My book of the month for April proved to be an easy choice. I read ‘Educated’ by Tara Westover after listening to an interview with her on the Talking Politics podcast. The interview was hosted by David Runciman who also happens to be Westover’s PhD supervisor.
Tara Westover grew up as the youngest child in a survivalist family in Idaho. Her memoir tells the story of her journey from an uneducated girl (and that word makes a difference in those circumstances), never registered for birth or school, to a PhD from Cambridge University. Without going into detail (just read the book!), this memoir is a gripping insight into the effects of religious fundamentalism, mental illness, abuse and bigotry on a family through the perceptions of one survivor.
I was a young boy at the time of the Apollo moon landings and have always been fascinated by the space-faring technology of that era. My movie of the month is ‘Mission Control’, a documentary about the men (and they were all men) who worked in Mission Control in Houston. This film is not a ‘Hidden Figures’ style dramatisation of events, instead the real engineers tell their own stories of how they came to work there and their experiences. Events unfold in a manner that's straightforward but still moving from the tragedy of Apollo 1, and how that shaped the programme, through to the final missions to the moon. At the end of the movie it’s evident just how much the culture of the Apollo programme created by men such as Chris Kraft and Gene Kranz (the man in the white vest) still shapes NASA operations.
My album of the month is a classic and coincidently ties in to my movie choice perfectly. I have been listening to the remastered ‘Dark Side of The Moon’!