For our last book selection for 2018 I've chosen one that is very dear to me, a book that is my personal all-time favorite work of contemporary fiction. It's called Remainder by Tom McCarthy, and it was first published in the UK in 2008. The story follows a man who is struck by a mysterious object in a mysterious accident and is consequently given a large cash settlement. He chooses to spend his money recreating a space from a vision he had--from the neighbor playing a piano to the smell of the food the woman is cooking downstairs, he recreates it all to re-live the imagined moment he's seeking.
The current print-run of Remainder has a short blurb on the back by Jonathan Letham that I think best sums it up in a single sentance: "A stunningly strange book about the rarest of fictional subjects, happiness." It's an incredibly smart book, and indeed a strange, surprising story but it is one that I think back on often when I'm contemplating the idea of one's ability to create their own happiness. If I'm being completely honest, it's a book that helped me out of a really dark period of my life and got me first thinking about what my perfect imagined space would be if I could create it (And I did! Welcome to CW Pencil Enterprise).
I've never talked to a person about books who has read Remainder before, which is always surprising to me because to me it's a masterpiece that has been largely overlooked. I will say, however, that I've never recommended it to someone who didn't end up loving it.
As for our next NYC meeting--we're not sure when it'll be but I will say that it'll be sometime in early January once holiday madness has blown over.
In the meantime, happy reading!