February 2018: Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
This book wasn't quite what I thought it would be - it was so much better than I imagined. Really, the tweezers with the acorn were enough to grab me - and I just love books that live up to their covers. (Raise your hand if you are a visual person guilty of nearly always initially judging books by their covers.)
This memoir follows the scientist Hope Jahren from childhood, through school, and into her professional career. What struck me most was how appealing it made scientific academia sound - it came across as rogue, campy, and heroic. Her words and stories are infused with such passion, curiosity, and rather outlandish humor at times. It made cataloging 1000 seedlings sound fascinating.
Why am I recommending this book to artists? I love collecting inspiration from other mediums and disciplines. There is a lot of common ground between the arts and the sciences - even if it doesn't appear that way at first glance. Their histories are shared and interwoven, and so are many of their innovations. There is much artists can learn from the discipline and curiosity of scientists, and much scientists can learn from the creativity and inventiveness of artists.
This book made me regard the world around me, especially the flora and the ground beneath my feet, with new eyes and a deeper appreciation for nature's subtleties and intricasies. I would really enjoy hearing how you relate it to your artistic practice and ideas. Please share your thoughts with #greenleafblueberrybooks so that we can all connect!