Having previously read and for the most part enjoyed Isaacson’s Einstein and The Innovators, I was excited to get my hands on his newest work regarding Leonardo Da Vinci. Intrigued by a topic and time period of which I know very little, I was excited to dive into this treasure-trove of new material. As a senior in high school, I once took a humanities class in community college, where the focus was upon art throughout the ages. With the dismissiveness of youth and general immaturity, I put minimal effort into a class that I didn’t view as aiding me in my narrow, tunnel vision skewed future life. With present day self reflection, I realize now as an adult, how much I would enjoy retaking that class for the sole sake of learning. With that being said, Isaacson’s level of detail regarding culture, key players, and history of the Renascence and Italy during the late 1400s/early 1500s was fascinating to say the least. A captivating individual, Da Vinci’s boundless curiosity was inspiring and thought provoking, ultimately serving as a reminder to pique our own levels of everyday observation and questioning. Dabbling in various fields from painting, to architecture, engineering and medicine, da Vinci’s observations and findings were extraordinary, not only for their sheer breadth but also that so many of his conclusions were centuries for before his time. Due to da Vinci not publishing any of his findings, many of his discoveries had to be rediscovered decades, and in some cases, centuries in the future with the link to da Vinci being made in hindsight. Significant portions of this book are appropriately spent describing da Vinci’s notable works of art in a high level of detail. Initially during these sections I found myself literarily lost, likely due to the medium with which I was consuming this book, i.e., audiobook, as I didn’t have the images right in front of me. This issue was quickly remedied as I would Google said paintings while they were being highlighted. Perhaps this book is a great example of one that is better read through a physical book or Kindle. With regard to Isaacson’s critical insight, multiple times throughout the text, this seasoned author seemed to lose his unbiased narration and slip into the role of a fan boy. Additionally, in stark contrast to his other books, he seemed to liberally be offering his own opinions on why his character of interest, in this case da Vinci made certain decisions or actions. Every time one of these opinions was freely given, I couldn’t help wondering what researchers who had devoted their life to this subject thought about this intrigue and if there was sound reasoning either opposing Isaacson’s view or supporting it. Upon pondering this quandary further I’ve settled on two mindsets as to perhaps why Isaacson chose this method for portrayal. My first impression was that Isaacson was treating da Vinci’s life as if he were in a museum observing one of his legendary works of art, thereby allowing the author to glean impressions or freely offer his opinions regarding why da Vince made the decisions he did. Secondly, perhaps Isaacson felt more literary freedom to have his own interpretation of da Vinci’s actions due to the Renassance man’s life taking place over half a millennium ago, which is in a significant extended time window in comparison to the relatively modern Einstein and the individuals highlighted in The Innovators. Regardless, every time he inserted one of his personal opinions into the narrative, it grabbed my attention and drove me to distraction. On a side note, and art lovers please do not berate me for this opinion, I have such a hard time understanding the fascination with the Mona Lisa. After reading what basically amount to a love letter from Isaacson, I stared and stared at this painting trying to understand his level of adoration. While I do not dislike the Mona Lisa, I found da Vinci’s other works to be much more impressive and moving, e.g., The Lady with an Ermine, The Last Supper, Virgin of the Rocks. Overall, Leonardo da Vinci offers a plethora of details regarding the life and world of this legendary lifelong learner and artist, whose work has inspired countless individuals.