Welcome, Bookies!

Hi, everyone! I’m Erin Henry, an Assistant Editor/Producer on RealSimple.com. My job is to help the web editors transform the stories you see in the magazine into the articles and galleries that you see here on the website. Under the guidance of Maggie Shi, the deputy editor who led February’s discussion of Jeanette Wall’s Half Broke Horses, I build most of the RealSimple.com’s food, money, and family content. I am also responsible for deploying some of our email newsletters.




I could not be more excited to be leading the book club this month, especially since we are going to be reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. As I’m sure many of you know, Henrietta Lacks was narrowly defeated in last month’s vote and won this time around by a pretty large margin. This book is so popular, in fact, that the cashier told me he was currently reading (and loving) it when I picked up my copy this morning. I tend to read a wide variety of books, but I’ve been gravitating towards nonfiction for the last few years, so I can’t wait to dig into this true-life account along with all of you. 


Since Henrietta Lacks was the runner-up in March’s poll, it was a natural choice to appear as one of this month’s book club contenders. I’m curious, though: how do you decide on reading material? Personally, I keep an eye on the New York Times bestseller lists and Sunday Book Reviews for most-reads, but I also love to wander around my local bookstore and walk out with something wholly unexpected. My most foolproof method of book selection, however, is listening to my friends’ and family’s recommendations. I’d love to hear how you choose which books to read; plus, if you have any great book recommendations, please send them my way!


On to the reading assignments: Henrietta Lacks is divided into three parts, so how about this as a reading schedule:


Thursday, March 31: Prologue and Part I (pages 1-86 in my edition)

Thursday, April 7: Part II (pages 87-176)

Thursday, April 14: Part III and Afterword (pages 177-end)


I know I’m jumping the gun a little bit and starting the April discussion on the last day of March, but I can’t wait to get started. Happy reading (and happy spring)!


– Erin