Inside the O’Briens by Lisa Genova.
Joe O’Brien is a Boston police officer. He married his high school sweetheart at 18 and now has four children in their 20s. But Joe starts acting strangely and finds out he has a rare fatal illness – Huntington’s Disease and each child has a 50% chance of inheriting this disease. Huntington’s Disease is a vicious illness, disease oneset is generally in your 30s or 40s so just as it is done affecting one generation, it tends to start affecting the next generation and makes those without the illness watch helplessly as it takes their loved one from them. This is the story of a family’s struggle to deal with this illness and their future.
I love Lisa Genova’s books – I could not wait to read this one. It was as good as her other books. My only criticism is I just want there to be 5 more pages to get an answer to the final question!! Can’t wait to devour the next book!
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.
Henrietta Lacks died in 1951 of cervical cancer at the age of 30. Henrietta was a black woman living in poverty who went to Johns Hopkins hospital to receive treatment. Some cells were taken during routine treatment – and those cells led to possibly the greatest scientific breakthrough of the 20th century, the HeLa cell line. This is the story of the woman, and the family, behind those cells.
I found this book fascinating! I work in research and the issues surrounding ethics and consent should be respected and upheld above the research merit. I had no idea how ethics has evolved from no ethics approval required in the 1950s to the strictness of it today. I liked how Skloot was able to talk about the complexity of consent when it comes to cells. It will be an interesting topic to see how it evolves in the future.
Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder.
This book really is a rewarding read. I loved it because it presents great philodopher’s theories in easy to understand and digestible chunks. You also learn about the history of the world and how each philosopher came to believe what they wrote, based on their life, context and experiences. In between the philosophy chapters there is also a narrative that keeps you hooked. It is about Hilde, and when I read this book I was asking who is Hilde, what is real and what is a fantasy? This book is very well written and unique in its format.
Be warned: at times the book can get a little heavy, however, perseverance is the key and you will not regret powering through those parts.
The Clan of the Cave Bear. A novel from the POV of an ice age human girl adopted by a Neanderthal tribe.
Will Durant’s The Lessons of History. Themes and lessons observed from 5,000 years of world history.