Monday, May 9, 2011

"the immortal life of henrietta lacks"

my take: i'd heard about the book several times on NPR ... saw it on lots of lists ... tried to get it on the book chicks list for this year (got turned down emphatically by one chick). i was ordering our lady from amazon, so i threw this in the virtual cart. i read most of it aloud to hubby on the ride home from spring break. wow! as far as sciencey books go, this has heart (even if the format was a bit choppy.) although it has lots of medical terms and research methods, the author inserts her interest in the subject, her interaction & relationship with the family, and her frustrations of investigation & interviews, making it a story. i  knew nothing of the HeLa cells before and am amazed at all the discoveries and cures attributed to this woman's terrible cancer. ultimately, the book gives the HeLa cells the "life" they deserve.

my source: aunt harrie's couples book club in madison, wisconsin. my copy has ridden off to cincinnati - will have back for summer reading

recommend: great discussion book - hubby and i had discussions about medical ethics & medical research, and marveled at the gift of Henrietta Lacks for the world

rating: smartitude smug factor (how smart you will feel): high...nerd factor: medium...writing: medium...worth a read.

1 comment:

  1. My book club certainly found quite a bit to talk about with this one last night... It would have been an interesting book if it were just the facts of Henrietta & the science of HeLa, but it definitely became an engaging/personal story with the author's interactions with the subject & family. Liked it a lot.

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