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More Baths Less Talking: Notes from the Reading Life of a Celebrated Author Locked in Battle with Football, Family, and Time Itselfby Nick Hornby
Synopses & Reviews
Read what you enjoy, not what bores you,” Nick Hornby tells us. That simple, liberating, and indispensable directive animates each installment of the celebrated critic and author's monthly column in the Believer. In this delightful and never-musty tour of his reading life, Hornby tells us not just what to read, but how to read.
Whether tackling a dismayingly bulky biography of Dickens while his children destroy something in the next room, or getting sucked into a serious assessment of Celine Dion during an intensely fought soccer match featuring his beloved Arsenal, or devouring an entire series of children's books while on vacation, Hornby's reviews are rich, witty, and occasionally madcap. These essays capture the joy and ire, the despair and exhilaration of the book-lovers life, and will appeal equally to both monocle-wearing salonnieres and people, like him, who spend a lot of time thinking about Miley Cyrus's next role.
"A lesser writer would be inscribing his own death sentence by proclaiming to 'vent my spleen by embarking on a series of books that, I hope, will be of no interest to the readership of this magazine.' But Hornby, referring to readers of the Believer magazine, in which he writes a column detailing his monthly literary consumption, is as engaging as he is droll and witty. This collection of Hornby's 'Stuff I've Been Reading' columns from May 2010 to December 2011 encompasses a broad range of topics, both literary and not. It's amazing how Hornby's enthusiasm for an obscure book (such as Andrew Brown's Fishing in Utopia) on an even more obscure topic (fishing in Sweden doesn't have obvious broad spectrum appeal) can segue so smoothly into musings on the artistic experience and the genius of Patti Smith's Just Kids ('many of us — most of us — could have been right outside the front door of Max's Kansas City and never taken the trouble to open it'). His side venture into the children's books he read with his sons (the hilarious Mr. Gum series) is as in-depth as his reflections on Sarah Vowell, that 'dark nerd-maiden from across the water.' In addition to providing readers with a wonderfully eclectic to-read list, Hornby reminds everyone how important it is to revel in the written word." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Hornby is a champion of the book, of reading, of the pleasure of a smart literary experience. He has a quality desperately needed in these times: intelligent enthusiasm." The New Republic
"A witty and illuminating blueprint to the habits and how-tos of reading good books well." Brain Pickings
"[Nick Hornby] has a knack for creating appealingly irresolute characters and is a genial guy with excellent taste and a smart, irreverent sense of humor." Boston Globe
"[T]his book is much more than funny. He understands writers and what they are trying to do. This book crackles with insight." Star Tribune
"Hornby is an entertainingly unpretentious critic; any reader would come away with a handful of book recommendations they'd be eager to check out." Kirkus
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