Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

Lab Girl
by Hope Jahren

Hardcover,304 pages
Publisher: Knopf Canada

I loved every inch of this book! Fresh, candid, fascinating... green. As in plants.
Hope deftly weaves a personal memoir of her journey as a scientist with her subject of choice - geobiology.

If that sounds in any way dry, it is far from it.

Hope's struggles with a male-dominated profession and looming mental illness are portrayed with heart and humour.

Her portrayal of the world of plants and soil is an adventure for even the slickest of city-dwellers.

You will see the natural world and mental illness in a new way.


From the Back Flap:

An illuminating debut memoir of a woman in science; a moving portrait of a long-time collaboration, in work and in life; and a stunningly fresh look at plants that will forever change how you see and think about the natural world.


Acclaimed scientist Hope Jahren has built three laboratories in which she's studied trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Her first book might have been a revelatory treatise on plant life. Lab Girl is that, but it is also so much more. Because in it, Jahren also shares with us her inspiring life story, in prose that takes your breath away.


Lab Girl is a book about work, about love, and about the mountains that can be moved when those two things come together. It is told through Jahren's remarkable stories: about the things she's discovered in her lab, as well as how she got there; about her childhood--hours of unfettered play in her father's laboratory; about how she found a sanctuary in science, and learned to perform lab work "with both the heart and the hands"; about a brilliant and wounded man named Bill, who became her loyal colleague and best friend; about their adventurous, sometimes rogue research trips, which take them from the Midwest all across the United States and over the Atlantic, from the ever-light skies of the North Pole to tropical Hawaii; and about her constant striving to do and be the best she could, never allowing personal or professional obstacles to cloud her dedication to her work.



     Jahren's insights on nature enliven every page of this book. Lab Girl allows us to see with clear eyes the beautiful, sophisticated mechanisms within every leaf, blade of grass, and flower petal, and also the power within ourselves to face--with bravery and conviction--life's ultimate challenge: discovering who you are.


HOPE JAHREN has received three Fulbright Awards in geobiology and is one of four scientists, and the only woman, to have been awarded both of the Young Investigator Medals given in the earth sciences. Named by Popular Science in 2005 as one of the “Brilliant 10” young scientists, she has taught and pursued independent research at universities around the country, most recently as a tenured professor at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa in Honolulu.

hopejahrensurecanwrite.com

jahrenlab.com