NNLM Reading Club: Human Genetics

NNLM Reading Club: Human Genetics

DNA


Topic: DNA & U
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DNA & U

DNA contains the instructions needed for an organism to develop, survive, and reproduce. Studying the DNA of humans is important for discovering what keeps us healthy or makes us sick. Understanding these genetic factors improves how we can use our genetic code to advance treatments, cure diseases or, better yet, prevent diseases.

National DNA Day is annually recognized in April to commemorate the discovery of DNA's double helix in 1953 and the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003.

How can the NNLM Reading Club help you celebrate these scientific advancements and learn more about DNA and U?


MedlinePlus logo

MedlinePlus Genetics covers more than 1,300 genetic conditions and 1,400 genes and includes an illustrated genetics handbook, Help Me Understand Genetics, which offers basic explanations of how genes work and how mutations cause disorders, as well as current information about genetic testing, gene therapy, genetics research, and precision medicine.


There's an NIH for Research

The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) is the National Institutes of Health biomedical research agency for advancing genomics research. Precision Medicine is made possible as a result of The Human Genome Project, an international research effort to sequence the DNA of the entire human genome.

All of Us logo

 

If you want to help researchers make discoveries that will advance medicine and improve health for generations to come, the All of Us Research Program invites you to be one of the one million or more people across the United States helping build the most diverse health database in history. Researchers will use this data to learn how our biology, lifestyle, and environment affect health to help personalize medicine in the future. Learn more about this historic program at joinallofus.org/nlm.

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Books for Young Readers

Decoding Genes with Max Axiom book coverDecoding Genes With Max Axiom, Super Scientist | Amber J Keyser | Capstone Press | 2020 | 32 pages | ISBN: 978-1543572476 | Grades 3-4

DNA Is You book cover imageDNA Is You! The Marvelous Science Behind Your One-of-a-Kind-ness | Katie McKissick | Adams Media | 2019 | 256 pages | ISBN: 978-1721400171

The One and Only Me book cover imageThe One and Only Me: A Book About Genes | Ariana Killoran | 23andMe, Inc. | 2016 | 32 pages | ISBN: 978-0989153713 | Grades PK-3

Who Was Charles Darwin book coverWho Was Charles Darwin | Deborah Hopkinson | Penguin Workshop | 2005 | 112 pages | ISBN: 978-0448437644 | Ages 8-12

Learn.Genetics

Learn Genetics logoThe Eccles Institute of Human Genetics (EIHG) at the University of Utah sponsors the Genetic Science Learning Center, a website to explore videos, virtual labs, images of actual cells, and interactive exercises covering a massive amount of information on genetics.

Films

Cracking Your Genetic Code video cover imageCracking Your Genetic Code (NOVA): What will it mean when most of us can afford to have the information in our DNA—all six billion chemical letters of it—read, stored, and available for analysis? What are the moral dilemmas raised by this new technology? Will it help or hurt us to know the diseases that may lie in our future? What if such information falls into the hands of insurance companies, employers, or prospective mates? One thing is for certain: the new era of personalized, gene-based medicine is relevant to everyone. Watch with your personal public library card or university login

The Gene Doctors cover imageThe Gene Doctors (PBS): "Through intimate stories of families whose lives are being transformed, The Gene Doctors takes viewers to the front lines of a medical revolution. With early successes and new treatments appearing on the horizon, families battling genetic diseases have never had such good reasons for hope."

On Beauty (Kartemquin Films):On Beauty poster "The film looks at beauty through the lens of fashion photographer Rick Guidotti, who highlights vibrant individuals with genetic conditions. At the center of On Beauty are two of Rick's photo subjects: Sarah, who left public school for homeschool after being bullied so harshly for the Sturge-Weber birthmark on her face and brain; and Jayne, who lives in Eastern Africa where witch doctors hunt people with albinism to sell their body parts and the society is blind to their unique health and safety needs."

Pink & BluePink and Blue: Colors of Hereditary Cancer (Pink & Blue Inc.): "The documentary takes a profound look into the BRCA world examining what it is and how this gene mutation puts both women and men at risk for developing numerous cancers. The film highlights the message that men are equally as likely to carry a BRCA gene mutation and this lack of information is deadly."

DIY Exhibit

Unlocking Life's Code DIY Exhibit media imageGenome: Unlocking Life's Code This exhibit is a partnership between the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). Interact with the exhibit using the online Library Resources or assemble a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Exhibit. "This free, print-on-demand exhibit consists of graphic panels, interactive media, and a community programming toolkit. It can be adapted to a variety of venues, including community centers, libraries, coffee shops, hospitals, transit hubs, museums, and science centers."

Book: This Boy We Made
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NNLM Reading Club Book

Do you want to share this book with your reading group? The Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) has made it easy to download the discussion questions, promotional materials, and supporting health information.

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Discussion Guide for This Boy We Made: A Memoir of Motherhood, Genetics, and Facing the Unknown
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Book

Book cover image This Boy We Made

One morning, Tophs, Taylor Harris’s round-cheeked, lively twenty-two-month-old, wakes up listless, only lifting his head to gulp down water. She rushes Tophs to the doctor, ignoring the part of herself, trained by years of therapy for generalized anxiety disorder, that tries to whisper that she’s overreacting. But at the hospital, her maternal instincts are confirmed: something is wrong with her boy, and Taylor’s life will never be the same.

With every question the doctors answer about Tophs’s increasingly troubling symptoms, more arise, and Taylor dives into the search for a diagnosis. She spends countless hours trying to navigate health and education systems that can be hostile to Black mothers and children; at night she googles, prays, and interrogates her every action.

Some days, her sweet, charismatic boy seems just fine; others, he struggles to answer simple questions. A long-awaited appointment with a geneticist ultimately reveals nothing about what’s causing Tophs’s drops in blood sugar, his processing delays—but it does reveal something unexpected about Taylor’s own health. What if her son’s challenges have saved her life?ebook icon Audio book icon

Essence, A Most Anticipated Title of the Year | An Electric Literature Most Anticipated Title of the Year | The Millions, A Most Anticipated Book of the Year | Indie Next 2022 Pick

This Boy We Made: A Memoir of Motherhood, Genetics, and Facing the Unknown | Taylor Harris | Catapult | 2022 | 272 pages | ISBN: 978-1948226844

Author

Headshot photo of Taylor Harris
Photo credit: Eze Amos / LA Times

Taylor Harris is a writer, wife, and mom of three who lives in Charlottesville, Virginia. Her work has appeared in TIME, O Quarterly, The Washington Post, Longreads, The Cut, Romper, Parents, McSweeney’s, and other publications.

Official website for Taylor Harris

Book: A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived
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Discussion Guide for A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes
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Book

Book cover image of A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived

In our unique genomes, every one of us carries the story of our species—births, deaths, disease, war, famine, migration, and a lot of sex. But those stories have always been locked away—until now. Who are our ancestors? Where did they come from? Geneticists have suddenly become historians, and the hard evidence in our DNA has blown the lid off what we thought we knew. Acclaimed science writer Adam Rutherford explains exactly how genomics is completely rewriting the human story—from 100,000 years ago to the present.ebook icon Audio book icon

National Book Critics Circle Award - 2017 Nonfiction Finalist | National Geographic Best Book of 2017| An Amazon Best Book of 2017 | 2017 Foreword INDIES Gold Winner | Winner of the 2018 Thomas Bonner Book Prize | A New York Public Library Book of the Day

A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes | Adam Rutherford, Ph.D. | 2018 reprint | The Experiment | 416 pages | ISBN: 978-161519494

Author

Head shot photo Adam Rutherford

Adam Rutherford, Ph.D., is a geneticist, science writer, and broadcaster. He studied genetics at University College London, and during his Ph.D. on the developing eye, he was part of a team that identified the first known genetic cause of a form of childhood blindness. As well as writing for the science pages of The Guardian, he has written and presented many award-winning series and programs for the BBC, including the flagship weekly Radio 4 program Inside Science, The Cell for BBC Four, and Playing God (on the rise of synthetic biology) for the leading science series Horizon. He is also the author of How to Argue With a Racist, an incisive guide to what modern genetics can and can’t tell us about human difference, and The Book of Humans, a new evolutionary history that explores the profound paradox of the “human animal.”

Official Website of Adam Rutherford, Ph.D.

Book: The Gene
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Book cover image of The Gene

As he did in his Pulitzer ­Prize-winning history of cancer, The Emperor of All Maladies (2010), Mukherjee views his subject panoptically, from a great and clarifying height, yet also intimately. Framing his story are pieces of his own family history: His cousin and two of his uncles “suffered from various unravelings of the mind,” and the specter of mental illness, presumably inherited or inheritable, haunts his family and his imagination. The books form a magnificent pair. “The Emperor of All Maladies” is, as Mukherjee notes, the story of the genetic code corrupted, tipping into malignancy. The new book, then, serves as its prequel.ebook icon Audio book icon

New York Times Bestseller | New York Times Notable Book | Washington Post Best Book of the Year | Seattle Times Best Book of the Year

The Gene: An Intimate History | Siddhartha Mukherjee | Scribner | 2016 | 592 pages | ISBN: 978-1476733500

Author

Photo of Aiddhartha Mukherjee
Photograph © Deborah Feingold

Siddhartha Mukherjee is the author of The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in general nonfiction, and The Laws of Medicine. He is the editor of Best Science Writing 2013. Mukherjee is an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University and a cancer physician and researcher. A Rhodes scholar, he graduated from Stanford University, University of Oxford, and Harvard Medical School. He has published articles in Nature, The New England Journal of Medicine, The New York Times, and Cell. He lives in New York with his wife and daughters.

Official Website of Siddhartha Mukherjee

Documentary

Ken Burns Presents The Gene: An Intimate History PBS Documentary adapted from the award-winning book of the same name by Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee. The series tells the story of the rapid evolution of genetic science from Gregor Mendel's groundbreaking experiment in the 19th century to CRISPR and the hope that newfound powers to alter DNA with pinpoint precision will transform the treatment of some of the world's most complex and challenging diseases. The series also tackles the daunting ethical challenges that these technologies pose for humankind.

Book: Gene Machine
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NNLM Reading Club Book

Do you want to share this book with your reading group? The Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) has made it easy to download the discussion questions, promotional materials, and supporting health information.

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Book cover image of Gene Machine

Everyone knows about DNA. It is the essence of our being, influencing who we are and what we pass on to our children. But the information in DNA can’t be used without a machine to decode it. The ribosome is that machine. Older than DNA itself, it is the mother of all molecules. Virtually every molecule made in every cell was either made by the ribosome or by proteins that were themselves made by the ribosome. Venki Ramakrishnan tells the story of the race to uncover the ribosome’s enormously complex structure, a fundamental breakthrough that resolves an ancient mystery of life itself and could lead to the development of better antibiotics. A fascinating insider account, Gene Machine charts Ramakrishnan’s unlikely journey from his first fumbling experiments in a biology lab to being at the center of fierce competition at the cutting edge of modern science.ebook icon Audio book icon

Nobel Prize-Winning Author

Gene Machine: The Race to Decipher the Secrets of the Ribosome | Venki Ramakrishnan | Basic Books | 2018 | 288 pages | ISBN: 978-0465093366

Author

Photo of Venkatraman Ramakrishnan

Venkatraman Ramakrishnan is a structural biologist who shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Thomas A. Steitz and Ada Yonath. Since 1999, he has worked as a group leader at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, UK and is a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He served as President of the Royal Society from 2015-2020.

Wikipedia page for Venki Ramakrishnan

Book: Genomics
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NNLM Reading Club Book

Do you want to share this book with your reading group? The Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) has made it easy to download the discussion questions, promotional materials, and supporting health information.

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Discussion Guide for Genomics: A Revolution in Health and Disease Discovery
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Book

Book cover image of Genomics: A Revolution in Health and Disease DiscoveryGenomics: A Revolution in Health and Disease Discovery delves into the history, science, and ethics behind recent breakthroughs in genetic research. Authors Whitney Stewart and Hans Andersson, MD, present fascinating case studies that show how real people have benefitted from genetic research. Though the genome remains full of mysteries, researchers and doctors are working hard to uncover its secrets and find the best ways to treat patients and cure diseases. The discoveries to come will inform how we target disease treatment, how we understand our health, and how we define our very identities.ebook icon Audio book icon

Genomics: A Revolution in Health and Disease Discovery | Whitney Stewart and Hans Andersson, MD | 2020 | Twenty-First Century Books | 144 pages | ISBN: 978-1541500563

Authors

Whitney Stewart photoWhitney Stewart knew in high school that she wanted to be a children’s book writer. During college, she worked as a researcher and an assistant children’s librarian at the Providence Athenaeum. She graduated from Brown University with a degree in children’s literature and linguistics and began publishing books a few years later. Whitney loves to travel and live in different countries where she learns languages and explores culture and cuisine. With her geneticist husband, she also explores and writes about the world of genomics that is changing modern medicine. Official Website of Whitney Stewart

Hans C Andersson photoHans C. Andersson, M.D. is the Karen Gore Professor of Human Genetics and Director of the Hayward Genetics Center at the Tulane University Medical School where he directs the Biochemical Genetics Lab. Dr. Andersson received his B.S. in Music and Psychology from Tulane in 1978 and received his M.D. from Tulane in 1984. He completed his residency in Pediatrics at the Tulane School of Medicine in 1987. Dr. Andersson also did a fellowship from 1987-1991 at the Hayward Genetics Center and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2000. Dr. Andersson's research focuses on lysosomal storage, inborn errors, and medical genetic test reporting. Faculty Page Tulane University School of Medicine

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Virtual Book Discussion

Celebrate DNA Day with Whitney Stewart and Hans C. Andersson, MD, authors of Genomics: A Revolution in Health and Disease Discovery. They will be joined by genetic counselor Anya Revah Politi, MS, CGC and event host, Edgar Gil Rico, from the National Association for Hispanic Health (NAHH).

Date: April 25, 2022
Time: 3:00PM ET | 2:00PM CT | 1:00PM MT | 12:00PM PT
Duration: 30 minutes
Accessibility: Closed Captioning | American Sign Language
How to Watch:
Step 1: Register for the event on Eventbrite
Step 2: Receive a link via email to our YouTube Livestream
Step 3: Join us on April 25th, 3p ET on YouTube or our Facebook page

Request a free book kit today!

Your free reading club kit includes:

  • 8 print or digital copies of Genomics: A Revolution in Health and Disease Discovery
  • Virtual Discussion Guide
  • All of Us Bookmarks
  • MedlinePlus Bookmarks
  • Digital Promotional toolkit to promote your Reading Club

This reading club kit is available while supplies last. Libraries and organizations receiving the kit will be expected to:

  • Be or become an NNLM member. Check our membership directory or join today for free!
  • Attend the Author Talk on April 25, 2022, with reading club participants (Registration link) OR share/watch the talk recording with reading club participants (YouTube link forthcoming).
  • Host at least one virtual or in-person event within the first twelve months (12) of receiving the kit. The program will raise awareness of the NIH All of Us Research Program. The event must include attending or watching the Author Talk mentioned above.
  • Share information about All of Us included in the reading kit shipment to reading club participants and patrons.
  • Distribute the NNLM All of Us Participant Survey (to be provided) to reading club participants and share responses with NNLM.

This event is offered in partnership with NAHHNNLM Reading Club, and the All of Us Research Program, and is supported by funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health under cooperative agreement number UG4 LM012346-05S1 at the University of Iowa, Hardin Library for the Health Sciences.

NNLM All of Us co-branded logo

The All of Us Research Program invites one million or more people across the U.S. to help build one of the most diverse health databases in history. Researchers will use this data to learn how our biology, lifestyle, and environment affect health to help personalize medicine in the future. Learn more about this historic program at joinallofus.org/nlm.

Book: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
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Book

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks book cover

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. Henrietta's cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can't afford health insurance. This phenomenal New York Times bestseller tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew.ebook icon Audio book icon

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks | Rebecca Skloot | Broadway Books | 2011 | 400 pages | ISBN: 978-1400052189

Author

Photo of Rebecca Skloot

Rebecca Skloot is an award-winning science writer whose articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine; O, The Oprah Magazine; Discover; Prevention; Glamour; and others. She has worked as a correspondent for NPR’s Radiolab and PBS’s NOVA scienceNOW and is a contributing editor at Popular Science magazine and guest editor of The Best American Science Writing 2011. Her work has been anthologized in several collections, including The Best Creative Nonfiction. She is a former vice president of the National Book Critics Circle and has taught creative nonfiction and science journalism. She is the Founder and President of the Henrietta Lacks Foundation.

Official Website of Rebecca Skloot

Book: Pleased to Meet Me
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Discussion Guide for Pleased to Meet Me: Genes, Germs, and the Curious Forces That Make Us Who We Are
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Book

Book cover image Pleased to Meet Me

"I can't believe I just said that." "What possessed me to do that?" "What's wrong with me?" We're constantly seeking answers to these fundamental human questions, and now, science has the answers. The foods we enjoy, the people we love, the emotions we feel, and the beliefs we hold can all be traced back to our DNA, germs, and environment. This witty, colloquial book is popular science at its best, describing in everyday language how genetics, epigenetics, microbiology, and psychology work together to influence our personality and actions. Mixing cutting-edge research and relatable humor, Pleased to Meet Me is filled with fascinating insights that shine a light on who we really are and how we might become our best selves.ebook icon Audio book icon

Pleased to Meet Me: Genes, Germs, and the Curious Forces That Make Us Who We Are | Bill Sullivan | National Geographic | 2019 | 336 pages | ISBN: 978-1426220555

Author

Headshot photo of Bill Sullivan
Photo credit: Eric Schoch

Bill Sullivan is a professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, where he studies genetics and microbiology. An award-winning researcher, teacher, and science communicator, Sullivan has been featured in a wide variety of outlets, including CNNFox & FriendsThe DoctorsScience Fantastic with Dr. Michio KakuDoctor Radio, and more. He has published over 100 papers in scientific journals and has written for The Washington PostNational GeographicDiscoveryScientific AmericanCOSMOSPsychology TodayThe Conversation, and more.

Visit him at authorbillsullivan.com and on Twitter @wjsullivan.

Listen icon imagedaVinci Talks: Curious Forces. June 25, 2020

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NNLM Reading Club Presents...

Bill Sullivan for a live talk and discussion of his book, Pleased to Meet Me: Germs, Genes, and the Curious Forces that Make Us Who We Are.

Watch the recording Closed Captioning icon

Join Us for a book talk with Bill Sullivan author of Pleased to Meet Me

Book: The Song of the Cell
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The Song of the Cell book cover image

Book

The Song of the Cell is an exploration of medicine and the “new human.” Beginning with the monumental scientific discovery of cells in the late seventeenth century, this work depicts how such a finding has revolutionized science and modern medicine through the therapeutic manipulation of cells. Even more than the treatment of major diseases, the science of cells is opening avenues to creating new types of humans. With vivid and easily understandable writing, The Song of the Cell is an accessible and thrilling account of scientific advancement enlivened with real-life accounts from a leading expert in the field.

The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human | Siddhartha Mukherjee | Scribner | 2022 | 496 pages | ISBN: 978-1982117351

Photo of Siddhartha Mukherjee
Photograph © Deborah Feingold

Author

Mukherjee is an associate professor of medicine at Columbia University and a cancer physician and researcher. A Rhodes scholar, he graduated from Stanford University, University of Oxford, and Harvard Medical School. He has published articles in many journals, including Nature, The New England Journal of Medicine, Cell, The New York Times Magazine, and The New Yorker. He lives in New York with his wife and daughters.

Official Website of Siddhartha Mukherjee

Heredity


Topic: Family Health History
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Family Health History

Knowing your family’s health history paints a picture of potential health problems from one generation to the next. This knowledge is a powerful tool for early detection or prevention of diseases you may be at risk for. Learn how to find and share your family health history on National Family Health History Day, which is Thanksgiving Day, and throughout the year. Watch this video from The Human Genetics Society to learn more.


MedlinePlus logo

MedlinePlus is the National Library of Medicine's trustworthy and consumer-friendly online resource. Use it to find evidence-based information on Family Health both in English and Spanish from a variety of resources.

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Library Programming

With the increased popularity of at-home ancestry testing, Americans are becoming more and more interested in genetics, but many still have limited knowledge of basic genetic concepts. Libraries are information hubs and education centers that can help their community members access trusted health information - and you don't have to be a scientist. Here are a few "ready-to-use" programs and resources to help the public learn more.

Speaker

A guide to family health history booklet cover

Genetic information can help you know your risk for certain diseases including how to manage genetic risks for inherited diseases.

Invite a genetic counselor to share expert information about Genetic Testing. To find a speaker, use the National Society of Genetic Counselors.

Share resources such as A Guide to Family Health History available for free download in English or Spanish from the Genetic Alliance and What You Need to Know About Direct-To-Consumer Genetic Testing.

Curriculum

Finding Your Roots - The Seedlings is a series of web episodes and corresponding curricula. Any educator -  parent, teacher, or librarian - can download and customize the curriculum to create a formal or informal exploration of genomics and DNA.


There's an NIH for that... and more

The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) is NIH's biomedical research agency for advancing genomics research. Find an Introduction to Genomics as well as guidance on Direct-to-Consumer Genomic Testing.

Genomics & Precision Health is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) consumer-friendly website. It has health topics for understanding your Family Health History and Genetic Testing: What You Need to Know.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), America's consumer protection agency, provides clear and basic information to understand Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Tests.

Book: Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
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Do you want to share this book with your reading group? The Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) has made it easy to download the discussion questions, promotional materials, and supporting health information.

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Book

In 1936 Kentucky, Cussy Mary Carter works for the Pack Horse Library Project, delivering books to the needy in the backcountry of Kentucky. Born with a genetic condition that gives her blue skin, Cussy is viewed with suspicion by most of her customers. However, nothing will stop her from delivering the joy of books to those living in the back hollers.ebook icon Audio book icon

An Oprah's Buzziest Books Pick for May | Indie Next Pick | LibraryReads Pick | Southern Independent Book Alliance (SIBA) Spring OKRA PICK

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek | Kim Michele Richardson | Sourcebooks Landmark | 2019 | 308 pages | ISBN: 978-1492671527

Author

Headshot photo Kim Michele Richardson

Kim Michele Richardson was born in Kentucky and resides part-time in Western North Carolina. She has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, building houses, and is an advocate for the prevention of child abuse and domestic violence, partnering with the U.S. Navy globally to bring awareness and education to the prevention of domestic violence. She is the author of the bestselling memoir The Unbreakable Child, and a book critic for the New York Journal of Books. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is her fourth novel.

Official Website of Kim Michele Richardson

MedlinePlusMedlinePlus logo

Learn about the genetic disorder Methemoglobinemia, beta-globin type

Book: Inheritance
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Do you want to share this book with your reading group? The Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) has made it easy to download the discussion questions, promotional materials, and supporting health information.

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Inheritance book cover image

In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had whimsically submitted her DNA for analysis, Dani Shapiro received the stunning news that her father was not her biological father. She woke up one morning and her entire history – the life she had lived – crumbled beneath her. Inheritance is a book about secrets – secrets within families, kept out of shame or self-protectiveness; secrets we keep from one another in the name of love. It is the story of a woman’s urgent quest to unlock the story of her own identity, a story that has been scrupulously hidden from her for more than fifty years, years she had spent writing brilliantly, and compulsively, on themes of identity and family history. It is a book about the extraordinary moment we live in–a moment in which science and technology have outpaced not only medical ethics but also the capacities of the human heart to contend with the consequences of what we discover.ebook icon Audio book icon

Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love | Dani Shapiro | Daunt Books | 2019 | 272 pages | ISBN: 978-1911547501

Author

Headshot photo fo Dani Shapiro

Dani Shapiro is the author of the memoirs Hourglass, Still Writing, Devotion, and Slow Motion and five novels including Black & White Family History. Also, an essayist and a journalist, Shapiro’s short fiction, essays, and journalistic pieces have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, One Story, Elle, Vogue, O, The Oprah Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, the op-ed pages of the New York Times, and many other publications. She has taught in the writing programs at Columbia, NYU, the New School, and Wesleyan University; she is co-founder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy. She lives with her family in Litchfield County, Connecticut.

Official Website of Dani Shapiro

Book: It's All Relative
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Discussion Guide for It's All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World's Family Tree
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Book cover It's All Relative

A.J. Jacobs has received some strange emails over the years, but this note was perhaps the strangest: "You don't know me, but I'm your eighth cousin. And we have over 80,000 relatives of yours in our database." That's enough family members to fill Madison Square Garden four times over. Who are these people, A.J. wondered, and how do I find them? So began Jacobs's three-year adventure to help build the biggest family tree in history. Jacobs's journey would take him to all seven continents. He drank beer with a U.S. president, found himself singing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and unearthed genetic links to Hollywood actresses and real-life scoundrels. After all, we can choose our friends, but not our family.ebook icon Audio book icon

It's All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World's Family Tree | A.J. Jacobs | Simon & Schuster | 2017 | 352 pages | ISBN: 978-1476734491

Author

Headshot photo of A J Jacobs

A.J. Jacobs is an author, journalist, and lecturer. He has written a few New York Times bestsellers that combine memoir, science, humor and a dash of self-help. He is also editor-at-large at Esquire magazine, a commentator on NPR, and a columnist for Mental Floss magazine. Jacobs grew up in New York City. His father is a lawyer who holds the world record for the most footnotes in a law review article (4,812). His wife works for a highbrow scavenger hunt called Watson Adventures. He lives in New York with his family.

Official Website of A.J. Jacobs

Book: There is Something About Edgefield
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Book cover image There is Something About Edgefield

Through the stories of their ancestors, Bush and Kemp take us on a compelling journey through African American history into the hearts of individual lives. In tracing their ancestral roots, these family historians discover their connections to some of the South's most powerful men, both famous and forgotten. The community at the heart of this historical study is Edgefield, South Carolina, yet the stories in this book form a microcosm of events experienced by black communities throughout the South. An enslaved maternal line is traced to 1799; hopes are raised, then dashed, when a family of freedmen acquires land after the Civil War, only to later lose it; the "Dark Corner" of Edgefield is exposed. Shining a bright, sometimes uncomfortable light, deep truths are unearthed through DNA results and a new family is found. Follow the authors through years of meticulous genealogical research, historical settings, and DNA testing as they reclaim their family stories and inspire others to embark on their own journey of discovery.

Award Finalist, 2018 Best Book Award, History: United States | Co-Winner of SCAAHC's 2017 Project Award

There Is Something About Edgefield: Shining a Light on the Black Community through History, Genealogy and Genetic DNA | Edna Gail Bush and Natonne Elaine Kemp | Rocky Pond Press | 2017 | 332 pages | ISBN: 978-0999240601

The book review begins at 00:29:30 and ends at 00:37:00.

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Just Finished Reading - There Is Something About Edgefield. Random Thoughts on History by Tim Talbott. December 19, 2017

Authors

Headshot photo Natonne Elaine Kemp

Natonne Elaine Kemp is a family historian. Both of her paternal grandparents were born in Edgefield County, South Carolina. She previously served as the editor of Homeplace, the official newsletter of the Old Edgefield District African American Genealogical Society (OEDAAGS), and appeared as co-host of BlogTalkRadio show, Bernice Alexander Bennett’s Research at the National Archives and Beyond. As a 2010 graduate of the National Institute on Genealogical Records (NIGR), now known as the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records (Gen-Fed), she currently is a member of the Louisa County Historical Society and the Virginia Genealogical Society and serves on the Journal Editorial Board of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society. She is a well-known presenter at numerous local and national genealogical conferences.

Headshot photo of Edna Gail Bush

Edna Gail Bush passed away on January 18, 2018. She co-authored There Is Something About Edgefield, Shining a Light on the Black Community through History, Genealogy, and Genetic DNA in honor and loving memory of her parents, grandparents, and most of her great grandparents who were born in Edgefield County, South Carolina. She was a member of the Old Edgefield District Genealogical Society (OEDGS), the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS), and the National Genealogical Society (NGS). She also was retired from the New York State government’s former Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities.

Official Website of Co-Authors

Book: She Has Her Mother's Laugh
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Weaving historical and current scientific research, his own experience with his two daughters, and the kind of original reporting expected of one of the world’s best science journalists, Zimmer ultimately unpacks urgent bioethical quandaries arising from new biomedical technologies, but also long-standing presumptions about who we really are and what we can pass on to future generations.ebook icon Audio book icon

She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity | Carl Zimmer | Dutton | 2018 | 672 pages | ISBN: 978-1101984598

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Carl Zimmer is a columnist for the New York Times and the author of 13 books about science. Zimmer is a frequent guest on Radiolab and has written hundreds of articles for magazines such as National Geographic, The Atlantic, and Wired. He is, to his knowledge, the only writer after whom a species of tapeworm has been named.

Official Website of Carl Zimmer