Friday, April 10, 2015
Blogging A to Z - I
Author: Irving, John
I know I already featured one of his books, but honestly, my choices for I were limited. I also really enjoy John Irving as an author so I don't mind having him here twice. In addition to A Prayer for Owen Meany, I can recommend Cider House Rules, A Widow for One Year, and The Fourth Hand. I know he is not for everyone - his books aren't always realistic, but they are entertaining and certainly make me think. He doesn't shy away from hard topics (the death of children, abortion, infidelity, family relationships, etc.) but can seemingly find humor even in these situations.
Book: Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, The by Rebecca Skloot
This is the story of a poor African-American woman who died in 1951 of cervical cancer. Doesn't sound all that exciting until you hear about how the sample of her tumor was the first "immortal" human cells grown in culture and were instrumental in countless scientific discoveries. As if that medical drama wasn't enough, there is also the human drama of her family, who weren't aware of what Ms. Lacks' cells were contributing until almost 20 years after her death. Because the cells aren't considered property, there was never any payment and Ms. Lacks' family can't even afford their own medical care. It's a fascinating read about genetics, medical research and ethics, and the business of science. Highly recommended.