Lab Girl

Lab Girl

Book - 2016
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National Best Seller
Named one of TIME magazine's "100 Most Influential People"
A TIME and Entertainment Weekly Best Book of 2016 So Far 

An illuminating debut memoir of a woman in science; a moving portrait of a longtime friendship; and a stunningly fresh look at plants that will forever change how you see the natural world
 
Acclaimed scientist Hope Jahren has built three laboratories in which she's studied trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Her first book is a revelatory treatise on plant life--but it is also so much more.

Lab Girl is a book about work, love, and the mountains that can be moved when those two things come together. It is told through Jahren's remarkable stories: about her childhood in rural Minnesota with an uncompromising mother and a father who encouraged hours of play in his classroom's labs; about how she found a sanctuary in science, and learned to perform lab work done "with both the heart and the hands"; and about the inevitable disappointments, but also the triumphs and exhilarating discoveries, of scientific work.

Yet at the core of this book is the story of a relationship Jahren forged with a brilliant, wounded man named Bill, who becomes her lab partner and best friend. Their sometimes rogue adventures in science take them from the Midwest across the United States and back again, over the Atlantic to the ever-light skies of the North Pole and to tropical Hawaii, where she and her lab currently make their home.

Jahren's probing look at plants, her astonishing tenacity of spirit, and her acute insights on nature enliven every page of this extraordinary book. Lab Girl opens your eyes to the beautiful, sophisticated mechanisms within every leaf, blade of grass, and flower petal. Here is an eloquent demonstration of what can happen when you find the stamina, passion, and sense of sacrifice needed to make a life out of what you truly love, as you discover along the way the person you were meant to be.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2016.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781101874936
1101874937
9781101874943
Characteristics: 290 pages ; 25 cm

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Adult Book Club: Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren "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 (more)


From Library Staff

Autobiography winner

Geobiologist Hope Jahren's highly enjoyable memoir is about the everyday struggles that American research scientists face when they pursue curiosity-driven (over profit-driven) research. This is pure Science we're talking about, and it's pretty romantic stuff. Jahren intersperses her life story w... Read More »


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queequegs
Jun 28, 2016

These two organisms--the wasp and the fig--have enjoyed this arrangement for almost ninety million years, evolving together through the extinction of the dinosaurs and across multiple ice ages. Theirs is like any epic love story, in that part of the appeal lies in its impossibility.

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queequegs
Jun 28, 2016

Unlike the overall character of winter, which may be mild one year and punishing the next, the pattern of how light changes through autumn is exactly the same every year...These plants know that when your world is changing rapidly, it is important to have identified the one thing that you can always count upon.

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queequegs
Jun 28, 2016

Love and learning are similar in that they can never be wasted.

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