by Nick Hornby
Published: Nov 30, 2004
by McSweeney’s, Believer Books
“…I suddenly had a little epiphany: all the books we own, both read and unread, are the fullest expression of self we have at our disposal. […] But with each passing year, and with each whimsical purchase, our libraries become more and more able to articulate who we are, whether we read the books or not.”
I loved this book; even though I’ll likely never read most of the books Hornby talks about, I loved reading his thoughts about them. He’s hilarious and insightful and, I think, fair (although it’s hard to say given the constraints he claims to be under by The Believer).
Each chapter is one of the monthly columns he wrote for The Believer and at the beginning of each is a list of the books he bought that month and the books he read. Hornby talks about the books he read in a free form style; one book leading to the next. Interspersed throughout are excerpts from some of his favourite books, including David Copperfield and a selected letter from Anton Chekov that is brilliant; I want to copy it, frame it and send it to several people I know.
If you enjoy reading about books, I highly recommend this one; it’s a fun read.