TITLE: The Library Book
AUTHOR: Susan Orleans
PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster AudioPUB. YEAR: 2018
RATING: - 3.5/5
The Library Book was one of the books chosen for a book group read in 2020. One focus of this book was the devastating fire at the LA Public Library (Central Branch) in April of 1986. The fire destroyed the library and its collection and, the rebuilding took more than 8 years. The author highlights the critical role that libraries have played over the years and, she discusses libraries past and present.
The author shares her fond memories of frequent trips to the library as a child with her mother, a tradition she continued with her own child years later. The writing about her personal experiences was wonderful and really resonated with me.
Overall, I was a bit disappointed with this book. I do appreciate all the research that went into this book, however, I thought a lot of it felt unfocused and hard to follow at times. Listening to the audio version was probably not the right decision for this book. I found it especially tedious to listen to the author speak call number after call number (Library Dewey Decimal Classification System) about the types of books destroyed in the fire. As someone who has worked in libraries for about 15 years, I really thought I'd love this book but that was not the case. If you decide to try this one I suggest print over audio.
TITLE: The Girls of Atomic City: Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win WWII
AUTHOR: Denise Kiernan
PUBLISHER: AtriaPUB. YEAR: 2013
RATING: - 4.5/5
The Girls of Atomic City is a NF work about the young women who during WWII were hired for a secret mission, (unknowingly aiding to help build and fuel the atomic bomb.)
In 1943 Oakridge, TN was a town that no one had heard of, yet, seemingly overnight, the town grew out of the mountains and farmlands on some 80,000 acres. The US government's heavy recruitment efforts created, jobs, jobs and more jobs in this secret city. Most who were hired were women: chemists, mathematicians, secretaries and custodial staff alike. Those hired were housed on site and given only basic information, just enough to enable them to perform their jobs. Never was it acceptable to talk about their work or they would be removed from the the project and the property.
The book focuses on 9 women and what they experienced during their time working on this top secret mission. At times it was a bit difficult to keep all of the characters straight, the stories were so interesting.
This book was our book group read for March but, we never got to discuss it before the library closed due to the pandemic. This is one of those books that I would have never selected to read on my own but, I was so happy my group selected it. I do think this book would appeal to a variety of readers.