The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a must read. Skloot takes a complex subject and simplifies it to its simplest form, without becoming condescending. She captured the heart and the essence of two sides of a life, of a process, of a science, and of a family.
July 9th, 2010 · Biography, Non-fiction
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June 30th, 2010 · Fiction
Sitting in an airport waiting room consuming Stieg Larsson’s second novel, The Girl Who Played with Fire, I saw a man across the aisle reading Larsson’s first book—in Dutch. My local art theater is playing the cinematic version of the earlier story, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, in Swedish with subtitles. Larsson mania has gone global. And with good reason. Swedish writer Larsson’s dark mysteries draw you in and hold you tight. Laundry, email, and other chores sat neglected as I charged through The Girl Who Played with Fire, the tale of a journalist and his doctoral-candidate girlfriend murdered just as their exposé of sex trafficking in teenage girls is about to appear in print.
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June 21st, 2010 · Fiction
At 1074 pages, or 30 discs for the audio version, Stephen King’s latest novel is quite a commitment. Even my journey to its successful completion was complicated. I’m a Hiram alum, but I’m also a reference librarian at the Twinsburg Public Library—so my initial checkout of the book was short-lived, as there were other patrons clamoring for the book, and I could not keep it out for more than two weeks. I’m a sporadic reader, often stopping in the middle of what I’m reading to pick up the latest, hottest thing; it eventually took me over two months to finish King’s purple behemoth. Yet the book was satisfying in a way that many other books are not; because it was such a commitment, seeing it through to the end seemed an achievement.
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June 9th, 2010 · Fiction
In part as a result of the mortgage crisis and in part because of personal circumstances – I’ve changed jobs, moved, and recently sold one home and refinanced another – I’ve been thinking of the dream or, in many cases, the nightmare, of home ownership. Stories on NPR have sought to clarify the source of our national dream, attributing it to Herbert Hoover, and to turn it inside out by demonstrating that increasingly, home ownership isn’t at all the best investment for many.