2014: 66. - 70. Five by Nick Hornby

"It's never easy, returning home after failing to make one's way in the world."

More Baths Less Talking, Nick Hornby

I always knew I liked Hornby, having enjoyed High Fidelity, About a Boy, and such, but it wasn't until I started reading his book reviews that I realized that I loved him.  Hornby has an on and off again column in The Believer magazine, in which he writes about "Stuff I've Been Reading" - monthly essays on what he's read that month.  This is the latest collection of the columns, and I've been so looking forward to it.  I wasn't disappointed! He's only positive (that's the magazine's credo, I guess), so if he doesn't like a book he will refer to it as "unnamed literary novel" or "famous writer's bio."  But he nonetheless is able to analyze the stuff he reads, talking about what works and what doesn't so that it's as much about writing as about reading.  And he says somethings that just seem so apt to me (like, John Updike and all that adultery nonsense is just alien to modern normal people), that I wanted to take him out for a beer and just chat.  Love these books.

So, then, of course, I went and re-read the other three collections of columns.

Shakespeare Wrote For Money, The Polysyllabic Spree, Housekeeping vs. The Dirt, Nick Hornby

I've read these numerous times before - I think I even named Shakespeare Wrote For Money one of the best books I read in like, 2009, but I enjoyed them just as much on the re-read.  Everytime I get through I end up with a list of books I want to go read, and this time was no exception.  If you like book reviews (and I assume you do, else why are you reading this blog?), you'll love these collections.

A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby

And then, to tie a bow, I decided to re-read A Long Way Down. I enjoyed it just as much as I did back in 2008 - the premise, in case you are too lazy to click that link - is that four people who all intended to jump off a building on New Year's Eve, run into each other on top of the building at the same time - and that binds them together in an odd way, and they slowly help each other figure out their lives.  But not in a cheesy Hallmark way - rather they are sort of dragged along kicking and screaming towards each other.  Funny, and real, and touching - loved it.

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017