Wednesday, August 01, 2007



Rating : 5.0/5
Reason for Reading : To complete the series as I loved The Polysyllabic Spree so much

This anthology follows on from The Polysyllabic Spree, chronicling the reading habits of English author Nick Hornby. It continues with his columns in The Believer magazine in a similar style to the first book. It contains min-reviews, extracts from some of his favourite books and his great sense of humour.

I loved this as much as the first collection. I got more book recommendations from this one than the first. Housekeeping and Gilead by Marilynne Robinson both look really interesting. Also Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kerkov, Citizen Vince by Jess Walter and Persepolis a graphic novel about life in Iran by Marjane Satropi (I have bought a copy already! My best friend read these two books by Hornby before me and was able to pass on this graphic novel recommendation).

There were two great quotes from this book that I have made a note of:

"Reading for enjoyment is what we should all be doing. I don't mean we should all be reading chick lit or thrillers (although is that's what you want to read, it's fine by me)...I simply mean that turning pages should not be like walking through thick mud. The whole purpose of books is that we read them."

"I would like my personal reading map to resemble a map of the British Empire circa 1900; I'd like people to look at it and think, How the hell did he end up right over there?"

This series of books is perfect for anyone who loves books and loves the process of reading. If anyone buys The Believer in America can they let me know if he is still writing a column and what the rest of the magazine is like please. Cheers!

3 comments:

tanabata said...

I really need to get around to finally reading this. I also loved The Polysyllabic Spree.
Persepolis is a good read. Hope you enjoy it.

Nymeth said...

Gilead and Persepolis are on my wishlist. I've heard great things about both.

I really like the quotes you shared, especially the first. It's good to see a professional with informed opinions about books who manages not to be snotty or elitist about reading.

Katie McQuage said...

Yes, he does still write for the Believer. You can read snippets online, though not the whole thing. I've picked up the odd issue at bookstores, but I haven't subscribed (yet). I do enjoy the fiction offerings, but Hornby is my favorite part.

And I agree with the above: the Persepolis books are very good.