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Month in review

Reviews
Absolutely Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick
And Then You Dye by Monica Ferris
Aunt Flossie's Hats (and Crab Cakes Later) by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard
Avenging the Owl by Melissa Hart
Bigmama's by Donald Crews
Cat With a Clue by Laurie Cass
Clarice Bean, Guess Who's Babysitting? by Lauren Child
Cloud and Wallfish by Anne Nesbet
Cy Whittaker's Place by Joseph C. Lincoln
Empty Places by Kathy Cannon Wiechman
The Firefly Code by Megan Frazer Blakemore
Full of Beans by Jennifer L. Holm
Ghost by Jason Reynolds
Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
Honey by Sarah Weeks
It Ain't So Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas
Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass
Knit One, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton
The Last Monster by Ginger Garrett
Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban
Pretty in Ink by Karen E. Olson
Radio Girls by Sarah-Jane Stratford
Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan
Sea Change by Frank Viva
The Sculptor by Scott McCloud
Slacker by Gordon Korman
Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard by Jonathan Auxier
Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs
This is San Francisco by Miroslav Sasek
Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales
Waiting for Augusta by Jessica Lawson

Miscellaneous
October Reading Summary

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Radio Girls: 10/13/16

Radio Girls by Sarah-Jane Stratford

For the past four months, Maisie and Hilda have been my lunchtime companions. I had a copy of Radio Girls by Sarah-Jane Stratford on my iPhone and I read it leisurely over lunch, taking in a chapter or sometimes two nearly every day. I chose the book because the title immediately brought to mind fond memories of when I was working remotely with clients in Texas and had to get up early. My day began with the BBC weather report and ended with the broadcast chiming of midnight.

The book is a historical fiction profile of Hilda Matheson, the director of Talks (until her resignation in 1931). Matheson, though, is seen through the eyes of her personal secretary, Maisie Musgrave. Maisie is Canadian by way of New York — though she hates being mistaken for an American.

Through Maisie's earliest days as a typist through working directly with Hilda we learn about the BBC and the early days of broadcasting. Once upon a time the BBC wasn't the world respected powerhouse that it is now. In its youth it had to tread carefully to avoid offending people and to avoid treading on the toes print media.

It's not just about the business of radio or of reporting the news. It's also about how a person can grow given enough encouragement and freedom. Of course having a well educated, revolutionary mentor helps too. While Maisie doesn't strive to be Hilda, she does emulate her as she finds her own strengths as a BBC Talks person.

In the background of Maisie's growth, there is the Depression, the opening up of the vote to all British women, and the rise of the SS in Germany. In this regard, Stratford's novel is eerily relevant against a contentious presidential election with the Republication nominee having ties to Russia, the rampant racism and xenophobia, and the misogynistic reaction to a woman being the Democratic nominee.

Five stars

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