Hidden Figures

The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA at the leading edge of the feminist and civil rights movement, whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space—a powerful, revelatory contribution that is as essential to our understanding of race, discrimination, and achievement in modern America as Between the World and Me and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. The basis for the smash Academy Award-nominated film starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner. Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South’s segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America’s aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly, these overlooked math whizzes had a shot at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam’s call, moving to Hampton, Virginia and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory. Even as Virginia’s Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley’s all-black “West Computing” group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and complete domination of the heavens. Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement and the Space Race, Hidden Figures follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades they faced challenges, forged alliances and used their intellect to change their own lives, and their country’s future.

Hidden figures

Hidden Figures is an excellent example of a well written book. I actually listened to the book and would recommend that, because the reader did a very nice job. I did not know if I wanted to read this book since I had already watched the movie. The movie was really good and I highly recommend it. Also I did not want to read a book that bashed all “white” people as racists and anti-black because that it not true. But after reading this quote in the Margot Lee Shetterly’s prologue to her book: ” What I wanted was for them to have the grand, sweeping narrative that they deserved, the kind of American history that belongs to the Wright Brothers and the astronauts, to Alexander Hamilton and Martin Luther King Jr. Not told as a separate history, but as a part of the story we all know. Not at the margins, but at the very center, the protagonists of the drama. And not just because they are black, or because they are women, but because they are part of the American epic,”
I wanted to keep reading this book.

America’s past cannot be forgotten but it is the past and it cannot be dwelt upon. Once I read that the author was not going to play that card, I pushed forward into her interesting book. The book does not only talk about one woman but many “hidden figures.”

I originally tried to read the book but when I could not find time to read, I went to my library’s e-audio book collection and rented it. It was a lot easier for me to listen to the book because there was a lot of history and scientific terms and facts.

So, why read this book? Well because it is interesting, well written, and it gave credit to the “hidden figures” behind the space race, no matter the color of their skin color. They were Americans and they played their part. Katherine Goble Johnson, one of the more famous hidden figures, became a celebrity after word got out about her part in the John Glenn flight and she simply replied “Well, I’m just doing my job.”

Shetterly wrote in her epilogue: “By recognizing the full complement of extraordinary ordinary women who have contributed to the success of NASA, we can change our understanding of their abilities from the exception to the rule. Their goal wasn’t to stand out because of their differences; it was to fit in because of their talent. Like the men they worked for, and the men they sent hurtling off into the atmosphere, they were just doing their jobs. I think Katherine would appreciate that.”

This book is worth reading (or listening to) and I highly recommend it.

 

Title: The Hidden Figures

Author and Website: Margot Lee Shetterly

Reading Resolution 12: Read an award-winning book.

This review is written in my own words and is my honest opinion.

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All She Left Behind

Already well-versed in the natural healing properties of herbs and oils, Jennie Pickett longs to become a doctor. But the Oregon frontier of the 1870s doesn’t approve of such innovations as women attending medical school. To leave grief and guilt behind, as well as support herself and her challenging young son, Jennie cares for an elderly woman using skills she’s developed on her own. When her patient dies, Jennie discovers that her heart has become entangled with the woman’s widowed husband, a man many years her senior. Their unlikely romance may lead her to her ultimate goal–but the road will be winding and the way forward will not always be clear. Will Jennie find shelter in life’s storms? Will she discover where healing truly lives? Through her award-winning, layered storytelling, New York Times bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick invites readers to leave behind their preconceived notions about love and life as they, along with Jennie, discover that dreams may be deferred–but they never really die. Based on a true story.

All she left behind

This was the most depressing book I have read all year long. From the beginning of the book to the epilogue. Oh, that does not even count the author’s note. I went through the book thinking it was all fiction but when I saw that it was based on a true story, I was just depressed that the characters were really real. I do not like feeling depressed and that is why I did not enjoy this book.

I personally do not recommend this book. It is not that the author is a bad author or that her writing skill is terrible. No, nothing like that, Jane Kirkpatrick  had me reading her book from start to finish. I had to know what happened but after reading the ending, I just felt sad.

 

Title: All She Left Behind

Author and her website: Jane Kirkpatrick

Reading Resolution 4: Read a historical fiction.

I received this book from the Revell Division of the Baker Publishing Group for this review.

This review is written in my own words and is my honest opinion.

 

The Promise of Dawn

When Signe, her husband, Rune, and their three boys arrive in Minnesota from Norway to help a relative clear his land of lumber, they dream of owning their own farm and building a life in the New World. But Uncle Einar and Aunt Gird are hard, demanding people, and Signe and her family soon find themselves worked nearly to the bone in order to repay the cost of their voyage. At this rate, they will never have land or a life of their own. Signe tries to trust God but struggles with anger and bitterness. She has left behind the only life she knew, and while it wasn’t an easy life, it wasn’t as hard as what she now faces. When a new addition to the family arrives, Signe begins to see how God has been watching over them throughout their ordeal. But after all that has happened, can she still believe in the promise of a bright future?

The Promise of Dawn

So, let’s talk about this book. This is the first Lauraine Snelling book I have read and it is also the first book in her brand new series Under Northern Skies. This book has been sitting on my nightstand for a couple weeks now because I could not get into the story. Finally, two nights ago, I picked it up again and started afresh. Guess what? I actually finished it last night, and I enjoyed the whole book.

Snelling wrote this story in the way that I, as the reader could almost feel as if I was Signe. Snelling described the hardships and heartaches of moving to the unknown to a tee. When I was reading this book, I kept thinking about what I would have done in Signe’s place. Would I have moved to the unknown, knowing that I would never see my family again. This book reminded me of my ancestral heritage and it gave me a picture of what it must have been like to leave everything behind to start a new life in the great unknown. This book is a great example of a well written book. It was intriguing, well written, it flowed from one page to the next, and it painted a vivid picture of the characters, thoughts, and actions.

If you are wanting to read this book, then I do have to mention one thing about the author’s writing style. She does write the book using the dialect of the Norwegian people and when reading this I could almost hear them talking like that. All of their names where also like that but once I knew who was who, I was fine.

Despite the sad parts of this book, the story was very good. It is a beautifully written story about those who gave up everything to settle the great unknown. I would recommend this book and am looking forward to reading more of Lauraine Snelling’s books.

Title: The Promise of Dawn

Author and her Website: Lauraine Snelling

I received this book from the Bethany House Publishing of the Baker Publishing Group for this review.

 

This review is written in my own words and is my honest opinion.

The Knight and the Dove

Eager to secure a permanent loyalty from this promising young knight, King Henry commands Bracken to marry into one of the crown’s most loyal families. But Lord Vincent’s oldest daughter, the beautiful yet deceitful Marigold, scorns the king’s edict. She will never marry a lowly earl. Now Vincent must call his beloved Megan from the abbey and send her to Hawkings Crest to wed.
When Marigold discovers that Bracken has been made a duke for his obedience, jealousy drives her to madness – a madness that will stop at nothing to bring her youngest sister pain. Will Bracken rescue Megan from Marigold’s wicked scheme? Will Megan ever hear the words she longs to hear from her knight?
A moving epic of God’s tender care in even the darkest moments.

Knight and the Dove

I actually talked about this book in an earlier review for The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson but only now have I realized that I have not written a review on this book. So here is my review of The Knight and the Dove.

I absolutely love Lori Wick as an author. I have read most of her books more than twice. This is one of those books. The book is the fourth book of Wick’s Kensington Chronicles but really it is a stand alone book, since the book jumps to the 1500s instead of the 1840s like the rest of the books in the series. I think Wick should have kept writing in this time period. The book is not my personal favorite but is not my least. Actually, I like all of Wick’s books.

Back to the book. Wick weaves a good story, which in the end makes you disappointed it had to end. Unlike many of inspirational authors that write in this time period, Wick did get one thing right that the rest sometimes forgets. During this time period the girl could not argue about getting married to their intended. I like this author because she follows the time period.

So, I absolutely recommend The Knight and the Dove. The book is a good love story. It is one of those books that can be read anytime.

 

Title: The Knight and the Dove

Author: Lori Wick

Reading Resolution 56: Read a library book.

 

Just FYI, I have read all of Wick’s books and can recommend them all.

 

This review is written in my own words and is my honest opinion.

A Dangerous Engagement

Just as merchant’s daughter Felicity Mayson is spurned once again because of her meager dowry, she receives an unexpected invitation to Lady Blackstone’s country home. Being introduced to the wealthy Oliver Ratley is an admitted delight, as is his rather heedless yet inviting proposal of marriage. Only when another of Lady Blackstone’s handsome guests catches Felicity’s attention does she realize that nothing is what it seems at Doverton Hall. Government agent Philip McDowell is infiltrating a group of cutthroat revolutionaries led by none other than Lady Blackstone and Ratley. Their devious plot is to overthrow the monarchy, and their unwitting pawn is Felicity. Now Philip needs Felicity’s help in discovering the rebels’ secrets—by asking her to maintain cover as Ratley’s innocent bride-to-be. Philip is duty bound. Felicity is game. Together they’re risking their lives—and gambling their hearts—to undo a traitorous conspiracy before their dangerous masquerade is exposed.

A dangerous engagement

This book is the third book in Melanie Dickerson’s series The Regency Spies of London. This book was is not my favorite Dickerson book but it is not at the bottom. The idea of the story was good but in my opinion it dragged on. However, the story was still good.

The cover of the book was actually the reason I picked up this book and wanted to read the book. Also I knew it was a Melanie Dickerson book and I have read almost all of her books.

I would recommend this book because Melanie Dickerson is the author and all of her books have been good, clean books that can be read my teenagers and adults. I have younger teenage sisters and it makes me happy that there is an author that I can recommend to them because of her wholesome books.

 

Title: A Dangerous Engagement

Author: Melanie Dickerson

Author’s Website: http://www.melaniedickerson.com/

Reading Resolution 15: Read a teen book.

I received this book from Waterfall Press for this review.

 

Have you read all of Melanie Dickerson’s books? Well if you have, Jody Hedlund’s  The Uncertain Choice Series is a good clean series that I would also recommend to teenage girls, as well!

 

This review is witten in my own words and is my honest opinion.

An Inconvenient Beauty

Griffith, Duke of Riverton, likes order, logic, and control, and he naturally applies this rational approach to his search for a bride. He’s certain Miss Frederica St. Claire is the perfect wife for him, but while Frederica is strangely elusive, he can’t seem to stop running into her stunningly beautiful cousin, Miss Isabella Breckenridge. Isabella should be enjoying her society debut, but with her family in difficult circumstances, her uncle will only help them if she’ll use her beauty to assist him in his political aims. Already uncomfortable with this agreement, the more she comes to know Griffith, the more she wishes to be free of her unfortunate obligation. Will Griffith and Isabella be able to set aside their pride and face their fears in time to find their own happily-ever-after?

An Inconvenient Beauty

I have been waiting for this book to be published since Kristi Ann Hunter’s first book came out. I enjoyed this book very much. Really, I did. I sat and read this book within a few days. It is a good thing that it is Labor Day weekend or I would not have done any of my homework. After reading the last page, I wanted to go and get the first book and reread the series. I have not read the second book, yet, but I will soon.

So back to the book. Griffith’s story was worth waiting for and very good. It did not push A Noble Masqueradeahead into first place against A Noble Masquerade but it was a close race. I liked Isabella as a leading female character. The plot of the story was fun. The one fault I was not a fan of was the description of Griffith. In my opinion he was not a huge guy. Other than that I liked the story. I was sad that it ended. In my own opinion, Kristi Ann Hunter should continue with the Hawthorne House Series. Frederica’s story should be written, at least in a novella, because she needs her happy ending. Oh, and what about Miranda’s baby? Hunter should  include that in a short novella.

Off the subject, Bethany House did a good job making the front covers of most of Hunter’s books. The only one I am not a fan of is An Uncommon Courtship but all the rest are very pretty.

A Noble MasqueradeA Lady of Esteem PicAn Elegant Facade.jpgan-uncommon-courtship-pictureAn Inconvenient Beauty

So summing up this review, I would recommend this book. It was an excellent way to end this cute series. 

 

Title: An Inconvenient Beauty

Author: Kristi Ann Hunter

Author’s Website: http://www.kristiannhunter.com/

Reading Resolution 10: Read a book set in a different country.

I received this book from the Bethany House Publishing of the Baker Publishing Group through Netgalley for this review.

 

Are you interested in any of Hunter’s other books. Read my reviews here.

A Noble Masquerade-The First Book

A Lady of Esteem-A Novella

(Review of An Elegant Facade coming soon)

An Uncommon Courtship-The Third book

 

This review is written in my own words and is my honest opinion.

Something New for My Blog!

I have added a new page to my blog. Have you noticed it? Well if you have not, pop over Library symbolto the page with the title: Journey to the Libraries. This brand new page is to keep track of all the libraries I have visited. I am a nerd and I like visiting libraries. I only have been to a few so far but it is a start.

Is your library on my list? If so, that is super cool!

 

Here is the direct link to my newest page. Journey to the Libraries