Monday, March 7, 2011

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

My bad! I've been a little MIA these past couple days because of my reading jag! I decided instead of another day passing and not blogging, I thought I would let you all know what I'm reading!
And no it's not porn or even the Art of Wicca, although.....

Sorry lost my train of thought!

Anyhoo I am in a book group and our book for March is

This book is about Henrietta Lacks, who scientists refer to as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who had her cells taken from her without her knowledge. They were the first "immortal" human cells grown in culture. Amazingly they are still alive today.

I had never heard anything about this book up until now. Once I found out it had a lot of science and cell talk I cringed.

I first looked at the library and had no such luck. Since this is a fairly new book they do not house many copies and the few that they do have were checked out. I found out the waiting list for this was as long as my arm, so I was not thrilled that my only option was to purchase this book. I ended up at Borders because sadly we don't have a Barnes and Noble which is usually my first choice. I read that Borders has filed bankruptcy but luckily for me the stores in Iowa are not closing, whew!

I ran into the bookstore and asked for some help finding it. The gal told me it was going to be located in Biology. I know I looked at her with a blank stare because I have never gone to the Biology section of a bookstore in my life!

I was happy to see there was 1 copy left. I think the only thing I do know about Science is how to spell it. As I recall, I barely made it through biology in 9th grade because of the frog dissection. I was partnered up with a kid that I swear skinned cats in his backyard and would talk about how much he loved dead things! As much as I begged to switch lab partners I was not allowed to and I prayed every day that I would not bump into this kid in an alley or say anything to piss him off! Once my 9th grade year was over, I found myself yet again in a science room and this time it was chemistry. I thought I would rather stick a needle in my eye repeatedly then learn the periodic table. I'm pretty sure I lasted through the first week of chemistry and then found out that I didn't need it to graduate, so I said, "adios!"

I am so hoping my excitement of getting out of Science doesn't backfire while reading this book!

What I can tell you about the book is that it isn't what I thought. It is about a family. They aren't just some cells but there is a person attached to those cells and getting to know about her and her family has been fascinating! I'll let you know more when I finish the book! So I guess just because a book is in a section you wouldn't normally gravitate towards doesn't mean you shouldn't give it a fair shake! I'd love to know if anyone has read this or is reading this!

I found this clip about the book. I even heard that Oprah is making a movie of this. Should be interesting. At least no expenses shall be spared since she has more money than God.
Please turn off music before playing.



Funky Junk Antique Show said...

Wow what a story!! I love historical fiction...and I would probably lay in bed and read all day every day if I could somehow carry on my life at the same time;)...enjoy your books!!! Now I'm going to go read...

Anonymous said...

OK I'm so intrigued by this, I'm contemplating heading to B&N right now!!! I'll control myself and wait till tomorrow, but sounds awesome!!!
Thanks for the info, I haven't read a good book in awhile.

Jen said...

Book clubs really do help me branch out a bit...sounds really neat.
How is the creepy guy at GW acting these days?

Jen said...

Book clubs really do help me branch out a bit...sounds neat!
How is the creepy guy at GW acting these days?

Rachel Castello Dunn said...

I read this too! It's an amazing story and a well written book. The state of Virginia acknowledged her contribution to science during black history month this year. It doesn't exactly make up for generations of exploitation, but at least it made the Richmond news...

Kiwi Scouser said...

Sounds like a really interesting book. It was shortlisted for our book club's 2011 list but there are soooo many good books out there and it didn't make it. Maybe next year :) Can't wait for your review. Our Saturday Book Chat club has definitely broadened my reading horizon. Aren't book clubs great :-) I'm hoping our group can go see Water For Elephants at the movies together as it was our fav book in 2009.
Happy reading :-)

Fash Boulevard said...

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Karen said...

Thanks for the lovely comments on my blog!! I have heard about this case but I had no idea there was a book about it!! I am currently looking for a good book so I will see if I can find it our local chapters!!

Thanks for sharing!


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