I’m going to be trying something new, based on reader feedback. Some people have expressed an interest in knowing what I’m going to be reading in advance, so they can read it, too, and provide commentary.
I love the idea of more dialogue, so I’m going to try a kind of virtual book club format. Each month, I’ll identify the next month’s discussion book and then I’ll blog about it the last week of the month. Hopefully, we can get some good discussion going in the comments section. Even if you don’t read the book, feel free to pour yourself a big glass of wine and make comments about random topics. I want to simulate the real book club experience.
By the way, I’ll still blog about other books I’m reading, but those will follow my current planning protocol, which means I’ll probably pick them the day before I start reading them based on very sophisticated criteria like what just came available on my hold list.
November’s book is “Lab Girl”, by Hope Jahren. It’s received really good reviews. Here’s a description:
“An illuminating debut memoir of a woman in science; a moving portrait of a longtime friendship; and a stunningly fresh look at plants that will forever change how you see the natural world
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 remarkable 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.
Jahren’s probing look at plants, her astonishing tenacity of spirit, and her acute insights on nature enliven every page of this extraordinary book. Lab Girl opens your eyes to the beautiful, sophisticated mechanisms within every leaf, blade of grass, and flower petal. Here is an eloquent demonstration of what can happen when you find the stamina, passion, and sense of sacrifice needed to make a life out of what you truly love, as you discover along the way the person you were meant to be.”
I will blog about “Lab Girl” sometime during the last week of November.
Since November and December are such busy months and you may not have a lot of time to read, I’m going to let you know December’s book, too. This way, you can get a jump start on reading it if you want to pass on “Lab Girl”. I want to point out that this is the most advance planning I’ve ever done for my reading list. Phew! That took some effort!
Anyway, December’s book is “The Last Painting of Sara de Vos”, by Dominic Smith.
I really hope you’ll join me in reading these books.