LAB GIRL by Hope Jahren: A Review

The Amazon review that made me want to read this 2016 memoir read like this, “I’m a mathematician and don’t always appreciate good writing, but this [writing] was amazing!” And, indeed, it is, both in the sensitive, poetic descriptions of the life of trees, plants and other botanical organisms and in the narrative of the story. The relationship between Hope and her more-than-assistant, Bill, was one that had me “rooting for them” to get together, but Alas, it was not to be.

Many themes are explored in this book, including struggles with mental illness, women of science, botany, friendship, motherhood, and many more–enough to keep the reader turning the pages to see what is next. It is funny in places, downright scary in other places, and touching and warm in between.

This book makes scientific facts fascinating!

Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 plus years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."

4 thoughts on “LAB GIRL by Hope Jahren: A Review”

    1. Thanks for visiting. The book was “out of my usual genre” but came highly recommended by two different friends. Downloaded it on my kindle app on my computer and had no trouble reading that way, which was a complete surprise to me!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I had two full years of science in college–to get out of taking a math! P’s aunt was a botanist, much like Lab Girl, a woman ahead of her time. The Pauline Longest Nature Trail at Elon College in N.C. is named after her.


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