Posts tagged books
Posts tagged books
Entrepreneur Brewster Kahle is building a Noah’s Ark of books. He hopes to fill it with one copy of every book ever printed.
I think we can all agree that this is beyond brilliant.
There is a place in the world that I know, where the outside can’t come in; A wardrobe to your own personal Narnia. A place where you can travel the world, learn a new language, discover things you never knew; absolutely free.
The library is that place. You walk through the doors into a haven of possibility.
I’ve just finished reading ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’ by Rebecca Skloot and wow, what can I say? It’s a fascinating story that links science with a family saga, that will both shock you, intrigue you and at times, make you feel incredibly emotional.
The book tells the story of Henrietta Lacks a poor, black, tobacco farmer whose cancer cells, taken without her knowledge, became the first “immortal cells” to be grown in a lab. These cells were then used to create vaccines for diseases such as polio and in studies to do with nuclear warfare and space travel. Without Henrietta Lacks many of the advances in modern medicine would never have happened and yet her story remains practically unknown. That is, until now.
Author Rebecca Skloot spent over ten years researching Henrietta and her cells. Meeting her family and forming an especially close bond with Henrietta’s daughter Deborah, who never knew her mother, having only been a baby when she died. Now for the first time the story of Henrietta and her cells has been told.
The book is incredibly moving especially when Skloot takes Deborah and her younger brother to see their mother’s cells in a lab. But it also poses some difficult questions. Like should Henrietta’s family have received a portion of the money their mother’s cells have made since they were taken and how much ownership do we have over parts of our bodies when they are no longer a part of us? These questions may never be answered definitively, but Skloot provides a conclusion that is both satisfying and thought provoking.
‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’ is not only a story about scientific discovery but about family. About children who grew up without a mother only to struggle with the revelation that a part of her was still alive somewhere and about an extraordinary woman who changed the world of science forever. A must read.
I recently read The Carrie Diaries, the young adult prequel to the fabulous Sex and the City. The book follows Carrie’s adventures through high school and there has been a lot of talk on the interweb about it being adapted for TV or film. People have been speculating over who would play the younger Carrie (Elizabeth Olsen?), Samantha (Blake Lively?), Charlotte (Selena Gomez?) and Miranda (Emma Roberts?) and when reading the book this was on my mind.
Only Samantha and co didn’t feature in The Carrie Diaries at all! The whole way through I was thinking ‘am I going mad? Have they even read this book? Why are they casting the others when they aren’t even in the book?!’
It frustrated me no end, until the final sentence “Is Samantha Jones there?”. Carrie doesn’t meet the others until the sequel The Carrie Diaries 2: Summer and the City! And I’m guessing that this would be the main focus of an adaptation. So then my thought was ‘they should really make this clear, to avoid this confusion in the future’.
I’m guessing now, that they probably did and I was just being dense. It certainly didn’t mean I enjoyed the book any less. I think I was just focusing on it too much.
There’s probably a lesson in here somewhere.
I’d watch it.
Hey yeahwriters, my birthday is in 2 weeks! Just saying!
Not really sure how I feel about this, but no doubt I will buy it, if only to spray into the air when the inevitable happens and I buy a kindle.
Happy World Book Day!!
Today I’m reading Barnaby Rudge for my Charles Dickens module. It’s a little different to the Dickens I’ve already read and so far I’m enjoying it.