1.20.2012

{Book Club Friday}: The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

It is Book Club Friday again and I am linking up with Blonde, Undercover Blonde. This link up is every Friday and you can review any book that you like. So - head on over and find some great books to add to your list.

Today I am reviewing The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.
Here is the description from Amazon:
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 atom bomb’s effects; 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.

What did I think:
If you have ever studied science and biology, I just bet you have heard of HeLa cells.  I don't remember ever wondering where cells like that came from.  But they came from a woman named Henrietta.  She was a mother, wife, sister, and friend.  A real person with a real life. 
Her cells are some of the most famous, if not the most famous, in the world.  Yet her family had no idea.
This was a great book.  It is written so well that you can see the places and the people. It brings up a lot of eithical questions about the use of your body parts once they are removed from you.  It is touching, it's sad, it's full of hope.  Everyone should read this book.
Thanks again to Lauren for her review of the book last week.  I may have never known it was out there without her!

BOOK 6:12 FOR 2012
****Click here for more books that I have read and reviewed and here for my ever growing list of books to read in the future.

6 comments:

  1. I have been waiting for this particular book at paperbackswap.com for almost a year now! I can't wait to read it, hopefully my time is coming soon :)

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  2. Check your library Kristi! That's where I got mine. In fact that is where I have gotten all my books this year. It makes for a very cheap hobby. ;0

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  3. Definitely need to read this one ASAP

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