Monthly Archives: January 2023

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women

The Radium Girls book(Harrowing Historical Nonfiction Bestseller About a Courageous Fight for Justice)

Wow! 5+++ stars! Highly recommend!

This is a harrowing true story about young women, many of them immigrants, who worked in plants in Newark/Orange, NJ and Ottawa, Canada painting watch and clock dials with radium so that the numbers would be luminous. The story takes place in the 1920s.

At the time, radium was said to be very safe. The young women were instructed to insert the paint brushes into their mouths so that the paint brush line would be very thin. “Lip, dip, and paint” was the process they were taught as they dipped their paint brushes into radium paint.

The health issues and excruciating deaths that occurred with many of the women are told in horrific detail. Unfortunately, the majority of dentists, doctors, and supervisors that they went to for advice and evaluation dismissed them.

The existing workers compensation laws during that time were narrowly constrained; radium poisoning claims did not meet the criteria and the statue of limitations was too short.

Yet many of these women continued to fight for their lives and for social and economic justice. Fortunately, there were some doctors, dentists, and attorneys who championed their cause.

This is a riveting story of young women with workplace injuries championing to have their employer provide medical and financial assistance and to prevent other employees from radium poisoning.

Highly recommend!


We Are Not Here to Be Bystanders: A Memoir of Love and Resistance

We Are Not Here to Be Bystanders book10+++ stars. A must read for those who believe in inclusion, hope and a better world.

Sarsour, one of the co-organizers of the Women’s March, is a warrior for justice. She believes our highest responsibility is to care for one another by showing up and speaking out for the voiceless among us.

The book starts with a powerful foreward by Harry Belafonte. Belafonte marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, JR and John Lewis during the civil rights movement. Belafonte was present and provided the inspiration for the social justice voltron, a powerful trifecta of Sarsour, Tamika Mallory, and Carmen Perez, when they created the MARCH2JUSTICE.

The march was a 250 mile, nine-day event, from New York to Washington, DC. On the seventh day of the march, Freddie Gray died. He was killed in Baltimore, so the marchers changed their route in order to march on the western side of Baltimore to join other protestors.

Sarsour describes her memoir as a social justice manifesto. She warns that silence immobilizes us. She believes in using our voices as megaphones and states that we must never negotiate away or compromise our principles and values. She advocates for us to join together to become this nation’s unshakable moral compass.

Her memoir is packed with poignant, heart wrenching stories, including the NYPD policing policies and practices against Muslims after 9/11. Through her efforts and the efforts of many others, NY Police Commissioner, William Bratton, in 2014 shuttered the Muslim surveillance program and indicated that the program had not generated any leads to terrorist enterprises. It was at this same point in time that Donald Trump was considering a presidential campaign run.

Part One of Sarsour’s book begins with this quote by Valerie Kaur, founder of the Revolutionary Love Project:

“The passion to change the world flickers in you like a flame, and if you let that light go out, you will be robbing the world of your greatest gift. Your task today is not to know what the future holds; your task is to vow to protect that flame.”

Highly, highly recommend! This is the best book I have read in 2023 and will most likely be the best book I read this entire year.


Paper Targets: Art Can Be Murder

Paper Targets bookWOW!! Incredibly riveting, fast-paced thriller that I highly recommend!

Steve Saroff does a terrific job with character development, particularly with Enzi, the protagonist. There are very unique individuals in this story, including a girl he barely knows that he helps get released from jail.

I was on the edge of my seat constantly as the action moved between Montana, Seattle and New York. Saroff’s ability to ratchet up the drama and tension is masterful.

Highly recommend! Very unique thriller!