After binge watching the Amazon Prime series Good Girls Revolt over my winter break, I find myself drawn to nonfiction as well as historical fiction of the 1960’s and 1970’s. Good Girls Revolt, tells the stories of women in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s who work at a New York based news magazine that doesn’t allow women to write, instead relegating them to research positions only. The show details the fictional lives of these women while using the backdrop of real life events from that time period. Not only do the women do a tremendous amount of work for the articles they research but often they do some if not all of the writing while still getting none of the credit.
While tackling serious topics, I found this show to be funny and vastly entertaining. I was extremely disappointed to learn that Amazon had canceled it, leaving me wanting a lot more from this story and these characters. This paired with Charles Manson suddenly being in the news again this last week because of his recent hospitalization and the new movie Hidden Figures that I absolutely can not wait to see, has left me even more intrigued by this time period. It also left me somewhat amazed that we haven’t made all that much progress in the last 40 or 50 years. We still have women who feel they are not treated as equals in the workplace, we still have crazy nonsensical acts of violence happening, and we still have issues of racial discrimination across the country. For me it is sometimes easy to retreat to the bubble I live in where none of these things have yet to really affect my life, but when I do allow myself to really think about all that is wrong in our world it is not only depressing and scary, but also overwhelming. In my former Disney Castmember ways I often wish there was some bit of magic we could use to wash away the darkness that seems to envelop us all too often. Instead I am left do what I can by spreading love and kindness to whoever I come in contact with. Unless of course that person is doing an illegal u-turn on Main St. in the summer to steal the parking spot I’ve been patiently waiting for, in which case that person will hear the full wrath of my anger.
That being said, I’m going to try and keep this blog part of the bubble, with bits of the dark realities we all face trickling in every now and then. And instead of facing the harshness of our current world I will instead retreat to the stories of our past, particularly those that show women fighting the good fight. Being the librarian that I am, I’ve turned to books. So here is my reading list for the next several weeks.
Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race
By Margot Lee Shetterly
"Before John Glenn orbited Earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as 'human computers' used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation."--Dust jacket.
The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued their Bosses and Changed the Workplace
By Lynn Povich
“It was the 1960s--a time of economic boom and social strife. Young women poured into the workplace, but the "Help Wanted" ads were segregated by gender and the "Mad Men" office culture was rife with sexual stereotyping and discrimination.”
The Girls: A Novel
By Emma Cline
“An indelible portrait of girls, the women they become, and that moment in life when everything can go horribly wrong.”
Another Brooklyn: A Novel
By Jacqueline Woodson
“Running into a long-ago friend sets memory from the 1970s in motion for August, transporting her to a time and a place where friendship was everything—until it wasn’t. For August and her girls, sharing confidences as they ambled through neighborhood streets, Brooklyn was a place where they believed that they were beautiful, talented, brilliant—a part of a future that belonged to them.”
(All Synopsis and images taken from www.Amazon.com)
I’d also like to note that I’m super thankful for Amazon Prime right now (even though they canceled my show) because I was able to order these books will have them in no time at all. I know as a librarian I really should be a better library patron, but I also really love to build on my own personal library. I’m also excited because I’ve already decided on my next blog post about books based on some of the suggestions that came up when researching these books on Amazon. Female Celebrity Memoirs. So be on the lookout for that post down the road.