July's Books Plus Discussion

Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksJoin us this Sunday, July 10 at 2:00 p.m. for July's Books Plus book discussion. Wendy will lead a discussion on The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. Scientists named a poor African-American tobacco farmer HeLA. Without her or her family's knowledge, they removed some of Henrietta's cells. They became the first so-called "immortal" cells grown in a laboratory and were used for many vaccines including the polio vaccine. Decades later, they also used her husband's and children's cells without their consent. The book brings up many interesting questions: do we own the rights to our own bodies, do scientists treat research subjects differently based on race and class, and why do scientists not always communicate what they are doing to the people most involved.

Please join us for an interesting discussion on a book that many have found fascinating.

Upcoming Books Plus discussions held every first Sunday of the month at 2:00 p.m. in Program Room 2B.

July 10 - The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Discussion Leader: Wendy Rubin

"Science journalist Skloot makes a remarkable debut with this multilayered story about "faith, science, journalism, and grace." It is also a tale of medical wonders and medical arrogance, racism, poverty and the bond that grows, sometimes painfully, between two very different women--Skloot and Deborah Lacks--sharing an obsession to learn about Deborah's mother, Henrietta, and her magical, immortal cells." - Publisher's Weekly

August 7 -- The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Discussion Leader: Elizabeth Gray

"The Art of Racing in The Rain has everything: love, tragedy, redemption, danger, and--most especially--the canine narrator Enzo. This old soul of a dog has much to teach us about being human." - Sara Gruen, Author of Water for Elephants

September 4 -- Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
Discussion Leader: Sarah Bowman

"There is a great deal going on in these pages--sharply observed domestic comedy, late-life romance, culture clash, a dash of P. G. Wodehouse, and a pinch of religious fundamentalism. First novelist Simonson handles it all with great aplomb, and her Major, with his keen sense of both honor and absurdity, is the perfect lens through which to view contemporary England." -- Booklist

October 2 -- Half Broke Horses: a true-life novel by Jeannette Wall
Discussion Leader: Dory Lynch

"Told in a natural, offhand voice that is utterly enthralling, this is essential reading for anyone who loves good fiction--or any work about the American West." --Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal