As I continue with my Women's History posts, I wanted to share with you several audiobooks that I have recently read with my ears or currently reading. Normally, my posts feature children's nonfiction but my love of nonfiction also encompasses adult nonfiction. Additionally, I discovered several years ago that I love listening to longer nonfiction. Sometimes the author is the reader for the audiobook, and sometimes the reader assumes the identity of the person who is the main focus of the book. In either case, I find this brings the book alive. The one thing about nonfiction that usually drives me back to the book in print is to see the photographs and other visuals that are included in the book and cannot be captured via audiobook.
Here is what I am (or have finished) reading...
Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House by Alyssa Mastromonaco with Lauren Oyler (Twelve, 2017/Hachette Audio, 2017) - This is the shortest of the three audiobooks featured in today's post and the most recent in terms of chronology. Mastromonaco providers readers/listeners with what led her to a career in politics and to eventually becoming President Barack Obama's Deputy Chief of Staff. Though I enjoyed the insider's viewpoint and her candidness and attempts at humor, I would have appreciated less hoping around in terms of the timeframe.
Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore (Sourcebooks, 2017/Highbridge Audio, 2017) - I first learned about the Radium Girls a few years ago as a historical reference in TV show I was watching that was set in the 1920's. I knew general information about the history of radiation and what I knew has always freaked me out a bit. Though Moore didn't relieve me of any of my radiation/radium fears, but she does succeed in putting faces and names to some of the women who were affected by their work as dial painters. Unfortunately, the outcomes for these women was not good, their strength and suffering led to a big win for worker's rights.
From the Radium Girls website, there is a short biography on each of the young women from New Jersey and Illinois who filed against the United States Radium Company and Radium Dial Company.
The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine who Outwitted America's Enemies by Jason Fagone (Dey Street Books, 2017/Harper Audio, 2017) - Yes, I tend to have more than one book going at a time and given the intense nature of Radium Girls, I have balanced it out with a book that at times almost feels like the reader is swept up in a thriller and love story. Though I knew about the use of code breakers, particularly women during World War II, I didn't realize that there were code breakers going back to World War I.
Check out this interview with author Jason Fagone in Forbes: Elizabeth Smith Freidman: 'The Woman Who Smashed Codes'
If shorter listening ventures are more your style, then stop by my new favorite podcast, The History Chicks. The the audio quality can sometimes be a bit off, I love the banter between the two hosts, Beckett Graham and Susan Vollenweider.
The most current episode puts the spotlight on Ada Lovelace.
What audiobooks are you listening to?
Don't forget to link up your nonfiction reviews...