I listened to this book. In Lab Girl, Hope Jahren alternately recounts the life choices that led her to science, and her love of science itself. She is one of the first women to have success in in her field, and the book illustrates the peculiar combination of personal characteristics and opportunities that enabled her to succeed. Her personal story is dramatic, as she suffers from severe mania–the segments where she describes manic experiences are deeply affecting, particularly when she had to refrain from her anti-psychotic medications during her pregnancy. The book waxes poetic when she describes plants. While I don’t think she anthropomorphizes plants, she had developed a hight respectful relationship with them, as if they are an alien species to which we owe a certain amount of humanity. Finally, her long term relationship with her lab partner, Bill, someone who in his own way is just as crazy as she is provides a strong footing for her work and a strong narrative thread throughout the memoir. THe writing is personable and accessible, reading in places like a novel. Hope is someone I’d love to have a few drinks with sometime .

Lab Girl, by Hope Jahren