Friday, April 4, 2014

Reading Right Now! (#5)

Title: The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb
Author: Melanie Benjamin
I'm not that far into this book yet, but I can already tell that it's gonna be good.
This was actually a book that my mom had checked out from the library and usually I don't like the books that my mom tends to read. They are usually about poor people living in the Appalachian mountains and struggling to survive. But when I saw this book in her pile, I was interested. I'd read and really enjoyed one of Melanie Benjamin's other books which was Alice I Have Been. That told the story of the girl who had inspired Lewis Carol's Alice In Wonderland, the original Alice's life. It was based on fact, but is fictionalized. Anyway, I really enjoyed the story and the author's writing. I was very interested to read another book by her.
This book is based on the life of Mercy Lavinia Warren Bump or how she came to be later known as Lavinia Warren. Vinnie was born in the mid 1800's and suffered from a form of dwarfism. She had the kind of dwarfism where her body was perfectly proportional, she was just extremely small. She came up to 2 ft and 8 inches in height. She also had a sister named Minnie who suffered from the same form of dwarfism. Vinnie then decides to go into the entertainment industry and eventually becomes part of P.T. Barnum's circus. Her life is just really interesting. She ended up marrying another dwarf in P.T. Barnum's employ named General Tom Thumb. Their wedding became big news in the states and helped to get peoples' minds off of the Civil War, that was terrorizing the country, for a little while. Vinnie and her new husband even met President Lincoln and his wife in the White House. I'm going to include a picture of Lavinia and her husband because they are both so adorable looking. I know that might be rude to say, but they just look like little kids and it's hard to believe that they were full grown people. It's no wonder people were so entranced and paid money just to see them in P.T. Barnum's circus.
This is a picture of their wedding day. Commodore Nutt is the groomsmen on the left, with General Tom Thumb, Lavinia Warren, and Minnie Warren as the bridesmaid.

So yeah, I heard the subject matter and was really interested in reading the book. So far, I'm really enjoying it. Obviously this is a fictionalized version of her life, but those are really the kinds of books that I like to read. Biographies tend to bore me, but I like reading books based on real people in history and then going on to learn more about those people. I really like Melanie Benjamin's writing style and it's just a super interesting read. It involves all kinds of things that interest me like history, circus life, P.T. Barnum, and just stuff! Also, if not for this book, I would have never known of Lavinia Warren and the fascinating life she lived.
So that's it for this Reading Right Now! Sorry for this long post and going off topic, but that's what I do. At least you can say that you learned something from this post maybe kinda :)
Tell me what you're Reading Right Now! in the comments below cause I would love to know.


  1. If you're interested in a slightly more 'historical' version, try my new biography, Becoming Tom Thumb.