“It may have been the middle of the night, and Alma may have been asleep only moments earlier, but still her mind was a fearfully well-trained machine of botanical calculation, which is why she instantly heard the abacus beads in her brain begin clicking towards an understanding.”
– “The Signature of All Things” by Elizabeth Gilbert, page 215, hardcover edition
I read too many online newspapers, not enough books on politics, history, and economics, and way too few novels. My wife on the other hand reads three or more novels a week. When she finished “The Signature” she suggested that I read it.
It is a fascinating account of a fictional amateur botanist in the 19th who is marveling at how things change over time.
You can read a fascinating interview with the author at http://gardenrant.com/2013/10/elizabeth-gilberts-novel-of-botanical-exploration.html. It also includes a link to a YouTube video of her.