Box of Matches, by Nicholson Baker

I’ve wanted to read Nicholson Baker for a while now, and with his new, controversial book Checkpoint coming out, I figured it was time (that review is coming up).

Book of Matches, like all of Baker’s fiction, is a short book — under 200 pages, and incredibly focused. Each 3-5 page chapter is the 1st person narrative of a middle-aged man who’s begun to get up around 4a every morning by himself to start a fire and think about things.

Basically the book is about his time to pause and notice some things around him while he lived his life. Some of his revelations are big, most are small — and that’s probably most of the point. I think it’s a little bit like the first couple of seasons of Six Feet Under: the message in both is that life is full of mostly small moments that most people just move right past, always waiting for the bigger ones. And that when it comes down to it, if you can take the time to notice the "small" ones, and take joy in them because they’re part of life, then things can be pretty good. Along the lines of a lot of things that I’ve been thinking about lately, so I was happy to read it.

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