I checked out Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly from my local library’s Hoopla account (which is a super cool app and you should see if it’s available in your area.) It was read by Robin Miles.
To be honest, I’m not entirely sure how to review this book. It’s been years since I’ve read non-fiction, and even then it was for school. It was really hard to not feel like I was listening to a well written textbook (and maybe I was). On top of that, I don’t typically listen to audiobooks, and Hidden Figures is my first of the year. So this book has two things against it when it comes to whether or not I will know how to properly review it. It’s audio and non-fiction, two types of books I almost never read, and therefore I don’t have much to compare it to.
What I Learned
I suppose I can talk about what this book taught me as a way of reviewing it. I know there is a movie adaptation of this book, so I won’t give away any major details of the story line itself, as I don’t want to accidentally spoil anything, but I do want to mention one thing:
Friends, I had no idea. No freaking clue, okay? I mean, we all learned in school that segregation meant different schools, water fountains, and bus seats to separate white and black people. But beyond that… I had no clue.
My Nana Claire was an Irish girl growing up in Brooklyn in the 40s. And I had absolutely no idea that she was segregated too. It was mentioned briefly in the book, but America’s segregation was not limited to separating black people and white people. Oh, no. We separated each other into categories all over the place: black, white, Irish, Puerto Rican, Jewish. We weren’t allowed to be in the same areas of the neighborhood, much less be friends. I mean, I love the musical West Side Story, but I didn’t ….. know.
My country, my country. Your racism runs deep and it needs to end.
By listening to the novel Hidden Figures, I thought I was just going to get an inspirational story about black women overcoming all odds and putting men on the moon. And though this is the story, I got so much more. I received an education.
This book isn’t just about math and physics and computing. It is history and hope.
I will be purchasing this book after I return it to the library, as I plan to reread it in the future. There was just so much packed into this Hidden Figures and I know that I will learn something different every single time I pick it up. And feel free to message me on twitter if you wish to discuss this book. I learned SO MUCH, and could honestly go on for a very long time. I’m super looking forward to seeing the movie!