Lab Girl
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.

Lab Girl Details

Book TitleLab Girl
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Lab Girl Reviews

  • Denise Gianelli
    Sep 21, 2016

    Denise Gianelli

    Hope Jahren narrated her book Lab Girl. She reads this well written memoir with emotion and passion for her life work. One does not need to love or know science to enjoy this book. If you care about our planet, one should listen to this book. I especially enjoyed her personal life and ...

  • Marnie  Krüger
    Sep 16, 2016

    Marnie Krüger

    This is simply brilliant.From the idea, to the writing, to the narration, and all the feelings it awakes makes writing a review useless in my opinion. JUST GO READ IT YOURSELF! ...

  • Andrea
    Sep 8, 2016


    Such a short book, but it took me forever to read it. I should have liked it more than I actually did. Hope Jahren's part-memoir, part-scientific reflection has humour, memorable personalities, fun educational material, and some truly moving recollections. The problem was that sometime...

  • Marilee
    Sep 8, 2016


    What a fascinating book. Ms. Jahren has written a memoir of her life as a scientist, but not left out the difficult bits, including a cold childhood, her mental illness, a difficult pregnancy, sexism in science and academia, her relationships and her worries for our planet. But don't w...

  • Daniel Chaikin
    Sep 3, 2016

    Daniel Chaikin

    ??. Lab Girl by Hope Jahrenread by the authorpublished April 2016format: digital audiobook (11:30)acquired: library read: Aug 15-27, ??rating: 4 stars When the dazed feeling left my senses, and the rather overwhelming thump on my head applied by grad school finally started to heal, I f...

  • Jeremy Yoder
    Aug 9, 2016

    Jeremy Yoder

    See also my full-length review for the Los Angeles Review of Books Some of the best biographies are those that tell scientists' life stories, tracing the origins of scientific insights in personal experiences and recounting the human complications of experiments and field expeditions. ...

  • Joanne - is from Canada
    Aug 4, 2016

    Joanne - is from Canada

    How could I not want to read a book called Lab Girl when I am a "lab girl" myself? Of course my experience working in a lab is very different than Hope Jahren's. Because she does curiosity-based research science, she is able to run things how she likes, putting together equipment from ...

  • Suzanne Leopold
    Aug 3, 2016

    Suzanne Leopold

    tried to enjoy the book but too much scientific jargon got in the way... i ended up skimming it.. ...

  • Diane
    Aug 1, 2016


    I am not a scientist, but I loved this memoir about science.Hope Jahren is a botanist who is passionate about her field. Lab Girl is a beautifully written book about her life — her childhood in Minnesota with taciturn parents; how she developed a love of trees and plants; her earl...

  • Debbie
    Jul 30, 2016

    Debbie "DJ"

    So yesterday, I had to take down a smaller tree in my yard. I knew what was happening as I pulled on the root, seeing the main taproot, the one my tree had grown straight down and spent it's lifetime trying to maintain. Then came the side roots, the ones put out for stability, called r...