If you visit here with any regularity, you know I am an avid reader. I need to write a post one of these days finishing up the reviews for the books I read in 2012 but for now I'm going to jump ahead because I'm excited to share what I've read since the beginning of the year.
Reached by Ally Condie
You know me--I'm a sucker for good dystopian/post-apocalyptic fiction. This is the final installment in Ally Condie's Matched Trilogy. If you aren't familiar with the series you can read my brief reviews of Matched and Crossed to get a little background information).
I did enjoy reading the book over our Christmas break (it's a good popcorn read) but I found that for me when it comes to trilogies I'm seeing a trend that I usually enjoy the first volume the most. I thought it was
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
"Her name was Henrietta Lacks but scientists know her as HeLa" (from the book description). Henrietta was a young woman with three children, expecting her fourth when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer in the early 1950s. Her doctor took a tissue sample from her (without her consent) and the cells grown from it became the first immortal cell line: HeLa.
HeLa cells have been used by scientists all over the world for research; HeLa cells have helped with scientific advances from space travel and the atomic bomb to the HPV vaccine, a cure for polio, mapping the human genome and cloning. But the story goes deeper. This book offers a remarkable look at the lives of Henrietta's family and how learning about their mother's "immortality" profoundly affected (and continues to affect) them.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, though scientific and occasionally clinical by virtue of the subject matter, is paradoxically intimate and moving, thought-provoking and even at times spiritual. Rebecca Skloot's research is comprehensive and she tells a compelling story that is at the same time scientifically accessible to the general public.
I really enjoyed this book and found it hard to put down--more so than any of the works of fiction I have read recently. I also loved talking about it with my scientist husband and getting an insider scoop about certain scientific questions I had while reading and hearing his views on the debate about informed consent.
I highly recommend it.
Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton
This is our book club selection for the month. It is beautifully written and I'm really enjoying it so far. I'll give a more detailed review in the future.
Next up on my to read list:
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
I saw the movie and LOVED it so now I guess I need to read the book. I got it for my Kindle for free.
Demons in the Big Easy by Jamie Marchant
This one is written by my friend and free today only for Kindle. Go get it!
I'm linking up to this party at Jones Design Company. I can't wait to see what other people are reading. I already have a few to add to my to-read list. I love books!