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Songbookby Nick Hornby
Synopses & Reviews
From the New York Times bestselling author of High Fidelity, About a Boy, and How to be Good.
"All I have to say about these songs is that I love them, and want to sing along to them, and force other people to listen to them, and get cross when these other people don't like them as much as I do."
What interests Nick Hornby? Songs, songwriters, everything, compulsively, passionately. Here is his ultimate list of 31 all-time favorite songs. And here are his smart, funny, and very personal essays about them, written with all the love and care of a perfectly mastered mixed tape...
"Anyone who has read Nick Hornby's work knows that the man is a fan in the best sense. He's enthusiastic, he's knowledgeable...and he's not afraid to let you in on weird little trade secrets..." Jeff Baker, The Oregonian
"A collection of music-as-metaphor essays...like a diary in mix-tape form." Entertainment Weekly
"A joyful mediation of 31 of Hornby's favorite pop songs." Capital Times
"The whole subculture, all those mournful guys to whom the sound of record-store bin dividers clicking by is almost music enough, should love Songbook, yet so should anyone interested in great essays, or in the delicate art of being funny, or in how to write about one's feelings in such a way that other people will actually care." San Francisco Chronicle
"Delivered in a hugely enjoyable, invisible prose that does in words what Hornby's tunesmiths do with sound. He writes good." Time Out London
"A small, singular, delightful collection [about] the power of songs to bind people culturally and to reach deeply into the human spirit, bending the heart into new shapes with new potential." New York Times Book Review
"When Hornby writes about his enthusiasms and how they intertwine with his life, he's amusing and inspiring." Rolling Stone
"Intimate, funny and wise... Hornby at his most persuasive." Observer
"Strange, but at year's end, what reminded me of how much I love rock and pop was a book about rock and pop. Nick Hornby's Songbook is a sort of musical autobiography in which he writes, among so many other things, that the first time About a Boy meant anything to him was when he heard the sound track to the movie based on his own book." Dallas Observer
Former MTV music programmer and MTV blogger Courtney E. Smith delivers a humorous and edgy look at the world of music from the female perspective.
"All I have to say about these songs is that I love them, and want to sing along to them, and force other people to listen to them, and get cross when these other people don't like them as much as I do"—Nick Hornby
Songs, songwriters, and why and how they get under our skin...Songbook is Nick Hornby's labor of love. A shrewd, funny, and completely unique collection of musings on pop music, why it's good, what makes us listen and love it, and the ways in which it attaches itself to our lives—all with the beat of a perfectly mastered mix tape.
“Record Collecting for Girls is an invitation for all of you stereophiles (who happen to be female), to make your own top-five lists, and then, armed and ready with the books fun facts, to argue their merits to the ever-present boys club of music snobs in your life.” —Sarahbeth Purcell, author of Love Is the Drug and This Is Not a Love Song
You never leave home without your iPod. Youre always on the lookout for new bands, and you have strong opinions when it comes to music debates, like Beatles vs. Stones. For years, youve listened to guys talk about all things music, but the female perspective has been missing. Until now.
Drawing on her personal life as a music enthusiast, as well as her experience working at MTV and in radio, Courtney E. Smith explores what music can tell women about themselves—and the men in their lives. She takes on a range of topics, from the romantic soundtracks of Romeo and Juliet to the evolution of girl bands. She shares stories from her own life that shed light on the phenomenon of guilty pleasures and the incredible power of an Our Song. Along the way, she evaluates the essential role that music plays as we navigate lifes glorious victories and its soul-crushing defeats. Finally, here is a voice that speaks to women—because girls get their hearts broken and make mix tapes about it, too.
“Courtney Smith has smarts and sass in spades. Her insights are as hilarious as they are thoughtful, and when you finish reading this book, youll feel like you just got home from a perfect night out with your best friend. And youll want to listen to Prince. At full volume.” —Megan Jasper, Executive Vice President, Sub Pop Records
Discography p. -206.
About the Author
Nick Hornby is the author of the bestselling novels High Fidelity and About a Boy, as well as the memoir Fever Pitch. He is also the editor of the short story collection Speaking with the Angel. In 1999, he was the recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters E. M. Forster Award. He lives in north London.
Table of Contents
Songbook 31 Songs...
"Your Love Is the Place Where I Come From"—Teenage Fanclub
2. "Thunder Road"—Bruce Springsteen
3. "I'm Like a Bird"—Nelly Furtado
4. "Heartbreaker"—Led Zeppelin
5. "One Man Guy"—Rufus Wainwright
6. "Samba Pa Ti"—Santana
7. "Mama You Been on My Mind"—Rod Stewart
8. "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?"—Bob Dylan
9. "Rain"—The Beatles
10. "You Had Time"—Ani DiFranco
11. "I've Had It"—Aimee Mann
12. "Born for Me"—Paul Westerberg
13. "Frankie Teardrop"—Suicide
14. "Ain't That Enough"—Teenage Fanclub
15. "First I Look at the Purse"—the J. Geils Band
16. "Smoke"—Ben Folds Five
17. "A Minor Incident"—Badly Drawn Boy
18. "Glorybound"—The Bible
19. "Caravan"—Van Morrison
20. "So I'll Run"—Butch Hancock and Marce LaCouture
21. "Puff the Magic Dragon"—Gregory Isaacs
22. "Reasons to Be Cheerful, Part 3"—Ian Dury and the Blackheads
23. "The Calvary Cross"—Richard and Linda Thompson
24. "Late for the Sky"—Jackson Browne
25. "Hey Self Defeater"—Mark Mulcahy
26. "Needle in a Haystack"—The Velvelettes
27. "Let's Straighten It Out"—O. V. Wright
28. "Röyksopp's Night Out"—Röyksopp
29. "Frontier Psychiatrist"—the Avalanches
30. "No Fun/Push It"—Soulwax
31. "Pissing in a River"—the Patti Smith Group
...And 15 Albums
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