Nick Hornby resurrects his “Stuff I’ve Been Reading” column in The Believer (subscription only): “I have decided to vent my spleen by embarking on a series of books that, I hope, will be of no interest whatsoever to the readership of this magazine.” [via The Second Pass]
Looks like The Believer has just earned itself another subscriber. I. Am. So. Excited. To hear this news. I got hooked (via a Mental Multivitamin post) on Hornby’s column about his eclectic reading life not long before the column went away, breaking my heart into forlorn little pieces. Fortunately, the entire run of “Stuff I’ve Been Reading” was collected into three separate books—The Polysyllabic Spree, Housekeeping vs. The Dirt, and Shakespeare Wrote for Money—each of which was given to me as a sweet surprise by my indulgent and tolerant husband, the Scotch tape who holds together all the pieces of my heart. (It belongs to him, after all. I suppose he has incentive for keeping it in one piece.)
And now it’s back? O joy! O rapture! (I always think I am quoting Pudd’nhead Wilson when I say that, but now it occurs to me it may actually be the Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz. Or else a Gilbert & Sullivan song. Huh.)
Especially when they chronicle them with as much wit and insight as Hornby does. Confer:
The “Books I Bought This Month” lists are one of the things I love about these essays. Hornby begins each column with side-by-side listings of books bought and books read, on the premise that the books you want to read, intend to read, go so far as to purchase in order to read, say as much or possibly even more about you as what books you actually do read. He explored this idea in a thoughtful passage I would like to quote, but five minutes ago Scott left for the library and The Polysyllabic Spree is, alas, mine no more. I mean, it was never mine at all, but I loved it well during its tenancy under this roof. Laid it tenderly upon a tasseled velvet pillow when home duties forced me to turn away from its enchanting pages for a while.
Who, me, prone to hyperbole? I haven’t the faintest, slightest, teeniest crumb of a morsel of an idea what you’re talking about.
Glad You Asked
Three posts about writing and publishing
Old Year Books
Purple and Prose
A high tide week in May