Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Rapid Fire Review: Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

Lab Girl
by Hope Jahren
Knopf Canada (Penguin Random House)
ISBN: 9780345809865
Buy from Indigo

Description: Acclaimed scientist Hope Jahren has built three laboratories in which she’s studied trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Her first book is a revelatory treatise on plant life—but it is also so much more.

Lab Girl is a book about work, love, and the mountains that can be moved when those two things come together. It is told through Jahren’s stories: about her childhood in rural Minnesota with an uncompromising mother and a father who encouraged hours of play in his classroom’s labs; about how she found a sanctuary in science, and learned to perform lab work done “with both the heart and the hands”; and about the inevitable disappointments, but also the triumphs and exhilarating discoveries, of scientific work.

Yet at the core of this book is the story of a relationship Jahren forged with a brilliant, wounded man named Bill, who becomes her lab partner and best friend. Their sometimes rogue adventures in science take them from the Midwest across the United States and back again, over the Atlantic to the ever-light skies of the North Pole and to tropical Hawaii, where she and her lab currently make their home.

The Good Stuff
  • I never thought I could become so engrossed and truly mesmerized with a book that talks about plants and flowers 
  • BILL - I won't be able to plant a tree right now, but I will be putting Bill's name on the tree in the park just outside my gate
  • Such a fascinating, truly complicated women
  • She made trees, plants and weeds come alive and made them feel human - you will finish reading this book with a true appreciation of all plant/tree life and want to do all you can to protect them
  • Her writing is extremely poetic on many occasions
  • Extremely honest and raw
  • Her description of a depressive episode are so bang on and raw - the courage to be so open about something so personal is so brave
  • Hopefully will inspire girls to enter the male dominated sciences field
  • Makes you want to learn more - why oh why must our teachers make science so bloody boring - her passion for her work is thrilling and inspiring  
  • I love the relationship between her and Bill - this is my idea of true friendship
  • Bill!!!
  • Loved the kids story Bill made up  - twisted but love it
  • Umm the story about Hope's intern who worked in the zoo and had to put antibiotic on the monkeys genitals - yup worth the price of the book
The Not So Good Stuff
  • The audio version was hard for me to listen to as the author reads the book and while extremely passionate, it was hard to listen to her overwrought voice.  This is just a personal observance and no judgement - it was just painful to listen to at times - I had to listen in installments
  • I now have profound grief about how many plants I have killed over the years and have vowed to change that - bugger do you know how little of a green thumb I have
  • Her pronunciation of the word "root" is jarring
Favorite Quotes/Passages

“Working in the hospital teaches you that there are only two kinds of people in the world: the sick and the not sick. If you are not sick, shut up and help.”

"We were interrupted by a good natured offer from a drunkish student who was dangerously armed with a guitar."

"Within certain social circles of the married, a  single women over the age of 30 inspires compassion similar to that bestowed upon a big friendly stray dog.

4 Dewey's

I borrowed this from Leslie and I don't have to review but well we know I have to share


  1. I'm not science-y at all, but this book still sounds fascinating to me. I've heard good things about it. Glad you enjoyed it. I'll definitely pick it up in paper book form one of these days. Thanks for the review!

  2. I've always been fascinated by science and heard things about this book, but your review makes me really want to read it. It's unfortunate that having an interest in science carries the stigma of being uncool.