A Girl's Guide to Missiles: Growing Up in America's Secret Desert
The China Lake missile range is located in a huge stretch of the Mojave Desert, about the size of the state of Delaware. It was created during the Second World War, and has always been shrouded in secrecy. ...more
I had a funny moment ...more
So, firstly I just want to say that I don't understand why people think this is a book about missiles. It says right there in the title that it is about growing up. Sure, it's about growing up in a particular place, but it unequivocally states that this is a book about "growing up." Honestly, if it had been a book about missiles I'd have been quite irritated at having been mislead. I signed up for a memoir, & that's exactly...more
I wanted this book as soon as I saw the title. If I ever wrote a book about my passion for Cape Canaveral, I would have used that title. By the end of the book, I felt the title was used because it sounds good, not because it accuratly reflects what happens in the book.
I am fascinated by the history of missile test sites, especially the oldest ones which emerged in the 40's and 50' ...more
I have a deep understanding of China Lake history and how China Lake operates. China Lake was founded by the United States Navy during World War II. Today, China Lake supports national defense through research and development. A little known fact is China Lake's role in devel ...more
It is the memoir of a woman coming of age in the 80s, rising out of a barren culture of inflexible religion within the desert setting of China Lake, one of America's foremost weapons development facilities.
The story begins with Piper as a child, relocating from the Pacific Northwest to the hardscrabble of a southern California military base. She is close to her mother. Her sister ...more
I received an ARC from NetGall ...more
Thanks to Edelweiss and Penguin Publishing Group for the digital ARC.
Piper frames her biography with a trip back to China Lake Research Base to visit the petroglyphs found in the desert with her ...more
I enjoyed reading about those things that are exclusively "Ridgecrest" and military base China Lake. Those things that are local land marks that are still here today. And the familiarity of the places, street names and local th ...more
I'm starting to realize that I prefer my memoirs more focused and thematic (David Sedaris, Ariel Levy, Augusten Burroughs, and The Glass Castle). The thing about these types of memoirs...the titles of their books really set you up for the theme of the book. Even The Glass Castle, which walked you through a lot of lifespan was anchored in the parent/child relationship. You don't get all of the de ...more
I wasn’t crazy about her years as a bohemian hippie, but that speaks strongly to the idealism, activism, and idiocy so many young adults acquire when they go away to college. Unfortunately, she ...more
by Karen Piper
from the library
heard the au on Fresh Air on the radio: https://www.npr.org/2018/08/14/638543...
Yeah, you say that math was considered women's work at the base. Why is that?
PIPER: Well, it's interesting. It was considered clerical, you know, that you have, like, a little calculator and that's what, you know, women do, things like that. But then these calculators gr ...more
I love narrator Rebecca Lowman, and this is a nice fit for her - the humor is dry, her slightly slower pace is right on for Karen, who i ...more