Saturday, January 02, 2010

Five best books to share with your friends

For NPR, Gwen Weldon came up with a list of the best five books to share with your friends.

One title on the list:
Everything Matters! by Ron Currie Jr., hardcover, 302 pages, Viking/Penguin. List price: $25.95

While still in the womb, Junior Thibodeau is informed by a dispassionate and slightly officious voice that the world will end in 36 years, 168 days, 14 hours and 23 seconds. (Find out what else the voice tells Junior while he's in utero.) As the protagonist of Ron Currie's high-wire act of a novel grows to manhood, that fact, and that voice, remain his constant companions. The novel's driving question — can the young genius do anything to forestall or escape doomsday? — is the one that will keep you greedily turning pages. But it's the larger questions Currie poses — about how, or if, to live in a universe without meaning, and the place that love might play in it — that cause this book to linger in the memory.

Everything Matters! is a hugely imaginative novel loaded with narrative tricks and set pieces that let the author proudly show off his clever clockwork, but Currie keeps things thoroughly grounded in the messy, mysterious business of human interaction. A beautiful, sad and haunting book.
Read about another book on Weldon's list.

The Page 69 Test: Everything Matters!.

--Marshal Zeringue