Monday, June 24, 2013

Denise Kiernan: "The world may have changed, but she wasn't about to."

So, in a rare twist, I read a non-fiction book. I first heard about The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II because Denise Kiernan, the author, appeared on The Daily Show. I've always had a bit of a fascination with The Manhattan Project and the general time period, so I decided to pick it up.

The title is pretty self-explanatory. The book mostly tells the story of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, which was a secret factory town. No one working there knew more about what was going on than they had to. They just knew that they were helping the war effort. The book also occasionally tells other interesting anecdotes about the time period, generally focusing on women.

This book was a pretty quick read. It certainly didn't get dense the way many non-fiction books can. It often felt like I was reading some sort of fifties chick-lit, though it was definitely a bit more intellectual than the average beach novel. There were small filler chapters that filled the reader in on some of the science behind the discovery of atomic power, which occasionally got a little tiring to read. However, I'm sure that someone more interested in that side of things would love them.

Denise Kiernan has a feedback form on her website, so I left her the following note:

"I just wanted to drop you a note and let you know that I absolutely loved The Girls of Atomic City. I don't usually read non-fiction, but I couldn't put this book down! It's always awesome to hear sides of a story that aren't well known. Thanks for writing such a great book!"

I have a ton of books I've read and haven't posted about... maybe I'll get around to that someday!

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