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Together We Read!: "Lessons in Chemistry" by Bonnie Garmus

Together We Read!: "Lessons in Chemistry" by Bonnie Garmus In-Person

The Community Library's Together We Read! book club is held the third Thursday of every other month and is led by a diverse range of library staff. Books cover all genres from new fiction to classics to nonfiction, young adult, graphic novels, and everything in between. Join us for one discussion or many!

December's pick is Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. The discussion will be led by library assistant Andrea Nelson. Registration is recommended to join us.

The Library has multiple copies of Lessons in Chemistry circulating in our collection: hardcovers in the New Fiction section, Large Print, Overdrive ebook, Overdrive eaudiobook, and on Nooks available for checkout. Please come in or talk to our librarians about reserving a copy. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2022
5:30pm - 7:00pm
Time Zone:
Mountain Time - US & Canada (change)
John A. and Carole O. Moran Lecture Hall
The Community Library
  Classes & Discussions  
Registration has closed.

About Lessons in Chemistry:

Elizabeth Zott loves Chemistry, and she’s good at it. Very good, A gifted student and innovative thinker, she excels in every class, and she’s willing to work as long and as hard as it takes to fulfil her lifelong dream of earning her Ph.D. Unfortunately for Zott, this story takes place in the 1950’s, when the upper echelons of academia did not exactly welcome women. Zott, however, redefines perseverance. No amount of jealously, resentment, sexual harassment and worse, will keep her from her achieving her goal. Nothing can derail her… except an unplanned pregnancy. In the fifties, pregnancy was grounds for firing, and it gave Hastings University the perfect excuse to get rid of a troublesome woman. An unwed, pregnant grad student would bring them only scandal. Unable to pay the bills, Zott needs a job. Reluctantly, she finds herself the host of a cooking show. But what is cooking, but chemistry?

The popularity of Bonnie Garmus’ New York Times bestseller can, in part, be attributed to timeliness, but it is Garmus’ talent for character development that sets Lessons in Chemistry apart. From Zott, herself---the brilliant, quirky, indefatigable, unintentional feminist---to a colorful supporting cast of villains-most-vile, unlikely friends, an unexpected soul-mate, and a genius daughter. Even the dog has an enviable I.Q. and a voice of his own. Not surprisingly, a movie is already in production.

Be forewarned that Lessons in Chemistry contains some heartbreaking and brutal scenes, including rape. Like Fannie Flagg’s Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café, Garmus chose to fully write these scenes, rather than simply allude to them, yet the story remains funny, lovely, and hopeful. 

Once you begin this gem, you will not want to put it down. When you do come to the end, you will want to talk about it! Let’s do that at the Community Library’s first book club.

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Martha Williams