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The Girls of Atomic City
The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II | Denise Kiernan
The New York Times bestseller, now available in paperbackan incredible true story of the top-secret World War II town of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and the young women brought there unknowingly to help build the atomic bomb.The best kind of nonfiction: marvelously reported, fluidly written, and a remarkable story...As meticulous and brilliant as it is compulsively readable. Karen Abbott, author of Sin in the Second CityAt the height of World War II, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was home to 75,000 residents, and consumed more electricity than New York City, yet it was shrouded in such secrecy that it did not appear on any map. Thousands of civilians, many of them young women from small towns across the U.S., were recruited to this secret city, enticed by the promise of solid wages and war-ending work. What were they actually doing there? Very few knew. The purpose of this mysterious government project was kept a secret from the outside world and from the majority of the residents themselves. Some wondered why, despite the constant work and round-the-clock activity in this makeshift town, did no tangible product of any kind ever seem to leave its guarded gates? The women who kept this town running would find out at the end of the war, when Oak Ridges secret was revealed and changed the world forever.Drawing from the voices and experiences of the women who lived and worked in Oak Ridge, The Girls of Atomic City rescues a remarkable, forgotten chapter of World War II from obscurity. Denise Kiernan captures the spirit of the times through these women: their pluck, their desire to contribute, and their enduring courage. A phenomenal story, and Publishers Weekly called it an intimate and revealing glimpse into one of the most important scientific developments in history.Kiernan has amassed a deep reservoir of intimate details of what life was like for women living in the secret city...Rosie, it turns out, did much more than drive rivets. The Washington Post
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Blaire
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Pickpick

Young women arrived in rural Tennessee with no idea that were working on the atomic bomb. An entire city was built around this secret project. Book looks at the social dynamics, the women‘s backgrounds, and the role of race. I‘ll admit to skimming the sections on the science a bit. Overall gained insight into a part of WW2 history I knew very little about. #nonfictionnovember

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Verity
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Pickpick

Absolutely fascinating. Another book I‘ve had on my want to read list done the author appeared on the daily show. And it was well worth it. A look at the personal histories of some of the people who built the atom bomb without knowing

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Verity
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Library hold came in at last!

Aims42 I found this book fascinating!! Hope you enjoy it 2mo
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dsfisher
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1. Totally Teleport!!
2. Not sure why but I‘m struggling to finish this.
3. No, didn‘t want to waste time 😏
4. Did the Derby Girls (hysterical) and Bodyguard (6 part series)

#friyayintro
@howjessreads

AlaMich Isn‘t Derry Girls hilarious!! I watched the last one last night and I‘m so mad there aren‘t more!! 10mo
dsfisher @AlaMich Really hoping for more episodes. @DGRachel and I really enjoyed it 10mo
heikemarie For me the tagged book will probably be an audio read in 2019 :) 10mo
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TheSpineView
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I have NO willpower! My latest haul! 😻

KatieCarpenter I have no willpower ever! 1y
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ReadingEnvy
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Pickpick

I was having dinner at a former student assistant's house (she's in school to be a librarian now!) and her dad let me borrow this (he's been on the podcast before too)... I've driven past Oak Ridge a few times and had no idea of the history of the place. Fascinating but chilling how all these people were contributing to the war machine in ways they didn't even understand. People still disappear into jobs around there so I think the work continues.

Richryan52 Nicely done! 2y
Richryan52 What podcast? 2y
ReadingEnvy @Richryan52 Reading Envy, my podcast. 2y
Penny_LiteraryHoarders I really loved this one too! 2y
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ReadingEnvy

"Having grown up in a mining town, she knew from dirt."
This is a language variant that I swear I didn‘t encounter until moving to the south and I don‘t quite understand it. She knew from dirt? Why not just say she knew dirt? Any insights?

LitLogophile I‘ve never seen or heard this😂 2y
Eggs Kind of like humble beginnings, hardscrabble. Or she knew her way around, she knew what's what. Does that help? 2y
ReadingEnvy @Eggs well the surrounding paragraph is about the abundant mud... it‘s more the grammar I‘m fascinated by, the "knew from x" pattern I keep seeing and hearing. It always feels to me like it‘s missing a word. 2y
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Soubhiville It is weird isn‘t it? I heard it in speech when I moved to NC/TN. There are a lot of other strange speech patterns here as well! 2y
Eggs I always paired it colloquially with Jersey/New Yahk; i.e. The jeweler--he knew from diamonds 2y
Ruthiella I have only heard it used in the negative “he doesn‘t know from ....” Meaning a person doesn‘t know anything about the subject. 2y
AnansiGirl I‘ve heard of phrase “doesn‘t know from x.” Not aware of it being used in a different way. 2y
Eggs I guess every region has its own peculiar phrases😊 2y
ReadingEnvy @Eggs yes you have it right! 2y
ReadingEnvy @anansigirl @Eggs @Ruthiella @LitLogophile my friend found an answer!! According to this podcast, it's actually a direct borrowing from Yiddish!
https://www.waywordradio.org/to-know-from-something/
2y
LitLogophile That‘s so interesting! 2y
Eggs Thanks for sharing that podcast!!! @reading envy 2y
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Book_in_hands
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#welcomespring #spring inside but outside is a different story. Enjoying the sunshine with this months book club selection, also enjoying the book!!! (The tagged book)
#marchinbooks
#readingresolutions

rubyslippersreads Lovely photo and mug! 2y
FlowerFairy Love your mug! 2y
MissAimz_55 Beautiful pic 2y
50 likes4 comments
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StephanieGeiser
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Pickpick

This book was chosen for my irl book club and I didn‘t finish it in time for the discussion. However, I eventually got back to it and I am so happy I did! It was well-written and gave me an excellent snapshot of life for women working on The Bomb during WWII. In fact, about 6 months after I finished reading it my dad was telling me all about this fabulous book he just finished that I absolutely must read. Spoiler: it was the same book!

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OrangeMooseReads
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Pickpick

Finished this last week (I‘m so behind on reviews). Loved it. I was completely ignorant of this bit of US History, I knew about the big picture of it, but not this detail. US History isn‘t my jam to be honest. I was glad to have listened to this and learn about these women and there lives. The narration was excellent and the writing fantastic. The women‘s stories and the science-y stuff was blended well. Full review OrangeMooseReads.wordpress.com

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Book_in_hands
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2. The new season of survivor and BB Canada starts tonight!!!
3. Just going to start my next pic for book club, The girls of atomic city(tagged book), I don't know yet!
4. It's snowing🌨❄️🌨
5. Yes and yes
#humpdaypost

MinDea We are a survivor and BB household! 2y
Centique Look at that cute mug! 2y
thereadingowlvina Nice mug! 2y
4thhouseontheleft Cute mug! 2y
scripturient Love your mug!! 2y
43 likes5 comments
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Aims42
Pickpick

This book was AWESOME!! I was completely fascinated by it. Would highly recommend to anyone interested in WWII and wants to learn something that maybe wasn‘t covered in a history class

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Aims42
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GUYS! My company gave us a “work from home” day because of the 6+ inches of snow Chicago and the suburbs got last night and this morning (and it‘s still snowing at 12:26 pm!!!!). That means when it‘s slow I can read my book with zero worry of getting caught. YESSSSSSSS! 🙌🏻🎉😍☃️❄️🌨

sweetpealsd Yep! I‘m in the Chicago suburbs. Snow day for the kids! 2y
Reviewsbylola Perfect way to start the weekend. 🙌🏻 2y
TorieStorieS My office did the same thing!! It sure is a ton of snow!! 2y
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Alfoster Where in Chicago? My brother lives in Evanston. 2y
Aims42 @Alfoster I‘m near Wheaton, I bet your brother got a ton of snow too! The storm didn‘t seem to miss anyone lol 2y
Alfoster Yup! They love it though! We grew up in Minnesota but I live in California now. 2y
Aims42 @Alfoster I‘ve got family in Minnesota too! I hope Cali is treating you good, I‘m definitely envious right now 😉 2y
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Aims42
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When your current read matches your favorite reading chair 👍🏻

ElyssaReads Looks cozy! 2y
40 likes1 comment
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GinEyre22
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#newyearreads #readingresolutions Day 31: This month's reading stats

Riveted_Reader_Melissa Great system! Love it! 2y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Great job!!!! 2y
Thatpartyhat This is immensely satisfying. Bravo! 2y
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emilyesears
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I finished reading Atomic City Girls and of course inevitably I was comparing it to Denise Kiernan‘s book. It seems pretty obvious that Janet Beard and her publisher are trying to ride the coattails of that earlier book. Considering the 1st book is a narrative nonfiction, it made Beard‘s book seem pretty redundant. Also, literally none of the females featured in both books could be called a girl so the titles of both annoy me.

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Jigglydean
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Getting comfy! Ready to start my first read of the year!

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emilyesears
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I was initially concerned I was not going to finish this before the end of the year, which would have annoyed me. I like starting the year with a clean slate. But we drove up 3 hours to our family Christmas party this morning & I read a good chunk in the car. I definitely expect to finish this before midnight tomorrow. I‘ll come back in 2018 with a review of it and my yearly stats. Until then, Happy New Year Litsy! Thanks for a great reading year!

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Amie
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Panpan

Really disappointing. Would have bailed early but it's for book club. I thought it would be really interesting to learn about this piece of history, but the book was pretty boring with just a few interesting parts. I disliked the writing style - dramatized/embellished to sound like a novel - & I found the tone too casual & folksy most of the time. The structure was terrible, making it hard to keep people straight.

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Amie
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I just got home from Saturday morning job and decided to just crawl back in bed 😁 I need to finish this for book club this evening. Hopefully the coffee keep me awake.

BookMaven407 I was recently in Oak Ridge and picked up this book. I'm looking forward to reading it. 2y
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Amie
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Starting this month's read for my book club.

Aims42 I hope you enjoy it, I've got it on my Christmas gift list 2y
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Smrloomis
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Bought this Kindle deal today. Hope I can get to it soon 🤞🏽

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britt_brooke
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Snagged this #ebookdeal! It has been on my #TBR for a few years. Has anyone read it?

Librarybelle I have! I liked it overall, though there were parts that were a little dry (I'm not a science aficionado, so the science explanations did drag for me). I especially enjoyed her interviews with workers and residents. 2y
Laura317 I loved it, and I'm a native Oak Ridger. It is a good history of the some of the unsung heroes working here to end the War. 2y
britt_brooke @Librarybelle Good to know - Thanks! 2y
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britt_brooke @Laura317 Good to hear. I'm looking forward to reading it! 2y
MaureenMc Yes, my book club read this a couple of years ago. Overall, I thought it was a good read and I learned a ton. 2y
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muchadoaboutnothing
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Pickpick

I've read a lot of "untold women" books lately, particularly about women in science. This one was exceptional, although more for the story of Oak Ridge than for the stories of the women in it. The women profiled's lives never intersected with each other, which was unique among the "untold women" books. All in all, it was a captivating and interesting book, focused on, though not revolving around, the central women.

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PrezBookster
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😂🐾

LauraBrook Are you sure? He's pretty subtle... 😂😂 2y
Redwritinghood 💕💕 2y
PrezBookster @LauraBrook RIGHT?! He knows what's up... when I'm reading it's hard to get my attention by just regular staring tactics! 2y
SoniaC By all means give it to him! Those eyes!! 2y
TrishB Gorgeous 💓 2y
82 likes5 comments
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PrezBookster
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Started to get very detailed.. 😣 for a mom chemist my brain was frying.. 🍳 soo lets see how this chapter goes!

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PrezBookster
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Been waiting to read this for a while! #rainydayread

Laura317 The audio book was fab! I'll be interested to hear what you think of the book. 2y
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Laura317
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Pickpick

What an illuminating read this was! I had no idea about half of the stuff in the book. The personal histories of these women were fascinating. Many came to town not knowing anything about what they were doing, and still didn't know until the War had ended. I have to admit when the author went into the scientific parts, all I heard was "blah, blah, gadget, blah, blah". But the history? Spot on! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Jaimelire Wasn't this a great book? Loved it 3y
CouronneDhiver Sounds great! I'll plan to check it out 2y
Laura317 @Jaimelire It is so good! @CouronneDhiver I hope you like it! 2y
52 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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OrangeMooseReads
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Audible has a 2 for 1 sale going on right now.

JaclynW I got 4 books! I love these sales! 3y
30 likes1 comment
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lmcd
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Pickpick

Really enjoyed this book. Easy to read and the audiobook is very well read.

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lmcd
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Excellent in many levels. Reading/listening depending on what is most convenient.

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Laura317
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I'm listening to this on audio today as I sit and look out my office window - thinking of what used to be here before everything changed. East Tennesseean's have been forced to move from their ancestral homes too many times by the government (starting with the Cherokee's forced removal).

Jaimelire Really enjoyed this one 3y
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ElizaTodd
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Had a great walk in the beautiful Florida weather with sweet Daisy and @kylienoele and we found two Little Free Libraries 💕

Dolly I love that people are doing this. I'd love to put one up someday. In need of an accomplice. 😉 3y
ElizaTodd @Dolly Me too! @kylienoele and I have already discussed trying to create one within our neighborhood! 3y
Reviewsbylola Love them! 3y
93 likes3 comments
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Bookish_B
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Some suggested reading for #WomensHistoryMonth 🤓

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Iindseyosborne
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Visited the Manhattan Project National Park today in Oak Ridge, TN and enjoyed finding the cover photo of the Girls of Atomic City in the museum 😊

Jaimelire Loved that book (edited) 3y
22 likes1 comment
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lynneamch
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A big hug back to @Lidia for my Valentine lip balm, cute pens, and PERFECT books. I will love reading about the empowered women in Radio Girls. I've been to Oak Ridge many times and have wanted to read more about it, but still hadn't bought Atomic City. So much to look forward to! And thanks to @BookishMarginalia #cupidgoespostal

LeahBergen 😍😍 3y
Reviewsbylola 😍😍😍 (edited) 3y
BookishMarginalia The Girls of Atomic City is very good! I enjoyed the audiobook 👍🏼 3y
Lidia I'm so glad you liked it! 😊 3y
Megabooks So cool! 3y
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BookishMarginalia
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Who knew? The National Park Service and the Department of Energy have since 2015 run National Park sites/museums at Oak Ridge (the subject of the book), Los Alamos, and in Washington State. https://www.nps.gov/mapr/oakridge.htm There's also a really cool k-25 virtual museum: http://www.k-25virtualmuseum.org/ k-25 was a massive uranium-enrichment plant at Oak Ridge. Well worth a look!

Laura317 There is a nice little train that goes by the old K-25 plant. I can say that some of the wildlife around here is, um, interesting. 3y
Laalaleighh My boyfriend Internet there in 2014! We lived there all summer! 3y
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BookishMarginalia
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Thanks to @Carissa-Green-Reads for pointing me in the direction of this NPR interview with Kierman. http://www.npr.org/2013/03/03/172908135/secretly-working-to-win-the-war-in-atomi... There's also a book excerpt. (I'm currently listening to the audiobook -- learning a lot!)

Lynnsoprano I really want to read this book! 3y
Robothugs I have this! I am going to read it soon 😊 3y
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BookishMarginalia
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Embarking on this one next! #feministreads

LitHousewife I met the author at Booktopia in Asheville a couple of years ago. She is fantastic and the book is very interesting. I hope you enjoy it. 3y
Minimalgrl Loved this book !!! 3y
AnnieReads This one sounds interesting. 3y
See All 12 Comments
lamaman2boys I loved this one too! 3y
AnythingCanBe It's my next one, too. At least it was until new shiny books came in at the library today. Decisions, decisions. 3y
Jaimelire This is a great book 3y
drbethandherkindle I really enjoyed this one! 3y
Suetara I bought this one yesterday. Looks wonderful! 3y
JPeterson I can't wait to see what you think! I've been wanting to read it, but have heard a lot of mixed reviews, and don't want my hopes dashed. 3y
Sjsherwood I have this one but haven't read it yet! 3y
pocketmermaid I bought this for my senior thesis and never actually got around to reading it! I need to move it up on my list. 3y
Carissa-Green-Reads Heard an awesome NPR interview when this first came out 3y
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broomperson
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This is set in my town. I actually live in one of the houses built in 1943 to house all of the workers in the "secret city" #readjanuary

rather_be_reading no way!! 2y
24 likes1 comment
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CocoReads
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Just a few of my #girlinthetitle books for #ReadJanuary only one (sweetgirl) is a library book.

lynneamch Really need to read this. I was just in Oak Ridge (the secret city) this morning. 3y
CocoReads @lynneamch I haven't read it yet either. I picked it up last summer but so many books! It's gotten good reviews though so I'm going to try to get it it sooner rather than later. 3y
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feministtexican
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Bailedbailed

I got a good ways into the audiobook, but I can't anymore. It's just not working for me, and I can't tell if it's the writing or the narration (or both).

Jaimelire This was a really interesting book. 3y
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erincp
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Pickpick

Doing what it sets out to do, this book provides a history of the women who unknowing enriched uranium for the first atomic bombs in a secret rural pop-up town.

Following a few women from beginning to end, the history becomes personal while the author remains objective.

My take away from this is an anger and sadness at a culture that fordbids questions.
This is how terrible things are done: secretly and with unquestioning complicity.

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Dvmheather
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Everyone I know in real life thinks it is weird that I listen to books in the car.

rustmoon It's great! I do the same thing. Makes my commute enjoyable. 3y
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rachelm
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Mehso-so

#TBT to this time last year. Interesting perspective of making the atomic bomb, but lacked a little zip for me, all things considered.

[DELETED] 2232195534 I heard someone else say the same sort of thing. A little dry maybe? 3y
LitHousewife I saw her speak at Booktopia. The talk was really good, but I never got more than a quarter of the way through the book. 3y
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CaffeinatedFae
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Mehso-so

Honestly, I wasn't a huge fan. I wish that it didn't read like a text book.

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Wife
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Pickpick

If only time travel was possible ?... I would be in Oakridge TN 1940's. I've always been interested in "the Homefront" during wartime. This was a story I'd never heard! Seriously fascinating!

MrBook Nice! 3y
Jaimelire Great book 3y
7 likes2 comments
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Well-ReadNeck
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Pickpick

Listened to audiobook. I enjoyed this history of the Oak Ridge, TN atomic bomb project. The secrecy and scale of the project were particularly interesting. Liked that the story was told through the eyes of several women involved. Recommended for fans of non-fiction and women's history.

Lakesidemusing I enjoyed the audio version, too! Cassandra Campbell is a favorite narrator. 3y
Penny_LiteraryHoarders I thought this such a fascinating book!! 3y
Alena I just could not get into this book. I bailed. Maybe audio would have been a better option. 3y
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[DELETED] 3216391035 Really enjoyed this book! 3y
Laura317 😇I will 3y
itsbrb Loved this one. So glad we read it for a book club. I learned so many things I would have never known about! Would like to go to the festival they have there! 3y
alisonrose This book was so fascinating! 3y
Laura317 Lol, my son typed a response before I realized it! I grew up in Oak Ridge. My grandparents (both sets) were there during the war (although none worked on the Manhattan Project). I still live nearby. The Secret City Festival is a lot of fun. If you ever get to come, be sure to have Big Ed's Pizza! 3y
Well-ReadNeck @Laura317 😀😀😀 3y
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JennaRoot
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#funfridayphoto this was harder than I thought it would be! Historical fiction and nonfiction are my favs! I just don't own a lot of them. Put them on my nightstand in honor of the upcoming hiatus of Books on the Nightstand :( @mkindness @Liberty

Riveted_Reader_Melissa I have three of those waiting for me to read them as well! I really need to find more reading time! 3y
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JessReads
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May's book club theme was investigative journalism. I told the club that I "hadn't quite finished yet," when I meant, "I haven't started!" Oops. Fixing that now. ?

brendanmleonard I liked this one. I think. I think I read it. 3y
BookishFeminist LOL I do this all the time. 24 hours before book club I always go "oh I guess I should read this book" 3y
16 likes2 comments