Thursday, November 29, 2012

Book Club: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Remember months ago (before Noah was born) when I decided to read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks?  That's probably because it was sooooo many months ago.  Oh well.  I did read it.  I read it like that next week.  I was just a little uninspired.  Don't get me wrong, it was a great book but I expected to be angry at the way a woman was taken advantage of and I expected some solutions as to how we could help but really I was just reminded that so many people in this country live a life that is like living in a developing country--they have no health care, they are uneducated and their lives seem hopeless.  I wasn't outraged, I was disheartened.  I am thankful for Henrietta Lacks and I wish that her family had a better life.

Since then I've been reading mystery novels and I just reread all of the Harry Potter books.  Reading books that entertain and require little brain power has helped corral the emotional nightmare of not being able to nurse a second baby (feeding takes up a lot of time during the day and if you have a book open that requires your attention but not your brain power you can push aside all other feelings of guilt).  With Claire I assuaged my guilt by telling myself that it would come easier the second time and that I would be able to nurse this baby with only occasional bottles. Wrong. This time around was even worse.  my doctor told me that it could have to do with some underlying medical conditions I have (when did I become old enough to have underlying medical conditions?) and then Noah's doctor told me not to worry about it, that he would be fine and that I was doing the best I could (easier said than done and even writing this I could break into tears.)  So we're weaning.  And I'm hoping that I can be cool with it and maybe tackling a really hard and hearty book will help.

This week on Fresh Air I heard Hilary mantel talking to Terry Gross about her new book Bring Up the Bodies which just won the Booker Prize (and I just have to say that Terry is not my favorite NPR personality.  Asking a guest if she would rather be beheaded with the ax or the guillotine is pretty much a recipe for air time awkward silence) and I was fascinated.  Historical fiction about Henry and Ann Boleyn--seems right up my alley.  I downloaded it last night and I can tell it's going to be a slow read.  Remember moby Dick?  Yeah, that kind of slow but I feel like we're going to love it.  So read on.

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