Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Love of Many Things

"Love many things, for therein lies the true strength,
and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much,
and what is done in love is done well."
-Vincent Van Gogh

As much as I love books, they are not my only love. There are whole gobs of things that I can get equally passionate about. These passions include, but are not limited to, math and science, music, history, and knitting. So, when I find books about other things I'm obsessed with, the joy is multiplied exponentially! For instance...

There are tons of books based on math and/or science that can appeal to just about anyone. Last summer I read The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine. Never has brain chemistry been more fun, more funny, or more applicable in my daily life! She talks about what actually happens chemically and hormonally in a woman's brain through the different stages of life, and she discussed how that alters the behavior of women and complicates/enriches our relationships. The more I read, the more it made sense. A year later, it's still on my mind.

If that's too sciency, then how about a novel? The Invention of Everything Else by Samantha Hunt is a fictionalized view of Nikola Tesla, a very famous mathematician, scientist, and inventor. Never heard of him? Well you can thank him for AC electricity and wireless communication. It's a story of love, mystery, dreams, pigeons, and New York...served with a side of good, healthy science.

I love love love love LOVE music, and really, most people like music on some level. The reason why we love it is explored in This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel J. Levitin. He talks about neuroscience, emotions linked to music, music's exploitation of our senses, the difference between practice and talent, and, most importantly, why I can't get that insufferable "It's a Small World" song out of my head! Totally fascinating!

Another fun one about music is The Girls' Guide to Rocking: How to Start a Band, Book Gigs, and Get Rolling to Rock Stardom by Jessica Hopper. The subtitle tells it all, it's a great pick for any girl with some spunk! There's a fold out timeline of women in rock history and a positive review from Joan Jett. What more could you want? It looks fabulous!

Speaking of women in history, I bought a book for a good friend called Knitted Lace of Estonia: Techniques, Patterns, and Traditions by Nancy Bush. I am now so enamoured with this book, that I had to buy another copy for myself. Not only is it filled with the most beautiful lace shawl patterns I have ever seen, but it tells the story of Estonia's lace and the women who invented it.



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