Thursday, July 28, 2011

New Books

I always intend to use the library more often and check out loads of books with my kids, but I usually end up buying them instead. I have this idea that I'd love to fill my home with hundreds of books I've read and that way my posterity would know what to read. It would be a part of me passing on to them. Do I think too much? Anyway, these two caught my eye recently and I thought I'd share.

The first one is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. This book was mentioned to me during a late night at Girl's Camp. I didn't remember what it was about, but when I passed by it at Target, the book's title rang familiar. I picked it up and read the synopsis.

Who, you might ask, is Henrietta Lacks (1920-1951) and why is she the subject of a book? On the surface, this short-lived African American Virginian seems an unlikely candidate for immortality. The most remarkable thing about her, some might argue, is that she had ten children during her thirty-one years on earth. Actually, we all owe Ms. Lacks a great debt and some of us owe her our lives. As Rebecca Skloot tells us in this riveting human story, Henrietta was the involuntary donor of cells from her cancerous tumors that have been cultured to create an immortal cell line for medical research. These so-called HeLa cells have not only generated billions of dollars for the medical industry; they have helped uncover secrets of cancers, viruses, fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping.

Whoa. I was seriously denied in my biology classes. I would have loved biology if I'd learned about this. I started it a couple nights ago and it's very interesting. I hope to post a review soon.

Now on to the second book. My kids and I made an impromptu trip downtown and found ourselves in the local bookshop. Shocking, I know. Anwyay, my 9 year old was determined to find a new book. We just didn't know what to get. After several minutes and attempts to find the right book I sat down on one of the stools and just started looking at the titles closest to me. It turned out to be a pretty good method of book finding. I picked up Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede and read the cover.

It's about a princess who doesn't want to do the girly princess things. She's tomboyish and wants to seek an adventure of her own. And she finds one...with a dragon. I thought, okay this seems like a good fit for my daughter. She agreed. When we were checking out the cashier said she loved this series and it was a good choice. When I got home and looked it up on Goodreads and was even more delighted to see it averaged 4 1/2 stars. There were more good reviews on other sites as well. Score.

Don't you just love it when that happens? You just pick a book at random and it turns out it might actually be worth reading! Brilliant, I know.

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