The Book

Lab Girl cover
"Science has taught me that everything is more complicated than we first assume, and that being able to derive happiness from discovery is a recipe for a beautiful life."
Hope Jahren in Lab Girl

Lab Girl is a nature lover's story about digging in dirt and discovering new things about old growth. It's a scientist's story about running experiments and waiting and wondering and asking for funds and fending off doubt. It's a Midwesterner's story of moving south and east and west and noticing the differences. It's a girl's story about growing up to be what she wants to be. And it's a woman's story about fighting stereotypes, sacrificing, feeling vulnerable, trusting in friendship, getting sick, getting help, finding love, and writing it all down.

Hope Jahren is a geobiologist from rural Minnesota who not only knows her trees and flowers, but "has some serious literary chops" (Washington Post). Her award-winning, bestselling memoir Lab Girl tells the story of a young woman who finds friendship in odd places, battles bipolar disorder, perseveres through setbacks and relishes hard-earned triumphs, and becomes a respected scientist and passionate observer of the natural world. Called one of the best books of the year by, among others, Entertainment Weekly, Elle, Time, and NPR, the memoir "does for botany what Oliver Sacks's essays did for neurology, what Stephen Jay Gould's writings did for paleontology" (New York Times). It's "Immediately engrossing and extremely readable" (the Guardian). Cheryl Strayed, bestselling author of the memoir Wild, describes it as "deeply inspiring" and award-winning author Ann Patchett says it "makes me wish I'd been a scientist." "From the prologue on, a reader itches to call out fun facts to innocents nearby," writes the Seattle Times. "Jahren writes with such flair that a reviewer is tempted to just move out of the way and quote her."

Past Titles

Read-alikes: Other Books You May Enjoy