Books: Hidden Figures

June 17, 2017

I don’t remember a lot of details of watching the first moon landing, in July 1969. Mostly I remember being bored with how long it took before they finally opened the door of the lunar module. I don’t actually know if my memories of scenes from Mission Control are from that night, or from movies I’ve seen since then. But my impression of Mission Control is of a bunch of men sitting at banks of computers.

White men, in white shirts, figuring out whatever needed to be figured out to get three men to the moon and back. It never occurred to me, until reading Hidden Figures recently, that a lot of the work behind the scenes had been done by black women.

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Books: The Astronaut Wives Club

April 18, 2015

This was our book club’s selection this month, selected in large part because it is light, easy reading. Our previous book, The Sandcastle Girls, was a gripping story but full of tragedy. The Astronaut Wives Club is not devoid of tragedy, primarily the Apollo 1 disaster, but none of the book is deep enough to draw the reader in far enough to feel the grief all that strongly.

Lack of depth is my primary complaint about the book. I want to be drawn into a book, not read it casually as I might a magazine article in the doctor’s waiting room. There are a number of themes that could have been explored more deeply, but apparently Lily Koppel preferred breadth over depth.

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