After reading several professional reviews, I put "Lab Girl" on hold, even though there were more than 100 ahead of me. It was more than worth the wait. I hadn't thought of the comparison to "H is for Hawk" until several readers mentioned it, but the two books do have much in common. Mainly both writers are passionate lovers of nature, in different forms, and go their own ways regardless of what others think. Jahren is, I think, in the end more open about herself. Coming from a Scandinavian family myself, I understand how a lack of conversation and openness can, for some people, lead to a lack of self confidence. Yet Jahren's brilliance pushes her into her father's science lab and encourages her to become a scientist like he is. She is also a stupendous writer. She's very open about her friendship with Bill, whom she takes in when she sees his brilliance in spite of his homelessness and lack of grace. This friendship has nothing to do with her marriage, and her husband is smart enough to not be threatened by it. I love the structure of the book, with its chapters about her personal life and the life of trees/grasses/mosses. I will never see green quite the same way again. Nor will I see bipolar in quite the same way again.

DorisWaggoner's rating:
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