Friday, July 30, 2010

What's New On the Bookshelf?

Here are three new books in the Chez Sven library.

Seedfolks was a present from my friend Tracy, who shares my interest in organic gardening. Author Paul Fleischman is perhaps better known for his children’s books, but this itty-bitty volume is a real keeper. It tells the story of how a community garden came into existence, showing the project through the eyes and voices of diverse members of a community in Cleveland.

Have you ever associated climate with history? Brian Fagan does in a book that was another gift, this time from one of my daughters. Actually, she gave The Great Warming: Climate Change and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations to Sven. I picked it up and was fascinated. I stopped reading half-way through so we can read out loud, together, once he returns from vacation in Sweden. (We had a couple here celebrating 40 years of marriage. I was moved by the way the wife read to her husband and decided it must be a great bedtime ritual. Recently, I learned the benefit of bedtime rituals from Alisa Bowman, a writer who has successfully turned her blog Project Happily Ever After into a book, available this fall.)

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a New York Times Bestseller and no wonder. Henrietta Lacks dies young of cervical cancer at Johns Hopkins, in Baltimore. Some of her cells become the basis of the HeLa cell line, which scientists seem to have used for research ever since. Do doctors have the right to use her cells without permission? Should her family be compensated? Author Rebecca Skloot manages to turn this unusual true story into a page-turner.

And, since we're talking books, click over to A Traveler’s Library for a novel set on the Outer Cape ...