Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Book Review

I think it is time to catch up on a few of the books that have crossed my path and have been read.
I will start with the two bookgroup books....
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.  This woman is better know in the world as HeLa.  A woman who grew up on a tobacco plantation in the south.  She lived a hard life but seemed to be happy.  She came down with cancer - and eventually died from it.  What the story picks up is how a sample of her cells were taken and became one of the most important tools in medicine.  Her cells were the ones that helped create a polio vaccine, as well as helped uncovered viruses, helped with cancer research, and many other amazing scientific advances.  It also addresses how her family found out about it 20 year after the fact.  The family had a hard time dealing with it - based on their beleifs and were very private about themselves and media and scientists continued to bugh them.  I really enjoyed the story - got sucked in right away.  I enjoyed the read and learning about a science that was new to me.  Definitely not a book I would have chosen to read on my own volition, but one I would recommend

The next book was Highest Tide by Jim Lynch
This book is about a boy coming of age in a not so easy time.   He has passion for sea life and marine biology.  He spends a good part of his summer searching the beaches for what ever the sea happens to give up to the beaches.  He also spends his summer worrying about whether his parents will split up, or if his geriatric neighbor is truly a psychic, or if his feelings for his former babysitter, or hanging out with his friend who is only interested in girls and music.  The question posed that I found interesting was how it dealt with mysticism vs truth.  I read this book from a "summer read" perspective instead of digging in and finding the symbols and hidden meanings behind the writing.  Not my first pick - but interesting. 

The next book was my choice.  Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt - Beth Hoffman.  I don't remember how I heard about this one or why I chose it, but I really enjoyed it - A young girl raised by a mother who has severe bi-polar disorder and a father who left on business a lot to avoid dealing with the issues at home.  It isn't until her mother dies and she is taken by her great aunts to be raised that life starts to turn around and she has to face and deal with her past.  Despite the hard things at the beginning of the book - I loved the direction the story took and the characters in it were funny and enjoyable.

The next one to review is The Scent of Rain and Lightning -Nancy Pickard.  I was looking for a good mystery and this was a well reviewed book so I gave it a try.  Definitely kept me guessing until the end.  This novel starts with a 26 year old woman in a small Kansas farm town learning that the man who was convicted of murdering her father(the same night that her mother went missing, presumably also dead) was being released from prison, largely about concerns about the fairness of the original trial. The book then flashes back to 23 years earlier and details the events and the people involved in the death and disappearance.  It isn't until the very end and some major plot twists that you find out who done it.  I loved it.

The last book to review is The Blue Sword - Robin Mckinley
The story is about a young girl who doesn't really fit in finds her strength after being kidnapped by a mysterious, magical Hill-King.  She learns about her heritage as well as an ancient power that she holds.   Full of insecurities she perseveres and does what she needs to do to fulfill her destiny. It is a lot like another book I have read which happens to be one of my favorites called Crown Duel - by Sherwood Smith.  The book was complete escapism and an enjoyable read.

Happy reading to all

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