Picture of author.

Hope Jahren

Forfatter af Lab Girl

3 Works 3,060 Members 175 Reviews 1 Favorited

Om forfatteren

Includes the name: Hope Jahren

Værker af Hope Jahren

Lab Girl (2016) 2,600 eksemplarer
The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2017 (2017) — Redaktør; Introduktion — 112 eksemplarer

Satte nøgleord på

Almen Viden



3.5/5 perhaps. The last third pulled it together for me somehow. Maybe the Ireland story, and/or appreciation of how well the structure of the book works.
caedocyon | 153 andre anmeldelser | Feb 23, 2024 |
Great read by the lab girl.
ben_r47 | 153 andre anmeldelser | Feb 22, 2024 |
"My laboratory is like a church because it is where I figure out what I believe."

In "Lab Girl" botanist Hope Jauren is always at her best showing the reader how she figured out what to believe. What to believe about life, in the scientific sense. What to believe about friendship. And what to believe about herself in the lonely cosmos.

When I first heard Hope interviewed in a podcast I fully expected to read about her exploits as a woman scientist in a fully male-dominated profession. What I wasn't expecting was her full out admission to her tentative grip on reality, including an upbringing that didn't include hugs and kisses, a serious struggle with mental illness, and barriers to succeeding in a "non-essential" line of scientific inquiry.

And I sure wasn't expecting her phenomenal sense of humour. This is certainly one of those rare books that makes you laugh out loud.

You see her begin life as a "lab girl" exploring the equipment in her father's college lab classrooms. She graduates to the labs in college and her part-time job running intravenous bags from the university hospital pharmacy to the treatment floors, and eventually you find her discovering the secrets to life in her own labs as a fully-tenured professor at a relatively young age.

Hope is such a fine writer that you barely stop and wonder at her achievements instead focussed on the struggle to get enough money to build her lab and pay her lab manager, to deal with her mental relapses and depression, even deal with the bare necessities of eating enough and sleeping a full night's sleep.

This book is as much about her enduring friendship with Bill Hagopian and how that friendship gave her the confidence to focus on the essentials of becoming a scientist: getting work done, getting time to think through problems; doing the paperwork that gets the grants to keep on going. In many ways Bill's life is much harder and less outwardly rewarding than her's. And that's one reason we come to love Bill every bit as much as Hope herself.

"You may think that a mushroom is a fungus. This is exactly like believing that a penis is a man....Every toadstool...is merely a sex organ that is attached to something more whole, complex, and hidden."

Hope doesn't need this simile to get the point across. But it is a curious if Freudian stop on her highway through discovery and seems to be how Hope gets at truth. She sees some funny, quirky angle in life and lets her logic flow from that experience, in this case of men. She works backward from the seen to the unseen. Oh, yeah. Men are ok even if they act like weird, poinsonous plants.

"I kissed my husband again, put on my backpack, and went outside to open the shed. I got out my bike and looked through the warm, tropical sky, into the terminal coldness of space, and saw light that had been emitted years ago from unimaginably hot fires that were still burning on the other side of the galaxy. I put on my helmet and rode to the lab, ready to spend the rest of the night using the other half of my heart."

One doesn't normally think of a scientist using her heart to get at truth. If so, we surely have underestimated the scientific inquiry.
… (mere)
MylesKesten | 153 andre anmeldelser | Jan 23, 2024 |
I am tempted to disregard my self-imposed rule and give this 5 stars without a second reading. Jahren's memoire is scientifically interesting, emotionally poignant, and surprisingly funny. And I mean really funny. The dialog between Hope and her best friend and long-time co-worker, Bill, is astoundingly witty.
The audiobook is narrated by Jahren, herself. This is a plus. When she is relating some of the more emotionally powerful events, you can hear the ever-so-slight hitch in her voice. And it guarantees that the humor is related authentically.
Lastly, the botany sections are awesome.
… (mere)
Treebeard_404 | 153 andre anmeldelser | Jan 23, 2024 |



Måske også interessante?

Associated Authors

Elizabeth Kolbert Contributor
Omar Mouallem Contributor
Emily Temple-Wood Contributor
Michael Regnier Contributor
Jon Mouallem Contributor
Azeen Ghorayshi Contributor
Becca Cudmore Contributor
Kim Tingley Contributor
Sarah Everts Contributor
Nicola Twilley Contributor
Chris Jones Contributor
Michelle Nijhuis Contributor
Maria Konnikova Contributor
Sonia Smith Contributor
Kathryn Joyce Contributor
Tom Kizzia Contributor
Tom Philpott Contributor
David Epstein Contributor
Sally Davies Contributor
Nathaniel Rich Contributor
Robert Draper Contributor
Ann Finkbeiner Contributor
Merle Taeger Übersetzer
Jennifer Jackman White Cover designer



Diagrammer og grafer