The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
06 Sep 2011
Good for: Everybody (old enough to be interested). This book is excellent in so many ways: it draws you into its human story; it teaches you about science, biology, and medicine in easy language and with very little prior knowledge required; and it raises important, still-relevant ethical questions about medical scientific research and patent ownership.
Reading this book, I was totally amazed at what medical researchers used to get away with. Every 10 pages someone was doing something like in this xkcd comic, except they didn't have to get patient permission first!