What Doris Kearns Goodwin Book Should I Read First?

Doris Kearns Goodwin is a well-known nonfiction author, and I want to know what Doris Kearns Goodwin book I should read first. 

What Doris Kearns Goodwin book should I read book stack

I love nonfiction, and I love history. I especially enjoy reading books that cover U.S. history and U.S. Presidents and their families. 

But today I am going to admit that I have never read a book by one of the most well-known nonfiction history writers of our time. I have never read a Doris Kearns Goodwin book.

I have heard great things about her books and writing. I have had them in my to be read pile for awhile, I actually own three of her books, but I have never actually read one. 

One of the goals of my backlist book challenge for 2021 is to read more of the books that I own and that have been on by TBR list for too long. 

Doris Kearns Goodwin books

In my stack of books are three Doris Kearns Goodwin books. They are all hefty doorstopper type books, which is probably why I have put off reading them. 

I want to tackle at least one this year, if not all three of the ones I own, but I am not sure which one I should start with. Should I read one of the ones I have or would it be better to read one of her other books? 

Do you have any thoughts on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s books? Which one should I start with? Do you have a favorite? 

What Doris Kearns Goodwin book should I read first

Doris Kearns Goodwin Books

6 thoughts on “What Doris Kearns Goodwin Book Should I Read First?”

  1. I’ve not read any of Goodwin’s books either but a friend recently loaned me Team of Rivals. She said it was excellent and especially poignant given our current political climate. I plan to start reading it this weekend, but as you mentioned, it’s a big big book, so I expect it’ll take a few weeks (or a couple of months??) to finish. Good luck choosing between your three. If I didn’t already have Team of Rivals in hand, I’d probably choose No Ordinary Time simply because I’m drawn to the WWII era, so that one would draw my immediate interest before the others.

    Have you ever considered doing a presidential biographies challenge? I began mine last year, with the intention of reading 6 per year, but only made it through Washington. My attention was diverted by too many other good books. After finishing Team of Rivals, I’ll get back on track to read the presidents in order, with John Adams next on my list.

    • My daughters actually both challenged themselves to read one biography for each U.S. President. They both started it in high school but didn’t get very far and once they started college other reading took over. My oldest daughter graduated in 2020 and told me her goal for 2021 is to start back with her challenge. I should have her do a post about the books she has read and the ones she plans to read. I would love to do a similar challenge, but it will probably take me years, maybe a lifetime. 🙂 So many of the Presidential books are 500+ pages, many are close to 1000 pages… Maybe I should do something like you did and challenge myself to read 2 or 3 a year. That seems like a doable goal. I would love to hear what you think of Team of Rivals. It does sound like a good book for current times. Like you, I also enjoy WWII era books, so No Ordinary Time is the one I am leaning towards. It is also slightly small than Team of Rivals so it isn’t quite as overwhelming to start.

      • Yes, the heftiness of the presidential biographies definitely made them easier to pass over in favor of other books, thus the reason I only made it through one last year. If your oldest daughter needs a reference, the fellow who writes this blog gives very detailed and helpful reviews on multiple biographies for each president as well as for many other historical and political figures: https://bestpresidentialbios.com/curriculum/

        • I had not heard of that site and just spent way too much time looking around it. 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing it! I told my daughters about it. That is a great site with a ton of information about U.S. Presidents.

  2. I also have never read any by books by this author. Excuse me a second while I go add her to my TBR list. 🙂 I definitely vote you read one that you own. And if I had to pick I would go with No Ordinary Times.


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