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Ten Years in the Tub (2013)

de Nick Hornby

Séries: Believer Columns (1-4, with new material)

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3251560,358 (3.94)14
Culling the best of his monthly column "Stuff I've Been Reading" in The Believer magazine, the bestselling author presents hilarious observations on a vast array of topics, and provides a wide-ranging reader list that serves as a reminder as to why we read.
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Fantastic. I prefer Hornby's columns over his fiction, but I will read anything he writes. And I just love his ideas on reading, art, and creativity. A few essays were repeats since I recently read More Baths, Less Talking. However, my only complaint with this book was that it had to end. 3/3/14 ( )
  JustZelma | Dec 20, 2020 |
A ‘book on books’, his 'Stuff I’ve Been Reading' column entries for the Believer magazine from 2003 to 2013.
It's written in a light hearted, amusing, breezy conversational style. You can have a good laugh at his anecdotes and observations.
I made many notes of good books to add to my ‘Books to Buy’ list. ( )
  GeoffSC | Jul 25, 2020 |
I read this book entirely while brushing my teeth - it took nine very enjoyable months. ( )
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
I need to read more Nick Hornby. I love his sense of humor and his down to earth approach to literature. This got a little boggy at times, but that's probably because I read it cover to cover, and that's not really necessary with essays/articles. ( )
  gossamerchild88 | Mar 31, 2018 |
This was a great book to take on vacation. Being composed of ten years of monthly columns, it's made up of almost 120 bite-sized pieces (he took some breaks). And Hornby, while as smart and literate as you would wish, also has the knack of writing (everything) in the voice of an always cheerful, always reasonable friend who happens to be sitting across the table from you at the pub, talking about books. It's been almost a year since I've read it, and I'm probably going to read a lot of it again, because I not only love books, I love to listen to (or read) other intelligent people about why they love books. Sometimes I learn something I didn't know about how to enjoy books, or why I should pick up a book that I'd thought I wouldn't like.

There are two problems with "Ten Years in the Tub." One is that Hornby is writing with one hand tied behind his back--the one tattooed H-A-T-E across the knuckles. The Believer, the magazine in which these essays were first published, had a policy of not publishing negative reviews. So if Hornby didn't like a book, he simply wasn't allowed to mention it. And that's sad. Hornby is a good enough writer so that the reader can judge whether he's being unfair to a book he didn't like, and The Believer should trust their readers enough to let them judge whether they should go along with Hornby on not liking it. That's just my opinion; and it may be overinformed by how much I missed seeing a bad book savaged. (It can be a great pleasure and a spice that perks up a bland stew.) The other problem is that each month Hornby lists the books he bought...and the books he read. And, of course, he only reviews the books he read. What's the problem? The books he bought are often, to my mind, by far the more interesting. For example, in his very first column, he mentions that while on holiday at Hay-on-Wye, the UK's famous town of bookshops, he bought ("for a pound, pure maybe-one-day whimsy, doomed to top-shelf oblivion") Michael Heyward's "The Ern Malley Affair," a book I read years ago and have been simply dying to talk to someone--anyone--about ever since. Other books Hornby bought and never read include "Wonder Boys" by Michael Chabon, "The Men Who Stare at Goats" by Jon Ronson, "The Tender Bar: A Memoir" by J. R. Moehringer, "Darkness Falls from the Air" by Nigel Balchin, "Fire from Heaven" by Mary Renault, "The Anthologist" by Nicholson Baker, "36 Arguments for the Existence of God" by Rebecca Goldstein, and on and on and on. It's infuriating. The least he could have done is not mentioned them at all.

But still, this book is a treasurehouse, and as I look through it again I see books and authors mentioned whom I've discovered since I read it first, and Hornby's comments are always spot on. I can hardly put it down. You should both buy it and read it. ( )
  john.cooper | Dec 29, 2017 |
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Culling the best of his monthly column "Stuff I've Been Reading" in The Believer magazine, the bestselling author presents hilarious observations on a vast array of topics, and provides a wide-ranging reader list that serves as a reminder as to why we read.

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