Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Blogtoberfest 2014 Day 29: W...W...W...Wednesday

I'm joining in with a meme organised by MizB @ shouldbereading. To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?
Currently reading:  'The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks' by Rebecca Skloot.
The blurb say: Henrietta Lacks, as HeLa, is known to present-day scientists for her cells from cervical cancer. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells were taken without her knowledge and still live decades after her death. Cells descended from her may weigh more than 50M metric tons.

HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s 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 was buried in an unmarked grave.

The journey starts in the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s, her small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia — wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo. Today are stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells, East Baltimore children and grandchildren live in obscurity, see no profits, and feel violated. The dark history of experimentation on African Americans helped lead to the birth of bioethics, and legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.

This is one of my book group reads and for once, is a non-fiction.  I've only just started it but so far, I like the style of writing and it looks like it is going to live up to all the hype about it.

Recently finished: 'The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry' by Rachel Joyce.
The blurb says: When Harold Fry nips out one morning to post a letter, leaving his wife hoovering upstairs, he has no idea that he is about to walk from one end of the country to the other. He has no hiking boots or map, let alone a compass, waterproof or mobile phone. All he knows is that he must keep walking. To save someone else’s life.
I loved this book.  It's the best one I've read for ages, very poignant and thought provoking.  It's stayed in my mind since I finished reading it, I just didn't want it to finish. 

Reading next: 'Sarah's Key' by Tatiana de Rosnay.

The blurb says: Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten-year-old girl, is taken with her parents by the French police as they go door to door arresting Jewish families in the middle of the night. Desperate to protect her younger brother, Sarah locks him in a bedroom cupboard—their secret hiding place—and promises to come back for him as soon as they are released.
Sixty Years Later: Sarah’s story intertwines with that of Julia Jarmond, an American journalist investigating the roundup. In her research, Julia stumbles onto a trail of secrets that link her to Sarah, and to questions about her own future. 

This is another book group read.  I saw, and enjoyed, the film a few years ago so am hoping it doesn't spoil my enjoyment of the book.

Linking with Blogtoberfest 2014

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