Originally published in: 2016
What it’s about: Jahren’s journey to be a scientist who has her own lab, which is also her journey to become herself.
What made me pick it up: It had a lot of holds. I’d heard about it a little. It was about trees or plants or something I was interested in reading about at the time. Little reasons.
My favorite things: Like her blog says, Hope Jahren sure can write. This is beautiful. Jahren writes so well about things that are so hard and complicated. I was floored with how realistically she was able to portray her mental illness, especially her episodes. It brought tears to my eyes. I also appreciated the story of the enduring friendship she built with her longtime assistant Bill. That story of how friends become family always warms my heart. Mostly, I liked how forthright she is. How she makes you want to keep going even though it’s tough because of how frequently she did the same. It will inspire you.
Who it’s great for: Teens. Adults. Anyone who is pursuing something but isn’t sure it will work out. Those who struggle with mental illness. Lovers of trees. You, if you want to read a great story of finding your place and your people.