Hi, Bookies: We're going to reach back into the past for our choices this month, which come courtesy of Amy Feezor, the copy director of Real Simple's marketing department and our May book-discussion leader. Vote for your favorite of the choices below by 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 20. Then We Came to the End, […]
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Hello, Bookies: We’re always so grateful when authors choose to participate in our post-discussion Q&As, since we know they have to fit us into very busy schedules. So an extra note of thanks to Emma Donoghue, who took time out of her weekend in order to get her answers back to us quickly. Read on for what she had to […]
Hello, Bookies: I am fascinated by the scope of this book. Rebecca Skloot is telling three distinct but intersecting stories: the gripping personal history of Henrietta Lacks; the scientific importance of HeLa; and Skloot’s relationship with the Lacks family. This structure really worked for me. Before reading, I was nervous that I would have a hard time getting a toehold […]
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.
The question: Will The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks win this time around? The answer: yes, and decidedly so. Assistant Editor/Producer Erin Henry, our Henrietta discussion leader, will be posting a bit later in the week to introduce herself and set up a reading schedule. And don’t forget, Bookies, if you have questions for Room author Emma Donoghue, post them […]
Before we get into the discussion, I have great news: the author of Room, Emma Donoghue, has agreed to answer all our questions about the book. So if there’s something you’d like to ask her, please include it in the comments field below by Monday, March 28. Now, on to the finale…
I’m so happy many of you are enjoying this book as much as I am. I have to confess…I couldn’t stop reading, too. It was nearly impossible to walk away not knowing what happens to Ma. I had a feeling she was going to make it. The chapter title “Alive” kind of gave it away, though it could have been interpreted in many ways. Nicole commented last week that she was surprise Ma overdosed now that her and Jack were finally in the Outside, but it seems that the Outside was just too much for her to bear. Especially in this age of a 24/7 news cycle, where real people who go through unbelievable experiences are also becoming celebrities. What’s ironic is that she was so concerned in the beginning about Jack’s transition, when it was actually her transition that was even harder to handle.
Jack, meanwhile, has become quite the little philosopher. I think he makes an interesting point in this chapter: “In the world I notice persons are nearly always stressed and have no time. Even Grandma often says that, but she and Steppa don’t have jobs, so I don’t know how persons with jobs do the jobs and all the living as well. In Room me and Ma had time for everything.” The part about Grandma not having a job and being stressed about time made me smile, but I think it’s a nice sentiment about simplifying life to make time for what counts. Obviously, we don’t want to live in a Room to have quality time with our family, but a day without obligations might be a nice tradition to start. What do you think?
In the end, Ma comes back to take care of Jack. She is ready to move on; he is still clinging to the past (and specifically that Rug). How did you feel when he wanted to go back to the Room. It made me anxious and nervous, but I understood his need for explanation/closure. I was impressed Ma could even step one foot near that place. And then in the end, they said good-bye. What did you think of the ending? The whole book? Please share all your thoughts, ideas, rants, raves, and questions for Emma Donoghue below. It’s been a pleasure reading with you!
It’s almost inevitable that at some point in your adult life one of your close friends will move away. And while it’s easier than ever to stay in touch (e-mail, Facebook, etc.), being digitally connected isn’t always the same.
Keep reading for a fun and unexpected way to keep in touch with a long-distance friend.
Hi, everyone: As this post goes up, last month’s ohsoclose runner-up, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, leads our April book poll. . .but will it win this time? That’s up to you, Bookies: Vote for it—or your pick of the other three books below—by 11:59 p.m. ET this Monday, March 21. Our winner will be announced on Tuesday. The […]
Thank you for your insightful comments last week. I really appreciated the points about the inconsistencies in the book regarding Jack. Rachel said: “It is strange to me how smart Jack is, but he is still so juvenile, innocent, and childish at the same time.” Amy notes: “I also question how realistic it is that Jack would just accept that certain things were just TV and the things in Room are real.” Jack’s development–both the advancements and delays–were so interesting and surprising at times. It makes for such an interesting study, especially when you realize that this is not a complete fantasy (i.e. Jaycee Duggard, as Bella pointed out). I also think it’s such a page turner, that the plot ends up whisking you quickly away to the next stage in their lives. Especially, as Nicole writes, “As I was reading I kept thinking to myself, “what is she going to do if they are still in Room in 2 years? 5 years? 10 years?” I think that point alone is what kept me reading and reading…I wanted to know what was going to happen to them. And then, in Dying, we find out.