Having always been interested in larger than life Nellie Bly I knew that there had to be many more women journalists who were pioneers in a world dominated by men. So, how do you get out of writing snippets in the society pages and do some real journalism when you can't even vote, sit on a jury and are not taken seriously? You work for free, work under an assumed male name or become a "girl reporter". These brave women put themselves in dangerous situations that even their male counterparts would not have done to expose scandals , dangerous situations and deplorable social conditions. They searched out women like themselves and became advocates for women's rights.
Some, like Nellie Bly, would achieve fame but most had their best efforts go unnoticed by the public.
Not only is this an in depth look at the "girl stunt reporters" but it is also an interesting look at the high jinx between the two biggest publishers - Heart and Pulitzer in their endless feud and quest for being crowned king of the publishing world. Kim Todd shares her research at the end of the book which tied up loose ends and I found very interesting. For any reader who enjoys learning more about the unsung female heroes.
A powerful memoir of a life surrounded by and later saved by food. Her childhood was tough working under the thumb of her oppressive father in the family diner. He didn't dish out praise and was often verbally abusive but working with the family did give her an appreciation for hard work and good food. She became a single mom, then found herself in a bad marriage, failed at a business and slid further down the rabbit hole of addiction before getting clean and starting a very successful restaurant. Her story is tough to read at times but the writing is totally honest and hopeful. This will appeal to anyone who has dreamed of owning a restaurant or readers of gritty memoirs like THE GLASS CASTLE. 4 stars
We think of National Geographic Society explorers as a group of men who head off to the unknown hacking away jungle brush with machetes, blindly heading into a blizzard in the Arctic or joining nomad tribes in the brutal Sahara. What we don't think of are the equally (if not more so) brave female adventurers who not only had to face the same challenges and danger in territories unknown but also had to fight their male counterparts and society to be taken seriously. The members were as diverse as their backgrounds and area of study. They were more interested in the study of social conditions, native cultures and nature than many of their male counterparts who were only interested in conquest. This is a fascinating look at how these women flourished with the help of their association to the society and its members. The most remarkable point is that the society began in the 1920's. While most of the names will not ring any bells, their stories and accomplishments are fascinating. 4 stars
Warning- after reading this book you will feel differently when you reach for the cheapest holiday decor or cute ceramic knickknack. A Chinese man whose only "crime" was following the outlawed religion of Falun Gong is sent to a "reeducation camp" run by the Chinese government. There his life is much worse than any prison in the states. He sleeps head to feet with other prisoners in horrific unsanitary conditions and is made to work exhausting hours assembling electrical parts, holiday decor, stuffing goose feathers into clothing, and much more. If they do not keep up with the unrealistic schedules they are beaten, force-fed, and beaten again. In a heroic act that could have ended his life and others, he begins to write s.o.s notes and hiding them in the goods they are creating for the United States. This is the story of what happened when a woman in Oregon found one of those notes and tried to help. This amazing story of courage and an unspeakable horror is difficult to read and even more horrific is that it is still going on in many parts of the world. Anyone who is interested in world relations, manufacturing, and the economy or civil rights will get much out of this book. 4 illuminating stars
It is unusual for a famous news correspondent to not get attention in NYC but that is what happened every time Martha went to the dog park. After losing her older bull terrier she worried that the dog who was left was grieving and needed to find Minnie a buddy. She found that and gained a close friend for herself in the process. This is a sweet memoir love story centering around a love of NYC, bull terriers, and human connection. Yes, there is dog grief, and people grief but you also have a fantastic story of companionship with people and dogs. It is both uplifting and bittersweet and one that even non-dog owners will appreciate. 4 stars
When you grow up in the south worshipping the life of General Robert E. Lee to the point that you attend Washington and Lee University, teach at West Point and model your life to that of Lee's ideal of being a gentleman - it is only natural that you would defend his honor and dispute those from the north who call him a traitor to his country. The author presents both sides of the argument from a personal, historical and cultural viewpoint. It is amazing that to this day we still hold certain things to be true depending on your upbringing and where you grew up. He explains the Myth of the Lost Cause, how the past still affects us and how the gap has only widened in recent years. As someone who also viewed the Civil War, War Between the States or the War of Aggression from watching Disney's Song of the South and reading/ watching Gone With The Wind, To Kill A Mockingbird and others I understand how these biases can become part of your everyday thinking. This is an introspective look that is both personal and timely as well as being very readable. 4 stars
A look at the death penalty in this country and all its implications focusing primarily on the Huntsville prison in Texas from the 1970's to the present. The author gives a vivid and humanistic look at the inmates, their jailers and groups like the Texas Resource Center who sent young attorneys to help with getting a stay of execution or last minute appeals. They worked tirelessly winning some and sadly attending the last minutes of their client's lives with others. Even now, there are groups who attend every scheduled execution at Huntsville to protest and pray outside those formidable walls. Maurice Chammah is a journalist from Texas who gives a passionate and well-researched account and history of capital punishment and leaves it up to the reader to decide if this is well dispensed justice or a morally unacceptable part of our system. 4 stars
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