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review 2017-04-29 01:35
Hidden Figures
Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race - Margot Lee Shetterly

Hidden Figures tells the story of the role that women “computers,” particularly female African-American “computers” played in the birth of the aeronautics industry.  This is an important story, a story that should have been better known a long time ago, especially considering how important race and gender were, and still are, in the US.

 

Biographies tell what people did; the best also tell who people were – their personalities and what they cared about.  1st time author, Ms. Shetterley generally does a good, though dry, job telling a story about Dorothy Vaughn, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden.  But at the end I didn’t feel like I know the women themselves. I am currently #65 on the hold list for the movie.  I wonder if I’ll have a better sense for who Dorothy, Mary, Katherine and Christine really are after watching some of the scenes I just read about come to life.

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text 2017-04-29 01:09
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Voyage of the Basilisk: A Memoir by Lady Trent - Marie Brennan

I read this for the Fantasyland #9 Square of BL-Opoly. Usually, I would write a review on finishing a book for the game, but I will make an exception for this one because I am finding it impossible to review these books as standalones. This is a series that builds on each previous book.

 

Suffice it to say that this has been my favourite so far.

"Each step leads to the next, and sometimes there is virtue in not allowing common sense to call you back."

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text 2017-04-28 22:20
Reading progress update: I've read 60%.
Voyage of the Basilisk: A Memoir by Lady Trent - Marie Brennan

Haha. The memoirs of Lady Trent just keep getting better and better. If I'm not in awe of the historical or natural details that Brennan weaves in (like the discovery of the Rosetta stone!), then I'm laughing a lot at her challenging the Victorians...

“I know it is strange.”

“Strange,” Tom said, still muffled by his hands, “is flinging yourself off a cliff for the sake of dragons. Strange is what you have done up until now. This … is something else.”

“Very well— I know it is absurd.”

“That comes closer to the mark.” He took his hands down, shaking his head. “I needled you in Eriga about attracting marital interest wherever you go, but I admit, I never expected this. Must you do it?”

...I'm not going to spoil any of the story for anyone who has not yet read this (and wants to), but our heroine faces new challenges with every book that make her more thoughtful, more accepting, and more fun to read about her development.

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review 2017-04-28 00:06
In the Name of Gucci: A Memoir by Patricia Gucci
In the Name of Gucci: A Memoir - Patricia Gucci

Read my latest review at bookhaunt.com

 

Really not so happy with BookLikes since I have to add a new book or edition every time I do a review.  

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text 2017-04-27 22:06
Reading progress update: I've read 14%.
Voyage of the Basilisk: A Memoir by Lady Trent - Marie Brennan

One of the reasons why I like this series so much is that Brennan's characters are capable of empathy and personal growth and Brennan uses their relationship with the fabulous mythical creatures to show this. 

"Jake soon tired of pretending to be a victim and so began mock-wrestling with the head, pretending to be its mighty slayer. “I’m going to kill one of these someday,” he proclaimed. “I should prefer you didn’t,” I said, rather sharply. “I did this for science, but it having now been done, I hope it needn’t be done again. Only the fangs have any real value on the market, and those only as curiosities and raw material for carving; should an entire animal die, just so we might take four of its teeth? I almost feel sorry for it. At the end, it was trying to swim away. It only wanted to live.”

“She,” Tom said, climbing over the railing. He was dripping with bloody water. “No eggs in her abdomen, but the ovipositor marks her very clearly as female. I wonder where they lay them?”

My chastisement had made little mark on my son, but Tom’s revelation silenced him. Much later, he admitted to me that the pronoun was what struck him so forcefully: the pronoun, and the possibility of eggs. With those two words, the sea-serpent changed from a terrible beast to a simple animal, not entirely different from the broken-winged sparrow we had once nursed back to health together.

A dangerous beast, true, and one that could have sent the Basilisk to the bottom of the ocean. But she had been alive, and had wanted to go on living; now she was dead, and any progeny she might have borne with her. Jake was very quiet after that, and remained so for several days."

It is quite moving. 

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