This weekly meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.
I'm still reading:
Something from the library, which has been on my TBR list for a long time. It was really busy last week with trying to get everything done for Christmas, so I'm hoping things will quiet down now and that I can finish this one this week!
AUTHOR: Amy Tan
PUBLISHER: G.P. Putnam's Sons
PUBLICATION DATE: March 22, 1989
LENGTH: 288 pages
GENRE: Classics, Cultural/China, ContemporaryISBN: 9780399134203
In 1949 four Chinese women-drawn together by the shadow of their past-begin meeting in San Francisco to play mah jong, invest in stocks, eat dim sum, and "say" stories. They call their gathering the Joy Luck Club. Nearly forty years later, one of the members has died, and her daughter has come to take her place, only to learn of her mother's lifelong wish-and the tragic way in which it has come true.The revelation of this secret unleashes an urgent need among the women to reach back and remember…
I'm listening to:
Another one from the library, which has been on my TBR list for a long time.
AUTHOR: Rebecca Skloot
PUBLISHER: Random House Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: February 2, 2010
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 12 hrs and 30 mins
GENRE: Biography, Memoir, Nonfiction
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells, taken without her knowledge, became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first immortal human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than 60 years.
If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they'd weigh more than 50 million metric tons - as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings.
HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bombs effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.
Now, Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the colored ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells; from Henriettas small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia, a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo, to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells.
Henrietta's family did not learn of her immortality until more than 20 years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. As Rebecca Skloot so brilliantly shows, the story of the Lacks family, past and present, is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.
I just finished:
The Book Thief
AUTHOR: Markus Zusak
NARRATOR: Allan Corduner
PUBLISHER: Listening Library
PUBLICATION DATE: September 26, 2006
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 13 hrs and 56 mins
GENRE: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
It's just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery.
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist: books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids - as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.