Life…It’s Complicated

Bootleg September 2016 @ Viviane’s House – ALL in ATTENDANCE!!!

Daily Life (Chatter)

  • National Book Festival in DC (Liz & Sue): Stephen King, Richard Russo, signings, lines, fun, dinner
  • …AND they bought 3 mom-of-groom dresses (Nordstrom!)
  • Sue’s dress photo (none of the above) – selected by Stacey; gorgeous!!!
  • Mary got a new FLIP phone; she’s so FLEEK
  • Karen S:  June/Glacier; July/Capon Springs, WV; Aug/Canada; Sept/here…slumming
  • Summer not over – humidity remains (Katie happy. Anyone else?)
  • Driving in super heavy rain = bad. Whiteout fog? Worse.
  • Kirstie (Shelley’s int’l worker bee):  Snap Chat Queen of Toronto, among other things
  • Karen S’s boys – all appear to be walking on sunshine

Surreal Life (Deeper Chatter)

  • Katie – updated on Dad (he survived pneumonia; time to address tumor again, soon)
  • Viviane – her sister could leave Venezuela as soon as niece is legal resident of Canada! [more below]

Dinner Conversation – all seated at the lovely table

  • pumpkin ravioli – yum! (it’s STILL not full-on autumn, though)
  • long update on the situation in Venezuela:  disappeared people, stress (but lying about it), hunger, shortages, fear…WTF?
  • recommended reads:  The Emperor of All Maladies (Viviane), Persepolis [graphic novel] (Kitty), The Invoice (Katie)

Book Talk:  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot Image result for immortal life of henrietta lacks

Karen Castle picked it because she owned it (from her mom who also recommended it).

  • – it was surreal for Katie to be reading it while seeing the Bromo Seltzer tower & trying to keep Dad alive (cancer, etc.)
  • – so many ethical breeches clear with modern era hindsight!
  • – as much about the Lacks family as the evolution of research ethics and informed consent
  • -Skloot did a masterful job of simplifying but not dumbing down the science
  • – yes, Skloot became part of the story…but thank goodness she did…otherwise the Lacks family could STILL be in the dark about so much
  • – Sue says audio version offers a fantastic interview with Skloot
  • – Deborah’s attitude of ‘don’t take your anger into history’ was impressive and hard to imagine doing, but it’s how she survived and even improved
  • it’d be nice for Hopkins to do something for at least a few Lacks family members (not sure what…but a lecture series does not seem quite enough)
  • – Deborah finding out about her sister!!! Oh. My. Goodness. (and another gift from Skloot & that one doctor)
  • – thank goodness for the researcher who finally showed the Lacks cells to Deb and her bro
  • – Henrietta seemed to really have a special spark (even with ‘revisionist history/glowing memories’); did that actually connect to her super-powered telomeres in her cells???

NEXT BOOK:  The Dinner by Herman Koch (Viviane’s pick)

NEXT MEETING:  October 26 @ Shelley’s House (yes, a Wednesday)


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