Dewey Decimal: 808
I can never decide what I like best about these books: the new book ideas, the reviews of books I've already read, or Hornby's musing about reading in general. It's a real blend of all three. What I have also liked in the other two books of this series (The Polysyllabic Spree, Housekeeping vs the Dirt) were excerpts from other books which were sadly missing from this book.
1. Books I now want to read: Poppy Shakespeare, Skellig, Everything That Converges, The Abstinence Teacher. He seemed to read a lot more non-fiction this time, which he attributes to turning 50 and needing to know more stuff.
2. Books I've read already that I enjoyed reading his review of (and I feel smarter because I had already read them, just like Nick Hornby did): The Road, American Born Chinese, Holes, On Chesil Beach, Weetzie Bat
3. On favorite books and movies: to achieve such an exalted positon means that they entered your life at exactly the right time, in precisely the right place, and those conditions can never be re-created. Sometimes we want to revisit them in order to check whether they were really as good as we remember them being, but this has to be a suspect impulse, because what it presupposed is that we have more reason to trust out critical judgments as we get older, whereas I am beginning to believe that the reverse is true.
On finding a new author: It's not often you finish a first novel by a writer and you are seized by the need to read her second immediately. Of course, by the time her second comes out, I'll have forgotten all about the first. But today, the will is there.
The Bookword Game
When I read The Book Thief, I mentioned how I kept putting the book down, because I was afraid to read on, too afraid to wonder how bad Zusak could make this Holocaust book. Somebody commented that it was a Freezer Book, from the "Friends" episode of how Joey would put a scary book in the freezer when he didn't want to keep reading. Exactly!
A few months ago, bybee tried to find the phrase to describe the moment when you discover the title embedded in the novel. Turned out there was no such phrase, much to all her readers' dismay, so we suggested some names and voted on Title Drop. Isn't that perfect? It describes an event exactly that needed a description.
I think there are many more book phrases that need to be named. So, starting this Wednesday, Suey of It's All About Books and I are going to try this game, the Bookword Game. We will put a phrase out there that we think needs its own word, like Freezer Book, or Title Drop. We'll take suggestions and then there will be a vote. It is a democracy here after all. Mostly. We may make some unilateral decisions, but most unlikely! So come back on Wednesday to see what this is all about.