• Erin Zaranec

2018 Reads: Books 46-50

Hope Jahren is a badass. Through the course of her career, she's built three laboratories from the ground up. She studies trees, flowers, seeds, and soil and does a magnificent job writing about the sanctuary she's found in science.

This book weaves together wonderful stories from Jahren's life - from growing up in rural Minnesota to creating an amazing relationship with her lab partner, Bill. I never knew what it took to make it in the world of science - let alone what it took to open your own lab!

Even if you're not a science freak, Jahren's story is captivating read.

Ever wonder what its like to spend a year in space? Scott Kelly takes the reader aboard the International Space Station and his journey to get there. From growing up in a rough-and-tumble childhood to breaking records and advancing scientific knowledge for years to come.

I adore Scott Kelly. I had the opportunity to hear him speak at a conference after his year in space and he only added excitement to my childhood dream of soaring high above the skies. He is a natural storyteller and tells the ups and downs of being in space for a year. Kelly was determined to make his dreams come true and did just that. Even if you didn’t dream of gearing up to see the moon, Kelly’s book will be sure to capture your interest.

This book moved me beyond words. Connors was on assignment for The Cleveland Plain Dealer when she was held at knife point and raped in a college theater.

More than two decades later, her daughter is preparing to go to college and Connors finds her trauma resurfacing. While telling her children about her experience, she realized she needed to know more about her experience herself.

This book is an account of Connors mission to understand her own trauma - but also understand the man who caused the trauma in her life. As a journalist, Connors writing and research is superb. Her personal story is one that I believe needs to be shared.

This book will have you laughing, nodding, and snickering along. Filled with Evans' writing and her adorable sketches, it is a quick read that covers so many topics.

From life with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and depression to dating and credit card debt - Evans covers it all with a positive, fun, and upbeat attitude.

It reminded me a bit of previous read, Furiously Happy, and I feel like the authors could totally be friends.

Not quite a memoir but not quite a novel, either. W. Kamau Bell takes a humorous approach to issues ranging from race relations to fatherhood. He writes of his personal experiences growing up with a mother and a father who lived vastly different lives, his interracial marriage, and raising young Black girls who have Doc McStuffins to look up to.

I first found out about W. Kamau Bell after his CNN show, United Shades of America, appeared on Netflix. From episode one, I knew I liked his humor, honesty, and vulnerability with his audience. He uses humor to explore issues that shock, bring about tension and have an impact on day-to-day life in America. He’s a natural storyteller and the variety of topics made it an easy read.


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