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Lessons in Chemistry

Garmus, Bonnie. Book - 2022 Fiction / Garmus, Bonnie, Adult Book / Fiction / Historical / Garmus, Bonnie None on shelf 196 requests on 50 copies Community Rating: 4.1 out of 5

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"Good Morning America Book Club: a GMA Book Club pick!"--Cover.
"Set in 1960s California, this blockbuster debut is the hilarious, idiosyncratic and uplifting story of a female scientist whose career is constantly derailed by the idea that a woman's place is in the home, only to find herself starring as the host of America's most beloved TV cooking show. Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing as an average woman. But it's the 1960s and despite the fact that she is a scientist, her peers are very unscientific when it comes to equality. The only good thing to happen to her on the road to professional fulfillment is a run-in with her super-star colleague Calvin Evans (well, she stole his beakers). The only man who ever treated her--and her ideas--as equal, Calvin is already a legend and Nobel nominee. He's also awkward, kind and tenacious. Theirs is true chemistry. But as events are never as predictable as chemical reactions, three years later Elizabeth Zott is an unwed, single mother (did we mention it's the early 60s??) and the star of America's most beloved cooking show Supper at Six. Elizabeth's singular approach to cooking ('take one pint of H2O and add a pinch of sodium chloride') and independent example are proving revolutionary. Because Elizabeth isn't just teaching women how to cook, she's teaching them how to change the status quo. Laugh-out-loud funny, shrewdly observant, and studded with a dazzling cast of supporting characters, Lessons in Chemistry is as original and vibrant as its protagonist"-- Provided by publisher.

REVIEWS & SUMMARIES

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COMMUNITY REVIEWS

So much fun to read submitted by russelan on June 13, 2022, 7:22pm There were certainly some sad parts in this book, but it was absolutely delightful. I'll be thinking of Elizabeth Zott for a long time.

Great fun and inspiring submitted by starpley on July 26, 2022, 4:30pm If any men are reading this, please ignore the "chick lit" cover and read this book. As the author has said "this book is for strong women and the men who support them". Elizabeth Zott is an inspiration for anyone who wants to follow their passion but faces roadblocks. And Sixthirty is my kind of dog!

definitely not the chick lit that the cover suggests submitted by Aimless on June 9, 2023, 1:57pm this is a wonderful book about strong women. it is a little bit of a period piece, and absolutely delightful!

Bizarre and wonderful submitted by mecunningham on June 9, 2023, 2:39pm This was a bizarre fever-dream of a book, and I got completely wrapped up in it within just a few pages. Elizabeth Zott is such a compelling character; her no-nonsense approach to everything propels Lessons in Chemistry forward, as she deals with highs and lows in both her professional and personal lives. While the novel is set in California during the early 1960s, it also feels like Elizabeth occupies a parallel universe—one where she can shape events according to her will and blithely prove her detractors wrong. Elizabeth’s world (and the Lessons in Chemistry TV show coming this fall) might invite comparisons to Mad Men, but hers is one in which Don Draper and his ilk are defeated by intelligence, forthrightness, resourcefulness, and plain old science.

An emotionally charged, inspiring book submitted by A2AE on June 13, 2023, 2:01pm The cover is misleading -- this isn't a light, silly read, but rather it's intense, emotionally charged, and inspiring. I'm not usually one for super popular books like this, but I zoomed through it and have found that everyone who has read it likes it.

Kind of like a Beach Read submitted by bookasaurusray on June 14, 2023, 5:27pm This was a great story, but lacked substance; everything seemed a bit surface level. Very white feminism.

Two days!! submitted by melissa4b on June 26, 2023, 7:17pm I read this book in two days!! Did not want to put it down! I’m excited to watch the AppleTV series!

Pure Delight from Start to End submitted by Ann H Kim on June 27, 2023, 10:43am Lessons in Chemistry is one of the few books that really lives up to the hype. I found the main character to be quirky and compelling, and the storyline had me rooting for her at each turn. My only criticism would be the ending, which felt too pat, but no one's perfect -- as Elizabeth Zott would be the first to admit.

Absolutely fabulous submitted by ahamesfrazier on June 28, 2023, 10:26pm One of the best books I've read in a long time! This book had so many unexpected twists and turns and kept me completed enthralled throughout the entire book. The characters were incredibly quirky and loveable. Cannot recommend this book enough!

Meh submitted by haslamc on July 6, 2023, 11:19am This is one of those "women doing chemistry, how quirky!" type books. My mother and I (both chemical engineers) both read the book and weren't impressed with the story beyond the fact that the main character was a female chemist.

Emotional, darkly humorous submitted by reakel on July 6, 2023, 3:44pm I loved this book! Powerful themes and a unique writing style combine to make this one of my favorite books I've read this year! The storyline and characters are darkly humorous, but doesn't take themselves too seriously. 10/10 Recommend!

Great submitted by manz on July 8, 2023, 9:43am I’m not very into popular women’s fiction, but I loved this one. I laughed, I sobbed. It’s a funny and emotional period piece with unforgettable characters. SIX THIRTY!

Creative story submitted by kath on July 9, 2023, 9:35pm Interesting and often very funny story-line. Written for all the women who were told they could not do anything because they were missing something. Enjoyable book.

Not what I expected! submitted by klb10 on July 17, 2023, 10:55am As other reviewers have mentioned - I had the (incorrect) assumption that this would be a light beach read. It was instead much heavier and more emotional than I expected, but had well developed characters and themes and I find myself thinking about it long after I finished. Would definitely recommend.

Refreshing submitted by ellec on July 18, 2023, 12:58pm This is one of the best books I have read in a while -- it is refreshingly different, from its narrative style to its premise and characters. Highly recommend

The Chemistry of Cooking submitted by hiker15 on July 19, 2023, 9:14pm Who would have thought that a chemist would be a huge success as the star of a cooking show? My favorite part of the book is the sign-off phrase from her last show. The whole bit about being a single mother and the deceased father's people finding her at the end of the book was definitely far-fetched and detracted from the overall feel of the book.

Good for the beach submitted by mjsowder on July 23, 2023, 8:43pm This book was fine! Not special to me, just a feel-good science/feminist book. Felt very YA to me in the writing style and content, very predictable. Still enjoyed the experience though! A good beach read.

Wonderful submitted by leah karr on August 11, 2023, 5:22pm I've had this book on my nightstand for a while and decided to save it for our vacation this summer. It was delightful! The quirky main character held my attention. The supporting characters were influential, and I would have loved to learn more about some of them. This book is worth the wait!

Had trouble putting it down! submitted by lridl on January 15, 2024, 8:41pm I was lucky to find this on the Zoom Lends shelf and couldn't pass it up (it was on my list to read sometime after hearing two reviews on NPR). I found it delightful. Elizabeth, her neighbor, and her daughter were wonderful. I really liked knowing what the dog was thinking.

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PUBLISHED
New York : Doubleday, [2022]
Year Published: 2022
Description: 390 pages ; 25 cm
Language: English
Format: Book

ISBN/STANDARD NUMBER
9780385547345

SUBJECTS
Women scientists -- Fiction.
Single mothers -- Fiction.
Television cooking shows -- Fiction.
Sex role -- Fiction.
Nineteen sixties -- Fiction.
Historical fiction.