Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Likely Stories - The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

John Hopkins Hospital... Medical Revolution...and Henrietta Lacks...are words that will ring in your mind for endless days after reading "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot.

This book was named by more than sixty critics as one of the best books of 2010. After taking more than a decade to research and write, it was also translated into several languages. In 2017, Oprah Winfrey and Alan Ball executive produced a movie adaptation of Rebecca's countless hours creating a timeline of how one woman's cells changed the world of scientific research forever.

This book was not only on the New York Times Best Sellers list for seventy-five weeks, it also opened major doors of healthcare awareness in various communities throughout the world.

One summer I had the privilege of participating in a book study based on this medical breakthrough masterpiece. It had so many layers that I knew I would read it again someday. The day came when I experienced my own health care issues and felt the need to research. The way Rebecca pieced together the puzzle of questions and answers surrounding a medical mystery that turned into a cultural phenomenon is to be applauded. Page after page, I was drawn in closer to the story of Henrietta's life. Throughout every chapter, the author did a superb job of tackling the task of providing
visuals. I loved how the author peeled back the layers of perspective in the areas of: science, history, demographics, law, ethics, and ancestry...just to name a few.

All of these subjects intertwined throughout the story giving the reader opportunities to critically think and explore how one impacted the other during this time.

The scientific breakdown of how Dr. Gey and the Johns Hopkins Hospital staff maneuvered during Henrietta's stay at the hospital was enlightening to say the least. Even though Henrietta was not present to explain her role in this story, I imagined a part of her being introduced through every mention of her children. There were several moments that made my mouth drop and my eyes cry. "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" reminds us of how far we have come in the areas of medical research and how far we still have to go on the road of medical equality. While reading, I observed an interesting constant tug of war between two groups that eventually fought battles within themselves.

I was left asking "What if?" several times with only being able to respond with "We'll never know". These moments were strong reminders of how important effective communication and education are when patients are under hospital care I feel confident in saying there will never be enough time to research all the many factors connected to the story that brought this book to fruition. However, I do believe the findings that countless scientists, journalists, and even
family members brought to the surface must be used for future educational purposes for us all.

Likely Stories - Never Let Me Go
During the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine, some people learned to make sourdough, and some learned to paint. Me? I read books. I'm Emma Weidmann, the Arts and Life Editor at the Baylor Lariat, with this week's edition of Likely Stories on KWBU.
Likely Stories - The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the nineteen thirty-six Berlin Olympics.
Harrison Otis says of The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the nineteen thirty-six Berlin Olympics, "...this is more than a sports story. It’s a window into American life during the Great Depression. It’s a story about Hitler’s rise to power. It’s a story of the men and women from Washington whose friendships and conflicts are the real heart of the book...".
Likely Stories - Normal People
Why hello there, I’m Malcolm Foster, Operations Assistant at KWBU, habitual collector of books and lifelong lover of compelling storytelling. Today I want to talk about a body of work that captured both my head and my heart. A book that I still find myself thinking of years after my first read through.
Likely Stories - Starter Villain
Hi, and welcome to Likely Stories. I’m Paige Connell, and I teach 9th grade English at Midway High School. Today I want to talk about one of my surprise favorite books of 2023, Starter Villain by John Scalzi.
Likley Stories - The Last Days of Letterman: The Final 6 Weeks
It took me a lot longer to read The Last Days of Letterman: The Final 6 Weeks, than it should have. It’s not a very long book, just over 300 pages, with more than 100 photographs. But I found myself turning again and again to YouTube to watch a clip of something that was mentioned in the text.
Likely Stories - The Displacements
Of all the books I have read recently, the one I have recommended to the most people is “The Displacements” by Bruce Holsinger.
Likely Stories - Devotions
My name is Heather White. When I am not managing my household and caring for my young children, I teach art and art history classes here in Waco. Today I am recommending the book “Devotions” by Mary Oliver
Likely Stories - Klara and the Sun
Hi, and welcome to Likely Stories. My name is Harrison Otis, and I'm a graduate student in the English department at Baylor University. Today I'm reviewing Klara and the sun, the 2021 novel by the British author Kazuo Ishiguro.
Likely Stories - The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store
As a kid, you could find me either writing my own stories or with my nose buried in one. I grew out of fairytales and fantasy magic, but a good book? Well, I never grew out of that. I'm Emma Weidmann, the Arts and Life Editor at the Baylor Lariat, with this week’s edition of Likely Stories on KWBU.
Likely Stories - The Nothing Man
Hi, and welcome to Likely Stories. I’m Paige Connell, and I teach 9th grade English at Midway High School. Today I want to discuss The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard, a book my friend at Fabled, Elizabeth Barnhill, first pointed me toward.

Shenequa Williams is an educator who has taught in the Central Texas area for 14 years. Her love for Reading began at an early age, with her family encouraging trips to the local library for story time and to check out books that allowed countless adventures of the imagination. Her love for reading and writing began to blossom in the 5th grade, when she won first place in a local veterinary clinic’s writing contest. Shenequa is a proud graduate of LaVega High School in Waco, Texas. With a Bachelor of Arts in General Studies from the University of North Texas and a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Western Governors University, Shenequa loves to promote the importance of reading to children and adults. She has received several honors and recognition in the field of education that include Teacher of the Year. Shenequa loves spending time with loved ones, listening to music, reading, writing, volunteering, and finding innovative ways to prepare young people for the future.