- Published: 10 October 2023
- ISBN: 9781804993477
- Imprint: Penguin
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 400
- RRP: $22.99
Lessons in Chemistry
The multi-million-copy bestseller
Apple TV + tie-in of the multi-million-copy No. 1 Sunday Times, No. 1 New York Times and No. 1 international bestseller and prizewinner
THE MULTI-MILLION-COPY BESTSELLER
Soon to be an Apple TV series starring Brie Larson
'I loved it' NIGELLA LAWSON
'Sparky, rip-roaring, funny' SUNDAY TIMES
'The most charming, life-enhancing novel I've read in ages' INDIA KNIGHT
'Brimming with life' RACHEL JOYCE
Your ability to change everything - including yourself - starts here
Chemist 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. Forced to resign, she reluctantly signs on as the host of a cooking show, Supper at Six. But her revolutionary approach to cooking, fuelled by scientific and rational commentary, grabs the attention of a nation.
Soon, a legion of overlooked housewives find themselves daring to change the status quo. One molecule at a time.
A Book of the Year for: Guardian, Times, Sunday Times, Good Housekeeping, Woman & Home, Stylist, TLS, Oprah Daily, Newsweek, Mail on Sunday, New York Times, India Knight, Hay Festival, Amazon and many others
'Biting and cheerIng in exactly the right measure' JOJO MOYES
'I loved Lessons in Chemistry and am devastated to have finished it!' NIGELLA LAWSON
'Laugh-out-loud funny and brimming with life, generosity and courage' RACHEL JOYCE
'A novel that sparks joy with every page' ELIZABETH DAY
'Elizabeth Zott is an iconic heroine' PANDORA SYKES
'A page-turning and highly satisfying tale' MAGGIE SHIPSTEAD, author of GREAT CIRCLE
The multi-million copy bestseller
As read on BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime
Winner of the Goodreads Choice Best Debut Novel Award
British Book Awards Author of the Year
- Published: 10 October 2023
- ISBN: 9781804993477
- Imprint: Penguin
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 400
- RRP: $22.99
Praise for Lessons in Chemistry
Lessons in Chemistry is a breath of fresh air - a witty, propulsive, and refreshingly hopeful novel populated with singular characters. This book is an utter delight - wry, warm and compulsively readableCLAIRE LOMBARDO, author of THE MOST FUN WE EVER HAD
Original, fresh, tender, funny and warm. The story dances and swirls, captivating the reader from the first page. Elizabeth Zott is the most wonderful character. Just fantasticSINEAD MORIARTY
A timeless book. Elizabeth Zott is an iconic heroine - a feminist who refuses to be quashed, a mother who believes that her child is a person to behold, rather than to mould, and who will leave you, and the lens through which you see the world, quite changedPANDORA SYKES
A book that sparks joy with every page. LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY is both funny and rousing: it had me laughing one minute and air-punching the next. Bonnie Garmus has created an unforgettable heroineELIZABETH DAY
It's the world versus Elizabeth Zott, an extraordinary woman determined to live on her own terms, and I had no trouble choosing a side. Lessons in Chemistry is a page-turning and highly satisfying tale: zippy, zesty, and ZottyMAGGIE SHIPSTEAD, author of GREAT CIRCLE
A transporting read, recommended for fans of Where'd You Go, Bernadette and The Marvelous Mrs MaiselSTYLIST MAGAZINE, BOOKS TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN 2022
Lessons in Chemistry is a vibrant and original story of hope and staying true to yourself. Laugh-out-loud funny, shrewdly observant, and brimming with life and generosity and courageRACHEL JOYCE
Fast, funny and furiousDAILY EXPRESS
A truly involving and uplifting book! Bonnie Garmus addresses serious topics with humour that is genuinely funny. I especially liked the dog. Mine only appears to know one word, which is 'supper', but there again she is a Labrador. I'm sure this is going to be a great success, and deserves to beANNE YOUNGSON, Costa Book Award-shortlisted author of MEET ME AT THE MUSEUM
This incredible novel has EVERYTHING - an unforgettable heroine, wry humour, love, family and bucketloads of optimism and female empowerment. It's WONDERFULHANNAH BECKERMAN
A fabulous novel. Compelling, satisfying, a real page-turnerNINA STIBBE
Not only is Elizabeth an unforgettable character, so too are her adorable dog Six Thirty and daughter, Mad. This is a truly unique book with some great life lessonsWOMAN AND HOME, Best Books of 2022
A truly unique book with some great life lessonsWOMAN AND HOME, BEST BOOKS OF 2022
Strikingly relevant. . . Darkly funny and poignant. . . Lessons in Chemistry's excellent experiment is quirky and heartwarmingTHE ATLANTIC
This triumphant feminist fable, wittily observed, is teeming with vivid comic set-piecesTELEGRAPH, Fiction of the Week
I haven't loved a character as much as the hero of this joyful, warm debut in a very long timeGOOD HOUSEKEEPING, Book of the Month
Bold, smart and often hilarious look at so-called women's workREAL SIMPLE, US
In Garmus' debut novel, a frustrated chemist finds herself at the helm of a cooking show that sparks a revolution. Welcome to the 1960s, where a woman's arsenal of tools was often limited to the kitchen - and where Elizabeth Zott is hellbent on overturning the status quo one meal at a timeNEW YORK TIMES
An energetic debut ... A more adorable plea for rationalism and gender equality would be hard to findKIRKUS (starred review)
Indefatigable and formidable, Elizabeth pushes the bounds of how women and their work are perceived in this thoroughly engaging debut novelBOOKLIST
Elizabeth Zott is the smart, fierce star of Garmus' witty debut. BrilliantMAIL ON SUNDAY
Full of humour, heartbreak and characters who feel like real people. This is a book that everyone will be talking aboutRED MAGAZINE
Smart, funny, big-heartedSUNDAY TIMES
Charming and emboldening tale with a vintage sheen... A thoroughly entertaining and emboldened look at gender in the 1960s. A must read!MAGIC RADIO, BOOK CLUB READ
Feminism is the catalyst that makes [Lessons in Chemistry] fizz like hydrochloric acid on limestone. Elizabeth Zott does not have 'moxie'; she has courage. She is not a 'girl boss' or a 'lady chemist'; she's a groundbreaker and an expert in abiogenesis. . . To file Elizabeth Zott among the pink razors of the book world is to miss the sharpness of Garmus's message. Lessons in Chemistry will make you wonder about all the real-life women born ahead of their time - women who were sidelined, ignored and worse because they weren't as resourceful, determined and lucky as Elizabeth Zott. She's a reminder of how far we've come, but also how far we still have to goNEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
Garmus delivers an assured voice, an indelible heroine and relatable love storiesWASHINGTON POST
Entirely enjoyable, totally engrossing novel, Garmus' beautifully drawn characters, her polished, engaging prose and a hugely satisfying plot make for a glorious read. Lessons In Chemistry is alight with warmth, wit and hard-won wisdom. Absolutely wonderfulDAILY EXPRESS
Zott is a brilliantly realised character whom it's impossible not to love...[a] warm and addictive novel which cleverly and entertainingly unpacks the thorny questions around women's empowerment, the need to be true to oneself and why we should refuse to accept the limitations others try to impose on us. A triumphDAILY MAIL
The most charming, life-enhancing novel I've read in ages. A perfect delight. It's about Elizabeth Zott, a scientist who accidentally becomes a TV cook in the early 1960s. Very strongly recommendINDIA KNIGHT, SUNDAY TIMES
Witty, inspiring and a joyI-NEWSPAPER
A kicky debut, this book tackles feminism, resilience, and rationalism in a fun and refreshing wayBUZZFEED
Polished, funny, thought-provoking. Wearing its research lightly but confidently with sentences so stylishly turned it's hard to believe it's a debut ... The real pleasure is in the dry wit of Garmus's writingGUARDIAN, Book of the day
A fast-moving plot, zippy dialogue and wry sense of humour. A satisfying story with hateable villains and loveable good guys. Garmus's sparkling writing is a breath of fresh airSUNDAY EXPRESS
Original and refreshing. Elizabeth Zott is one of those singular, unforgettable characters you don't come across enough in fiction. Witty and dark, it is both a breath of fresh air and a reminder of how much still has to change for true equalityPRESS ASSOCIATION
Elizabeth is a woman who challenges the norms of a woman in the 60s...her perseverance to succeed is enthralling. The fight to do what she really wants, and that alone, is one that'll have you rooting for her throughoutSTYLIST
Unforgettable ... Elizabeth Zott is intelligent, fearless, determined and utterly inspiringCULTUREFLY
Every bit as brilliant as everyone is saying. Funny, clever, full of heart and wonderful characters. I loved itA J PEARCE
A funny, thought-provoking revenge story. Elizabeth Zott is ahead of her time. This is such a great book, everyone should read it!SHAPARAK KHORSANDI
A proper page turner which really made me giggle. It's so dry. The humour has a gorgeous lightness of touch. I really enjoyed itSTEVE WRIGHT, BBC RADIO TWO BOOK CLUB
Witty, fast-paced and unabashedly amusing' Lessons in Chemistry is 'written with charm, verve and piercing insight ... a future classicLITERARY REVIEW
The best book I've read recently. I loved itSARA COX, BBC 2 Between the Covers
Garmus has made feminism not just palpable, but deliciousI-NEWS
Absolutely unputdownable. I completely loved itRICHARD E GRANT
I loved it. You don't want to finish it. You don't want to put it down. It's wonderful to hear a voice that has total honesty and clarity. I love that Elizabeth Zott is funny and hasn't got a clue that she's funnyDEBORAH MEADEN, BBC 2 BETWEEN THE COVERS
I loved everything about it. There were so many things I could relate toSTEPHEN BAILEY, BBC 2 BETWEEN THE COVERS
i couldn't put it down. It was so easy to read: hilarious, heartfelt. With all of the issues that we are still dealing with right now. Heartbreaking and heartwarming in equal measureSUKH OJLA
An absolute delight. Zott is a cracking protagonist - strikingly single-minded, socially awkward, fiercely determined to forge her own pathFINANCIAL TIMES, Best Audio Books
Laugh-aloud funny, witty and provocative, LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY recreates the rampant sexism of America just before Betty Friedan's THE FEMININE MYSTIQUE and the bonfire of the brasTHE TIMES, audiobook of the week
A funny, big-hearted readTHE TIMES, Summer Reading Choice
THE antidote to life's current grimness: a shrewd, witty, inventive, feminist comedy you should all race to readPATRICK GALE
I adored this confident, witty portrait of an unforgettable woman and her timeDAILY MAIL, Summer reading recommendations
One of the smartest and funniest novels to appear this yearTHE NEW EUROPEAN
We guarantee you will love this charming debutHELLO MAGAZINE
This smart, uproarious, emotional page-turner...has been the year's runaway hit. Rightly soSUNDAY TIMES, Books of the Year
Irresistible, a gorgeous tribute to resilience and the many types of love that sustain usOPRAH DAILY
Sharp and deliciously readable. Brings bite as well as charm to the tale of a super-rational scientist navigating sexism in early 60s America.GUARDIAN, Books of the Year
The idiosyncratic wit of this year's blockbuster debut is instantly appealing, but it's also a narrative with real bite. Uplifting and irresistibly zanyTHE MAIL, Books of the Year
I fell for Elizabeth Zott immediately. A wonderfully entertaining and empowering readGOOD HOUSEKEEPING, Books of the Year
A wonderful novel - polished, pacy, funny, witty, warm, life-affirming, and thought-provokingSUNDAY MAIL, SCOTLAND
Enchanting, clever, funny and packed with deeply engaging characters. I still think about it a lotINDIA KNIGHT's Book of the Year, SUNDAY TIMES
As with all the best stories, there is a timelessness to this book. One senses it will be read in ten or twenty years' timeIRISH TIMES
Biting and cheering in exactly the right measureJOJO MOYES
The TV cook bit hooked me right in and it did not disappoint. This book is Charming, witty and cleverNADIYA HUSSAIN
Witty and sometimes hilarious. The CATCH-22 of early feminismSTEPHEN KING
These are the Penguin Random House books that over 48,000 book clubs voted as the best group reads this October.
Lessons in Chemistry is getting TV treatment with a new Apple TV+ series based on the book. Learn more about it here.
Take this quiz, inspired by ‘Lessons in Chemistry’ to find out which element you are most like.
Tune into Radio National on Saturday 17 June and Sunday 18 June.
Congratulations to the winners!
We caught up with Bonnie Garmus after a whirlwind year of success with her debut novel, Lessons in Chemistry.
Find the perfect book based on the blooms she already loves.
Winners will be announced on 25 May 2023.
These are the Penguin Random House books that over 48,000 book clubs voted as the best group reads this March.
Whip up a Zott-style pavlova to celebrate the new paperback edition of Lessons in Chemistry.
Discover the best Penguin Random House books of 2022 with this list of award-winning and shortlisted titles this year.
We talked to some of our graphic designers to learn more about the amazing book covers they created this year. Find out what runs through the mind of a designer as they bring a book to life through design.
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See the Penguin Random House books that over 800,000 book clubs voted as the best group reads during the month of September.
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus is packed full of wisdom. Check out five of the many inspirational quotes from the book.
A Sunday Times bestseller and BBC Between the Covers Book Club pick.
We all need a little help choosing our next read sometimes. This time, we've got you sorted!
Bonnie Garmus was seething when she got back to her desk after a work meeting. It was then she began writing Lessons in Chemistry.
Chemist 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. But 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. Meet the unconventional, uncompromising Elizabeth Zott. Buy now: https://www.penguin.com.au/books/lessons-in-chemistry-9780857528131
These female characters are brave, stand up for their beliefs and aren't afraid to break the status quo.
The blockbuster of 2022, set in 1960s California, introducing the unique and unforgettable Elizabeth Zott. Elizabeth is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth would be the first to point out that there is no such thing. Meet the unconventional, uncompromising Elizabeth Zott. A single mother, and the reluctant star of America's most beloved cooking show Supper at Six, Elizabeth Zott isn't just teaching women to cook. She's daring them to change the status quo.