Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

Lab Girl

“People are like plants: they grow toward the light.”

Hope is a scientist. She is a lab girl. She works with plants, discovering new things about the world we live in and sometimes take for granted. Her path to becoming a female scientist with a faithful male lab assistant is full of twists and turns, including being told not to come in to work at the end of a pregnancy. She blames her quiet upbringing for her lack of social skills, but does have tendencies to bipolar. Her story is true.

Lab Girl is an autobiography but it reads almost like fiction. A local librarian recommended the book to me, and in the beginning of the book, I thought it was fiction. After a few chapters, I checked and saw that it was non-fiction. It was neat to know I was reading a true story at that point. I waited about a month for the ebook to be available from the library’s Overdrive account.

Hope’s story is about balancing work, family, love and friendship. She shows how difficult it can be to secure funding for scientific research, but also how fun and interesting it is to teach students to love science. Her husband fully supports her and they have a son. She is surprised by how much she loves him. The book only tells her story so far – she’s only 48. I wouldn’t be surprised if she writes another one later in life.

I would recommend this book to readers who like to find interesting, true stories. She intersperses facts and studies among her story, so I learned some things about plants and trees that I didn’t already know. It is very well-written and not dry at all.

What is your favorite autobiography? Comment below!

Buy the book here (affiliate link).

About Sarah Anne Carter

Sarah Anne Carter is a writer and reader. She grew up all over the world as a military brat and is now putting down roots with her family in Ohio. Family life keeps her busy, but any spare moment is spent reading, writing or thinking about plots for novels.