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I love picking shit up off the ground. I can't place when the habit started, but it was probably with pop-tabs. i've always liked old and forgotten stuff.

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I'm pretty sure this is a rosary holder of some kind? When I bought it at goodwill it was all white, I painted it black and red. Now it holds my gay little bracelets. found this dragon at a yard sale. one of their wings is broken off completely. It appears to be hatching from an egg. A kinetoscope! When you spin the disc, the image in the reflecting drum appears to move seamlessly. Got it at Goodwill, the box was shrink-wrapped straight from the 90's.

This is where I try to sell you on my favorite books by telling you what they mean to me. Click a title to read.

author: ursula k. le guin. sci-fi.

the envoy of an interplanetary alliance has to convince the people of Winter to join, but uhoh culture shock! our protagonist is a misogynist and the people of Winter are all intersex. (And the planet is split into two vastly different governments.) diplomatic hijinx ensue as protagonist continues to make mistakes and his ally Estraven continues to keep him from getting assassinated.

this book is from the sixties so it's not perfect, and additionally i'm boiling down a lot of the themes (hint: the title is a clue) but boy this book was PIVOTAL for me. i read this when i was a closeted trans teenager and it was so refreshing to have the only cisbinary character in the book be the one under constant scrutiny rather than the opposite way around. i've read it multiple times since and absorbed more of the political + societal commentary...

anyway its a book that continues to give and you should read it

author: isabel allende. magical realism.

this book follows a family through several decades and generations. it's a circular narrative in many sense of the word. there are mature themes. it's heavily inspired by the author's life in Chile and illustrates the culture of Chile in the many decades leading up to the Pinochet dictatorship.

there are so many characters and they're all so distinct and memorable and uniquely flawed. Allende's style of writing is lovely and has a quality of... dreaminess? even when she's describing horrible things it doesn't feel like you're reading so much as seeing events unfold (which makes the horrible parts all the more powerful.)

I picked this book up at a secondhand bookstore, lost it after reading the first chapter, and found it two years later in the bookshelf of my English teacher. My copy is a paperback with a light-yellow cover, and below the title a woman in a coral dress lets a bird out of a cage, staring fixedly at the viewer. I heard it was made into a movie that wasn't any good, which is sad, but it's still one of my favorite books.

author: merlin sheldrake. creative non-fiction.

this book is about fungi -- how they work, how they grow, how they've been used, how they've used us, and what they say about the connections organisms make with each other. it's really cool. just try reading this book and coming away without some nigh-religious reverence for your local fungal friends.

here's a very soothing (and quiet lol) video of the author using mushrooms grown from his book to make a nice dinner. and yeah, he is related to the other sheldrake guy, the one who did The Moss song you heard on tiktok. I only learned that recently and it's still wild to me.

author: robin wall kimmerer. creative non-fiction/memoir.

this book singlehandedly swept me back from the clutches of ecological doomerism. it describes the special relationships that certain plants have cultivated with humans -- and equally how those relationships are being infringed upon by the still extant horror of colonialism.

often times i have to read this book one chapter per week (or more) because it inspires so many thoughts and feelings. It's "heavy" in the most wonderful way - the truth of the bad is balanced with hope and solutions. I still haven't finished it but I'm getting close.

this book will get you extremely attached to plants you saw before but didn't especially notice. I never thought I'd be so delighted by the sight of corn, or squash, or maple trees. but now i am! and honestly, It's more fun to love things.

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