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The Eternal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Same Kind of Different as Me, & Waiting for Daisy

I finished these three books over the summer & just realized I had yet to post about them. All three were non-fiction or memoirs. I read Henrietta Lacks & Same Kind of Different as Me for book clubs & Waiting for Daisy for my personal sanity.

I remember hearing about HeLa in high school science classes & again in genetics class at NCSU. I love that Rebecca Skloot heard some of the same information about the HeLa cells I had & ran with it. She turned biology class cells into a large book about the history & family of Henreitta Lacks, the real life woman who’s cells became HeLa.

I read this book mostly on the plane to & from CA, but I was too exhausted after BlogHer to make it to the book club meeting. I’d  have been interested to hear my group’s thoughts on the racial, socioeconomic, regional discussion this book produced. The Eternal Life of Henrietta Lacks also brings up debate about how cells are taken & used without much patient thought or consent. Some of the medical information was over my head/boring, but I think you would especially enjoy it if you worked or had interest in the medical field. I can only imagine how cool it would be to learn the story behind the cells you work with all day. Let me know if you’ve read this, especially if you work with or had heard more details of HeLa before reading it.

Same Kind of Different as Me

My good friend Kelly, who’s also one of the leaders of my small group Bible study, read Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall & Denver Moore at the beginning of the summer. Shortly afterwards, she emailed us to see if we would like to read SKoDaM as a small discussion group. We read it in three 80 page chunks where we munched on yummy snacks while sharing our faith, thoughts on family, southern social history, & homelessness. We were challenged by the faith, strength, kindness & love shown in Same Kind of Different & even called to ask what we can do as a group in our own church & community.

I was reading both these two books at the same time. I went back & forth in order to try to finish both before the respective book club meetings. I actually saw some parallels in regards to how African Americans were {not that long ago} treated & grew up in the South and the consequences to that way of life. The stories told in both these non-fiction books have stuck with me even two months later. I have & do recommend both to family & friends.

While on Amazon buying SKoDaM, I did a quick search for faith-based infertility books. That resulted in discovering Hope for Hannah {in my current TBR pile} as well as Waiting for Daisy by Peggy Orenstein. I purchased Hope since I couldn’t find it at the library & requested Waiting for Daisy that same night. This was a quick read for me {so quick I didn’t take a photo before returning it to the library}.

As I mentioned in my Talking about Infertility post, knowing I’m not alone or the only one who has or is struggling with infertility is a comfort. While we haven’t had to experience IVF or miscarriages {yet}, so many times while reading, I was nodding or even reciting passages aloud to Jason. I hate that others have to deal with IF too but there is something to be said about strength & comfort in numbers banning together.

Peggy is very openly candid about their experience & it comes across in a witty way. I’d recommend Waiting for Daisy to anyone who is or has gone through infertility or who’s family & friends want to know more about what infertility is like for a woman/couple.


  1. KH99 says:

    I haven’t read Waiting for Daisy or the other 2, but I agree that books about others going through IF really help when you’re going through it. It definitely helps you feel that you aren’t alone. I liked the memoirs b/c the fictional accounts irritated me because they usually got it wrong.

    • Suz says:

      I definitely agree that now that I’ve been going through IF, while I appreciate fiction authors discussing the subject, I also get frustrated when they get it wrong!

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