Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Henrietta Lacks is the woman behind the famous hela cells. The hela cell line has helped with everything from the polio vaccine to research for cancer. Yet her family did not get answers that they wanted about their mother.
This books uncovers what it was like to be poor and black in the 50’s. Lacks had cervical cancer. Her cancer spread like wildfire and she died shortly after. Without her or her family knowing the DR. took a sample of her cancer cells and they became the first immortal cell line. Her family had questions but no one would talk to them or answer them until the author came along. In the decade that she spent researching this book, she became friends with Lacks daughter Deborah. Together they embarked to find out all they could on Lacks.
I felt that this book was well written. What could have descended into technical jargon instead remains assessable for the lay person and it superb storytelling. This book is a fascinating look into who Henrietta Lacks was. The author does not hold anything back. She tells the good with the bad. So we get a balanced picture of the Lacks family.
I would recommend this to anyone who likes science. Even if you do not like science the writing itself is so well written it makes this book worth reading.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
This is the third book in His Dark Materials trilogy. I read the first two during Banned Book Week but never got around to reading this one until I got my Nook for Christmas and downloaded it from my library.
From Good Reads:The Amber Spyglass brings the intrigue of The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife to a heartstopping close, marking the third and final volume as the most powerful of the trilogy. Along with the return of Lyra, Will, Mrs. Coulter, Lord Asriel, Dr. Mary Malone, and Iorek Byrnison the armored bear, The Amber Spyglass introduces a host of new characters: the Mulefa, mysterious wheeled creatures with the power to see Dust; Gallivespian Lord Roke, a hand-high spy-master to Lord Asriel; and Metatron, a fierce and mighty angel. And this final volume brings startling revelations, too: the painful price Lyra must pay to walk through the land of the dead, the haunting power of Dr. Malone's amber spyglass, and the names of who will live—and who will die—for love. And all the while, war rages with the Kingdom of Heaven, a brutal battle that—in its shocking outcome—will reveal the secret of Dust.
My Review: This book is just as good as the previous two in the trilogy. The story continues with Will trying to find Lyra and the angel’s who want him to give the Subtle Knife to Lord Asriel in the fight against the authority.
Lyra and Will want to travel to the Land of the Dead but will they be willing to pay the price to do so?
This book covers a multitude of feelings. The lengths people will go to for love. The price people must pay for things they feel they must do among other things. This book will cause one to think about how in real life we must do these things too.
Monday, January 16, 2012
Under the bubbling hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone National Park is a supervolcano. Most people don't know it's there. The caldera is so large that it can only be seen from a plane or satellite. It just could be overdue for an eruption, which would change the landscape and climate of our planet.
Ashfall is the story of Alex, a teenage boy left alone for the weekend while his parents visit relatives. When the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts unexpectedly, Alex is determined to reach his parents. He must travel over a hundred miles in a landscape transformed by a foot of ash and the destruction of every modern convenience that he has ever known, and through a new world in which disaster has brought out both the best and worst in people desperate for food, water, and warmth. With a combination of nonstop action, a little romance, and very real science, this is a story that is difficult to stop reading and even more difficult to forget.
My Review: I have always wondered what would happen if we were to have some really bad event happen. In Ashfall we get just that. Alex who is used to all modern stuff must make do with out them when a super volcano erupts. The author does a superb job of imagining what this is like. He effortlessly blends storytelling and science together to create a book that will suck you right in.
It is especially gratifying to see the growth of Alex through out this book. He starts off being a cranky child that cant be bothered going with his family to visit his uncles farm to a almost adult like state of being able to help on a farm and doing adult like things. We see this growth very clearly in the book.
This book is heavy on both character and action plots. There is action so that you are never bored in the book. There is enough character growth so that the plot is realistic.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
The biggest news is I started class in Library Science this past week. I am really looking forward to what this semester may bring. I cant wait until I am a librarian.
As some as you may have already know I received a Nook for Christmas. I was SOO excited. I tried to figure out how to download library e books on my own but to no avail. So I called the library and they walked me through the steps and then it was easy. I saw there was a waiting “line” for most books so I signed up for lots of books. This proved to be a problem when many became available at the same time. Now I just sign up for the wish list function so I can stagger the books out.
I have also noticed that since I have gotten my nook I have only read one “real” book. The rest have been on the Nook. I wonder if it is because of the excitement or the ease of which I can get books for the Nook.
It being a new year and all I decided I was going to attempt to keep up with the blog this year. I am trying to write all the reviews on Saturday’s so that way I will have time during the week for other stuff. We shall see how it goes.
I am reading a Last Werewolf. It has captured my attention so far. I think with winter in full swing it provides the right kind of atmosphere for these kinds of books.