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20 May 2010

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Are you trying to say that it's a bad thing that I bring my library books into the bathtub with me? Sigh...

This book and Hellhound on His Trail are my two must-catch-up books for Memorial Day weekend. It's been making its way through the family to rave reviews, and I'm glad to hear that streak is unbroken still. Wish I'd read it so I could contribute more, but the author interviews I've heard have been fascinating.

There was a recent Law & Order episode on the subject. The book is on my to read list, but I'm caught up with L & O.

Starting Immortal Life this weekend :D

I'm sure you may have heard this already but they picked "Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" as this year's campus Go Big Read,a much better choice than the Pollan book last year. There will be lots of book discussions scheduled and she'll come speak at the Kohl center I'm sure. I can't wait to read this. (p.s. my grandmother's name was Henrietta and she died young too, so there's another reason I can't wait to read it)

This book just recently popped up on my radar and I'm definitely wanting it badly now! It sounds incredible.

Fiber One? Are you blogging from the old folks home these days? Great review, I just placed in on hold at my library, but if you don't mind, I think I'll have some prunes with it instead...

Rachael,
No, actually I support books in the tub. If they fall and you grab them quickly enough you've got a chance at drying them out--water is one thing; milk with cereal flakes in it another. Milk just never really dries out of pages properly. Do let me know what you think of "Hellhound on His Trail"--I'm curious about it but I've never been a big Hampton Sides fan, so I may not get it read, but I'd love to hear about it!

Venta,
Well, catching up with L&O is very important. But did you hear it's been cancelled?!?!? What a crime. Where else am I going to see Jeremy Sisto every week? (Not to mention the prosecutor, but I don't know his name--Linus Roache or something?)

Beth,
Pop back in when you're done and let us know what you think, okay?

Katharine,
I did hear that, funnily enough, from another MPL employee. You guys know your stuff! I agree it's a much more interesting pick than the Pollan--I bet it'll lead to some interesting discussions, too.

Amy,
It holds your attention, that's for sure. I hope you like it.

Bookie,
I know, isn't it sad? I went right from chocolate Pop Tarts to Fiber One cereal. Let me just say this, though: after a couple of years eating it, I am a BIG believer in Fiber One cereal. Of course prunes'll work too but they make you feel even older. Sometimes I do mix some Lucky Charms in and try to pretend like I'm not becoming ancient. Oh, what were we talking about? Oh yes, the book. Let me know what you think about it--I'm dying to talk it over with some other people!

I loved, LOVED this book and think it would be a great book club discussion book...there's so much in here to talk about. I read it just as the health care legislation was really heating up Congress, so the stories about Henrietta's children not having health care really struck home.

Interestingly though, I suggested I would lead this book discussion at the library with my co-worker's husband who is a medical researcher and has used the HeLa cells. He thought the whole concept of cells (taken from blood work, biopsies, etc.) being "yours" was ridiculous. He thought the premise of the book was unimportant. Just goes to show you where the researchers are on this issue.

But I still love it and promote it to patrons every chance I get.

Donna,
I'm glad you loved it too. And do promote it to your patrons! I think librarians and library staff have been too "hands off" when it comes to suggesting books to patrons for years. Of course it's all about what the patron wants to read. But I think every now and then we should get to recommend a book too. Where's the fun otherwise.

I'm totally not surprised by your co-worker's husband's response. I wonder if he would feel any differently if they were his or his spouse's cells. Maybe not. But I do wonder. I'm sorry, but I think anything that includes your DNA, which is about as specific as it gets, still qualifies as "yours" in some way. Not to mention nobody told Henrietta or her family they were taking such cells, or asked for consent in any way. Maybe researchers could unbend a little bit, use their huge scientific brains to find a way to ensure that personal DNA isn't abused or bandied about in the public domain, and that would help everyone. Very interesting perspective--thank you for sharing it!!

Jeremy Sisto...I went to middle school with him. I have ABSOLUTELY NO MEMORY of this fact, except for his name in my yearbook (he's listed as Jeremy Sisto, not pictured) and my friend's fond memory of a crush she had on him. He and Linus Roache make that show watchable again. So sad it's going away.

Dried plums are sexy.

I have this book & have no idea why it has sat unread for so long. This must change.

Rachael,
Damn, no picture of Jeremy Sisto in your yearbook. That's a crying shame! Actually, I like their whole cast right now, and I too am bummed that they've been cancelled.

Sherry,
Dried apricots too. People may not agree with me, but I also think being "regular" is sexy, and makes it easier to feel sexy. Too much information?

I hope you like the book--let us know what you think!!

O.M.G. Are you channeling Jen Lancaster?

Also, stewed prunes over Greek yogurt. Mmmmm.

Rachael,
Does Ms. Lancaster also have an unshakeable belief in the powers of regularity? It's definitely time I picked up another one of her memoirs. :)

I can quite honestly say I never thought of stewed prunes (okay, well, Greek yogurt doesn't cross my radar often either), but that sounds quite yummy.

I read about the HeLa cells, but didn't make the connection until I read about Henrieta Lacks' story some years ago. It especially resonates with me because much of it takes place in my hometown of Baltimore. I've worked at Johns Hopkins Hospital in the past and many in the community surrounding the hospital display a great deal of suspicion and distrust towards them for the reasons indicated in the book, and many don't have health care. I find it amazing that Skloot was able to establish trust and develop a relationship with Lacks' family and write this book and can't wait to read it.

Lacks' history remains largely unknown among Baltimore's residents, and that's sad. The only reason I found out about it was because I stumbled across it. I see this as an important time in both medical and black history, and the story needs to be told. I do hope that this will change.

Kim from Sophisticated Dorkiness recommended your blog. I had asked if she knew any bloggers who read mostly nonfiction. Seems like we're few and far between. So yay!

Immortal Life was one of my favorites so far this year. Right now I'm reading Cutting for Stone and I think it'll be right up there at the top of my list. Loving it! Have you read that one?

Glad to have found you. Let me know if you have other blog suggestions for me. Sometimes I feel I'm the only one in the universe who isn't a YA or romance fan.

Oh, and Fiber One cereal ROCKS!

Jill,
I must admit I'd never heard of HeLa until I read this book. But that is not a surprise, I try to stay away from all things medical, including nonfiction.
Thank you for the insight into the area surrounding Johns Hopkins; that was an interesting part of the book too (that neighbors feared people from the hospital were out kidnapping people nearby to do experiments on them). I really can see why they feel that way, even though it sounds like JH was set up with some sort of helping the community and free service in mind. The bad thing is, once trust is lost in a medical setting, it's lost for a long, long time. I personally haven't been treated at all badly by the establishment, and I STILL don't trust or like most medical staff (and probably never will). Health care is just too personal. I hope all of this will change too!

Lynne,
Thanks for stopping by! Kim does a great job with her blog too; lots of good NF news there. And do you read EarlyWord.com? Lots of good new NF news there. RickLibrarian is a great site too, he reviews a lot of history and biography. I link to both over in my sidebar.

I haven't read Cutting for Stone, but thank you for the suggestion! I think I thought about it (it got great reviews) but it was just too thick for me, and I only have so much time to give to fiction. :) Glad to hear it's good, though.

I totally agree about Fiber One, BTW. I don't want to think about how that stuff is chemically engineered, but man, it really does work.

Thanks for the EarlyWord.com and RickLibrarian sites. I'll head over there now.

Cutting for Stone IS thick. And it's going to take FOREVER to read since it's on my iPad and I only read it when I'm at the gym on the elliptical machine. Okay maybe not forever but for how infrequently I exercise, at least a year. hehe

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