by Nick Hornby
Being "Fourteen months of massively witty adventures in reading chronicled by the National Book Critics Circle finalist for criticism". Need I say more? I love reading what Nick Hornby says about books and the reading experience, although some reviews have made me dubious of reading his actual fiction. I found that I related more to Housekeeping vs the Dirt than its predecessor, The Polysyllabic Spree, perhaps because he mentioned more American works, and I have either heard of, read or want to read about a third of what was discussed. So it was nice to be able to relate more directly, and not just in the general sense of being a book lover.
I have heard much of In Cold Blood, The Men Who Stare at Goats and Then We Came to the End. I've read some works by Barthelme, too. Hornby has convinced me that I really ought to read more, also Ian McEwan. He's also validated A's appreciation of "Sopranos" and "The Wire", reiterated my puzzlement over people who sell books on Amazon for a penny (or several pennies), and convinced me that I am quite outside the normal realm. After all, I am a person who would read a book after the kids are in bed and the dishes shelved (p. 14) and also one likely to pick up a book on peregrine migration patterns (p.50). Hornby also happens to mention my sister's favorite artist, Jack Vettriano, and talks about Into the Wild. This is a book I've read recently, so I was eager to see what was said, but it didn't come until the end. I did sit on my impatience and wait until I arrived there in due time, although A. said why do that? it's not as if the book's written chronologically. But I did!
Oh, and I must have better eyesight than I thought. Even though I wear glasses for astigmatism headaches, I managed to read the small print line without a magnifying glass. It was horrifically disgusting, and A. laughed when I paraphrased it to him!
Quoted in this book are selected excerpts from Sarah Vowell's Assassination Vacation, Jess Walter's Citizen Vince, Jennie Erdal's Ghosting and Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis (a graphic novel). All in all, an astonishing good and funny collection of words on reading.
Rating: 5/5 ........ Published: 2006, pp 153
Read another review at: In Spring it is the Dawn