Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

I heard a lot of good things about Lab Girl. I'm always looking for engaging non-fiction. Jahren delivers.

We start when Jahren is finishing her dissertation. She's determined to open her own lab. It's in the last days as a student that she meets Bill, who becomes her best friend and lifelong lab partner. Hope finds a college where she and Bill can open a lab and start working. For most of the book, Hope must continue to find funding to support their work. Sometimes she's able to find enough, sometimes they must steal from other departments to continue working. All this happens while Hope deals with bipolar disorder. While some memoirs gloss over the hard parts, Jahren doesn't sugar coat anything. I appreciated her straight forwardness about her illness, about how difficult it is to be a scientist, and how trees and plants are dying at rapid rates thanks to humans. The science lost me at times but the story was so engaging, I just kept reading. Reminded me of The Martian.

Lab Girl is a great read for anyone even if you aren't interested in science. Science and the information about trees was important and facinating but Jahren's personal story was just as important. Others who shared their thoughts on Lab Girl: The World's Best Gardening Blog, Lost In A Great Book, and Some Beans.

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