Books open door to the world of Da Vinci

  • Walter Issacson’s “Leonardo Da Vinci”

Ahh… Leonardo Da Vinci!

But how much do you actually know about him?

What made this man of the renaissance so well-known and revered over the centuries?

Was it the timeless enigmatic “Mona Lisa”? Or the pinnacle of religious art, “The Last Supper”? His devotion to science? His inventions which were far ahead of his time?

Thankfully, famed author Walter Issacson, writer of the mega-bestselling biographies “Steve Jobs”, “Benjamin Franklin”, and “Einstein”, has generously taken us on an exploration into this genius of humanity. Famed biographer David McCullough has called this biography “the most engaging, informed, and insightful guide imaginable.”

Genius is a quality we all recognize when we see it, but often have little understanding of what fosters it. Issacson has taken much time and effort to examine the life of Da Vinci. Issacson’s research highlights the hallmarks that caused Da Vinci’s genius and talents to fruit into the lasting creations we know today, including the copious volumes of creative ideas that he chronicled in his many notebooks. Did you know that Da Vinci made constant to-do lists, was always observing, and had an insatiable curiosity? His curiosity about flight, anatomy, motion, color that drove his talent made him the original “renaissance man”!

Issacson’s “Leonardo Da Vinci” is one of those biographies that, although seemingly daunting at 524 pages, is thankfully written in a way that is both easy to read and entirely engaging. The numerous vivid full-color illustrations abound in this book, keeps the eyes satisfied as we read about the many incredible things he was to create and discover, which would forever alter our world and the way we think… all the way back from the 1400s!

If there is a biography worth reading (and there are so many to choose from), we highly recommend this one!


Ed and Cynthia Justus are owners of The Bookstore in Hanapepe.


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