|The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks|
by Rebecca Skloot
Now, before I tell you about this fascinating book, I want to define Whatever Wednesday. I did not intend for this category to be taken as flippant. On the contrary, so many books can fit into the category (and I almost think it is my favorite because of that). With the guidelines I set for myself, this title would not have fit into any of the categories if I had not made Whatever Wednesdays. So, with that being said, let me tell you about my selection for today.
Now, if you remember my review from Sexy Saturday I am not usually a science-y person. I lean toward history. However, the mixture of science and history throughout this extraordinary story of HeLa cells and Henrietta Lacks is gripping. I have always been intrigued with genetics. I remember learning how to complete a blood type chart in high school biology. and I was fascinated by DNA. By reading this book, I have discovered that I might not have learned about cells, DNA, and so many other amazing biological discoveries if it had not been for Henrietta Lacks.
I first learned about The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot from my husband. The book was selected as the common reading for the incoming freshman. In the winter of 2011, Texas Christian University hosted members of the Lacks family at the 2011 Fogelson Honors Forum.
Skloot's book has been named the winner of a number of awards including the 2010 Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Nonfiction, the 2010 Wellcome Trust Book Prize, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Award for Excellence in Science Writing, the 2011 Audie Award for Best Non-Fiction Audiobook, and a Medial Journalists' Association Open Book Award.
During the Fogelson Honors Forum at TCU, Mrs. Lacks's great-granddaughter, Erika Johnson said, "If you know someone who hasn't read the book or learned about it, pass along your knowledge. It's important, not just to the science world, but to everyone." Oprah Winfrey and Alan Ball are doing just that by working with HBO to bring Mrs. Lacks's story to even through the medium of television. As an avid reader, I always say the book is so much better than a movie could ever be, however, if Mrs. Lacks's legacy is shared with more people because of the adaptation of Skloot's book, it will be for the best. Thank you, Ms. Skloot's for sharing the life of Henrietta Lacks with all of us.