Lab Girl

Lab Girl

$16.00 (as of June 29, 2017, 1:14 pm) $8.80

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National Bestseller

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography

A New York Times Notable Book
 
Winner of the American Association for the Advancement of Science/Subaru Science Books & Film Prize for Excellence in Science Books 

Finalist for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award 

One of the Best Books of the Year: The Washington Post, TIME.com, NPR, Slate, Entertainment Weekly, NewsdayMinneapolis Star Tribune, Kirkus Reviews

Geobiologist Hope Jahren has spent her life studying trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Lab Girl is her revelatory treatise on plant life—but it is also a celebration of the lifelong curiosity, humility, and passion that drive every scientist. In these pages, Hope takes us back to her Minnesota childhood, where she spent hours in unfettered play in her father’s college laboratory. She tells us how she found a sanctuary in science, learning to perform lab work “with both the heart and the hands.” She introduces us to Bill, her brilliant, eccentric lab manager. And she extends the mantle of scientist to each one of her readers, inviting us to join her in observing and protecting our environment. Warm, luminous, compulsively readable, Lab Girl vividly demonstrates the mountains that we can move when love and work come together. 

 

An Amazon Best Book of April 2016: I was doubtful that I would like this book. While I appreciate a beautiful flower as much as the next city-girl, the thought of reading a whole book about a geobiologist– a scientist who spends her life studying plants, trees, soils as well as flowers–made me want to run to the nearest dysfunctional family memoir about crazy parents and their wounded children. But Hope Jahren won me over very quickly. Somehow she knows me: “the average person [who] cannot imagine himself staring at dirt for longer than the twenty seconds needed to pick up whatever object he just dropped.” And she doesn’t judge. Instead, she just tells her story, which, it turns out has a lot to do with plants and science, of course–her father was a scientist, she basically grew up in a lab, and taking long walks through nature was the way she communed with her reticent Scandinavian American parents–but also has a lot to do with other things. Like life, for instance, and friendship and passion and love, for ideas, for work and for all living beings, including–shocker!–people. Surely many readers will feel as I did that the story of her relationship with Bill, her physically and emotionally damaged lab partner, is at the heart of this wonderful story; it’s unusual, it’s inspiring and it doesn’t fit neatly into the little window box we think we’re supposed to favor. And if Jahren can surprise you about all that messy human stuff, just think how she can change your feelings about dirt. –Sara Nelson

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