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Nine Pints: A Journey Through the Money, Medicine, and Mysteries of Blood by Rose George

Book jacket cover of Nine PintsWe’ve been getting a bunch of great biology/medical books lately and the latest to catch my eye is Nine Pints by Rose George. Booklist gave it a starred review, writing “Blood is feared and revered, and it is continually dying and renewing. Its power is mystical, emotional, and biological. Blood infuses our language: bloodthirsty, blood-chilling, blood brothers. George delivers an informative, elegant, and provocative exploration of the life-giving substance she describes as “”stardust and the sea”” for its iron content derived from the demise of supernovas and its water and salt from the oceans of our origin. In the stellar opening chapter, she fuses her personal experience donating blood with remarkable hematologic facts. Approximately five liters of the fluid (depending on your sex and size), containing 30 trillion red-blood cells, clotting factors, platelets, plasma, and cryoprecipitate, travel 12,000 miles throughout your body daily at a speed of 2 to 3 miles per hour. Other chapters consider medicinal leeches (bloodsuckers that secrete their own anticoagulant and anesthetic compounds), hemorrhage, HIV, the history of blood transfusion and blood banks, menstruation, the feminine-hygiene industry (a typical woman in an industrialized nation uses an estimated 11,000-16,000 sanitary products during her lifetime), and future possibilities of synthetic blood. George also writes about plasma, possible contamination of the supply, and profit, noting that blood is the thirteenth most traded product globally. George’s wondrously well-written work makes for bloody good reading!”

Great action series you may have missed

Book jacket cover of Patient ZeroThose of you who like fast paced, high octane thrillers with aspects of horror and science fiction (think James Rollins’ Sigma Force novels or Christopher Farnsworth’s Nathaniel Cade novels) should DEFINITELY try out the Joe Ledger novels by Jonathan Maberry. First in the series is Patient Zero: “When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week there’s either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills … and there’s nothing wrong with Joe Ledger’s skills. And that’s both a good, and a bad thing. It’s good because he’s a Baltimore detective that has just been secretly recruited by the government to lead a new taskforce created to deal with the problems that Homeland Security can’t handle. This rapid response group is called the Department of Military Sciences or the DMS for short. It’s bad because his first mission is to help stop a group of terrorists from releasing a dreadful bio-weapon that can turn ordinary people into zombies. The fate of the world hangs in the balance …” Despite the intense action, the book is both fun and funny, and Joe Ledger is a great character that you will love to root for. Highly recommended!

Where History Meets Mystery

From time to time, our library is fortunate enough to have an author come speak.  I always find it fascinating and am very grateful to meet these people who entertain and inform us. This Saturday (January 5) at 10am we have not just one author but five: Jessie Chandler, Pat Dennis, Timya Owen, M.A. Mallory and Greg Dahlager from the Twin Cities chapter of Sisters in Crime will be here to provide a window into how historical events have inspired their writing, the challenges of researching our past, and how authors walk a fine line between mystery and history when writing. Learn about some of the ups and downs and the joys and trials of plying the mystery game. Find out about new books by Minnesota mystery authors. It’s going to be awesome!