Thursday, February 7, 2019

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings

It's Friday . . . time to share book excerpts with:
  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires.  
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an ebook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.
Today I'm featuring a current read, Fly Girls by Keith O'Brien.  The excerpts shared are from a hardcover version borrowed from the library.  It's this month's selection for one of my book clubs.

Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History 

Beginning:  The Miracle of Wichita
The coal peddlers west of town, on the banks of the Arkansas River, took note of the new saleswoman from the moment she appeared outside the plate-glass window.  It was hard not to notice Louise McPhetridge.


Page 56:  The engine quit--and that's when McPhetridge made her mistake.  Instead of landing straight ahead on whatever ground she could find, she tried to turn back for the airport.


My thoughts:  This true story of five American women from all walks of life (and all relatively unknown except for Amelia Earhart) is a fascinating read.  O'Brien shares biographical information on each and recounts the obstacles they faced in entering the male-dominated field of aviation.  Their bravery and determination was incredible.


From Goodreads:  The untold story of five women who fought to compete against men in the high-stakes national air races of the 1920s and 1930s — and won.

Between the world wars, no sport was more popular, or more dangerous, than airplane racing. Thousands of fans flocked to multi‑day events, and cities vied with one another to host them. The pilots themselves were hailed as dashing heroes who cheerfully stared death in the face. Well, the men were hailed. Female pilots were more often ridiculed than praised for what the press portrayed as silly efforts to horn in on a manly, and deadly, pursuit.
Fly Girls recounts how a cadre of women banded together to break the original glass ceiling: the entrenched prejudice that conspired to keep them out of the sky.

O’Brien weaves together the stories of five remarkable women: Florence Klingensmith, a high‑school dropout who worked for a dry cleaner in Fargo, North Dakota; Ruth Elder, an Alabama divorcee; Amelia Earhart, the most famous, but not necessarily the most skilled; Ruth Nichols, who chafed at the constraints of her blue‑blood family’s expectations; and Louise Thaden, the mother of two young kids who got her start selling coal in Wichita. Together, they fought for the chance to race against the men — and in 1936 one of them would triumph in the toughest race of all.

Hidden Figures and Girls of Atomic City, Fly Girls celebrates a little-known slice of history in which tenacious, trail-blazing women braved all obstacles to achieve greatness. 


This Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog,  It cannot be republished without attribution. Sharing this original post on Twitter and/or other blogs with appropriate recognition is appreciated.    


Anne@HeadFullofBooks said...

I hope to read this book some day. My Friday quotes and review

Kay said...

I love all these new books coming out that show the 'hidden' roles women played in all aspects of life in the past. Love the photo on the cover of that book.

Lisa Ks Book Reviews said...

Women always could do anything men can do. And a lot of times, better! ;-) I'd love for you and your readers to check out mine.

Laura said...

I watched a documentary about this and would love to read the book!

My Friday 56 from My Hungry Friend

Kathy Martin said...

Sounds like an interesting book. I hope you are enjoying it. This week I am spotlighting Say You're Sorry by Karen Rose - a thriller from my review stack. Happy reading!

Louise @ Foxes and Fairy Tales said...

This sounds like a really interesting topic to read about. I hope you're enjoying it! :)
My Friday Memes for this week.

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I do love stories about women exploring new horizons...and competing against men. Thanks for sharing, and it is on my list now. Here's mine: “THE MAKING OF US”

Roberta Gibson said...

Recently read a picture book biography of two female pilots who raced around the world, and I'd never heard of either of them. Glad their stories are getting told.

Literary Feline said...

I recently purchased a copy of this one and am eager to read it. One of my childhood dreams was to someday be a pilot. So, I've always had a special interest in all things flying, especially female pilots. I hope you have a great weekend, Catherine.

fredamans said...

This book sounds fascinating and empowering!!! Happy weekend!

Lauren Stoolfire said...

I need to read this! :)

Lauren @ Always Me

Emma at Words And Peace / France Book Tours said...

Fascinating, though p.56 must be a scary part! Mine is here:

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