So. Ordinarily I don't make New Year's resolutions. But. I'm going to break with tradition and make one. Ready?
My New Year's resolution is to read at least 3 books a month and post a review. I was going to do 4 a month, which would be a book a week, but since I want to be successful I reduced it to 3. Surely I can read 3 books a month, right?
Anyway. To start the year off, I'm reviewing The Radium Girls, which I read on my kindle.
I don't read a lot of non-fiction, and I can't say why I chose this out of all the other non-fiction books. Maybe it was on sale...But regardless of the reason, I'm glad I read it. I new nothing of these poor woman who suffered immeasurably due to the hazards at their work and (big surprise) the greed of their employers.
The Radium Girls is the story of these girls, most of them young, in their teens and early twenties. They worked at the Radium Dial Plant in Orange NJ painting the dials on clocks with luminous paint made with radium powder. As the girls painted these dials, they were taught to wet the brushes with their mouths in order to keep a fine point on the brush, ingesting radium every time they did. They didn't get sick right away; sometimes it would be years later, even after they'd stopped working for the company. And they didn't all get sick. But those that did were almost all doomed to die a very horrible death. The girl's teeth fell out and wouldn't heal, parts of their jaws fell into their mouth (can you imagine???!!!), they developed sarcomas, had miscarriages, and were in constant, awful pain. Because some of the girls became ill after leaving the plant, it took a long time to prove that the radium in the paint was the cause of the girls' illness. And even after it was shown that the radium was the cause, the company continued the same practice of having the girls dip the brushes into the paint and then smooth the brush tips with their mouths.
Many girls died young after long debilitating illnesses. Others were disfigured or lived in pain. One had her arm amputated which likely saved her. The suffering these girls endured was truly horrible. More horrible was the response of the plant and its owners. They lied to their employees even after it was shown that the radium paint was to blame for the girls' illnesses and deaths, they kept secret medical records they refused to share with the families or the girls themselves, and they continued to operate as they had before, with little to no regard for the safety of the girls in their employ.
I do recommend this book but be prepared for some pretty horrific descriptions of how the radium affected the different girls.
Meanwhile, here in Maine it is so bloody effing cold I could scream. Even my dog, who normally loves winter, does not enjoy going out into the sub-zero temps we're having here. And, to add to my already overabundant joy, a big snow is coming. Yay. Now mind you, I don't dislike snow, but this one is coming with winds which could cause power outages. I didn't like the power outage we had in the fall, and I liked even less the two hour outage we had the other night, coming right in the middle of watching Westworld. But if we lose power during the storm, it will not be coming back on right away and the temps are supposed to plunge back into the single digits so I am a little worried. I hate being cold. Just hate it.
There is, however, one saving grace, a very warm, bright spot on the horizon. In March I am going back to Sanibel Island, this time with my son for our first ever vaca together. Two months and ten days. Then I'll be warm again.
So. How's your winter so far? Is it horrifically cold where you are or do you live somewhere reasonable, like California (my personal favorite warm state)? Read any good books? Looking forward to something? Do tell.