39-40. Mack, Paul
Star Trek: The Body Electric
Star Trek: Silent Weapons
The other books in the trilogy. I've already forgotten most of the details of the stories, but remember that the books were inferior to the first book. Oh, wait. Wesley Crusher popped in from his interstellar, interphasic wanderings as a Traveler in one of them. Picard also gets extremely protective of his young son and wife (Beverly, in case anyone cares). I'm beginning to remember that the third book was about an enormous machine with delusions of immortality (it believed that making a copy of a machine's operating system and incorporating it into itself meant it lived forever while the original smaller elements could actually be destroyed) that was making it possible for a black hole to swallow up galaxies, eventually leading to the destruction of subspace. In TOS, you know that Kirk would have disabled the machine by tricking it with an illogical conundrum. But, hey, computers aren't as gullible as they were in the 60s!
41. Shetterly, Margo Lee
Reading this book was the highlight of my month. Imagine how timely it was to finally get the book from my Holds just as Charlottesville was happening. Is it cruel irony to learn that this city had been one of a handful in Virginia that HAD desegregated its schools. I read in horror of the Lost Generation, the young black students whose educations were cut short when the State of Virginia simply closed down ALL public schools for five(?) years rather than obey the desegregation law. Naturally, white kids from wealthier families were able to enrol in private schools.
It was fascinating, on the other hand, to read how desperate the Air Force (later NASA) was to recruit young women with science degrees during/after WWII to work as "computers" in its aeronautics (later aerospace) division.
The movie was based on the author's book but, as she explained, many events had to be smushed together and generations glossed over. It's no wonder that I was confused by the identities of the primary characters, thinking them to be contemporaries when they weren't.
I'll probably borrow the book again. I'm still in awe at the brilliance of these women and how many of them strived to move into the category of engineer and project director rather than being slotted as mathematician (even if they were finally publishing their own papers).
42. Longo, Jennifer
Up to this Pointe
The author was a ballerina for a dozen years and used her experience to create the foundation of the book. The rest was sheer imagination, as she causes the protagonist to go hide in the Antarctic for the entire winter, using slight descent from Scott as the hook. While near the Pole, she is visited by the ghost of Shackleton (actually, Vitamin D deficiency) and creates a new vision for the rest of her life involving her original passion for ballet while incorporating her newly-found skills in grant writing to make ballet accessible and possible to all children, regardless of their families' ability to pay.
43. DePrince, Michaela
This was an inspirational picture book for little girls based on this woman's real life story. She was an orphan in war-torn Sierra Leona who was adopted by an American family. She'd always dreamt of becoming a ballerina. Her new family supported her goals. Despite her fears of not fitting the stereotypical look of a ballerina (vitilago spots on her dark skin), she eventually succeeded and danced with two world-renowned ballet companies.
44. Longo, Jennifer
Six Feet Over It
Having enjoyed the author's first book so much, I decided to borrow the second one, also based on the author's personal life. Here the protagonist is a high schooler whose parents have bought a graveyard inland from the ocean (taking her away from her old life in Mendocino though her hippy painter mother still manages to escape there with regularity), where she is coerced to work in the office. Her older sister is a cancer survivor. The protagonist has this odd superstition that she can have only one friend. As she had to care for her sister (who survived), she had to give up her closest friend (who died). She finds – to her horror – that the best friend is buried in their graveyard! She meets all sorts of new people associated with the graveyard: the family that provides flowers, also a potential new best friend for her (whom she mostly rejects, always thinking of the superstition), as well as a boyfriend for her sister, and the mysterious young Mexican man hired to be the groundskeeper. Just as in the other book, by the end the protagonist undergoes a healing, life-affirming acceptance of herself ... and relinquishes her obsession with superstition.
45-46. Christie, Agatha
A Body in the Library
A Caribbean Mystery
Oddly enough, both books used hair bleach (Miss Marple is ever so observant) and mistaken identity (intentional in the first and accidental in the second) in the murders. Still, a little tired of reading odd, stilted (and nowadays offensive) English expressions.