The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot... "Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they’d weigh more than 50 million metric tons—as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the effects of the atom bomb; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions... Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave. Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells; from Henrietta’s small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia—a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo—to East Baltimore today. Henrietta’s family did not learn of her “immortality” until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. Henriettas Daughter Deborah wonders, if her mother was so important to medicine, why couldn’t her children afford health insurance?" Rebecca Skloot is an award winning science writer, but The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is not suppose to be some dry piece of research, but a story of a woman, her family, her legacy and scientific research. This book has gotten a lot of praise and just seemed so interesting to me. I never knew about "immortal" human cells or what they could be used for. Read an Excerpt of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks from O the Oprah Magazine, and learn more about the author and the book at her website, Rebeccaskloot.com.
Burn by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy..."Years ago, the Gypsy Kumpania (c0mmunity) where Janeal Mikkado lived was attacked by outsiders. With her best friend about to be consumed by a fire, Janeal had two options: try to save her friend--at serious risk to her own life--or disappear with the million dollars that she had just discovered... But the past is quickly coming back to haunt her. Both the best friend and the boyfriend that she was sure were dead have reappeared in her life, as has someone who knows about the money. There's a debt to be paid for the money she found, but there's an even greater debt she must face--and if the chaff isn't burned from her own heart, it will consume her." Thrill writer Ted Dekker is back along with Erin Healy with another page turner. Lots of buzz on this one, and sure to be another Ted Dekker best seller. So if you'd like a little more terror in your winter reading, check out Burn!
The Postmistress by Sarah Blake... "Weaving together the stories of three very different women loosely tied to each other, debut novelist Blake takes readers back and forth between small town America and war-torn Europe in 1940. Single, 40-year-old postmistress Iris James and young newlywed Emma Trask are both new arrivals to Franklin, Mass., on Cape Cod. While Iris and Emma go about their daily lives, they follow American reporter Frankie Bard on the radio as she delivers powerful and personal accounts from the London Blitz and elsewhere in Europe. While Trask waits for the return of her husband—a volunteer doctor stationed in England—James comes across a letter with valuable information that she chooses to hide. Blake captures two different worlds—a naïve nation in denial and, across the ocean, a continent wracked with terror—with a deft sense of character and plot, and a perfect willingness to take on big, complex questions, such as the merits of truth and truth-telling in wartime." The Postmistress by Sarah Blake is due in stores this coming week and it has gotten so much positive praise for the writing and the story. WWII has been a favorite among authors this past year, (I'm thinking The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society), but there's always room for another great book and this promises to be one! This is suppose to be a big hit this year! Read the first chapter of The Postmistress by Sarah Blake and see what you think! (and here's a little sneak peek at a surprise for a lucky "follower" of my blog... a copy The Postmistress is part of a wonderful bundle of books up for grabs as part of my blogoversary and courtesy of G.P.Putnam's Sons!)
Hope you've found something to peak your interest today! Less than 2 weeks before the One year anniversary of the blog celebration! And in the meantime... Happy reading! Suzanne