become our parents. We hear ourselves saying things they used to say and doing things they used to do. I’m not a parent yet, but I definitely catch myself saying things my parents used to tell me. It’s funny how that happens.


As a mother of 4 Maria encourages young women to treasure the relationship they have with their mothers, to cut their moms some slack, and reminds readers to call their moms.

Her ten lessons in this book:

1. Fear Can Be Your Best Teacher

2. Be Willing to Let Go of Your Plan

3. Learn From Your Mistakes

4. You’ll Need a Lot of Courage

5. And When You Need Courage.. Think of the Women in Your Life

6. It’s a Balancing Act

7. Have a Little Gratitude

8. Keep a Childlike Quality

9. Forget Your Mirrors

10. Don’t Worry About Us. We’ll Just Sit Here in the Dark All Alone



The Kennedy White House by Carl Sferrazza Anthony


The Kennedy White House : Family Life & Pictures, 1961-1963 by Carl Sferrazza Anthony was a delight to read. It was a truly intimate look at the Kennedy’s short stay in the White House with just over 1,000 days. But those days were bright, full of hope and promise, artists, musicians, family, and youth and Kennedy’s ‘vigah.’

The books starts right away with Kennedy’s 1961 inauguration including pictures of the family during the events of the day including one of Eunice Shriver recording the inauguration parade on her Super 8 movie camera.

“The Kennedy White House is the first truly intimate look at Kennedy family life inside the White House. It is an unprecedented visit behind the scenes, revealing the world’s most famous family in the world’s most famous house.”

One part of the book I really enjoyed was getting to actually see the bedrooms in the private quarters where the Kennedys lived in those 3 years. The pictures show Caroline’s room complete with her oversized Raggedy Ann doll, and JFK’s bedroom filled with books. There are pictures of private birthday parties for the kids in the President’s Dining Room.

In addition of their time working and doing their presidential and first lady duties, this book also shows the Kennedys during the leisure time, including a picture of Jackie water skiing, and the famous clan sailing in Hyannis Port. There are also pictures of one of Jack’s birthday parties held with his closest family members and best friends.


“The 337 full color and black and white photos, taken by the primary White House photographers, are unstaged and provide a far more naturally, spontaneous, and realistic portrait of the family ever before; most of them, including color photographs of each of the private rooms, have never been seen, and they present an unparalleled look at life as it was lived behind the White House doors.”

The book beautifully chronicles the happy, memorable times as well as the unbelievably sad ending to the mystical and infamous Camelot years, with photos of Jackie and the children leaving the White House after JFK’s assassination. It is a truly great book and I highly recommend it.

John and Caroline by James Spada


John and Caroline is a fantastic black and white depiction of the lives of the beloved Kennedy children. This book has 255 photos starting from their births up until John Jr’s tragic premature death.

“They were the youngest children to live in the White House in over a century -Caroline just three and John Jr a newborn when their father took the oath of office. Symbolizing the youthful vigor of the new administration, they won the hearts of the American people as they romped around – and under their father’s desk in the Oval Office. And when, three years later, Caroline kissed JFK’s coffin and John Jr. saluted the passing bier, they were forever etched into the nation’s collective heart.”

“We see their awkward adolescence, their sorrows at senseless losses in the family, their first forays into romance, their efforts to establish themselves as responsible adults, their happy marriages and Caroline’s motherhood. And we watch in admiration as Caroline recovers from the untimely death of her beloved brother to assume the mantle of the Camelot legend.”

The nation fell in love with the  young Kennedys as they moved into the White House and continued to be interested in their lives as they grew up. Their lives were well documented and it’s a great look into their lives with and without their beloved father JFK. Jackie Kennedy raised such responsible, kind hearted adults and she deserves all the praise and admiration. My heart breaks for Caroline who has witnessed such tragedy in her life. The Kennedys continue to peak my interest.

Ted Kennedy Scenes From an Epic Life


Ted Kennedy, was the only son of Kennedy patriarch Joe’s four who was able to live out his life and die in his old age of natural causes. All of his brothers died violently, his eldest brother Joe Jr died in a plane crash during a mission in World War II, JFK and Bobby died both from an assassin’s bullet.  So Ted was left to carry on the on Kennedy name and be a surrogate father to Jack and Bobby’s 13 children.

“Through more than 200 stunning black and white photographs pulled from the pages of the Boston Globe and its extensive archives, Ted Kennedy: Scenes from an Epic Life provides a gorgeous visual account of Ted’s incredible journey from his joyous birth to the tragic announcement of his battle with brain cancer, including highlights from his childhood in New York, Hyannis Port, and London; his days at Harvard and in the Senate; and his roles as devoted brother, husband, father, uncle, and grandfather.”

This book follows his entire life through pictures. Because there are so many family members, I like when books focus on one person and show where they stood amidst all the history and events. Ted’s life long cause in his almost 47 years in the Senate was for health care and became known as the Lion of the Senate. He was the 4th longest serving Senator in United States history. He lived a great life and these pictures show it beautifully.

November 22, 1963

Today marks the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination. Our parents and grandparents’ generations all remember where they were when they found out the tragic and shocking news.

In fact there is a new book out titled, “Where Were You? America Remembers the JFK Assassination.” This book is filled with essays from celebrities, politicians, and media personalities recalling where they were on that fateful day.


Here are two links from Parade that published Vice President Joe Biden’s essay from the book about where he was, as well as Secretary of State John Kerry.

There have been countless books written on the Kennedys through the years. And it’s amazing to me the amount of interest there continues to be about this famous political family half a century later.

I have read multiple books myself and continue to do so. Here are a list of books I have already read and reviewed, as well as other books I have read and still have yet to review.

After Camelot by J. Randy Taraborelli 

Happy Times by Lee Radziwill 

Sweet Caroline by Christopher Andersen

Jackie After Jack by Christopher Andersen 

Capturing Camelot by Kitty Kelley


Coming soon reviews on these Kennedy books:

Ted Kennedy Scenes from an Epic Life

Kennedy Weddings by Jay Mulvaney

True Compass by Ted Kennedy

John and Caroline by James Spada

The Kennedy White House by Carl Sferrazza Anthony

Letters to Jackie by Ellen Fitzpatrick

Sons of Camelot by Laurence Leamer


I am an avid Kennedy fan and have been to Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC to see the graves of JFK, Jackie, Ted and Bobby, I’ve been to the JFK Presidential Library in Boston, and I’ve been to Dallas where JFK was killed.

I’ve seen multiple documentaries on the family including Kennedy Home Movies and Ethel. Ethel is the widow of Robert Kennedy and the documentary was done by her youngest child of 11, Rory Kennedy. It was fantastically done and made me cry twice. I’ll have to review that one later as well.

Here is a look at JFK’s pop culture legacy over at as well as a look into the future of the Kennedy clan with the youngest generation over at

In this day and age of reality television and 15 minutes of fame I find it fascinating that this family has captivated the American public’s attention for more than 50 years.

Capturing Camelot by Kitty Kelley


Capturing Camelot is a photographic book by Kitty Kelly featuring Stanley Tretick’s iconic images of the Kennedys. Kitty was a friend of Stanley’s and inherited a trunk of Kennedy memorabilia upon his death. It had personal notes from the president and first lady. This book presents an interesting perspective from the photographer’s point of view and showcases his relationship with different members of the Kennedy family.

Stanley’s most famous photograph during his time with the Kennedys was with John Jr playing under JFK’s desk in the oval office.


The book follows the Kennedy family starting from JFK’s 1960 presidential campaign up until RFK’s assassination in 1968.

“Don’t let it be forgot that once there was a spot for one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot.”

The Kennedy era was truly a historic time in our nation and the family captivated a nation. It represented a time of hope in our country and continues to intrigue and inspire decades later, as 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of John F Kennedy’s death.

I continue to be intrigued with the rich history of this family and throughly enjoyed this pictorial view of the Kennedys along with personal memories and notes.

Kennedy Home Movies

I have an immense obsession with the Kennedy Family. I have followed their family for years through books and documentaries. They just intrigue me and I am so interested in them and their privileged lives. They had so much potential and promise but had so many tragedies along the way.

I can’t imagine all the heartache that Rose Kennedy, the matriarch of the Kennedy family, had to endure over the years. She outlived 5 of her 9 children and lived to be 104 years old.

I have my opinions about the way Joe Kennedy Sr raised his children though. He pushed them so hard and only wanted winners and not losers, which instilled competitiveness among them. I also don’t agree with the infidelity he engaged in. But he did raise very respectable, upstanding citizens, accomplished adults. So for now we will leave it at that.

I have seen my share of Kennedy documentaries but I really enjoyed TLC’s Kennedy’s Home Movies (I watched it on Netflix). With so much coverage already done on the Kennedys it’s hard to do something that is different and that has never been done before. But because this has home video footage, it’s much more personal and intimate.

I like that they talked about 3rd generations of Kennedys as well as focused on other members of the family other than JFK. Don’t get me wrong I love JFK but I’ve heard his story more often than I have heard his other siblings and family members. So that was interesting insight that I haven’t previously heard as much.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy‘s presidential inauguration, TLC is breaking out some rare footage and never-before-seen Kennedy family home movies — and ET has a sneak peek.

The two-hour special “Kennedys’ Home Movies,” narrated by Stockard Channing, follows three generations of the Kennedy family through private moments and historical events.

It begins with the rise of Joe Kennedy and his political plans for his namesake, Joe Jr., who was tragically killed in action in World War II. Joe Sr. then successfully set his sights on making JFK president of the United States.

The special also covers JFK’s romance with Jacqueline Bouvier, who became his wife and his widow when he was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963.

The next Kennedy to run for the office of president was Robert Kennedy, who sadly was fatally shot by Sirhan Sirhan at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. And, then, of course, there was Edward “Teddy” Kennedy‘s failed run for the presidency and the Chappaquiddick scandal that could have ended his political career.

To find out what it really was like to be a Kennedy and to go inside the family’s compound in Hyannis Port.

Article from ET Online

Are there any other Kennedy fans out there who have seen this documentary? Any thoughts?