I tried, I really did, to savor Turtles All the Way Down, to read it slowly and make every page last, full-knowing that it could be another half-decade before John Green publishes another book, but I just couldn’t. The pages basically turned themselves. It was far too delicious for nibbling.
As is the case with every book Mr. Green has written thus far, TAtWD is spectacularly rich and honest and addictive and filled all the way up with passages that, even out of context, are stunning and applicable and make me fall even deeper for words and how they can be arranged just so.
It hurt like hell to narrow them down, to be sure, but instead of just retyping the whole book and putting it into a post, below are my ten favorite parts.
Anybody can look at you. It's quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.
"I don't mind worriers," I said. "Worrying is the correct worldview. Life is worrisome."
I'm not sure why, but I've always been pretty keen on the male forearm.
Every loss is unprecedented. You can't ever know someone else's hurt, not really...
Look up long enough and you start to feel your infinitesimality. The difference between alive and not—that's something. But from where the stars are watching, there is almost no difference between varieties of alive, between me and the newly mown grass I'm lying on right now. We are both astonishments, the closest thing in the known universe to a miracle.
"You know Sekou Sundiata, in a poem, he said the most important part of the body 'ain't the heart or the lungs or the brain. The biggest, most important part of the body is the part that hurts.'"
"Surely you don't think drinking hand sanitizer while hospitalized for a lacerated liver marks forward progress in your mental health journey."
"You are like pizza, which is the highest compliment I can pay a person."
As I stood underneath the water, I wondered what I'd worship as I got older, and how that would end up bending the arc of my life this way or that. I was still at the beginning. I could still be anybody.
To be alive is to be missing.