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July 15 , 2007

More Baths Less Talking

Notes from the Reading Life of a Celebrated Author Locked in Battle with Football, Family, and Time


“Read what you enjoy, not what bores you,” Nick Hornby tells us. That simple, liberating, and indispensable directive animates each installment of the celebrated critic and author’s monthly column in the Believer. In this delightful and never-musty tour of his reading life, Hornby tells us not just what to read, but how to read.
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Bestselling author Nick Hornby (“High Fidelity,” “Fever Pitch,” “About a Boy,” “Juliet, Naked”) is a virtuoso at love gone wrong. In his new short story, “Everyone’s Reading Bastard,” Hornby paints a wincingly comic picture of just how messy modern relationships can become, as his characters hit delightful new lows of cruelty, misery, and…

Whether tackling a dismayingly bulky biography of Dickens while his children destroy something in the next room, or getting sucked into a serious assessment of Celine Dion during an intensely fought soccer match featuring his beloved Arsenal, or devouring an entire series of children’s books while on vacation, Hornby’s reviews are rich, witty, and occasionally madcap. These essays capture the joy and ire, the despair and exhilaration of the book-lover’s life, and will appeal equally to both monocle-wearing salonnieres and people, like him, who spend a lot of time thinking about Miley Cyrus’s next role.

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