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Book Discussion Group

Wed, Jan 30, 2013

7:00pm - 8:30pm

Adult Programs

A Celebration of Reading!

Read each selection & join staff member Michele Reinhart for a spirited discussion!

Last Wednesday of each month at 7 pm in the Conference Room.

  • January 30: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Henrietta Lacks was a 31-year-old, African-American mother of five from Baltimore when she died of cervical cancer at Johns Hopkins in 1951. Only, her life didn’t really end then and there.

Unbeknownst to Henrietta or her family, the doctors who were treating her took tissue samples from her tumor and kept alive her cells even after her death. In fact, trillions of those endlessly multiplying “immortal” cells are still alive today in laboratories all over the world – and beyond. Known as HeLa cells, they have been used countless times over the past sixty years for medical research, from the development of a polio vaccine to the study of the effects of zero gravity on human beings in outer space.

This month, in commemoration of Cervical Health Awareness Month, we will be reading and discussing The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.

For decades, the life of Henrietta Lacks was reduced to a footnote on the page of scientific discovery. It was a brief mention in a college-level biology class – the name Henrietta Lacks scrawled on a chalk board and summarily erased – that introduced Rebecca Skloot to this woman who has had such a lasting impact on medical science.

Rebecca Skloot spent a decade of her own looking for the flesh-and-blood woman behind HeLa cells. In the process, she found that Henrietta’s life and death changed not only the fate of mankind, but echoes still through the generations of Henrietta’s own family.

Please check our online catalog for available copies of the book and join us for our discussion on January 30.


  • February 27: The Buccaneers by Edith Wharton
  • March 27: The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck
  • April 24: Digging to America by Anne Tyler
  • May 29: The Plot Against America by Philip Roth

Questions? Call Reference at 614-481-3776.


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