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Housekeeping vs. the Dirt Paperback – September 10, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
Each month gets one chapter (except for the two June/July periods, which are each compressed into one), where Mr. Hornby lists the title and author of the eclectic collection of books he bought vs. the ones he actually read. Then, he discusses the rationale for his purchases, and what he got out of the ones he managed to open. Plus, there are plenty of half-baked excuses for why he missed his reading goals (the Christmas column contains a nice running gag along those lines). Finally, there are excerpts from his top picks.
In "The Polysyllabic Spree," Mr. Hornby wrote that Amazon reviewers are of dubious parentage. Even so, I still enjoy his unique style of, well, reviewing. He has a cool way of weaving his personal life into the mix, so there's an autobiographical slant throughout the columns. For example, we find out some stuff about his family life, and follow the progress of his favorite football (i.e. soccer) team. But the best part of reading this book was finding out that I'm not the only sap who buys tons more books than I'll ever be able to read in a lifetime. Now I don't feel so alone in the world.
For those of you who love reading and are looking for a lighthearted book or two about your passion, then both "Housekeeping Vs.Read more ›
What I appreciate most about Hornby's essays (besides his sense of humor) is his barely contained love of reading. He does it because he wants to - not because he thinks he should. Some of his words of wisdom that would mortify the average "literary fiction" person include: "...if you're reading a book that's killing you, put it down and read something else..." and "..if you don't read the classics, or the novel that won this year's Booker Prize, then nothing bad will happen to you; more importantly, nothing good will happen to you if you do...."
And Nick, if you're out there reading this, I know you can't stand Amazon reviewers, but I also know you constantly read them, so I'm STILL recommending your book no matter what you say. HA!
I particularly admire Hornby's advice to readers and would-be readers, as it reminds us all to only spend our time on books that are "worth reading," but that phrase--"worth reading"--differs for all of us. For you, it may be Proust's Remembrance of Things Past; for me, it may be a deliciously dark thriller like Gentlemen and Players; and for Hornby, it may be the Motley Crue biography, The Dirt. But what matters is that you are enjoying what you are reading, that the book is bringing something to the table. Because otherwise, reading will become a chore, like school, and then bam! We'll lose another one to American Idol.
Oh yes, and Hornby also has advice for writers: stop writing about writers. Enough already! To which I can only say amen, unless you happen to be Michael Chabon.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you have never read Nick Hornby before you should. I really just love his writing style, and this is totally enjoyable.Published on April 27, 2014 by Emileigh
I liked this second volume of Believer columns better than the first. The books were a little bit more appealing to the general public, and I look forward to reading Gilead because... Read morePublished on March 24, 2013 by F. Camacho
The Village Voice has dropped its book review column and it's good to see that the Believer magazine is still printing a book review column and that the review collection from the... Read morePublished on June 17, 2011 by John Dyson
A wry book about reading books - most of which I did not know and most of which were novels. "Five Days in London" by John Lukacs, which is not a novel, is reviewed. Read morePublished on September 16, 2010 by Mike B
The third collection I've read of one of my favorite authors' columns about his monthly reading. Of course, Hornby is both hilarious and thought-provoking. Read morePublished on July 18, 2010 by Kelsey May Dangelo
Maybe I'm being too harsh. Maybe I should give this three stars. I'm quite fond of Nick Hornby ("About A Boy" is one of my favorite books) but I found myself disappointed. Read morePublished on June 29, 2010 by Gwen
The book is great BUT...
This is merely the second half of "The Polysyllabic Spree." Both the description and numerous reviews here call it a sequel, implying that it's... Read more
I always used to love NH, especially his characters, but in Housekeeping vs Dirt one gets a sense of the man himself. Read morePublished on January 19, 2008 by Benjamin Posener
This second collection of Hornby's columns picks up where "The Polysyllabic Spree" left off.
We readers are treated to another set of Hornby's thoughts on reading. Read more