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review 2014-05-30 16:30
More Baths Less Talking: Notes from the Reading Life of a Celebrated Author Locked in Battle with Football, Family, and Time - Nick Hornby
More Baths Less Talking: Notes from the Reading Life of a Celebrated Author Locked in Battle with Football, Family, and Time - Nick Hornby

Nick Hornby's memoirs of reading as published in the Believer each month are my favorite writing about reading. I read the new collections as they're released and come back to them, either because my memory is so bad I forgot I already read them, or because they are awesome: take your pick.

 

***

10/11/12

 

My reading taste doesn't overlap all that much with Hornby. Nonetheless, I love his writing, especially his writing about being a reader. These four books of Believer columns are one of the highlights of my reading life. I've no idea what it is like to be flown into LA to attend the Oscars as a nominee, and can't really imagine it. But I do know what it is like, sitting on the sofa between two children, desperately trying to finish the last 25 pages of a good novel when someone else wants you to look at what's on the TV, and the noise is escaping from someone else's headphones. That I know very well.

 

It doesn't matter what he reads, it matters that he loves reading. Pretty much the same attitude I take toward my friends and folks I follow at GR [and now, here at BL].

 

Library copy.

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review 2013-11-17 04:05
More Baths Less Talking: Notes from the Reading Life of a Celebrated Author Locked in Battle with Football, Family, and Time Itself
More Baths, Less Talking - Nick Hornby Another typically engaging, witty collection of Hornby's book review columns from the Believer magazine. This is the fourth book in the series, and given the time frame, perhaps the most relevant. Hornby (already one of my favorite writers) lists the books he's purchased over the last month and those he's read, and the difference between the two is instructive, especially if you're like a lot of us and your reader's eyes are bigger than your time budget. Hornby's reviews of the books are witty; he correctly places his individual book reviews within the arc of his reading, which is a far more honest way of handling reviews. I'm a big Hornby fan and while I'm not reading a lot of the same title he is, his collection of reviews did add a good-sized chunk of titles to my "to-read" list, so you read this fun little collection of reviews at your own risk.
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text 2013-10-03 09:34
Satantango, page 55
Satantango - László Krasznahorkai,George Szirtes

However apparently insignificant the event, whether it be the ring of tobacco ash surrounding the table, the direction from which the wild geese first appeared, or a series of seemingly meaningless human movements, he couldn't afford to take his eyes off it and must note it all down, since only by doing so could he hope not to vanish one day and fall a silent captive to the infernal arrangement whereby the world decomposes but is at the same time constantly in the process of self-construction.

 


(Sorry for spamming, I thought about doing status updates on GR, but even this sentence is too much for the character limit.)

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text 2013-10-02 07:37
Satantango, page 54
Satantango - László Krasznahorkai,George Szirtes

So, doing nothing, he simply remained on the alert, careful to preserve his failing memory against the decay that consumed everything around him, much as he had done from the moment that he – once the closing of the estate had been announced and he personally had decided to stay behind and survive on what remained until “the decision to reverse the closure should be taken” – had gone up to the mill with the elder Horgos girl to observe the terrible racket of the abandonment of the place, with everyone rushing round and shouting, the trucks in the distance like refugees fleeing the scene, when it seemed to him that the mill’s death sentence had brought the whole estate to a condition of near collapse, and from that day on he felt too weak to halt by himself the triumphal progress of the wrecking process, however he might try, there being nothing he could do in the face of power that ruined houses, walls, trees and fields, the birds that dived from their high stations, the beasts that scurried forth, and all human bodies, desires and hopes, knowing he wouldn't  in any case, have the strength, however he tried, to resist this treacherous assault on humanity; and, knowing this, he understood, just in time, that the best he could do was to use his memory to fend off the sinister, underhanded process of decay, trusting in the fact that since all that mason might build, carpenter might construct, woman might stitch, indeed all that men and women had brought forth with bitter tears was bound to turn to an undifferentiated, runny, underground, mysteriously ordained mush, his memory would remain lively and clear, right until his organs surrendered and “conformed to the contract whereby their business affairs were wound up”, that is to say until his bones and flesh fell prey to the vultures hovering over death and decay.

 

Yeah. That was a single sentence.

 

(Inner hater of Strunk&White purists is dancing with joy.)

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review 2013-03-29 00:00
More Baths Less Talking: Notes from the Reading Life of a Celebrated Author Locked in Battle with Football, Family, and Time Itself
More Baths, Less Talking - Nick Hornby 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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