Non-Fiction November Week 4

posted in: Amy, non-fiction november | 0

#NonfictionNovember is a month-long nonfiction reading initiative! We have gathered some of our non-fiction reads here for you. 



The Radium Girls
Kate Moore
479 pages

Horrifying and utterly maddening. This book highlights the ugly underbelly of capitalism. Not long after radium was discovered, it was found to have lucrative potential, and American companies quickly cashed in at their young, female workers’ expense.

This book is meticulously researched and brings the Radium Girls voices to life. To give a full portrait of these women and their struggles, Moore uses their own words from diary entries, letters, and courtroom testimony as often as possible. While much detail is given to the dial painting job (lip and dip!), the irresponsibility of the plant, and the eventual courtroom cases, I felt that Moore’s primary focus was on honoring the women as a whole rather than picturing them as sad medical cases. She gave a fullness to the Radium Girls, their hopes and dreams, and the joy they found in life. Radium poisoning had grave effects, but it did not diminish their spirits. Moore has well honored these women and their fight to stand up for their rights with strength and dignity.

While these events happened many years ago, this book reminds that any time profit (of any kind) has greater value than human value, dire circumstances are possible.





A Very Punchable Face
Colin Jost
312 pages
Crown Publishing Group

If you’re in the mood to laugh. If you love sarcasm. If you find self-deprecating stories endearing. If you’re a fan of SNL. THIS is your next read. (Actually, I strongly recommend listening to this one. Jost is quite the storyteller.)

This book brought me hours of smiles, laughter, and enjoyment. I have watched Jost on SNL and found him funny and entertaining. But he thoroughly charmed me in his memoir. His stories ranged from outlandish (chapter title: “Okay, So Maybe I’ve $h!t My Pants a Couple Times) to warm (chapter title: Why I Love My Mom) to absolute hysterical (pretty much the whole thing but specifically the chapter: The Time Jimmy Buffett Saved My Life). And as a bonus, he sprinkles in plenty of anecdotes about SNL and castmates.

Jost is irreverent, authentic, and just plain funny. I enjoyed every laugh out loud moment.


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