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Bea's Book! Spring 2020: Home

SWIC Library Book Club

About Bea's Book!

The SWIC Library book club known as Bea's Book! was created to celebrate diversity and to provide a space for students to build community by talking about interesting reads and connecting with fellow students!

The club, Bea’s Book! is named in memory of longtime Southwestern Illinois College librarian, Bea Fries. Bea held the position of librarian at SWIC for forty-five years from July 1967 until May 2012. Her generous bequest to the SWIC Library established the Bea Fries Memorial Library Fund. Through this fund, a great deal of library materials are acquired each year for all to enjoy!

More Info

Who can participate?
Bea's Book! club is open to Southwestern Illinois College students only. 

How many books?
Club members read 1 book per semester. A description and reviews of the book are found on this page. 

How do I get a FREE copy of the book?
Borrow the book from the library anytime this semester or request a copy through inter-library loan using the Library's Online Catalog. Need help requesting a book? Talk to a SWIC librarian - we're always happy to help you!

What will the meeting consist of?
A fun, thought provoking discussion amongst fellow book club members will be arranged at the library towards the end of the semester. Watch your SWIC email for an invite! 

Want more information?
Talk to a friendly librarian at any of the three campus libraries - We're excited to meet you! Can't make it to the library? That's okay! Contact us via email - we'll be in touch soon!

Spring 2020 Sign up!

    Join the club HERE!

 Spring 2020 Book Selection, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Spring 2020 Book Selection

This Spring, Bea's Book! presents:

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by award winning author, Rebecca Skloot.

Featured on over 60 critics’ best of the year lists!

About the book:  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, in vitro fertilization, 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.

Made into an HBO movie by Oprah Winfrey and Alan Ball, this New York Times bestseller takes readers on an extraordinary journey, from the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers filled with HeLa cells, from Henrietta’s small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia, to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks 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. It’s a story inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we’re made of.

Winner of several awards, including the

  • 2010 Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Nonfiction
  • 2010 Wellcome Trust Book Prize
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Award for Excellence in Science Writing
  • 2011 Audie Award for Best Non-Fiction Audiobook
  • Medical Journalists’ Association Open Book Award

For more reviews, praise, and media coverage of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, please visit the book’s press page.


Samantha Rogers's picture
Samantha Rogers
Research Center
Belleville Campus Library
IS Building, First Floor
(618) 222-5236