32. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus – Book Club Pick


Read this: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Lessons in Chemistry⁠ by Bonnie Garmus

Watch this: Lessons in Chemistry limited series on AppleTV+

Why We Made This Selection and Background Knowledge

Julie: The book was recommended to us by a family member for a long car ride. I believe when I first listened I already knew the show was in production.

Claire: Very little. Saw it around bookstagram a lot and then it seemed like news came out about it being adapted to a show right away.

Overall Opinion of the Book

Claire: I really liked it. So much so that I bought a physical copy for my “trophy shelf”. To be clear, I don’t like the things Elizabeth Zott had to go through, but I love the historical things and seeing people overcome their obstacles. I also love reading about women in STEM as a main character.

Julie: I liked it. I never hit a point where I wanted to quit it. After reading and reflecting, though, I wasn’t as over the moon about it as others. There were some things I was left scratching my head about.

Overall Opinion of the Show

Julie: I really enjoyed it. There were some changes they made that I liked and some that I didn’t. But, I liked the cinematography and the vibe. The pacing was good. The casting was great.

Claire: I liked it. I was a little so-so at first, but it definitely grew on me.

Before you say which you liked better, did you read the book or listen to the audiobook… because it matters.

Claire: Listened on Audible.

Julie:  Listened. I actually really liked the narrator, Miranda Raison.  Her voice was very comforting to me.

Which was better?

Julie: The show

Claire: The book


  1. Was the outcome the same in both the show and the book? Kind of
  2. Was the main character/primary narrator the same in the show and the book? Yes
  3. Was the primary conflict the same in the show and the book? Yes
  4. Would you read the book again or recommend it to a friend? Yes
  5. Would you watch the show/movie again or recommend it to a friend? Yes

Overall rating: 4.5/5

To listen to the full episode on Lessons in Chemistry, check out But the Book Was Better on Apple and Spotify. Don’t forget to subscribe so you know exactly when each episode is released!


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