The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Join us on Saturday, February 12, 2012 at 1:30 PM in the Community Room for a discussion of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells-taken without her knowledge-became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first immortal human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they would weigh more than 50 million metric tons-as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave. Now Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the colored ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells; from Henrietta’s small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia-a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo-to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells.

Copies are available at the Reference Desk.

For more information about bookclubs at Franklin Township Public Library please click here.

Here are some of the new releases from this week. As usual click on the cover to check the catalog for availability.

Believing the lie : an Inspector Lynley novel  by Elizabeth George
Believing the lie : an Inspector Lynley novel by Elizabeth George

After writing sixteen Inspector Lynley novels, New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth George has millions of fans waiting for the next one. As USA Today put it, “It’s tough to resist George’s storytelling, once hooked.” With Believing the Lie, she’s poised to hook countless more.

Inspector Thomas Lynley is mystified when he’s sent undercover to investigate the death of Ian Cresswell at the request of the man’s uncle, the wealthy and influential Bernard Fairclough. The death has been ruled an accidental drowning, and nothing on the surface indicates otherwise. But when Lynley enlists the help of his friends Simon and Deborah St. James, the trio’s digging soon reveals that the Fairclough clan is awash in secrets, lies, and motives.

Deborah’s investigation of the prime suspect-Bernard’s prodigal son Nicholas, a recovering drug addict-leads her to Nicholas’s wife, a woman with whom she feels a kinship, a woman as fiercely protective as she is beautiful. Lynley and Simon delve for information from the rest of the family, including the victim’s bitter ex-wife and the man he left her for, and Bernard himself. As the investigation escalates, the Fairclough family’s veneer cracks, with deception and self-delusion threatening to destroy everyone from the Fairclough patriarch to Tim, the troubled son Ian left behind.


Cold comfort by Quentin Bates
Cold comfort by Quentin Bates

Officer Gunnhildur, recently promoted from her post in rural Iceland to Reykjavík’s Serious Crime Unit, is tasked with hunting down escaped convict Long Ommi, who has embarked on a spree of violent score-settling in and around the city. Meanwhile, she’s also investigating the murder of a fitness guru in her own city-center apartment. As Gunna delves into the cases, she unearths some unwelcome secrets and influential friends shared by both guru and convict. Set in an Iceland plagued by an ongoing financial crisis, Gunna has to take stock of the whirlwind changes that have swept through the country—and the fact that at the highest levels of power, the system’s endemic corruption still leads, inevitably, to murder.


Copper Beach : a dark legacy novel Jayne Ann Krentz
Copper Beach : a dark legacy novel Jayne Ann Krentz

A rare book. An ancient code. An all-new novel from the New York Times-bestselling master of passion and the paranormal.

Within the pages of very rare books some centuries old lie the secrets of the paranormal. Abby Radwell’s unusual psychic talent has made her an expert in such volumes-and sometimes taken her into dangerous territory. After a deadly incident in the private library of an obsessive collector, Abby receives a blackmail threat, and rumors swirl that an old alchemical text known as The Key has reappeared on the black market.

Convinced that she needs an investigator who can also play bodyguard, she hires Sam Coppersmith, a specialist in paranormal crystals and amber-”hot rocks.” Passion flares immediately between them, but neither entirely trusts the other. When it comes to dealing with a killer who has paranormal abilities, and a blackmailer who will stop at nothing to obtain an ancient alchemical code, no one is safe.


The house at sea's end by Elly Griffiths
The house at sea's end by Elly Griffiths

Forensic archeologist Dr. Ruth Galloway is back, this time investigating a gruesome World War II war crime.

Elly Griffiths’s Ruth Galloway novels have been praised as “highly atmospheric” (New York Times Book Review), “remarkable” (Richmond Times-Dispatch), and “gripping” (Louise Penny). Now the beloved forensic archeologist returns, called in to investigate when human bones surface on a remote Norfolk beach.

Just back from maternity leave, Ruth is finding it hard to juggle motherhood and work. The presence of DCI Harry Nelson—the married father of her daughter, Kate—does not help. The bones turn out to be about seventy years old, which leads Nelson and Ruth to the war years, a desperate time on this stretch of coastland. Home Guard veteran Archie Whitcliffe reveals the existence of a secret that the old soldiers have vowed to protect with their lives. But then Archie is killed and a German journalist arrives, asking questions about Operation Lucifer, a plan to stop a German invasion, and a possible British war crime. What was Operation Lucifer? And who is prepared to kill to keep its secret?


Lunatics by Dave Barry
Lunatics by Dave Barry

One of them is a bestselling Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist. The other is a winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor. Together, they form the League of Comic Justice, battling evildoers in the name of . . . Okay, we made that line up. What they do form is a writing team of pure comic genius, and they will have you laughing like idiots.

Philip Horkman is a happy man-the owner of a pet store called The Wine Shop, and on Sundays a referee for kids’ soccer. Jeffrey Peckerman is the sole sane person in a world filled with goddamned jerks and morons, and he’s having a really bad day. The two of them are about to collide in a swiftly escalating series of events that will send them running for their lives, pursued by the police, soldiers, terrorists, subversives, bears, and a man dressed as Chuck E. Cheese.

Where that all takes them you can’t begin to guess, but the literary journey there is a masterpiece of inspiration and mayhem. But what else would you expect from the League of Comic Justice?