Lab Girl - Hope Jahren

Lab Girl

By Hope Jahren

  • Release Date: 2016-04-05
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4.5
From 190 Ratings


Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography
A New York Times 2016 Notable Book
National Best Seller
Named one of TIME magazine’s "100 Most Influential People"
An Amazon Top 20 Best Book of 2016
A Washington Post Best Memoir of 2016
A TIME and Entertainment Weekly Best Book of 2016

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.


  • Lab Girl

    By Jwalczuk
    Started out well.....then became pedantic and rather boring. I thought the author just wasn’t personal.
  • Fascinating

    By Jbrahms
    An unusual but fascinating memoir by an enthusiastic scientist who is keenly aware of being a woman in science and the headwinds that come with it. I loved reading about her one-of-a-kind relationship with Bill, her passionate bonding with plants and her labs, and the vagaries of succeeding in academia. Would loved to know more about Bill's place in her family circle and wish she would have told us. But all in all, a page-turner by a gifted writer. Highly recommended.
  • Heartfelt, passionate love affair!

    By davidsumnernyc
    This joyful, heartfelt, passionate love affair- a story filled with life, curiosity, compassion and incredible scientific inquiry- will lift your soul. Hope Jahren, clearly is an amazing woman and accomplished scientist, but mostly she's a wonderous gift to us all. Thankfully, she's an author too. You'll laugh; you'll cry. Brilliant!
  • Couldn't put it down!

    By Gamblegirl
    Hope Jahren's fascinating career in paleobotany is crystallized in this addictive memoir. Part adventure, part cautionary tale for women in a male-dominated field, her story is deftly woven with snippets of literary classics. I'll never look at a tree in the same way again. In fact, I'm going to plant one in her honor in our back yard!