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My Remarkable Journey: A Memoir

4.50  ·  Rating details ·  109 ratings  ·  43 reviews
The remarkable woman at heart of the smash New York Times bestseller and Oscar-winning film Hidden Figures tells the full story of her life, including what it took to work at NASA, help land the first man on the moon, and live through a century of turmoil and change.

In 2015, at the age of 97, Katherine Johnson became a global celebrity. President Barack Obama awarded her t
Paperback, 400 pages
Published May 25th 2021 by HarperLuxe
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May 09, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Remarkable Journey is the posthumous memoir of Katherine Johnson the NASA mathematician who Taraji Henson portrayed a few years ago in the film Hidden Figures. In her memoir, Katherine writes about her life beginning with her upbringing in West Virginia to her behind the scenes career as a NASA computer. She writes about the film early on in the book and reveals some of its inaccuracies.

Johnson was very humble in her memoir, she never took sole credit for NASA’s space successes, and she alwa
Mar 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Katherine Johnson, who recently passed on at age 101. has written an amazing memoir with the help of her daughters. She worked for NASA as a mathematician for over 30 years, and is a central character in the film Hidden Figures. This memoir not only discusses her contribution to the space program, but also offers her insights on what was happening in the United States, and especially in the South where she grew up. Her parents raised her to be positive, she says, and that comes across clearly in ...more
Katherine Johnson is one of the women of color who provided the calculations that enabled the astronauts to make it to the moon. Her work went largely unnoticed and unrecognized until the last few decades when she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Hidden Figures book and subsequent movie came out. In this book, she tells her story in her own words, and it is quite an amazing story.

Even though her time at NASA is extraordinary and boundary breaking in many ways, I was most fa
Feb 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
My Remarkable Journey: A Memoir by Katherine Johnson with Joylette Hylick and Katherine G. Moore is a wonderful and stunning memoir about a woman that I have admired and looked up to for many years.

I have known quite a bit about Ms. Johnson for a while now. I have been fascinated about her involvement with NASA, and as a fellow female WV native that majored in the sciences (ok so my degrees are in Biology, not Physics or Mathematics, but by golly I love Physics and Chemistry) myself, I almost fe
May 25, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, arc
Even though this book is primarily about Katherine Johnson’s life and contributions as a female black mathematician to NASA and the Apollo space missions, it is also a wonderful window into society during WWII, the civil rights movement during the 60s and 70s, school segregation, and much more. This is quite an enjoyable and informative read.

Thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins for the ARC to read and review.
Nancy Boisseau
Jun 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful story about a truly remarkable woman who not only made incredible advancements to this country's scientific endeavors, but also experienced all the trials and turmoil of WWII, the civil rights movements, the Vietnam War, the Women's Rights movement, the 1960s and on and on. A true inspiration. Easy to read, hard to forget. ...more
Jun 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book even more than I expected. Biographies can be boring at times but this one was super engaging. I admire Katherine Johnson's drive, honesty, and dedication in all areas of her life. I loved to see how dedicated her parents were to her education and how she went on to instill the same value in her children. I have not read or seen Hidden Figures yet but I enjoyed this narrative from her perspective, since she notes that areas of Hidden Figures were dramatized.

A big thank you to
Feb 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My Remarkable Journey: A Memoir by Katherine Johnson with Joylette Hylick and Katherine G. Moore is a wonderful and stunning memoir about a woman that I have admired and looked up to for many years.

I have known quite a bit about Ms. Johnson for a while now. I have been fascinated about her involvement with NASA, and as a fellow female WV native that majored in the sciences (ok so my degrees are in Biology, not Physics or Mathematics, but by golly I love Physics and Chemistry) myself, I almost fe
Jena Henry
Feb 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More than just a “remarkable journey”, this is the memoir of a “remarkable woman” who lived a “remarkable life.” Known in scientific circles for her advanced mathematical knowledge and her immense contributions to the NASA space program, Katherine Johnson became beloved by all of America following the release of her story in the acclaimed movie, “Hidden Figures.” Katherine tells her story in a clear and friendly style. The trajectory of her long life, paired with the history of America for bette ...more
Jun 17, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Last week, I was reading this book and James Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. The celebrated Irish novelist is a much better writer, in terms of style, than is the accomplished mathematician.

But, Johnson's book is hands down the better book.

Far better.

Her prose may be simple. Her language without poetic rhythm, but her story is powerful. An African-American woman born in one of the poorest states in the Union rises to help send astronauts into space and put a man on the moon.

In th
Jun 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Not only was Katherine Johnson remarkable, but so was her memoir. Johnson recounts her life growing up in West Virginia, attending school, becoming a teacher, getting married, having children, and of course moving to Newport News to work at NACA, and later NASA. Throughout her memoir, she describes the current events of the time, the racial discord, and the evolution of education. Johnson has so much to share with the world—I can’t get over how humble she was. Here’s this amazing, brilliant woma ...more
Emani Glee
May 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! I always enjoy reading about the lives of people behind the headlines. The title of this book is so fitting because Katherine’s journey was truly remarkable. I really liked that while the story is centered around Katherine, it shines a light on other achievers as well. I’m not surprised by this because the Katherine Johnson I got to know through this book comes off very humble and she seems to shy away from the spotlight.

I was amazed to find out that the career that led to he
Feb 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
4.5 stars My Remarkable Journey is the perfect title for this memoir, as the story of Katherine Johnson’s life is truly remarkable. Best known for her role in NASA’s space program, Johnson was blazing a trail long before NASA. From childhood, Katherine was made to understand the value of education-a world in which she excelled, finishing 8th grade at v the age of 10. Katherine’s parents and teachers showed her the importance of meeting her human potential, and that neither her race nor her sex n ...more
May 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
Review featured at

4.5 Hearts I had not heard of the history of these incredible women until one day on a tv show called "Timeless" (episode Space Race which aired Nov 28, 2016). I actually went and Googled it after the episode and I think maybe a lot of people did because only a short time later the movie Hidden Figures came out. I ran to the theater to see it and was not disappointed. I then picked up the book the movie was based on and absolutely loved it.

But this book
Jeff Bobin
It is a remarkable journey!

This is a lifetime story, almost a century, of incredible change, overcoming adversity and finding ways forward. Anyone that wants to understand what it takes to be a part of creating change will find this an inspiration.

I first became aware of Katherine Johnson like many others when I saw the movie Hidden Figures and then went and read the book. It became clear while reading the book that liberties had been taken in the movie with her character but were part of the
Kim McGee
Mar 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
Katherine Johnson was a pioneer on so many levels and crossed barriers due to her skin color and the fact that she was a woman as well as helping to launch the US into space. Following the movie "Hidden Figures" she became well known overnight as we learned of her long career with NASA as a black female mathematician. She was who John Glenn wanted to check the calculations before he would climb into the tin can that would hurl him into space. She also worked hard to break barriers outside of NAS ...more
Cindy Burnett
May 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This memoir of Katherine Johnson’s remarkable life is being published posthumously and is a quick and fascinating read. Her story is now known the world over after the Hidden Figures book and movie celebrated her contributions (along with several other Black women) to NASA’s first manned flights in space, but in My Remarkable Journey she starts at the beginning and tells the incredible tale of her 101 years in her own words. From her early years as a child prodigy in West Virginia to her many ye ...more
Monica Fumarolo
This incredibly accessible book chronicles the extraordinary life of Katherine Johnson, most notable to the public for her time doing calculations for NASA and various parts of the space program. This book beautifully illustrates that while an exciting time of her life, it was hardly the whole story. She shares her upbringing in West Virginia, the tales of the people who supported her along the way, the many jobs that came before the Space Race, and what it meant to be a working mom at the time, ...more
Karen Hutchinson
May 01, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading about Katherine Johnson’s life. It as indeed remarkable!

Having been encouraged by loving and supportive parents, Katherine was a precocious child who loved learning, especially mathematics, and graduated at younger than traditional ages from both high school and college and went on to obtain a Ph.D. She worked at NASA for over 30 years as a mathematician and her calculations were invaluable to Apollo missions particularly. She did this while raising three girls who were
Mar 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Despite decades of phenomenal mathematical achievements, Katherine Johnson remained a relative unknown until her 90s. She begins her autobiography with the accolades that were heaped on her late in life before circling back to her earlier years. The book is ¾ over before she reaches her pivotal role in getting John Glenn into orbit, but there is plenty else going on: fierce familial love, devotion to her community, her joy in education, and the racism and sexism she had to push through. She also ...more
Mar 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Since seeing the film, Hidden Figures, I have been fascinated with Katherine Johnson’s story and was so excited to hear her memoir was being published. For years, she worked diligently behind the scenes, not receiving the well-deserved praise she gets today until winning the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the release of Hidden Figures.

This memoir was filled with so much more than we have learned before. Yes, she talks about her time at NASA (which is extraordinary), but she also provides a th
Apr 11, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Since Margot Lee Shetterly's book and the resulting movie, interest in Katharine Johnson and the other NASA human computers has resulted in many other books for all ages. This memoir written by Katharine Johnson and her daughters is enlightening while still entirely readable and enjoyable. Mrs. Johnson manages to weave her personal experiences into a story that captures the reader's interest in the way that a dynamic and captivating speaker can do. She balances the incidents from her own life wi ...more
Jun 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Very worthwhile read for a number of reasons with one small caveat. I really enjoyed the movie "Hidden Figures" which covered more or less correctly the story of human computers who were at the heart of many mathematical computations during WWII and shortly thereafter. Katherine Johnson was a vital part of this group and eventually signed off on John Glenn's first flight.

My one caveat is that I feel she made her life a bit easier than it could possible have been in those days. On the other hand
Apr 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Extremely well-written, thoughtful reflection on the life of an amazing woman! I loved learning more about Katherine Johnson and her life, and especially about the people that helped make her who she was. She was extremely humble about her accomplishments and yet was able to provide so much context about the history and backdrop of what was going on at the time she grew up and worked and lived. It truly was a “remarkable journey” to read about! Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ...more
Jun 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This memoir gives a peak into the life of a remarkable woman. While reading it, I was proud as well as uncomfortable that I had been in an insulated living situation and never knew the kind of treatment Ms. Johnson and her contemporaries encountered. This book opened my eyes but it also made me proud of the fact that Ms. Johnson chose to work and live and get ahead in spite of the poor treatment from people in her region. This is a glimpse into the past with the ability to look ahead. In her wor ...more
Jun 18, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
A solid memoir taking a look at one of NASA's early female black mathematicians, Katherine Johnson. If that sounds familiar, it's because she's one of the heroines portrayed in the very good movie Hidden Figures. I enjoyed a lot of this biography, but it did get bogged down in detailed descriptions of notable historical events that read more like Wikipedia. Still, it was a good read and I am thankful for chronicles of remarkable people like this who changed history not with a bang, but quietly, ...more
May 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Katherine Johnson's life is truly incredible. Her attitude towards education, along with her determination to reach higher and higher goals, guided her to NASA and the Space Program. This memoir is captivating and immensely readable. I appreciated hearing her views on the space program, civil rights and women's work in what had been a male-dominated industry. Hopefully this book will be published in a student version as Johnson's story is perfect for girls interested in STEM. ...more
M Moore
Jun 07, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An incredible memoir about an incredible woman. Part of Katherine Johnson's story was portrayed in the film Hidden Figures but this book gives us more information about her background beginning with her childhood. Her personal hardships along with growing up in the time of Jim Crow couldn't hold her back once she set her sights on where she knew she belonged. An inspiring, quick read!
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Mar 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021-challenges
I first learned about Katherine Johnson from reading the book Hidden FIgures. This memoir by Ms. Johnson herself is an in-depth look into an amazing life. From growing up in White Sulphur Springs, WV to her educational journey and her career path to NASA, we get to chart the trajectory of a truly wonderful life. Highly recommended.
Jun 04, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: autobiography
An interesting look back at a life that was definitely worth living. It's light on analysis but a joy to read nonetheless, full of generosity and kindness, even for those who probably don't deserve much. What a remarkable woman! I just may have to read Hidden Figures now. I wish I'd known Katherine Johnson. ...more
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