Lessons in Chemistry (The Sunday Times bestseller and BBC TV Between the Covers pick) by Bonnie Garmus
This book is completely charming. It has characters that you will fall in love with (Six Thirty was my personal favourite) and is quite un-put-down-able. Set in the late fifties and early sixties in the world of science labs and TV studios, the main character struggles against everyday casual misogyny, personal and professional attacks on her character, the theft of her own work, and sexual assault. While this will infuriate and frustrate, there are also bits that will make you laugh out loud and, quite possibly, make you cry.
You will find yourself rooting for this pioneering heroine who just wants to be taken seriously as a research chemist. In the end, I imagine her male counterparts had wished that they had.
I think this is going to be a big hit this year and I can definitely see it being made into a TV series or a film. Catch it before it hits the screens!
Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing.
But it's the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute take a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one: Calvin Evans, the lonely, brilliant, Nobel-prize nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with - of all things - her mind. True chemistry results.
Like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why a few years later, Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America's most beloved cooking show, Supper at Six. Elizabeth's unusual approach to cooking ('combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride') proves revolutionary.
But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn't just teaching women to cook. She's daring them to change the status quo.