Posted in Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Non-Fiction

REVIEW: The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore

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*History Spoilers*

The Curies’ newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines brightly in the otherwise dark years of the First World War.

Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” are the luckiest alive — until they begin to fall mysteriously ill.

But the factories that once offered golden opportunities are now ignoring all claims of the gruesome side effects, and the women’s cries of corruption. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America’s early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights that will echo for centuries to come.

I first came across this nonfiction novel by listening to a podcast called Stuff You Missed in History Class. The way the narrators of the podcast discussed this story shocked me. It is a heart-wrenching story of young women who were just trying to support their country, in the end, to be poisoned and wasted away is difficult to hear.

This was a “Goodreads Choice Winner” in 2017. I can see why this historic story won. A tale of 1920s America and the mistreatment of the female workers is what makes this interesting to read. The coming age of nuclear energy is clear in this memoir.

The Ramifications from this outbreak of what’s proclaimed to be “not harmful” and “a miracle medicine” caused laws and legislation to be put in place so that workers have rights if their workplace caused them harm. As well as regulations and laws about protecting a worker from radiation poisoning and keeping the Earth safe from fallout debris.

I would highly recommend this novel if you’re interested in true stories about the 1920s America and scandals involving large corporations. This memoir will have you reaching for the tissues and make you feel for those workers and their families.

Posted in Book Reviews, Graphic Novels

REVIEW: Blacksad (Blacksad #1-3) by Juan Diaz Canales

9781595823939*No Spoilers*

Private investigator John Blacksad is up to his feline ears in mystery, digging into the backstories behind murders, child abductions, and nuclear secrets. Whether John Blacksad is falling for dangerous women or getting beaten to within an inch of his life, his stories are, simply put, unforgettable.

If you are looking for a good crime noir, you have found your book.  Blacksad is a private investigator trying to navigate his way through the Cold War era America. With racial tensions and political tensions at their highest, it makes Blacksad’s life even more complicated.

This is rated M for Mature for nudity, language, and some violence. I just thought this needed to be stated just to be on the safe side.

I can relate to Blacksad in the fact that he’s just trying to live a decent life and maybe one day write a memoir that will be turned into a fiction novel. He is jaded by the world around him but is still open to having a serious relationship in his life.

This graphic novel demonstrates how high the communist threat actually was. It paints a grim picture of the past, and also possible future. Public hangings just on the slight suspicions of them having communist ties. This paints the story into a very dark tone.

I am not going to spoil anything because you need to read this book in order to fully enjoy it! The stories go along nicely and the artwork is fantastic!

I would highly recommend this for graphic novel readers as well as readers of Cold War era fiction. I would be very interested in reading the next volume of this series. I haven’t decided whether I’m going to review it or just read it for my personal enjoyment. Let me know what you think in the comments!