Lab Girl by Hope Jahren, 290 pages
Lab Girl is ostensibly the memoir of a female botanist coming into her own as a scientist. And in many respects it is: we certainly get plenty of Jahren's recollections of her education, her early years creating a lab of her own, and her lifelong love of plants. But really, this is a story of a friendship that spans her entire adult life. She discusses meeting Bill when he was a student, and the multiple moves they made together to build new labs together across the country. That friendship, which is so closely knitted that "friend" isn't quite the appropriate word for them (though nothing else really works either), is what binds this book together. And it's a fantastic book. I learned a lot about plants, and I enjoyed the saga of the friendship that reeled out over these pages.