In this huge compendium of world history are collected notes, letters, and treatise from across the gamut of science, politics, art, and literature.
It's an interesting glimpse inside personal lives - most of these letters were never intended for the public to see. Elvis's letter to President Nixon offering to be a secret agent in the drug war, Kurt Vonnegut's letter home that explains his WWII POW experience (that later spawned the legendary "Slaughterhouse-Five"), Katherine Hepburn's agonized letter of loss addressed to her deceased beloved Spencer Tracy.
There's so much to learn here about the human experience and how similar we are, even separated by space and time: Leonardo da Vinci had to apply for jobs, and here is his letter of interest! She may be the Queen of England, but Elizabeth still has a killer recipe for scones. And a child advises Abraham Lincoln to grow a beard, and he takes her advice.
I read this book over the span of a couple weeks as my lunchtime enjoyment. It's perfect for reading a letter or two at a time (it's a really big book!) and it gave me plenty of mental fodder to accompany my meal.