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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 Itself Paperback – August 21, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"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-to’s 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

"...this book is much more than funny. He understands writers and what they are trying to do. This book crackles with insight."—Star Tribune

"A wonderfully eclectic to-read list, Hornby reminds everyone how important it is to revel in the written word."—Publishers Weekly

"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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 135 pages
  • Publisher: McSweeney's, Believer Books; First Edition edition (August 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1938073053
  • ISBN-13: 978-1938073052
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #559,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nick Hornby is the author of the novels A Long Way Down, How to Be Good (a New York Times bestseller), High Fidelity, and About a Boy, and of the memoir Fever Pitch. He is also the author of Songbook, a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award, and editor of the short-story collection Speaking with the Angel. He is also the recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters E. M. Forster Award, and the Orange Word International Writers London Award 2003.

Customer Reviews

One of my favourite things to do after reading a book I liked/disliked is to go online and read what others felt about it.
Sam Quixote
The book is chalk full of great book recommendations as well as Hornby's unique way at looking at reading and literature in general.
Robert Freeman
He lists the books he's bought (including books given to him or that he borrowed) and the books he's read in the past month.
takingadayoff

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By takingadayoff TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Despite the promise that the previous volume of Stuff I've Been Reading columns would be the last (Shakespeare Wrote for Money), Nick Hornby is back with another.

The format is simple and irresistible. He lists the books he's bought (including books given to him or that he borrowed) and the books he's read in the past month. Then he writes about them and anything else that's on his mind for a couple of pages. It's less a column really, and more of a blog that has a casual and sometimes first draft feel. It's fun to compare what you've been reading to his choices and if you've any books in common, to see what he thinks about them.

In the past few years, he's made some changes in his reading patterns. He used to read a lot of contemporary fiction, and now he reads backlist items as well and more non-fiction. And since he's now an Academy Award nominated screenwriter, some of the books he reads are Hollywood-oriented.

Right off the bat, Hornby mentions a book I had started to read but gave up as potentially too depressing - David Kynaston's Austerity Britain. Hornby talked me into giving it another shot. It sounds like the kind of social and political history that Dominic Sandbrook and David McCullough do so well.

He reads biography, history, children's books, even a self-help title. He reaches back in time to catch up with Muriel Sparks' fiction and several Charles Dickens novels. Many 'books bought' never make it to the 'books read' column, including Babbitt and Peter Pan.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sam Quixote TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
I was surprised to hear Nick Hornby had another book of "Stuff I've Been Reading" columns as he said the previous one, "Shakespeare Wrote for Money", would be the last of them (not a bad decision as I felt it was tired and unenthusiastic). More surprising was that when I decided to buy it, I really enjoyed reading it. It's like running into an old friend after a few years apart and it turns out you both have a lot to talk about - or in this case, one person has a lot to say and the other wants to read it.

After a nearly 1 and a half year break, the book picks up the first column in May 2010 to the last in December 2011. Hornby's humour is as sharp and effervescent as ever but more importantly his enthusiasm for reading and the books he's read is infectious. I think what made me like the book more was that this time around he picked books that weren't necessarily well known in the mainstream and consequently I wound up picking up some excellent titles from the columns, one of which I'm two thirds of the way through and enjoying the heck out of - "The Driver's Seat" by Muriel Spark.

Recommendations like "Book of Days" by Emily Fox Gordon, "Whoops!" by John Lanchester, and "Charles Dickens" by Claire Tomalin, are all books I wouldn't have heard of without him (maybe not the Tomalin) nor would I have felt the urgent need to read them. It's also enjoyable to read Hornby's reviews of books I've already read. Books like "The Anthologist" by Nicholson Baker, "The Psychopath Test" by Jon Ronson, and "Huckleberry Finn" are all reviewed well (except "Finn" which is just one word - "meh". The Believer, which publishes these columns, doesn't believe in negative reviews so Hornby has to keep the pages bile-free).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephen T. Hopkins VINE VOICE on March 25, 2013
Format: Paperback
I drew an unremarkable conclusion after I finished the latest collection of the Stuff I've Been Reading columns by Nick Hornby titled, More Baths Less Talking: Notes from the Reading Life of a Celebrated Author Locked in Battle with Football, Family, and Time Itself. I'd much rather be reading a good book than reading about someone else's reading. Hornby writes quite well, and I found something I liked in every column. The problem for me was that by the time I read this selection, I had either already read or passed on the books that Hornby was writing about. If you are looking for great reading selections, you're likely to enjoy reading Hornby's columns. If you're curious about how other readers make their choices, you're likely to find this book informative and useful.

Rating: Three-star (It's ok)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Debnance at Readerbuzz on March 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I’ve read a good bit of Nick Hornby, but I have to say that my favorite Nick Hornby books are these, the books composed of essays he has written for The Believer. Hornby has compiled several books now that are composed entirely of essays about the books Hornby is reading.

Oddly, I haven’t read much of what Hornby reads and I’m not inspired to go out and buy the books he reads, but (who knows why?) I’m terribly intrigued at reading about Hornby’s reading. Lots of biographies and classics and histories. Books about musicians and soccer players and politicians. I don’t read any of that. Almost never. But I still love reading about the books he has read and attempted to read and (even) given up on. Mysterious.
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