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If my fellow readers out there are looking for a true botany journey with beautiful writing, read Michael Christie's "Greenwood."
This is a fabulous read. I found it to be a real inspiration to me and perhaps others who love botany.
I will never look at a tree in quite the same way again after reading Hope Jahren's memoir of what it's like to be a woman and a scientist in the United States today. She combines her personal history with deep and engaging dives into the lives of different plants. How do cacti survive? How does one stand of trees give others of their species the weapons to fight off insects? How does a research scientist manage to keep a lab going when scrambling for funding seems to take as much time as doing the actual science? Jahren's writing is often funny, quite lyrical, and always thoughtful. And now I want to go plant a tree!
Take a peek at the life of a real woman doing real science in what is still a largely man's world. Hope found a way to be true to herself and do what she felt she was meant to do despite the many obstacles that block all of us as we pursue our dreams.
The bonus from reading about her personal journey is what you will learn about the green world of plants that surround us. Go ahead and hug a tree when you finish this book. You will understand why.
I appreciated the perspective of the book, written by a female scientist that was used to being told “no” because she was a girl and yet she always dreamed big to have her own research lab some day. When she reached that dream, she still had to overcome male bias while competing for grants and status amongst her peers. She writes like I would imagine that she talks in real life, down to earth, honest, no frills. At times sad when she writes about her feelings of loneliness, not belonging, and living with bipolar disorder. In one chapter she takes you through a bipolar episode, the extreme high followed by extreme low. It was only a couple of pages, but I had to read it twice. She’s odd and quirky, and so is her lab partner Bill. The mishaps and adventures they went through together are quite entertaining. Interweaved with her journey to becoming a successful tenured professor are bits and pieces of the journey seeds take to become trees and plants. After I finished this book, I wanted to hug a tree and plant a couple of seedlings.
Part of former US President, Barack Obama's summer reading list for 2019.
I feel this is a good book for anyone debating whether they should pursue or avoid being a scientist. Hope Jahren is willing to do anything for her work, and finds her colleague Bill who is also a hardcore scientist. But it's a lifestyle few are meant for.....Interesting,despite the pacing being a bit weird, and I can't say I liked it, but I finally read it
Geobiologist Hope Jahren started life in small-town Austin, MN, and became the research scientist she dreamed. This is her story.
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, Jahren mixes her memoir with stories about trees and other plants she has studied and treasures. Like friend Anne who said this was a ‘must read,’ I, too, loved so much about this book. Wonderful writing. Makes you want to plant a tree!
Fascinating botanical revelations artfully woven into an interesting memoir.
Memoirs by female scientists can seem few-and-far-between.
Hope Jahren's account of her life is both an homage to her prodigious scientific output and interests as well as her intriguing life story, beginning in rural Minnesota with Scandinavian-American parents and ending with her tenure at the University of Hawaii.
Girls interested in STEM careers, tree-huggers/scientists/gardeners, and those who just enjoy good memoirs will find much to like in this volume that *begs* to be read and discussed by groups.
Hope Jahren's book is a story of a still developing scientist driven by curiosity, creativity, and perseverance. She and her collaborators get results to questions about how plants grow and survive in the wild by asking critical questions, devising experiments, scrounging equipment to do those studies, and working without cease to get the data to analyze. Just add funding.
Her writing is personal and quirky and expands far beyond the unemotional prose of scientific journals. I enjoyed the book all the way through.
FROM LIBRARY STAFF
Book Club meeting will be held Wednesday, June 13 at 1:30 p.m. at Angus Glen Library
I strongly recommend that all STEM girls read this fabulous book! My daughter is a budding scientist with one more year of undergraduate studies. She plans on taking her education all the way and fulfilling her dream of marine research. This books enlightens the reader regarding the trials and tribulations of lab/research science, particularly from the female perspective, while not discouraging you. If you or those you love are considering pursuing a passion, please read this book. You'll learn that expressing your passion can lead to a wonderfully fulfilling life.
Interesting book but it took a long time to really get moving. Once the author started talking about the research on trees i enjoyed more. It was more of a personal journal of becoming a scientist and the struggle of having enough money to keep going. And her personal connection to her lab researcher Ben, who is a bit of a misfit.
Can't say as I'd recommend.
Yes, you really want to read this one. It's fascinating to slowly learn more and more about this very interesting scientist's life as you learn a LOT about trees and plants. It's quite interesting to read how differently a life can be lived, and yet be full and satisfying. Fans of "H is for Hawk" will like this one, and I also suggest "The Sound of A Wild Snail Eating" by Elisabeth Tova Bailey. I really enjoy learning so much about a subject as I read!
There are so many reasons to love this memoir. Jahren breaks down the science with metaphors that are both meaningful and understandable. She writes beautifully of her friendship with a student turned employee and later partner in scientific exploration. There is a perfect balance between personal stories and science, never shying away from the difficult or messy parts of life. Clearly a genius of this generation, and inspiration for many.
In Lab Girl, Hope Jahren created an enjoyable and humorous combination of memoir and science with a dash of literature. It really worked for me.
I found it intriguing how she alternated between the chapters on plants and those on her life stories, intertwining them in a way that showed how plants and humans can, at times, react in a similar manner to similar stimuli.
I loved the visit to Monkey Jungle where she sees the monkeys behaviour in terms of students in the lab. It is hilarious without being unkind or cruel.
Finally, I really appreciate that she wrote about serious science in an easily approachable manner. This is the type of science writing that can have wide appeal without a ‘dumbing down’ of the subject. I think she and Bill must be an incredible teaching team!
Like many other readers, I wasn't sure if this book would really grab me, but I quickly got sucked in and couldn't put it down! Hope Jahren can make even a non-science-obsessed person want a lab of his or her own, and believe that, armed with nothing more than questions, you will make amazing discoveries in it.
I just don't think it's fair that such a gifted scientist should also be such a beautiful writer. this is not the type of book I am normally drawn to but after reading so many great reviews I had to give it a try and I really liked it. This book is many things: a beautiful story of a friendship between two eccentric people, a love letter to science in general and plant life in particular, a poem, a memoir.
Enjoyable read! I loved seeing the friendship between Jahren and Bill endure through the years and the plant side was very interesting. Worth the time.
Utterly fascinating book - plants, botany, labs, relationships, families. Even for a non-science person like me. And considering the recent war on science from the current regime, oh so timely. Piss off climate naysayers and plant a tree.