Next up is The Fated Sky! I flew through the Calculating Stars and am wasting no time in reading the next. Luckily the library had it ready super quickly. I imagine I’ll be wildly impatient when I finish this and have to wait for more Lady Astronaut books. .
In other news, I am exhausted still, the weekend wasn’t as restful as I anticipated(ie.fainting is terrible, not recommended unless you’re looking for a way to avoid socializing or work). Unfortunately I must continue to go to work, booooo adulting. I must also do my civic duty and go vote this evening, because I don’t want a horror show to win. But tomorrow I get to work around the lemurs at the zoo, so hopefully that makes it all worthwhile. 🤔 .
What are you reading? Or doing? Tell me something good! Or just gush about lemurs or lady astronauts to me. Or send me chocolates. Whatever! 📚
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Day 10 of the @readingrivalry April challenge - a book with a main character that you relate to. I chose The Calculating Stars to fill this criteria based on the book summary - Elma is a woman with ambitions and dreams, who finds herself limited by prevailing sexism and societal expectations. Relatable for most women, unfortunately.
But now that I've read it, I relate to her in so many other ways. Not least of which is her struggle with anxiety, and the different ways she tries to cope with it. I've struggled with depression for most of my life, but in the last few years I've also struggled with anxiety. There's so much more to mental illness than just "being sad" or "being scared", and I thought this book did a great job of showing how someone can be successful and loved, yet still grappling with serious mental health concerns.
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Have you seen my latest blog post? Click the link in my bio to read “Hoot’s Rules.”
Work conveniently has a space themed room, which works really well with this AMAZING book. (Less pertinent, but there’s an alien in the background somewhere 😏) .
This book has everything I could want from a book - a strong cast of badass women, a explosive start, women fighting sexism in the 50s, showcasing racism and privilege in a respectful way, a husband who believes his wife can do whatever the fuck a man can and supports her, astronauts and space travel. My only complaint is maths. So much maths; I have a science degree that conveniently didn’t need any goddamn maths so I prefer to continue avoiding it. (This is not a real complaint, please read this book even if you don’t math well). .
In other news, despite taking this photo at work, I should not be reading this book at work. It’s making me super emotional. Crying at work is embarrassing, right? I might be ready for the weekend. I hope everyone had made it through work to the weekend without crying! 📚
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Kuiper does a (Hugo nominated!) book review. 📘 Also, pie. 🍰 Neither are sponsored. 😁
Kuiper is proud to be a card carrying member of the Lady Astronaut Club (swipe.) If you've been enjoying our history posts, you'll likely also enjoy alternate 50s space history novels Calculating Stars and Fated Sky, written by Mary Robinette Kowal @maryrobinettekowal
The premise is that a giant meteorite drops on Washington DC in 1952. This not only wipes out DC and much of the Eastern Seaboard, but it also results in greatly accelerated climate change (and thus a greatly accelerated space program.)
WHAT WE LOVED
♥️ 100% more lady astronauts than real 50s/60s history, without shying away from very real issues of gender, racial and religious discrimination
♥️ Exquisite attention to detail. Mary Robinette has done an incredible amount of research for her novels. I recognized lots of little nods to early American space history, including a bunch of tiny details I haven't had room to incorporate given Instagram's 2200 character limit
♥️ The author also interviewed a bunch of current generation astronauts and observed them training underwater at the Neutral Buoyancy Lab
♥️ THE STORY IS ALSO A ROMANCE????? 😍😍😍
♥️ Audio versions of the books are narrated by the author herself, who is a marvelous voice actor (and puppeteer!) in real life
♥️ I learned that chess pies are a thing and that I need them in my life
♥️ I kept wondering: What happened to the refugees' pets after the Meteorite? I don't recall seeing any mention of them, or pets at all. Did any of them make it out safe with their people? If this had happened on our roadtrip to/from DC, man...
♥️ THE BAG. OMG. (I actually thought this was fascinating, but I had to put the book down for a min...)
If you'd like a quick introduction to the series, the Lady Astronaut of Mars novella is available for just $1 on Kindle. It's a quick little read but impactful; I will neither confirm nor deny whether it made someone who was TOTALLY not me tear up. But you don't have to take my word for it! 📖🌈