Last Friday, I went on an “educational foray” (a.k.a. grad school field trip, sans juice box). It was cold, I had my supposed arctic conditions jacket on, and I was grumpy. For all the books I’m exposed to on a daily basis and all the books I have on my ‘to-read’ list or are precariously piled on my desk, I had nothing I wanted to read. I really hate it when this happens. I’m a bookseller. My entire job is recommending books to other people, and when I can’t recommend a book to myself? Existential despair.
As I was leaving, I stopped at the UBC and told Natasha and Carl of my plight. Natasha sprinted off and came back holding a copy of Everything Matters! by Ron Currie, Jr. I examined it like I do every book. I judged the cover, flipped through the pages a bit and finally I decided it was long enough to tide me over through a train ride to Quincy and back.
I got on the train at Coolidge Corner, and by the time I was at Kent Street I was hooked. Yes, Natasha told me it was good, but I didn’t think it would be the kind where I was rapturously reading for nearly an hour, forcefully flying through the Park Street station (sorry, Boston) so I could lean against a wall and read some more before getting on another train. I didn’t even change seats after a man quietly fell asleep on me and other seats opened up. The book was too good to move—I simply propped my elbows up, leaned to the side a bit, and kept on reading.
When I got back to the Booksmith, I went on a mad rampage to find out who had the galley of his next book, Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles. Coming up empty-handed, I downloaded an ebook galley and read it on one of our new Kobo Glo eReaders. I’m generally suspicious of eReaders (I’m a bookseller, forgive me, I love paper and as a child, I doubt I would have ever exercised if not to carry books from point A to point B) but to read the next Ron Currie, Jr. title? There was no question, and I spent a sunny Saturday morning comfortably (e)reading in bed.
Now here’s the hard part. How do I adequately describe these two books that made me abandon my Saturday morning plans and allow a man to fall asleep on me on a half-empty train? I want to say Everything Matters! is really conceptual, with flavors of Cloud Atlas in addition to a terrible, world-destroying meteor and voices that don't augur insanity, but inevitable doom. Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles asks you to examine the character Ron Currie, Jr.—his flaws, his conscience, his loves—while separating or confusing him with the author Ron Currie, Jr. Perhaps you should watch the book trailer.
To be honest, I don’t want to describe these books for you. I don’t want to describe characters, plot points, or Currie’s writing style, all of which I was crazy about. I want to give you what Natasha gave me—an excited, unfettered, unabashedly enthusiastic recommendation that she knew I would love reading, and I did.
If you’re intrigued, Ron Currie, Jr. will be here with Nicholas Montemarano (The Book of Why—another magnificent book) on February 13th.