Cover Image: Lessons in Chemistry

Lessons in Chemistry

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Member Reviews

I absolutely loved this book. I loved the women's movement. I am not a feminist but I thoroughly loved this book. This book will stick with me.
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This was a witty and charming read about Elizabeth Zott. She’s a chemist in the 1960’s and doesn’t receive the respect she deserves in her field just because she’s a woman. I loved everything about her -she’s smart, independent, sarcastic and she’s brutally honest. At times the things she said to others made me laugh out loud.  Don’t be fooled by the “chemistry” aspect. She is a research chemist so at times there was some scientific jargon, but it wasn’t overwhelming.  It was such an entertaining read. 

A huge thank you to NetGalley and Doubleday for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review,
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I didn't realize just how much I was going to love this book. I had heard about it and thought it sounded like something that would keep my attention. It did that and more!

I loved the quirky characters. I loved everything about them. Elizabeth Zott did not take prisoners and she educated a myriad of women with her "cooking" show. I loved Mad and how she was so much like both of her parents. I loved Harriet, the no-nonsense neighbor who stepped up and ended up being so important. I loved how all the stories tied together seamlessly and were brought back around at just the right times.

I loved this book. Period.

Thanks to Netgalley and Doubleday for a copy of this delightful read.
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I want everyone to read this book!!! Lessons in Chemistry is a story with SO much and it hit perfectly for me. It's smart, full of heart, and quirky... a layered story with rich and interesting characters. We follow Elizabeth Zott through it all. We learn her back story including her strange upbringing. Then she faces misogyny and terrible abuse in school and her career in chemistry research. She falls in love then experiences devastating loss and even more challenges. I think my favorite part of the book was when she finally asked for help and developed her found family. Her career totally shifts gears and it was so fun to see her chemistry brain working while cooking. There is so much I left out, I would really love to go on and on gushing about this book. I can guarantee any review or synopsis you've read of this story does not touch on all the intricacies of this wonderful story.
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This book just wasn't for me. I was really engaged at the beginning, but then I quickly got bored and just ended up not caring for the characters.
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3.5 stars - This was an up & down book for me. I liked it, but I didn't. I wasn't what I expected (no HEA), but I can certainly appreciate how different it was for women years ago in any work/educational pursuit, but sometimes it seems unrealistic and over-the-top. It has some interesting & quirky characters, the slow plot development almost made me stop reading the book, however, I am glad I continued on as it did pick up. There were definitely some funny parts & some surprising emotional parts to the book that I was not expecting, overall, I'm liked the book, but I did not love the book.

I received this advance review copy from from NetGalley & the publisher for my honest review.
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This is the best book I have read in years — well-written, witty, entertaining and transformative. I was originally put off by the cover which made it look like a cheesy rom com. Then I read some Amazon reviews that said things like “laugh out loud funny,” and to myself I said, “Well, I’ll see about that!”  So you might say I started reading this because I didn’t want to like it.
It didn’t take me long to change my mind. The droll understated play of characters and situations really are laugh out loud funny. Contrast that with descriptions of the injustice of the world of the 1950’s against women, and you will become fully engaged in the story of Elizabeth Zott  and her quest to be taken seriously as a woman of science.
My review is brief because since everything about this story was perfect, I find it impossible to select a few highlights. IOver and over, I found myself reading paragraphs and pages aloud to my husband which made us both laugh and shake our heads. 
Bonnie Garmus treats her readers  with respect as she provides a great story along with a challenge to push your limits. I sure hope she continues to do the same with what ever she writes next.
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This was a quirky book that tells the story of Elizabeth Zott, a chemist in the early 1960s. It was entertaining and fun to read, but the characters and setup were just too unbelievable for me. The book stretches real things and character traits to exaggeration in a way that became annoying.
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Elizabeth Zott is a chemist, but in the 1960’s she’s finding it challenging to be taken seriously in a male dominated field. Until she meets Calvin Evans who not only takes her work serious, but falls quickly in love with this very serious, intelligent woman.

I absolutely adored this novel and the characters that Garmus brought to life on these pages. The writing was phenomenal and pulled me in immediately when I started reading.

I was not prepared though for all the emotions this book would evoke. As a woman, I was often frustrated and enraged reading about how the men treated Elizabeth. At the same time, there were moments I found myself laughing or in tears. There is so much within these pages to unpack, but I loved the journey that Garmus takes us on and the characters woven in throughout.

LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY is an amazing read that covers everything from women empowerment and female friendships to identity and grief. This book is so special and I would absolutely recommend giving it a read!
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“This blockbuster debut set in 1960s California features the singular voice of Elizabeth Zott, a scientist whose career takes a detour when she becomes the star of a beloved TV cooking show.”

Elizabeth is a smart and driven scientist who often can’t do and succeed at what she loves because of the expectations placed on women during that time period.  I loved seeing how she refused to compromise and just went after what she wanted. I honestly wasn’t sure what to think about this book at first and wondered if I should continue at about 30 percent.  But I am SO glad I did because it ended up being a wonderful five star book!

😍🥰 || 💗💋 🔥
🤟funny, heartwarming, feminist
📚The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
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This book didn't live up to the hype for me.  I appreciated the scope of the feminist angle, but am not sure if I liked the main character. Reminded me of John Irving. At times serious and others absurd. I like the dog and bringing his thoughts to life enhanced the plot.  The precocious daughter and her actions and conversations with Waverly, the reverend, were good and thoughtful.  Parts of it were really good but others seemed trite.

Copy provided by the publisher and NetGalley
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Chemist Elizabeth Zott, is a force to be reckoned with. It is the early 1960’s and she is already making things happen as a chemist. She is in a relationship with a fellow chemist and the my work at Hastings Research Institute. She is better at Chemistry then most of the men she works with but their gender biases keep them from recognizing her true potential. But Elizabeth loves the work, the opportunity and she loves her life with Calvin Evans. They compliment each other so well and have made a nice life together. This all changes when Calvin dies and she finds she is pregnant her world is turned upside down. As a single mother she is pushed out of the Institute and she finds she need to get her act together to provide for her child. She finds herself self as the reluctant home of a local cooking show. Supper at Six should be easy enough for Zott but nothing seems easy for her. She bases episodes on chemistry lessons and a bit of a Feminine leader. The women tune it at night for her advice. The ststion doesn’t appreciate it, her daughter loves it and so do the women watching. But one wonders can she keep this job? Can she keep from phishing everyone’s buttons at the station? Can she make a life for her and her daughter? Can she find love again and inspire others? This was a very enjoyable story. The characters were so good, too.. I want to thank Netgalley & Bonnie Garmus for my copy of Lessons in Chemistry. It was my pleasure to read and read it..
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This book was so beautifully written and I really enjoyed reading it.  I loved the characters and the storyline.
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Its possible that I may have found my new favorite book.  Lessons in Chemistry deserves SIX stars, I loved it so much.  The love story, the working mom, the challenges associated with both - every page of this book spoke to me.  Highly recommended!
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This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. I loved everything about it - the charming story, the quirky characters including a dog that will steal your heart, and the brilliant writing. I can't recommend it enough. I laughed, I cried, and was so sad when I turned the last page. You will be rooting for Elizabeth Zott, a female chemist in the late 1950s and early 60s who isn't taken seriously because she's a woman until she meets Calvin Evans, another chemist. I won't say anymore so as not to spoil anything. Go get a copy of this book and clear your day because you won't want to stop reading until the last page. Thank you netgalley for this ARC.
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Lessons on Chemistry has been everywhere lately, with good reason. It’s a welcome story about a woman fighting for her place in a man’s world. Elizabeth Zott is a scientist, a chemist to be exact — Not a female chemist, just a chemist. It’s the 1950s and this chemist is not here for the sexist bullshit. But, unfortunately she experiences it repeatedly. 

After her work is stolen and credited to someone else, Elizabeth finds herself fired from a lab, as a newly single, expectant mom. She reluctantly accepts a job leading a cooking show on TV, Supper at Six, as a way to support her family. She clashes with the production team often, who want her to perform as a more traditional housewife. She refuses, as she is a scientist and insists there’s no cooking without chemistry. She stays true to the woman she is, determined to set a strong example for her daughter, Mad, and women everywhere. 

While Elizabeth is busy with the show, Mad seeks answers about her dad who was a famous scientist, Calvin Evans, and his past, and must contend with her teacher who can only be described as bitter. The supporting characters in Lessons in Chemistry are great additions to the story, something I definitely don’t say about every book. 

Though I can appreciate the difficult circumstances she faced, it took a little while for Elizabeth to grow on me — I’m all for smart and independent women, but she felt cold and clinical initially. Once she grew on me, I was a big fan and rooting for her to overcome every challenge — 4.5 stars (rounded up)
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It's the 1960s, and the tv show Supper at Six has taken America by storm. Women across the country absolutely love Supper at Six mainly because of its host, Elizabeth Zott. Despite the show's success and her own celebrity, Elizabeth never wanted this life. Elizabeth is a chemist by trade, and one of the smartest chemists in the country. Prior to hosting her own cooking show, Elizabeth was employed at Hastings Research Institute where she faced intense sexism as the science field is dominated by men while women are expected to be housewives - not chemists. Because of this, Elizabeth's work has been undermined, disrespected, and even stolen. But Elizabeth isn't the kind of person who lets oppressive, sexist structures deter her work, which gets her noticed by Nobel-prize nominated chemist, Calvin Evans. After Elizabeth marches into Calvin's lab one day to take some beakers, it's clear the two have chemistry. But, like science, life can be unpredictable which is how Elizabeth ends up leaving Hastings and hosting a cooking show. So Elizabeth, in her own unique way, uses her new platform to her advantage. Through cooking, Elizabeth teaches viewers, predominately housewives, the science and chemistry behind cooking while pushing for social justice and equity in a time of intense sexist, racist, antiquated status quos.


Elizabeth Zott is a trailblazer in Lessons in Chemistry - she is a trailblazer archetype who is bold, brazen, confident, and wise. I think it's been a while since I read a story about a character like Elizabeth, and she's definitely someone who I would love to see in another book whether she's a main character or supporting. Alongside Elizabeth are a handful of other heartfelt, inspiring characters like her dog, Six-Thirty (who surprisingly has a lot to say), her daughter, Mad, neighbor and bestfriend, Harriet, supervisor/confidant, Walter, and many more. Lessons in Chemistry is incredibly fiery and sassy while giving readers a lot to consider. And from a debut book, no less! My only slight critique of this book is the almost-rambling side plots; I enjoyed the side plots, but occasionally they dragged on a little too much and would occasionally take away from the story. I think what stood out to me the most was the messaging behind Lessons in Chemistry: there is a lot of emphasis on being true to oneself while supporting and respecting others regardless of societal positionality, which is a message I fully support and work to embrace in today's society. Moreover, it made me consider how far American society has come since the 1960s as well as how much further we need to go. For me the quality of a book is based on its ability to thought-provoke, and Lessons in Chemistry truly made me think and invest in its story. I would highly recommend reading Lessons in Chemistry if you're a fan of historical fiction, quirky side plots, and insightful character development.


5/5


Thank you, Knopf Doubleday Publishing, for an advanced copy of Lessons in Chemistry in exchange for an honest review.
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What a lovely surprise ! I can't believe that I got to read this so early in the release. I just know that there will be hype x 1000 about this book. I listened to the audio.
The casting is perfect. This is 3rd person POV, and it switches around- to Elizabeth, to Calvin, to the dog..... wait what?! Yes, 6:30 is a wonderful character. I would say a key supporting character, if not a main character.6:30 is a key to many of the plot directions.
There a so many subtle dry, sly lines. Some humorous, ironic, sad. A lot of ah ha!-type scenes.
I love "Mad" she is a true wunderkind, but still such a cutie. I loved her.
I could on and on, but I think a reader and/or listener needs to experience this just as it unfolds.
It might seem to start off slowly, but the early parts- ie with Calvin, really built on to the next part and the next....
Of course, Elizabeth Zott is the star. At times, it seems like she just could not catch a break. Elizabeth could not be stopped.
I'm so happy that I found this gem. So unique. I've never experienced a book quite like this. I do want to buy the physical copy so I can highlight the heck out of it.
Plus! I want to read it again!
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Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an early read of Lessons In Chemistry. Set in the 1950’s and 1960’s, this is the story of Elizabeth Zott, a chemist trying to make her way in a man’s world.  She is part of a research team at a company called Hastings in Commons, CA.  She is clearly the smartest one on the team, but spends her days being mistaken for the secretary and having men take her ideas and claim them as their own. One day, she enters the lab of Hastings star employee, Calvin Evans, to borrow some beakers for her underfunded project.  There are sparks – chemistry, shall we say- and before long the two of them are inseparable.  He treats her as an equal and sees her, a first in her life – is it no wonder that she falls in love.  But things don’t go as planned and she finds herself alone, pregnant, and unemployed (because she is unmarried and pregnant).  With no other options to support her and her daughter Mad, she ends up hosting an afternoon cooking show called Supper At Six – however, she does it in her own unusual way, by teaching her viewers about the chemistry behind cooking and food.  Elizabeth is estranged from her own family, but her found family are one of the reasons why this book is so good – her neighbor Harriet, her boss, her doctor and rowing mentor, her dog Six Thirty and her small but already brilliant daughter Mad.  Elizabeth is smart, funny (though not intentionally), and has a heart bigger than she thinks.  And she is a woman ahead of her time, leading a revolution with her cooking show.  It made me think of those books about the hidden history of women – like Hidden Figures, or Fly Girls – or the books by authors like Marie Benedict.  Elizabeth being fictional doesn’t change what she represents – and the book shows us where we once were, and how far we still need to go.
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WOW as a woman in STEM, this book was felt so deep in my core. I loved this representation that we so often do not receive. This book follows chemist Elizabeth Zott in the late 1950's and early 1960's where she is trying to overcome the status quo and be seen as a woman chemist when woman are typically seen as belonging in the kitchen, not making any splash. I loved how warm, kind and brilliant Elizabeth is and how hard she worked to make her name. I loved the found family in this book as well. This was an accurate representation of life in this time, and while I was expecting a happy ending, it could have been predicted how this story would end.
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