Lucy's Book Mark

Rise of the Rocket Girls

Rise of the Rocket Girls by Nathalia HoltRecently author Nathalia Holt appeared on the PBS Newshour to talk about her new book "Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars."  In the early days of the Jet Propulsion Lab a group of women called “computers” figured out the calculations of the space program, doing math with pencil and paper and some very bulky calculators.  Once computers were introduced, these women became the first programmers. Her book traces their history and accomplishments and recounts how both NASA and JPL overlooked their achievements as time went by. Case in point, none were invited to the 2008 gala held to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Explorer 1 (America’s first satellite), an oversight that is particularly galling since one of the Rocket Girls, Barbara Paulson, figured out the trajectory on the night Explorer 1 launched, working in the control room. Holt says “when the first American satellite is a success, its because of her. She is the one that found out it’s actually in orbit.”  (From Early Word)

Celebrities and Books

There is a new generation of celebrities that are using social media to share the books they love.  Reese Witherspoon, Lena Dunham, Emma Watson and others are among the stars who use Twitter or Instagram for book recommendations.  Witherspoon (#RWBookClub) (Instagram) shared how she enjoyed "Why Not Me" by Mindy Kaling, "Dad is Fat" by Jim Gaffigan and "Opening Belle" by Maureen Sherry.  Lena Dunham makes reading recommendations every "Lit Thursday" on Lenny, her online newsletter and Emma Watson started a feminist book club, Our Shared Shelf on the GoodReads site.

Big Library Read

Big Library Read
Through July 7, rearders can participate in the Big Library Read, OverDrive's global digital book club. Readers can borrow "A Murder in Time" without wait lists or holds and join the discussion board to share their thoughts. Fans of mystery, Jane Austen and/or time travel will love this thrilling story of an FBI agent from present day trying to solve a murder case while trapped in the early 1800’s. Listen to an exclusive interview with the author, Julie McElwain on the  Professional Book Nerds podcast and find read alikes as well on the Big Library Read website.  Download the book from the Wisconsin Digital Library's website.

Miss Jane

Miss Jane by Brad Watson
"Miss Jane is Brad Watson’s second novel, following National Book Award finalist The Heaven of Mercury. Watson uses his great aunt’s life as an inspiration for this work. Miss Jane is the story of Jane Chisholm, an intelligent, independent woman born with persistent cloaca, a urogenital sinus anomaly. She was born later in her parents’ lives and as such they blamed themselves for her condition, a guilt that she could feel even if it was unspoken. The family doctor never gave up hope that one day the advances in medicine would be able to provide a reconstructive surgery that would give her a more normal life. Set in rural Mississippi during the early part of the first decades of the 20th century, Miss Jane is a vivid portrait of the hardships and challenges that Jane Chisholm faced as a woman with a disability trying to fit in to society and also a woman not afraid to stand alone as an individual."  From Ingram Library Services

Everyone Brave is Forgiven

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave
Everyone Brave Is Forgiven is a masterpiece depicting the many varied aspects of British experience during WWII. Following the lives of Mary and Tom on the home front as they navigate harsh societal expectations and the daily grind of the blitz, as well as their friend Alistair, a soldier fighting for his own survival on the island of Malta, Chris Cleave's new novel paints a vivid portrait of the human experience of war. Although set nearly 80 years in the past, Cleave's story could as easily take place in present day. His characters examine the complicated issues surrounding racism, drug addiction, national pride, war, and women's rights. General readers and fans of the genre will enjoy the way Cleave's narrative style deftly handles a delicate balancing act--at once he manages to keep the tone light while relating the horrors of circumstance, leading readers on a lovely, heartbreaking journey to a satisfying conclusion.  From Ingram Library Services.

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