Book Club/Henrietta Lacks

I honestly don't have very many IRL friends that read books and it boggles my mind. I know I read more than the average person, but I have strong feelings about people that just "don't like" to read. I'll save my judgment because I know all of you totally get it. While trying to find people who care about reading, I have dabbled in book clubs in my adult life. I joined one with old co-workers and one with a group of my sister's friends, but I never stuck with one.

Two years ago a new neighbor asked through our Facebook group if there was a book club in the area. No one had any suggestions, so she started one. Forty people showed interest, but only twenty stayed involved, and we have about ten people attend any given meeting. We take turns choosing the book and hosting the monthly meeting. We actually go through discussion questions and talk about the selection for the first hour or so and then it becomes social hour, which I like just as much. I wasn't as involved last year as I wanted to be, but have been to every meeting in 2017. Here are some of the books we've read.

There are some books I never would have read on my own. There are some I don't even bother with. There are some that I read years ago. We read a lot of local authors (Richard LeMieux, Gregg Olsen, Garth Stein), which is always nice and not something I'd necessarily do. Some meetings have themed snacks, others have bags of chips and wine. We've gone to see a book come to life at the movie theater a time or two and we've gone to book signings.

Two weeks ago was my turn to host. I chose The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, something I'd wanted to read since it came out. It coincided with the release of the HBO movie so I decided to have movie night at my house. I borrowed my sister-in-law's popcorn machine, bought soda and candy, and provided fruits and veggies for good measure. It was a lot of fun!

I liked the movie, but it wasn't amazing. Except for Oprah! She was really, really great. It followed their family story perfectly, but I'm glad I read the book first because the scientific stuff was glossed over quickly in the first few minutes. Some of the movie felt a little cheesy or looked cheaply done, and I thought the ending was too abrupt, but it kept my interest.

Have you seen or read Henrietta Lacks? It's a remarkable story.
Are you involved in any book clubs?

1 comment:

jenn said...

i'm in erin's book club (which you know) and another that meets monthly. prior to joining there were maybe half a dozen women in the thing. there are probably twenty-five now, and about half of them attend meetings regularly.

we've read: you are a badass by jen sincero (loved); an uncomplicated life by paul daugherty (didn't read it); big little lies by liane moriarity (didn't read it); beach music by pat conroy (didn't read it, but i'm going to... eventually); the language of flowers by vanessa diffenbaugh (loved it, but then, it was my pick; i wanted to read it again and wanted them to read it); a man called ove by fredrik backman (loved it).

mostly, i enjoy these women's company. i'm more in it for the friends than the fiction.