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"And mostly all I have to say about these songs is that I love them, and want to sing along to them, and force other people to listen to them, and get cross when these other people don't like them as much as I do," writes Hornby. More than his humble disclaimer, he captures "the narcotic need" for repeat plays of Nelly Furtado's "I'm Like a Bird," and testifies that "you can hear God" in Rufus Wainwright's coy reinterpretation of his father Loudon's "One Man Guy" ("given a neat little twist by Wainwright Junior's sexual orientation..."). Especially poignant is his reaction to "A Minor Incident," a Badly Drawn Boy song written for the soundtrack of the film version of Hornby's book About a Boy. While Hornby was writing the book, his young son was diagnosed with autism--a fact that adds greater resonance to the seemingly unrelated song he hears much later: "I write a book that isn't about my kid, and then someone writes a beautiful song based on an episode in my book that turns out to mean something much more personal to me than my book ever did." Meandering asides and observations like this linger in your mind (just like a fantastic song) long after you've flipped past the final page.
The 11-song CD that accompanies the book is a great touch, but it's too bad it doesn't contain all of the featured songs--most likely the unfortunate result of licensing difficulties. Overall, Hornby's pitch-perfect prose, the quirky illustrations from Canadian artist Marcel Dzama, and a good cause--proceeds benefit TreeHouse, a U.K. charity for children with autism, and 826 Valencia, the nonprofit Bay Area learning center--add up to make Songbook a hit. Solid gold. --Brad Thomas Parsons
"Delivered in a hugely enjoyable, invisible prose that does in words what Hornby’s tunesmiths do with sound. He writes good."—Time Out London
"Quintessentially Hornby: an idiosyncratic and charming exploration of the meaning of music and how it changes as we grow up and grow old."—SeattleWeekly.com
"A book about the joy of listening to great pop songs, about the elusive genius of a catchy chorus...what shines most is Hornby himself—his wry self-awareness, his disarming honesty. Effortlessly readable, every chapter reminds us how special an observer of human behavior Hornby is"—Heat
“A small, singular, delightful collection [about] the power of songs to bind people culturally and to reach deeply into the human spirit, bending the heart into new shapes with new potential.”—The New York Times Book Review
"When Hornby writes about his enthusiasms and how they intertwine with his life, he's amusing and inspiring."—Rolling Stone--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
What a great read. I devoured this book. Great traveling read and inspiring.Published 5 months ago by Bobbo
There is always something magical in Nick Hornby texts, in the way he talks about music. Superb.Published 8 months ago by R. S. Gil Salinas
Needed to get this book fast for my daughter to head to college. It arrived fast and at a good price.Published 14 months ago by Denise Marie
Not much love for this one.
Hornby through some decent writing manages to make a few semi-worthy arguments for the songs he selected. Read more
I rarely agree with Hornby's aesthetic decisions, but the cases he mounts are all worth your time. I've read this book more times than I can count.Published 16 months ago by M. Cobo
This review has nothing to do with the book. It is not for me. I bought this for my grandson for Christmas. Just got it yesterday. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Vera Brasher
Hornby does it again! Such an intelligent and easy to read commentator and also with a low key British sense of humour that just delights.Published 23 months ago by R J KIRKLAND
The book was very cheap and didn't even look old. I had to use it for an english class and of course this is cheaper than the bookstores!Published on October 26, 2013 by Natnaree
Such a great book for music lovers, it's like be reading a personal daily full of songs and meaning for that songs...Published on March 6, 2013 by Lorena Ruiz