I should preface this review by admitting that I am totally in love with Nick Hornby. I have never met the man, or even seen him in a picture (unless the stylized guy on the covers of the three collections of The Believer essays is him) but I have a raging crush on him anyway and it's all because of books like this one.
This is the third in the collection of essays Hornby wrote for The Believer magazine, following The Polysyllabic Spree and Housekeeping Versus the Dirt. They all start off with a list of books he's bought and books he's read that month. The lists never match up, which is true for most reading addicts I know and is endearing as get out to this addict, who loves to know she is not alone. Then the essays range over the books he's read that month, sometimes touching on their connections to life and other times entertaining digressions from the world of books entirely. As per magazine policy, he only discusses books he's enjoyed but occasionally mentions, without identifying features, books he's set aside as unreadable. The essays read like a conversation you might have with Hornby while walking down a street together, easy and comfortable, smart and engaging. This is truly a wonderful book for other book lovers, and especially those of us who take some measure of enjoyment from writing about what we've read. Unfortunately, this is the last of the collections of this type as Hornby has left the magazine to spend more time with his family. A sad event for his readers although probably a happy one for his family (darn them anyway). Highly recommended.