A Girl's Guide to Missiles: Growing Up in America's Secret Desert

A Girl's Guide to Missiles: Growing Up in America's Secret Desert

A poignant, surreal, and fearlessly honest look at growing up on one of the most secretive weapons installations on earth, by a young woman who came of age with missiles The China Lake missile range is located in a huge stretch of the Mojave Desert, about the size of the state of Delaware. It was created during the Second World War, and has always been shrouded in secrecy. A poignant, surreal, and fearlessly honest look at growing up on one of the most secretive weapons installations on ea...

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Title:A Girl's Guide to Missiles: Growing Up in America's Secret Desert
Author:Karen Piper
Rating:
Genres:Nonfiction
ISBN:0399564543
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:336 pages pages

A Girl's Guide to Missiles: Growing Up in America's Secret Desert Reviews

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    Aug 28, 2018
    This book is about the author's childhood in the Mojave Desert while her parents worked designing missiles at China Lake. It's also about civilian vs military life, fundamentalism, and how much of childhood can be held on to. I enjoyed some funny descriptions of Eugene and Oregon weath...
  • Liz
    Apr 03, 2018
    Perhaps 4 stars worth of enjoyment, but only 3 based on comprehensive, coherent delving into specific topics. I always enjoy memoir non-fiction, as a personal perspective provides "story" in addition to information. I liked the behind-the-scenes look at weapons development from the lat...
  • Linda
    Oct 18, 2018
    This coming-of-age memoir has an unusual setting: the restricted and secret military base one mountain range west of Death Valley. China Lake is where the U.S. put the finishing touches on the nuclear bombs dropped on Japan, and then developed missile technology. Karen moved there at a...
  • Elizabeth
    Aug 17, 2018
    A Girl's Guide to Missiles: Growing Up in America's Secret Desert (Hardcover) by Karen Piper from the library heard the au on Fresh Air on the radio: https://www.npr.org/2018/08/14/638543... https://www.npr.org/templates/transcr... Yeah, you say that math was considere...
  • Onceinabluemoon
    Sep 19, 2018
    4.5 everyone has a story, most didn't grow up in China lake. Fascinating account of life in the dessert and the secrecy, and dare I say, the incompetence of our government. Touching moments with her father, a wild and wooly upbringing covering decades of hot topics. ...
  • Andrea Olson
    Sep 05, 2018
    If you want to learn anything about China Lake, this is NOT the book for you. Just some hippy chick talking about her life, which has minor overlap with China Lake, but she talks more about Eugene Oregon college life than the base. ...
  • Wendi Kavanaugh
    Sep 05, 2018
    I loved this book so much!! Read it all of you. ...
  • Sarah
    Jul 23, 2018
    My feelings about this book seem to echo most of the reviews that have already been written for Goodreads. This is a fine coming of age memoir about a woman who happened to grow up in China Lake, but it is not a book about China Lake. What she shared about "America's Secret Desert" was...
  • Emmkay
    Aug 25, 2018
    Readable, slightly meandery memoir. The author grew up on the China Lake Station in California during the Cold War, where both her parents worked in weapons development. The parts of the book about this strange milieu and about her parents were especially interesting, as was the part a...
  • Matt Hiebert
    Apr 25, 2018
    No, this is not a textbook about military ordinance. For me, A Girl's Guide to Missiles is a story about ?emergence.? It is the memoir of a woman coming of age in the 80s, rising out of a barren culture of inflexible religion within the desert setting of China Lake, one of Amer...
  • Jenny Karraker
    Sep 09, 2018
    Having grown up in the same time frame that this author writes about, I identified with many of her observations about the nuclear arms race. It was funny to see the competition between her and her sister about their summer jobs and who had the most secret clearance. It was interesting...
  • Christen
    Feb 21, 2018
    I enjoyed this memoir. I thought it was an interesting juxtaposition of war and religion in the author's life. I related to her religious upbringing and enjoyed the history of weapons her family made and then living with the effects of making technology and then having no control over ...
  • Emmaline Soken
    Sep 09, 2018
    3.5 ...
  • Kathleen Gray
    Aug 09, 2018
    This is very much a coming of age memoir with some details about China Lake, not a memoir about China Lake. Karen Piper has an interesting background, with parents who worked in the missile business (for want of a better description) and who had a strong religious bent. Her experiences...
  • Penmouse
    Aug 21, 2018
    Very few books make me angry but A Girl's Guide to Missles by author Karen Piper angered me enough that I quit reading her book. I returned her book to Amazon due to Piper's poor research and due to the book's poor editing. I have a deep understanding of China Lake history and how ...
  • Rebecca
    Mar 19, 2018
    I received a free copy of this e-book from the publisher (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. 2.5 Stars I wanted this book as soon as I saw the title. If I ever wrote a book about my passion for Cape Canaveral, I would have used that title. By the end of the book, I...
  • Erin
    Sep 19, 2018
    It started off really well - a lot of comedy and sarcasm mixed in with an interesting time period in American History, but then slowly drifted in to something dull and unimportant. A shame to let such a good start fall to the wayside. ...
  • Lily
    Aug 21, 2018
    Karen spent her childhood in the "base" housing at China Lake. The civilian employees (of whom she was a part) were housed across from the military personnel. Her parents worked on missile components during the 50's. Karen herself ended up working in the same area for a while as a tee...
  • Jodi
    Aug 13, 2018
    This was an advanced readers copy, that I recieved through the Goodreads Giveaways. I might not have bought this book, if I hadn't won it, but I would have missed out on a sometimes funny, sometimes sweet, and sometimes sad, description of growing up in a place where every life is spen...
  • Aria
    Aug 14, 2018
    ---- Disclosure: I received this book for free from Goodreads. --- So, firstly I just want to say that I don't understand why people think this is a book about missiles. It says right there in the title that it is about growing up. Sure, it's about growing up in a particular place, bu...
  • June
    Oct 13, 2018
    Enjoyed this memoir from beginning to end. Scientist parents working at a Naval munitions laboratory and test site in the California desert, this is a snapshot of 70's cold war politics by way of a family story. The author's voice is clear and bright the way the best memoirists can be,...
  • SM
    Aug 26, 2018
    The title for the book could have been "A Missiles Guide To Girl's". This is Karen Piper's coming of age story of growing up at China Lake, a Naval missile development base in the Mojave desert. Empty and sparse for blowing up missiles but rich in her childhood memories of the plants, ...
  • Eli Pollack
    Sep 20, 2018
    Surprisingly revealing about our defense industry but beautifully lyrical - it becomes one of the best arguments for peace without being polemical. Absolutely loved it and think it will be a book that is read long after most of what is being published concurrently has been ground up an...
  • Lois Sittu
    Sep 20, 2018
    My review reflects the opinions of many of the readers that rated it three stars. It is not a book that grabs you at the beginning and makes you want to read just one more chapter and before you know it it is getting light outside. Many times I had to read one of my other books and the...
  • Ask Mor
    Aug 20, 2018
    I knew of the NAWS China Lake installation as a child in the 1980s only because my great uncle worked and lived on base as an electrical engineer. Little did I know I would end up there as an adult when my husband's military career would lead us to the Californian desert.  I enjoye...
  • Janice
    Jul 03, 2018
    I enjoyed this ARC. I wish the author had gone into a bit more detail on life at China Lake. As soon as she became a teenager there was far too much about her various relationships with men. None of which were interesting. I would also have liked to learn more about her academic career...
  • BookGypsy
    Sep 04, 2018
    A coming of age like you've never read before. Imagine growing up living on the China Lake Missle Range. I was riveted by this story. Truely a remarkable read. Dawnny-Book Gypsy Novels N Latte Book Blog ...
  • Ren
    Aug 27, 2018
    For my personal taste, I would have given this 2 stars - but, gave it 3 thinking about other readers. I'm starting to realize that I prefer my memoirs more focused and thematic (David Sedaris, Ariel Levy, Augusten Burroughs, and The Glass Castle). The thing about these types of mem...
  • The Folding
    Aug 19, 2018
    At its core, Karen Piper?s memoir ?A Girl?s Guide to Missiles: Growing up in America?s Secret Desert? is about war. However, it?s not just about military warfare and the weapons used to wage it, developed in the laboratories in California?s China Lake Desert where Piper?...
  • Slundon
    Oct 03, 2018
    Great read, a very unique setting and perspective ...