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SPDA Book Club for January: "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks"

  • Jan 28, 2013 · 6:30 PM
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The SPDA book club will be meeting in January to discuss "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot.

From Amazon:
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 sixty 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 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 remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.

Book club meetings are generally held on the third Monday of every month, but due to the MLK holiday, and the length of the book, we will be meeting the 4th Monday in January.


Following the trend from the last meeting, we will all chip in to order pizzas, and I will supply the dessert.

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  • Mark K

    As usual, a lively discussion among an interesting group of readers with different perspectives.

    1 · January 30, 2013

  • allie a.

    Beth, feel free to add your pic

    January 29, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    It is now doubtful that I will be able to make it. My 3rd daughter's apartment burnt down this morning, it is still on fire as I write this. She lives in NC. She's okay but I am staying in contact with her and updating the rest of the family. I don't think I would be able to focus much on the book or conversation.

    January 28, 2013

    • Beth

      I am glad she is OK but it is sad just the same. Take care.

      January 28, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      She is okay. No one was hurt. The apartment was destroyed and she saved only a few things. Thank goodness she had renter's insurance.

      January 29, 2013

  • allie a.

    Running late but on our way. Hugs Dana!

    January 28, 2013

  • Rick

    A few notes for tomorrow's meetup. There is no street parking allowed on Village Crest. There's room for 2 cars in my driveway, and there are a few guest parking spaces on Village Crest, otherwise park on Kottke.

    To find E. Village Crest, look for a street sign that is lower than normal signs, and is next to a 'slow kids' sign. Village Crest is a little horseshoe of a street, and my house is the first on the left. If things don't look right, you have probably turned on Valley Ridge instead (even cabbies have done that).

    Since I don't drink, someone will have to bring wine if there is demand for it (and take home any leftovers).

    January 27, 2013

  • allie a.

    I've had a hard time keeping track of what I sign up for lately since I'm not as involved as I was. So I wanted to say that me and Rob are going tomorrow.

    January 27, 2013

  • Karin C.

    Looking forward to joining this if at all possible. Love this book and will try to reread for the meeting.

    January 19, 2013

  • Amy

    Fabulous book, though it's been a while since I read it. Great choice !

    January 9, 2013

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