I left a voluminous comment because, let's face it, at least 50% of my life is devoted to appreciating as hard as my little eyes and ears and brain can.
Patricia McKillip's novels often have this effect on me. Particularly Alphabet of Thorn. The first time I read it (in one evening), I sat back and thought, "I am lucky to be alive, so that I could read that story."
I felt the same way after reading Yan Martel's Life of Pi. And certain parts of Jim Dodge's Stone Junction.
There are two books I tend to lump together: Wyrms by OSC, and McKillip's The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, just because the two of them are such deeply and intensely full of quotable moral lessons. Since I usually run screaming from anything with a moral lesson in it, it's notable that I enjoy them so much. Each has moments and sentences in them that just absolute stop me cold, thinking, "I have to remember that." I never remember all of them, so I have to keep re-reading them.
Oddly enough, I'm put into this state of mind by beautiful mathematics. There's a book called Euclid's Window that is an utter joy from beginning to end. I'm also reading The History of Pi. It makes me happy with a transparent, buoyant, kidlike glee.
Just about all of Elliott Smith's music. He was such a conduit... often so bitter and morose, and still there's this poetry and these hauntingly beautiful melodies and harmonies, and they just pour out of him, even when he's talking about drugs and suicide.
Yoko Kanno's music, especially tracks from Cowboy Bebop Blue, and from the Arjuna soundtrack, which I actually went to amazon.co.jp to purchase (had to puzzle out some kanji to do that, too).
And there's a song called "Pone" by Harakami Rei that was on one of the Boogiepop Phantom soundracks. I've been a bit obsessed with it lately.
I also adore the great Requiems. I've been in choirs for years, and I've sung the Faure, the Brahms, the Verdi, and the Durufle twice. The Brahms was just a couple of weeks ago. It was great glorious abundance.
However, our director has just informed us that we'll be doing Stravinsky's Les Noces next semester. I am, thus far, so absolutely uninspired by the piece that I wish I could get my money back from iTunes. (I will clean my brain out by listening to DeVotchKa's "How It Ends", which is wonderful.)
That part at the end? Yes. Totally. After Brahms, Les Noces just sounds like... well, Stravinsky, to me. Otherwise known as "noise made with pitches". I could make a happy career out of hating Stravinsky if loving all my other music didn't take up so much of my time...
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Edit: If I'd done my duty and watched Little Miss Sunshine, which has been sitting on my dvd shelf collecting dust, I would have known about DeVotchKa already. I could have been listening to them this whole time. But no, I had to wait until that Gears of War 2 commercial came out. SO MUCH WASTED TIME!