grow brain, beat heart!

I've been reading, skimming, scanning, studying a lot lately. Here are a few of the books that make my little brain grow and my little heart beat:

The Virgin Suicides
by Jeffrey Eugenides:
This book is about the danger of generalizing, the mystery of the human heart, and the aching, painful adolescent longing for love. It's about time past and youth lost. It's about change and decay and the inability to hold on. Certain images make the groin throb; others make the heart ache. Sometimes, while reading, every moment of adolescent awkwardness and longing flashed through me. Other times, I remembered the dreams that I can't have back again. The novel is dark, humorous, nostalgic, sad, lyrical. The writing is astounding, almost perfect. Wonderful.

Housekeeping by Marilynn Robinson
Haven't finished this one yet, but I can see why it's the favorite of some. Every sentence is carefully crafted. Every word seems painstakingly chosen. Each image speaks upon the theme of the temporal. The sentences are poetry. This book is dense, beautiful, like a song echoed across a lake.

Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Homescale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway
I had to buy this book. This book revolutionizes. Practical. Smart. Political. Confident. Hemenway guides the reader through the reasons and ways to create an edible garden that acts like a natural ecosystem: balanced, holistic, organic.

Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose
Prose helps the writer study, savor, and love the ultimate writing guides: great literature. This book might not make the reader want to write, but it will make the reader want to read more slowly, more carefully, with more appreciation and joy and love for each deliberately chosen word and carefully crafted sentence.

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