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Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
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Lab Girl (edition 2017)

by Hope Jahren (Author)

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1,231759,407 (4.13)157
Member:m.belljackson
Title:Lab Girl
Authors:Hope Jahren (Author)
Info:Vintage (2017), Edition: Reprint, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Trees, Plants, Botany, Manic Depression, Hawaii, Minnesota, Laboratory, Dickens, Seeds, Alaska, Hospital, Hackberry, Elm, Opal, Dogs, Willow

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Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

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English (73)  Spanish (2)  All languages (75)
Showing 1-5 of 73 (next | show all)
Jahren tells her life story growing up as a scientist with her partner, Bill. Interesting sub-stories with facts about trees and and plants woven together with her human interactions. ( )
  addunn3 | Sep 1, 2018 |
I would’ve given it 5 stars if it weren’t for me dozing off in some parts of the book. Don’t get me wrong, it’s me and not Hope Jahren’s writing. In fact her writing is impeccable. But being a scientist and writing your own biography i guess can get very technical at times - which is great and which is probably why it took me longer to finish the book. However, I pushed on and have no regrets finishing the book. I value trees and other greenery more now than I ever did and my heart goes out to struggling scientists everywhere. And this is why I love reading biographies. It helps me understand other people’s struggles and makes me feel that I’m not alone in my own personal struggles as well.

I have one tree in my front yard, and I will heed your advice Hope and take care of it and let it grow and write my name and my husbands name and children’s name on it.

Thank you Hope for sharing your story with the rest of the world.

===========

I’ve changed my rating to 5 stars because I thought she deserves it. It was really well written after all. ( )
  pistachioph | Aug 25, 2018 |
It was hard for me to put this book down. Unusual, but refreshing writing style, with short chapters that bounced between a journey through the process of becoming a scientist and providing fascinating facts about plants, and the planet. Also illuminating about how the world of science is-or isn't-supported. A very personal story that also weaves the challenges of dealing with a significant medical condition, family and a key colleague, and being a woman in science. I hope she writes more books in the future! ( )
  tgeorge2348 | Aug 19, 2018 |
Not a book for everyone. Might be a little discouraging for would be scientists. ( )
  shelbycassie | Aug 5, 2018 |
The book hooked me at the beginning with the author's story of spending time with her father at his lab. The experience of that little girl's wonder is real and we see how that wonder stays with her. We see what doing science is like for her over a 20-year span and get the idea of the struggle and joys that scientists in general may experience. At the same time we know that this scientist is unique. This is her story and it is exceptionally interesting and well-told. ( )
  ajlewis2 | Jul 11, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 73 (next | show all)
With “Lab Girl,” Jahren has taken the form of the memoir and done something remarkable with it. She’s made the experience of reading the book mimic her own lived experience in a way that few writers are capable of.

She swerves from observations about plant life (“A cactus doesn’t live in the desert because it likes the desert; it lives there because the desert hasn’t killed it yet”) to a report from the interior of her tortured brain (“Full-blown mania lets you see the other side of death”) to adventures on the road with Bill (“ ‘Do you really think this is illegal?’ I asked Bill over the CB radio.”) — and somehow, it all works, because the structure and the language follow the story.
 

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hope Jahrenprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gumpert, Ignacio VillaroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pérez, María José ViejoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taeger, MerleÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The more I handled things and learned their names and uses, the more joyous and confident grew my sense of kinship with the rest of the world. -Helen Keller
Dedication
Everything that I write is dedicated to my mother.
First words
People love the ocean.
There is nothing in the world more perfect than a slide rule.
Quotations
...silent togetherness is what Scandinavian families do naturally, and it may be what they do best.
In my own small experience, sexism has been something very simple: the cumulative weight of constantly being told that you can't possibly be what you are.
A cactus doesn’t live in the desert because it likes the desert; it lives there because the desert hasn’t killed it yet.
I have learned that raising a child is essentially one long, slow agony of letting go.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
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. [retrieved 9/20/17 from Amazon.com]
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Jahren has built three laboratories in which she's studied trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. She tells 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 the disappointments, triumphs and exhilarating discoveries of scientific work. Yet at the core of this book is the story of a relationship Jahren forged with Bill, who becomes her lab partner and best friend. Their sometimes rogue adventures in science take them 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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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