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Base Ten

3.38  ·  Rating Details ·  34 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Compelling and fiercely honest, Base Ten exposes the daily battles of women scientists fighting to preserve a family life and succeed in a discipline that functions on the archaic belief that every scientist has a "wife" at home.Reared to believe that she could do anything, astrophysicist Jillian Greer dreamed of going into space. When she and her research partner Kera Sul ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published February 1st 2009)
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Aug 31, 2011 Zinta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
According to publishing industry research, women make up the majority of readers. I’m not going to argue the popularity of romance for female readers, as I have worked in libraries before and seen the bags of romance novels some women carry out of the library with weekly return trips for more. But there are a great many of us who, like me, wince and roll our eyes at the mere sight of that genre. We want something else, something more, something beyond, something deeper, something richer, and yes ...more
Dec 01, 2009 Cranky rated it liked it
Shelves: book_club
Upshot: Thought-provoking, but I couldn't connect with the main character

First, the good: I think it was well-crafted--I enjoyed how the story unspooled (interspersing Jillian's 10 days of solitude with flashbacks) and how my understanding of her developed and changed. Lesert made astrophysics an interesting part of the story, so much so that I was astounded to learn she was not herself a scientist by training. I also appreciated the author's tackling of topics that are important to me personal
Mar 08, 2010 Julianne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Maryann Lesert is a playwright by trade, and this book definitely reads like her first real attempt at a novel. I found her split narrative, which constantly cycles between the "present" (her protagonist's 10-day solo camping trip to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore) and the "past" (everything that happened to her before) to be a bit unwieldy and distracting. I don't think the split narrative is to blame, exactly. Many novels seamlessly interweave a spare present narrative with numerou ...more
Feb 25, 2010 Michelle rated it really liked it
I didn't know how I felt about this book at first but it's well worth sticking with. People at work kept recommending it as a coworker's wife wrote it.

It became very personal for me as I have a female friend who is an astrophysicist for NASA who just left a few years ago to take a teaching job and start a family. The ending was hopeful and the message was uplifting for women who need to rethink things in order to have it all and find the importance to share their knowledge and talents with the w
Jennifer Glass
Aug 08, 2011 Jennifer Glass rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
Excellent, beautifully written book about a woman's (Jillian) struggles trying to juggle motherhood and her aspirations to be as astrophysicist. After ten years of marriage and ten months of planning, she decides to spend ten days alone in the wilderness of northern Michigan along the shores of Lake Michigan to rediscover her true self. This book provides an insider's perspective into the challenges of Jillian's situation. I was shocked to learn that the author wasn't trained as an astrophysicis ...more
Amanda Moon
Jan 08, 2013 Amanda Moon rated it it was amazing
I loved it! Jillian is me- a woman struggling to be her in the midst of being a wife and mother and always feeling like she's coming up short. Lesert does an amazing job a painting a very tough situation without asking the reader to pity or feel sorry for the character. As she searches for her answers her struggles are so real, so relatable. I absolutely love this book and, someday, when my daughter has kids and is feeling like she is losing herself, I will give it to her to read. Not for answer ...more
This book is relentless. It's about Jillian, a woman astrophysicist who as a very strong desire for her research in the stars, to be an astronaut. But she fell in love, had an accidental pregnancy. Now married with two kids she still tries to work, but her husband Jack doesn't help enough. And this is the refrain over and over, there is not equal sharing of rasing the kids.

I get that the topic is important, but the delivery made it painful.
Jul 18, 2009 Suzanne rated it it was amazing
Maryann Lesert combines astrophysics, Native American folklore, and the story of a modern woman torn between her love for her family and her dream of becoming an astronaut. This book is smart, has a great sense of place (Sleeping Bear Dunes in northern Michigan) and the domestic details are spot on. A remarkable debut.
Karen Dresser
Jul 09, 2012 Karen Dresser rated it really liked it
Interesting read about women in physics and NASA, particularly in light of the recent death of Sally Ride. Lesert is a playwright. . .this is her first offering of fiction.
Mary C. Brown
Aug 21, 2009 Mary C. Brown rated it really liked it
Maryann Lesert is a very personable and accessible writer. We met at Schuler's EASTWOOD Lansing MI. She spoke to an audience of 4 librarians and one woman scientist.
May 11, 2010 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: motherlit, fiction
It started off slow and could be a little bogged down in parts, but was otherwise quite enjoyable.
Kirsten rated it it was ok
Dec 19, 2012
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Aug 16, 2009
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Sep 20, 2009
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Jul 07, 2013
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May 15, 2012
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Maryann Lesert lives and works in West Michigan, where she is Assistant Professor of English at Grand Rapids Community College. During her undergraduate years, Lesert studied art, writing, and biomedical sciences, graduating in 1988 from Western Michigan University with a dual BA in art and English. In 2003 she earned her MFA in Writing from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky.

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