Review: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

6493208I really found this book interesting. It also brings up some questions. I mean I can see both sides. I can understand why the family was somewhat confused. At times angry with what was done with their mother’s cells. At the end of the day, I guess what happened wasn’t done intentionally.

I found the epilogue at the end the most interesting of all. That’s where all the real ethical questions come into play. If you read this book and decide it’s not for you part way though, well, I encourage you to just skip to that part and read it.

Here’s my thoughts…of course, it would only be in a perfect world that my thoughts could come to life…so there is that….

There’s no doubt that things like this should continue on. The things that have been accomplished because of Henrietta Lacks cells are just mind-blowing. I mean, honestly, it’s just amazing. Things like this have always went on, but the public just isn’t aware of it.

The scientists that used her cells did so with no intention of making a profit. At some point was profit made? Sure, you bet your arse it was. That’s where it needs to stop. It’s also noted that a few different researchers with different cells are not limiting any research and refusing to allow others to do their research. This is wrong. If a patient can’t control the rights or make profits off of their cells, why should a company or pharmaceutical company do so? I’m afraid that as time goes on, more pharmaceutical companies will control more of these things. They will not give samples, that cost them nothing, to further research. Instead they will control it and only let them out to the highest bidder…or not at all…simply to protect their own interests…and this is where the world will suffer.

If we expect the people who give these samples to receive no recognition or profit, then by damned, companies shouldn’t either. Companies should not be withholding samples to scientists for further research…..Once you allow them to control these samples you are allowing them to delay vital information that could provide cures for many diseases. Of course, cures means less profit for these companies, so it’s really in their best interest to regulate what is released. This, IMHO, is a recipe for disaster.

Bottom line, I really encourage you to read this book. Yes, the book is slanted towards Henrietta Lacks’ family. However, that doesn’t change the fact that many people have no idea of what happens when they give a sample of blood. Of that tumor cell that was removed from them during surgery. Of placentas that are delivered with their children. It’s just mind-boggling.

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it now The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Review: The Expats by Chris Pavone

expat***Spoilers without spoilers***

Another tough one for me. I love this book for the most part…put the ending really knocked it down for me from a book I could have loved to just “meh”.

The stuff going on between Kate and her husband, Dexter was more than enough to carry the entire book. Once we found out what Kate’s previous job was there were dozens of ways this book could have went…All of them good. When you add the secrets that she kept from her husband and how they continued to grow after time to such an extent that she felt she could never share them. Once you’ve went years not telling the truth, the truth becomes even harder to share, simply because you didn’t do so long ago. Something simple and harmless (Although her previous job was far from that!) grows more menacing as the time goes by…The party kept in the dark will always wonder why didn’t you share SOONER? What else have they hiding all that time.

Then you have Dexter…who might not be so innocent as Kate once believed. Maybe he doesn’t truly have such a passive personality after all. If she has her secrets, why shouldn’t she realise that he might have his very own. Perhaps even bigger than hers!

See! Paranoia just feeds upon itself with just that….it just builds and builds. Considering Kate’s previous job title, paranoia is understandable…or is it? See! There it goes again! That is why this book could have been fantastic….

Alas, the author decided that it wasn’t enough….he had to throw in some extra characters and at the ending make the entire storyline not about Kate and Dexter, but about this mass cover up/conspiracy/manipulation. The entire novel could have…nay, should have left the other couple as bit players and nothing more. I wish authors remembered that you don’t have to fabricate drama in every sentence. If it’s there it’s there! No need to try to insert more. It just seems forced and unbelievable for me. I understand the need for some authors to provide *surprising and shocking* endings in novels. I suppose the public does demand them. However, the best ones are the believable ones aren’t just Johnny on the spot and seemingly there to cause drama. They are the ones that were there all along…

Another major let down for me, but just as the book was too predictable, I suppose my let down is just as predictable….

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it now The Expats by Chris Pavone

Review: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

quietI knew I would enjoy this book…I just didn’t realise it would be this much. This is an eye opener. It’s not that it helps you to understand yourself and those around you a bit more….it’s also that it points out in such an obvious way so many things that are wrong in society today. It doesn’t matter where you look, once you read this book you will see the world differently. You’ll look at the education system different. You’ll look at your workplace different. You’ll even look at politics and the financially world of Wall Street differently.

Not only will you look at these things differently, you’ll suddenly understand many things that you didn’t before. You’ll perhaps see how we set so many things up for failure. Just because we think it must be this way. We often see a successful game plan and suddenly we are blinded to other and very different game plans. Just because we think that the only ideas worth hearing are those that are the loudest. You might realise that we are all conformist in many ways…and that this conformity is not always the best thing for our world.

You might even find yourself a bit perturbed at society in general. I think it’s time we forget trying to think “outside the box” and realise that the box is just some bogus design that someone at some point and time decided to make into the image of “the norm”. It takes all kinds to make the world go round. There are many different ways of learning. There are many different ways to teaching. There are many different ways of managing finances. Many different ways of serving others. Many different ways to innovate. There are many different ways to be productive. Many different ways to socialize. Many different ways to relax. There is only one common factor here….there is no “right” way…..only what is right for the individual themselves.

It’s really time we recycled “the box” and embraced society as a whole. No matter in what form the people come in. This book only begins to show us how much better the universe could be if we embraced this concept. How we can all benefit from the different ways people can be their most comfortable and effective.

I highly recommend this book. You don’t need to be an introvert…..again, I tell you….throw out that box!!!!

Until next time….

Urania xx

Buy it now Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain