Book of Matches by Barrie Fullbright

This book is full of the brightest, most memorable vignettes that I’ve read in the longest time. Have you ever wondered how things like cheese were invented? What encouraged the Aztecs to commit atrocities in the name of their gods? Why anybody would ever spend time wondering how many licks it really takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll pop?

The answers to these questions are not found in Book of Matches, but it does give you an idea of the broad scope of the material. Everything from the most mundane to the most profound topics can be found here, including some of the oldest questions that have captivated the imagination of mankind since the dawn of civilization.

Here’s an idea of what to expect: “Circles of fire rotated and spun around me in crazy circles. I did not know whether to fear or embrace them; I was so disoriented. Deep down, I knew that I must follow the light; but wherefore Icarus? Desire for progress, balanced on razor edge to safety proved too demanding a path; I fluttered, no, I sputtered with the flame” –Flight of the Moth.

Matches does occasionally touch on violence, alcohol, and beach parties at midnight, but those parts can be safely skipped. Fortunately, the author did a great job of tagging each of his stories in the table of contents and then again at the top of the page. As long as you have proper adult supervision, Matches is appropriate for all ages.

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