Game Changer: World War 2, Radar, the Atomic Bomb, and the Life of Kenneth Tompkins Bainbridge by David A. Bainbridge

This true story is about an unsung hero from World War II. A war commonly known as the “physicist’s war” because of the science behind radar and atomic bomb technology. When most people recall the scientists involved in these historic accomplishments, Kenneth Tompkins Bainbridge is rarely recognized. In this historic recollection of Ken’s life, the reader dives deep into the world of physicist Ken’s career. A remarkable career that played a major role in ending WWII. Ken was the first physicist recruited for the radar lab at MIT and developed radar technology that could detect submarines. Shortly after, Ken was chosen to work at Los Alamos on the atomic bomb. He was the Director of the Manhattan Project’s Trinity Nuclear testing site. Ken and his team were responsible for selecting the test site, preparing the site, and setting up all of the instrumentation details for the test. On July 16, 1945, the research team’s project was a success with the first atom bomb explosion.

To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara

A unique dystopian novel with three alternate versions of America three centuries apart.

Book 1: 1893, America, located in a version of New York in what is part of the Free States. A place where people may live and love freely. A young David is at the center of a rich and distinguished family’s story. He is betrothed to a worthy suitor, but he is drawn to a young music teacher who comes from a poor family.

Book 2: 1993, Manhattan in the middle of the AIDS epidemic, a young man from Hawaii named David lives with his much older and wealthier partner living with the disease. David is hiding his troubled childhood and the fate of his father.

Book 3: 2093, in a world suffering from various plagues and an unjust ruling government, Charlie, the granddaughter of a distinguished scientist tries to navigate life without him, and is suffering from the effects of a drug that saved her from the plague but left her damaged. She is on a mission to solve the mystery of her husband’s disappearance.

These three separate stories are distinctive views on the choice between safety and pleasure. The sections can get confusing because the character names are consistent throughout all the stories. In my opinion, To Paradise is a novel with a vivid puzzle and could be read multiple times to fully grasp any relationship to paradise.  The redeeming quality of the stories is how each story depicts the great lengths we will go to for our love partners, friends, and family.

Her Hidden Genius by Marie Benedict

This historical fiction novel based on Rosalind Franklin provides a great escape into the mind of a young and brilliant woman. It is post World War II; Rosalind is a young scientist who leaves her London home to work at a research laboratory in Paris. She thoroughly enjoys her time in Paris with her colleagues and is dedicated to proving theories utilizing X-Ray crystallography experimentation. After a potential romance with the laboratory leader, she decides to pursue her work back in London. Subsequently, Rosalind gets the opportunity to work on uncovering DNA’s structure and function.  Her male colleagues deliberately stole her data and discoveries to claim the findings for their own personal achievement and recognition. Rosalind doesn’t have the chance to reach the final result, thus not receiving the credit she deserves. Her intentions were always noble and she wanted to achieve success for the sake of science and for bettering humankind. Her Hidden Genius shines a light on a woman in scientific history that is not well known. It is a reimagined view of Rosalind’s life through her eyes, and I highly recommend it to historical fiction fans.

SPL Book Club will be discussing Her Hidden Genius. The next book club meeting is Thursday, May 5, 2022, at 3 p.m. Join us!

Library hours Monday – Thursday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday 9 a.m-5 p.m. Saturday 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

 

The Socorro Public Library is searching for the names of the cowboys in this photo. Socorro Cowboy Polo was circa the late 50s, early 60s at the Socorro Rodeo Arena. The middle cowboy is Pat Coles, but the identities of the others remain a mystery.
Send info to Socorro Public Library, Attn: Chelsea Jones, library@adobelibrary.org, 575-835-1114.

Chelsea Jones, Socorro Public Library