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Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women
Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women | Kate Moore
The incredible true story of the women who fought America's Undark dangerThe Curies' newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War.Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these "shining girls" are the luckiest alive -- until they begin to fall mysteriously ill.But the factories that once offered golden opportunities are now ignoring all claims of the gruesome side effects, and the women's cries of corruption. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America's early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers' rights that will echo for centuries to come. Written with a sparkling voice and breakneck pace, The Radium Girls fully illuminates the inspiring young women exposed to the "wonder" substance of radium, and their awe-inspiring strength in the face of almost impossible circumstances. Their courage and tenacity led to life-changing regulations, research into nuclear bombing, and ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives...
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BridgetteM
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I‘ve just started this on audio this morning. Oh my gosh! These women went through such pain and suffering. It‘s horrifying.

Readswithcoffee The book was good, but the story is so sad. 6d
BridgetteM @Readswithcoffee They must have been in extreme pain. I agree, it‘s very sad. 6d
55 likes1 stack add2 comments
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paulareadsallthetime
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Mehso-so

Unbelievable that this was allowed to happen. Such a hard read.

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the_next_chapter101
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Pickpick

Intriguing as well as heartbreaking. So many lives lost because a company just didn't care about anything but making a profit. My heart hurts for the tragic lives lost to being exposed to Radium. Highly recommend!

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rambiepaige
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Pickpick

Started it in December, but still counting it as my January read. This book is very well written, and it‘s crazy to think this all was only 100 years ago. Too close to home!

Blaire I thought this was really well done. I could see it appearing on law school reading lists. 4w
rambiepaige @Blaire I agree! I‘m hoping to find more books like this to read this year. 4w
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Caroline2
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Ohhhh thank you so much @youneverarrived for sending me this book!! I‘ve been dyyyying to read this for agesss now! Thank you! 😘 and I Love the card! 😆 #jbuk

ElizaMarie This is such a profound book! You are going to love it so so much! 2mo
squirrelbrain Sounds like a fab book! And love that card! ❤️ 2mo
youneverarrived I‘m happy you like it 😘 2mo
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Caroline2 @ElizaMarie Good to know! 😉 2mo
Caroline2 @squirrelbrain It really does, doesn‘t it. The card is epic! 😆 2mo
Caroline2 @youneverarrived Thanks Hun! 😘 2mo
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alisonrose
Pickpick

An absolutely incredible work, from start to finish. I knew next to nothing about this aspect of recent history, and I‘d imagine I‘m far from alone in that—a terrible shame. What these girls (many started work as teens) & women endured b/c of the deceit, negligence, & greed of the radium companies was horrific, & their stories ought to be known by everyone. Moore brilliantly & thoroughly gives them their due respect. Required reading, IMO. 5/5 ⭐️

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alisonrose

[Lawyer‘s final brief:] “Language can coin no fitting words of odium with which to condemn the cool, calculating Radium Dial Company [...] I cannot imagine a fiend fresh from the profoundest depths of perdition committing such an unnatural crime as the [RDC] did. My God! Is the radium industry utterly destitute of shame? Is the [RDC] utterly dominated by a beast? ... It is an offense against Morals & Humanity & just incidentally, against the law.”

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alisonrose
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😡😡😡😡😡

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alisonrose
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Sadly true, much of the time. 🙇🏻‍♀️

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alisonrose

Another employee who [lied about her age]—though the company must have known—was Mary Vicini, a sweet Italian girl who had come to America as a baby. She was only thirteen in 1922 but nonetheless made it into the coveted workforce. In truth, the nimble fingers of prepubescent girls suited the delicate work of dial-painting; records show that some were as young as eleven.

LikelyLibrarian This book was fascinating!! 2mo
alisonrose @LikelyLibrarian I‘m totally into it! 2mo
31 likes2 comments
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alisonrose

Wars are hungry machines — and the more you feed them, the more they consume.

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alisonrose
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My final selection for #nonfictionnovember — for the TRUE prompt, which I suppose could apply to any nonfiction (except James Frey‘s book & most of the crap put out by far right pundits), but I interpreted it as being the truth behind a story or an episode of history that has been largely unknown. This is about young women working in radium-dial factories who were essentially poisoned by the work, which the companies tried to cover up. #nowreading

rwmg I'm considering it as my choice for my bookclub next year 2mo
alisonrose @rwmg it‘s really incredible! 2mo
39 likes2 comments
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4thhouseontheleft
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Pickpick

Despite my dislike of the writing style, and previous rant, I absolutely have to give this book a 👍. The experiences of the Radium Girls need to be remembered, because corporate greed continues to this day, and there are many companies out there who still try to evade environmental regulations, to the detriment of communities and workers. Every time I hear someone bemoan “regulations“, I am going to refer them to this book. #NFNov

4thhouseontheleft ✔️ #nonfiction2019 : something with law or medicine. @Riveted_Reader_Melissa and first book completed first #NFNovember @Clwojick @rsteve388 3mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa That one‘s still on my to read list, I‘m so glad you found it interesting. 3mo
4thhouseontheleft @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I don‘t think I would recommend the audiobook, I switched over to the ebook to finish it off. 3mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @4thhouseontheleft Good to know, some are definitely better in one format over another! 3mo
rsteve388 6 pts 3mo
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4thhouseontheleft
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Reading this paragraph in the epilogue sent chills up my spine. So many similarities to an environmental health crisis currently happening in my own community. My town is dealing with an Ocular Melanoma cancer cluster, the cause of which has not been determined. We also live near a Duke Energy plant that has coal ash ponds, & coal ash in the past was buried in multiple locations around our area. It's a huge problem and concern. 😢#TIL #NFNov

Hestapleton This story is HAUNTING. 3mo
Scochrane26 I like that the Radium girls case helped increase regulations & workers‘ rights, but I kept thinking of how many of the same situations still happen. How many towns are living on top of hazardous chemicals/waste? And a lot of regulations have been let go since trump took office. 3mo
rsteve388 4 pts 3mo
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4thhouseontheleft
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#TIL: Even in a heavily researched book involving both law and medicine, the author still can‘t use anatomically correct terms for female reproductive parts, relying on the euphemism “down below” instead?

FFS, that‘s ridiculous. In a book about courageous women who were empowered to fight back against corruption and corporate greed, and the author can‘t say vagina? Come on, break the stigma, stop the shaming.

Okay. Rant over. #NFNov

4thhouseontheleft Soapbox moment continued, because as an #endowarrior this really pisses me off to read this in a recently published nonfiction book dealing with an industrial health crisis that affected mostly women. Dealing with endometriosis for years, do you know how much easier my life would have been in my 20‘s if female gynecological problems were taken more seriously? #breakthestigma 3mo
marleed Oh geez, to my chagrin, I didn‘t notice that. Very good point! 3mo
4thhouseontheleft @marleed My battle with endometriosis has made my ears finely tuned to this. And if you can‘t tell 😂, it‘s an issue I am particularly passionate about. ☺️ 3mo
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marleed @4thhouseontheleft I understand. When I was raising my 2 kids, I read advice on using anatomically correct terms - penis, vagina... The logic was that using cutesy terms is babyish and as kids mature those terms embarrass them. And then you are left with no teenage and grown terms in which to communicate. I believed that so never assigned cutesy or vulgar names. 3mo
4thhouseontheleft @marleed I see that in my parents. While they both are always extremely interested and concerned when I have endo flare-ups, and during my two surgeries, but both my parents (they are 70) are incapable of saying vagina or uterus, and still visibly flinch when I use those words (along with tampon, period, etc etc that my dad likes to call “women‘s problems”.) 🙄 3mo
Eyelit Omg. This is so disappointing- especially since it‘s a female author. 3mo
wanderinglynn So disappointing. You should totally write the author about this because I think you have a great & compelling story that would resonate and stigmatizing genitals, especially the female reproductive system, is an important social issue. 3mo
LauraJ FFS indeed! 3mo
4thhouseontheleft @wanderinglynn That's what I said to my husband! I probably will email the author after I finish the book. 3mo
LaraS I second everything everyone has said here. Language matters, and how we use it can both give power or take it away. (edited) 3mo
rsteve388 4 pts 3mo
81 likes11 comments
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4thhouseontheleft
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#NFNov #TIL: One thing that stands out in the section I listened to today is just how deep and long-lasting the corruption and cover-up was to keep radium poisoning out of the public‘s eye. The women who fought both a battle inside their body and in the courtroom were such amazing and courageous souls.

lele1432 So infuriating 3mo
Scochrane26 I agree. This book also made me think about how often corrupt companies & governments have let greed win over peoples‘ well-being. It happens now, of course. It‘s infuriating. 3mo
ElizaMarie I really liked this book. As you mentioned those women were amazing! 3mo
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Crimson613 Radium poisoning? 3mo
4thhouseontheleft @crimson613 The women in this book all worked in factories during WWI and after that painted watch dials with a luminous paint that contained radium. The technique they used (shaping the brush tip with their lips) as well as constantly being covered in luminous bits of paint caused severe health problems that often led to death. The companies ignored - and then covered up - what was happening, denying that radium was a problem. 3mo
Crimson613 @4thhouseontheleft oh wow :/ but also not surprising 3mo
102 likes6 comments
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4thhouseontheleft
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I took a break from this book in October at the 1/2 way point, but have come back to it for #nonfictionNovember. It really plods along though. It‘s such an important book, and I‘m learning a lot, but I have a hard time keeping track of all the women Moore researched, and a lot of the personal stories are blending together.

#NFNov

Bookwormjillk I had trouble with that one too 3mo
Lcsmcat This is one that might be easier in print. I read it as an eBook and being able to see the names, and the photos that were included, helped me keep them all straight. 3mo
4thhouseontheleft @Lcsmcat There are photos? I might see if my library has an available copy and finish it in print. Thank you! 3mo
Lcsmcat @4thhouseontheleft There are. And some are heartbreaking. 3mo
rsteve388 This is on my TBR list for this month! 1 pt! 3mo
88 likes5 comments
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throwmeabook
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Thank you to all my #poutinepenpals for you patience. All my responses and intro cards are done and going out to you! 💕💌💕 On another note, I was listening to the tagged book while writing and just heartbroken for what these women had to go through. So many vibrant lives cut short way too soon.

mcctrish Yay for snail mail ❤️ 3mo
PurpleyPumpkin Woohoo!👍🏽😉💌 3mo
LA_Mead That book was so good, but it kind of creeped me out too... I felt bad for those women too! 3mo
sherryvdh 💌💞😃 3mo
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CoffeeCatsBooks
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The girls‘ fate in this book is certainly Grim. #scarathlon #chillingphotochallenge #TeamStoker

SumisBooks 🧟‍♀️ 4mo
ElizaMarie This book was amazing! (edited) 4mo
CoffeeCatsBooks @ElizaMarie Yes but also gutting! 4mo
59 likes3 comments
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4thhouseontheleft
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#Audiocooking and trying to finish this book I started in September. It‘s a long one!

12 bottles of elderberry syrup ready to be labeled! And this is only batch one! I‘m selling it to my neighbors and have 30 orders to prepare and deliver.

AmyG Wow! And Radium Girls is good...but a slow read. Lots of info. 4mo
4thhouseontheleft @AmyG It‘s a great read, but it is slow. I‘m only 1/3 of the way through it. 4mo
Bookwormjillk I wish you were my neighbor! 4mo
88 likes5 comments
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4thhouseontheleft
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I spent a LOT of time in my car this afternoon, and have made a lot of progress in this audiobook! Waiting to pick up Maya at XC, and then I can finally head home.

Radium Girls is classified as history and science, but it also reads as a true horror story to me. The way these women were treated, and what they endured, is horrendous. 😢

IamIamIam This was a really tough read! 4mo
JamieArc It is, and I had to stop listening because it was so terrible (the dental stuff was making me nauseous to listen to, and I was afraid I was going to have nightmares!). 4mo
janeycanuck It‘s absolutely terrible how those women were treated! 4mo
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lele1432 Definitely true horror. I couldn't get into the audiobook but luckily picked this ebook up on sale a few days ago. I need to start it! 4mo
4thhouseontheleft @lele1432 I‘m not a huge fan of the narrator, but the book is fantastic. I do have a hard time keeping all of the separate stories straight when listening on audio. 4mo
lele1432 Yep, it was the narrator for me too lol. A little too robotic and I didn't want it to distract me from the story. I bet it is fantastic! 4mo
Scochrane26 It made me angry in parts of story because of how the women were treated. Greed, power, corruption. And it‘s frustrating knowing that these things still go on today. One of my favorites this yr though—I learned a lot & liked that she focuses on the women‘s stories. 4mo
92 likes7 comments
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Dcueto
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After watching Chernobyl, this one caught my eye. These poor girls...

Readswithcoffee Agreed. Good book about a terrible event. 4mo
22 likes1 comment
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4thhouseontheleft
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Didn‘t listen to my audiobook on today‘s hike, but I did talk about it! Went on a hike with a friend who also loves to read and we talked books most of the day. 😍

I love this view. It‘s the best and closest ⛰ hike in the area that can be completed while the kids are in school.

Lcsmcat Pretty! 4mo
98 likes1 comment
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Insightsintobooks
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Lcsmcat Such a good book! 4mo
perfectsinner Great read! Heartbreaking story. I bought this last year and a Christmas gift to myself. Although it's hard to swallow the injustices done to those women, it's a story that needs to be told. 4mo
allureofbeauty I have this and still need to read it. 4mo
74 likes3 stack adds3 comments
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4thhouseontheleft
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Started my next 🎧 book on this morning‘s #audiowalk!

Change of scenery, taking a walk along one of the greenway‘s near Maya‘s school that goes past my favorite Charlotte park! They‘re setting up for this weekend‘s art festival, which we plan on going to this weekend. 🖼 👩🏻‍🎨

Enjoying the slightly lower temps while they last.

AmyG Lovely! 4mo
84 likes1 comment
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coffeeandwashitape
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🧪 Currently working through The Radium Girls for #ScienceSeptember and wow, it‘s horrifying on every level. From the side effects, the higher ups turning a blind eye, and the court cases. I‘m only half way through and I can‘t imagine having experienced this. ⁣

Also weirdly fascinated by the side effects of the radium? The glowing coffin? I‘m just horrified and fascinated at the same time. ⁣

#nonfiction #science #history #currentlyreading

Blaire This was a fantastic read 5mo
22 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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howjessreads
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1. I got SO MAD at the business owners for trying to cover up the girls‘ sicknesses. 😡😡
2. Parks & Rec! (I am Leslie Knope.)
3. A piece of bacon and an apple. 🤷🏼‍♀️
4. AZ. Which is its own special thing.
5. Striped Girl. #friyayintro

ShyBookOwl I am LITERALLY watching Parks & Rec right now, while scrolling Litsy 😅 I am not Leslie, but I do love her. I'm probably April with a filter lol 5mo
marleed Months have gone by since reading - I‘m still mad at the radium companies. Also that I didn‘t know this story. 5mo
67 likes2 comments
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Laughterhp
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I couldn‘t resist the 50% Barnes and Noble sale this past weekend. My haul came in!

I‘m so overwhelmed by the size of Priory! 800 pages! 😬

One of my goals for next year is to read 1 NF book a month. I don‘t currently read any. I‘m looking forward to read The Radium Girls.

#bookhaul #newbooks

IvoryLunatic Priory sounds awesome but sadly my library doesn‘t have it yet. 5mo
TheBookStacker Priory flies by and then I was sad when it was over and I had nothing left 5mo
Scochrane26 I loved the Radium girls. Very interesting, but it will make you mad. And some parts you don‘t want to listen to while cooking or eating. 5mo
Laughterhp @Scochrane26 Haha good to know! Thanks for the heads up 5mo
67 likes4 comments
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the_hibernator
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Pickpick

Great book to start off my Labor Day #Readathon. Must-read for social justice warriors.

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WriterAtHeart
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Pickpick

Very informative read! These women were subjected to large amounts of radium- so much so they literally glowed- and many doctors and company executives claimed it wasn't the radium. How hard it was for the girls to win at court was amazing. A great story to remember the women who lost their lives and what their deaths did for industrial laborer protections.

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Maude
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Pickpick

This book made me queasy and angry but was still a good read. It was well written, felt like a good representation of the times.

Lcsmcat I had the same reaction. And, since it was on my Kindle, I tended to read it while eating. Not a good idea. 😱 6mo
Maude I don't think I could of ate while reading this 😮 6mo
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Angitron
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Pickpick

Oy. This was a tough read about the women who painted glow in the dark dials and clock faces, initially for WWI. The paint contained radium, and they were instructed to “Lip...dip...paint” in order to make the brush tips as pointed as possible. These women withstood immense suffering and the actions of the companies they worked for were unconscionable. Their fight for justice paved the way for the rights workers enjoy today.

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Literatigeek
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Beware: This book will make you acutely aware of every ache and pain you have, and livid at all capitalists (especially from the 1920s).

RaimeyGallant YESSSSS 6mo
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paulareadsallthetime
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“The girls had been given a death sentence; yet, they had also been given the tools to fight their cause—to fight for justice”.

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paulareadsallthetime
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“The girls had been given a death sentence; yet, they had also been given the tools to fight their cause—to fight for justice”.

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Pedrocamacho
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Pickpick

The story of the Radium Girls is a guy-wrenching study of human greed, cruelty, indifference, and triumph.

britt_brooke This story blew my mind. So devastating. 7mo
Pedrocamacho @britt_brooke Yeah, the constant and blatant lying by the corporate employees is shocking. These women were ingesting something lethal and the company didn‘t care at all. 7mo
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Lcsmcat
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Pickpick

Read this book. Don‘t read it while you eat, and take breaks when you need to, but read it. All the way to the end. Including the Postscript. It made me angry and sad and so grateful to these women.

UnidragonFrag Agree, same. This book made me SO angry and sad for these poor women and their families. Awful stuff, this. 7mo
sebrittainclark Same! It's not an easy read, but it's so important! 7mo
dsfisher The fear that this kind of corporate greed still harms many today is frightening and makes the hackles rise. 7mo
Lcsmcat @dsfisher Truth! And the postscript situation was in 1978! Not nearly long enough ago. 7mo
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Lcsmcat
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1. Tagged;
2. Gin and Tonic or iced tea;
3. The Norwegian delivery was placed inside, and the cabinet doors closed with a quiet thump. #weekendreads @rachelsbrittain

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Lcsmcat
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I can only read this in short bursts because it makes me so ANGRY, and the descriptions of what these girls went through makes my face hurt. But it‘s such a necessary story for the world to know.

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AnnaClark
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Love this reference to Hamlet.

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janeycanuck
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Pickpick

Great discussion about Radium Girls at this week‘s #GirlyBookClub. This was such a compelling read and we were all fascinated by the tales of these women. It didn‘t feel like a 400-page book, which is always a sign of incredible writing.

britt_brooke This story is so sad and truly nuts. 💔 7mo
janeycanuck @britt_brooke When I made the restaurant reservation, the fellow asked what we read this month. I told him and he says “THAT‘S A TRUE STORY?!” and then said he needed to find the book immediately. 7mo
britt_brooke @janeycanuck It‘s totally a stranger than fiction situation. 7mo
MarriedtoMrT I loved this book! It was one of the first nonfiction titles I read (for pleasure as an adult). 7mo
50 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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AnnaClark
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Starting a new book on Kindle. Excited for this one!

Broke_Girl_Reads I loved this one! I read it for my book club and it was one of our best discussions 7mo
18 likes1 comment
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Lcsmcat
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Late to the@party, I know, but I started this on my lunch hour, and now I don‘t want to go back to work. #currentlyreading

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Redjewel_7734
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Pickpick

Wow. This is a book that should be read by all even if it is a hard, heartbreaking read. I live that Moore tells the womens‘ stories. This isn‘t a bunch of stale facts, figures, statistics, and medical/scientific jargon; it‘s the shining lives of many beautiful, strong inspiring women betrayed by the companies they worked for, by laws that didn‘t adequately protect them, & by communities that valued jobs over people. They were the best of us all.

tammysue Great review 💞 7mo
youneverarrived So true. Great review 👌 7mo
See All 6 Comments
EKonrad 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 7mo
Redjewel_7734 @EKonrad Thanks 😊 7mo
69 likes2 stack adds6 comments
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janeycanuck
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I have two things I must accomplish this weekend - get the house ready for our hardwood install and finish this for bookclub. We spent about 9 hours tearing out baseboards and casing and we‘re so close to ready. So now it‘s time to turn my attention to my book. Only 170 pages left!

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Lylah
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Blaire This book!! Loved it. 7mo
50 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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ElizaMarie
Pickpick

So.. I just couldn‘t stop listening to this one! It was so so good! It‘s heartbreaking the suffering these women faced, yet they persisted and fought on.

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Deborah42
The Radium Girls | Kate Moore (Writer and editor)
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Pickpick

While I didn‘t love everything about how this book was written, I cannot get the (TRUE) story out of my head.

The radium girls worked in a factory where they painted luminescent numbers on watch faces. The glowing paint contained radium, which was thought to be harmless. Of course, even after the factory owners knew it was dangerous, they continued to deny it.

A good book to pick up if you want to get in touch with your molten core of rage.

Ekkross I think being in touch with my molten core of rage is my default setting 7mo
marleed I completely agree, the facts you learn are heart wrenching. I had to remind myself the book was nonfiction. I wonder if she could have made the telling better as an historical fiction. It‘s one of those books when I hold the editing team at fault for the final writing. 7mo
20 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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ElizaMarie
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So this book was going to be my drive home book (Saturday I‘m doing a 3 day drive back to Texas from Connecticut). But I listened to see if I can handle the voice (that is a make or break for me with audiobooks) and I got hooked! I‘m already several chapters in :) it‘s a griping story!

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Vulpixen
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Pickpick

This book was so riveting. I couldn‘t stop listening. Highly recommended!