This book is such an empowering tale of what is possible when you don't give up. Jahren beautifully weaves the story of her success with the story of who she is as a person, resulting in an all-at-once heartbreaking and inspiring tale. Not only did she break through the barrier of being a female in a male dominated field, she did so brilliantly, and she discovered who she was in the process. This book celebrates friendship, hard work, passion, and the importance of doing what you truly love. Recommended By Carrie K., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Winner of the American Association for the Advancement of Science/Subaru Science Books & Film Prize for Excellence in Science Books
Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography
Finalist for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award
One of the Best Books of the Year: The Washington Post, TIME.com, NPR, Slate, Entertainment Weekly, Newsday, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Kirkus Reviews
Geobiologist Hope Jahren has spent her life studying trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Lab Girl is her revelatory treatise on plant life — but it is also a celebration of the lifelong curiosity, humility, and passion that drive every scientist. In these pages, Hope takes us back to her Minnesota childhood, where she spent hours in unfettered play in her father’s college laboratory. She tells us how she found a sanctuary in science, learning to perform lab work "with both the heart and the hands." She introduces us to Bill, her brilliant, eccentric lab manager. And she extends the mantle of scientist to each one of her readers, inviting us to join her in observing and protecting our environment. Warm, luminous, compulsively readable, Lab Girl vividly demonstrates the mountains that we can move when love and work come together.
"Some people are great writers, while other people live lives of adventure and importance. Almost no one does both. Hope Jahren does both. She makes me wish I’d been a scientist." Ann Patchett, author of State of Wonder
"A powerful new memoir... Jahren is a remarkable scientist who turns out to be a remarkable writer as well.... Think Stephen Jay Gould or Oliver Sacks. But Hope Jahren is a woman in science, who speaks plainly to just how rugged that can be. And to the incredible machinery of life around us." On Point/NPR
"Engrossing.... Thrilling.... Does for botany what Oliver Sacks’s essays did for neurology, what Stephen Jay Gould’s writings did for paleontology." The New York Times
"Award-winning scientist Jahren delivers a personal memoir and a paean to the natural world....The author draws many parallels between her subjects and herself. This is her story, after all, and we are engaged beyond expectation as she relates her struggle in building and running laboratory after laboratory at the universities that have employed her....Jahren transcends both memoir and science writing in this literary fusion of both genres." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Jahren, a professor of geobiology, recounts her unfolding journey to discover ‘what it’s like to be a plant’ in this darkly humorous, emotionally raw, and exquisitely crafted memoir...the most extraordinary and delightful element of her narrative is her partnership with Bill, her lab partner and caring best friend. It’s a rare portrait of a deep relationship in which mutual esteem [is] unmarred by sexual tension. For Jahren, a life in science yields the gratification of asking, knowing, and telling; for the reader, the joy is in hearing about the process as much as the results." Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Jahren grew up in small-town Minnesota, playing in her father’s science lab and laboring in her mother’s garden. Her first book invites readers to fall in love, as she did, with science and plants. The award-winning scientist travels the world studying trees with her best friend and lab partner, and finds refuge from life’s conflicts in the lab. ‘There I transformed from a girl into a scientist, just like Peter Parker becoming Spider-Man, only kind of backward,’ she writes." Jennifer Maloney, The Wall Street Journal, "The Hottest Spring Nonfiction Books"
About the Author
HOPE JAHREN has received three Fulbright Awards in geobiology and is one of four scientists, and the only woman, to have been awarded both of the Young Investigator Medals given in the earth sciences. Named by Popular Science in 2005 as one of the “Brilliant 10” young scientists, she has taught and pursued independent research at universities around the country, most recently as a tenured professor at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa in Honolulu.
Hope Jahren on PowellsBooks.Blog
I am a scientist. To be specific, I am a woman
scientist. This, I have been told and have come to believe, is a good thing. In fact, it is such a good thing that America needs more of us. Everyone seems to be very sure of this....