I picked up this book at Powell's Portland airport store. Let me tell you, Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly is a beautifExcerpted from my blog:
I picked up this book at Powell's Portland airport store. Let me tell you, Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly is a beautifully written book about the collision of race, gender, and science in the USA from World War II to the late 1960s.
Hidden Figures tells the stories of a number of African American women who found themselves working on engineering projects during World War II and through the 1960s space race. Oh, I should add that they were doing all of this in Virginia too.
As someone who has spent her career working to diversify science, technology, engineering and mathematics, these type of stories are not new to me, even if the characters are. There are so many hidden figures in the annals of the history of science we could write books for a generation. No, what is most compelling about Hidden Figures is how effortlessly Shetterly connects the dots between what is occurring in the government labs during the space race and what is happening in our society writ large.
Time and time again Shetterly balances the progress happening in the research labs with how stuck Virginia and the rest of the country were in terms of race and gender relations.
In relation to African Americans fighting in World War II, she writes:
The system that kept the black race at the bottom of American society was do deeply rooted in the nation's history that it was impervious to the country's ideals of equality.
In relation to using education as a force for social advancement:
The Negro's ladder to the American dream was missing rungs, with even the most outwardly successful blacks worries that at any moment the forces of discrimination would lay waste to their economic security.
Atwood does not disappoint in creating a world full of weird new characters. Science, intrigue, and a touch of romance. It wasn't the best told story,Atwood does not disappoint in creating a world full of weird new characters. Science, intrigue, and a touch of romance. It wasn't the best told story, but since I was seriously surprised by the cliffhanger, so that tells me I was into it enough to want to know more*. Can't wait for the next book.
Now to see if Angel Catbird will be visited by Catwings in future books.
*It's a graphic novel, V! There will be a cliffhanger! DUH!!!!!...more
CW: The plot of this book deals with sexual assault and emotional abuse. Some graphic depictions of assault.
I decided to sprint through The Obsession CW: The plot of this book deals with sexual assault and emotional abuse. Some graphic depictions of assault.
I decided to sprint through The Obsession. Luckily this book grabs a hold of you so quickly that I would have sprinted through it even if I had started it a year early. The first few chapters document the first 20 or so years of Naomi's life that at one point I was pretty disappointed not to get more into those pivotal years. We go from Naomi learning the awful truth about her deranged father and saving a young woman's life to buying a huge house on Puget Sound, Washington that it was a bit whiplashy. But you soon learn that The Obsession is a roller coaster ride and that was just the opening drop.
When Naomi moves to Washington, she was finally stopped running from her past as the daughter who caught this century's most notorious serial killer. After having been raised in New York by her gay uncles and enduring the suicide of her emotionally abused mother, Naomi finally settles down in an old bed and breakfast in much need of a rehab. She is making her living as a photographer - half artsy stuff that sells in NY galleries and half stock photos. While she has changed her last name, Naomi is always on high alert for anyone who might discover her real origins. This is in fact one reason she chose a sleepy small town to lay down roots.
Naomi quickly is drawn into this small town's social scene, especially after catching the eye of the town hottie/rocker/mechanic. See...it takes awhile for the romance to show up! You get how it took me awhile to realize I was in for some steamy love scenes. I have to admit that I felt the same as Naomi when Xander showed up. He is brash and overconfident in himself. Ugh, I thought. Then as he worked his way into Naomi's heart, he also did to mine.
When Roberts gets this roller coaster moving through the zero-G loops, you are racing through the pages again. I'm proud of myself for picking up on some of the foreshadowing to figure out a little of the ending. There were certainly times when I was thinking, "No, No..NO!! This is not how this ends up!" But Naomi's past does indeed catch up to her now that she has stopped running.
The actual conclusion of the mystery part of the book was only half-satisfying. But the ride was good enough that I would recommend this book be tossed in your beach bag this summer. It will keep you engaged as you take in some sun, but also a book you could conceivably leave for a few days and pick up without a problem. But....I highly doubt you'll be able to put the down long enough for that to happen.
Again, this is an excellent beach book for the upcoming summer. But if you buy it now, I dare you to make it past Memorial Day before you devour this book.