Nick Hornby, Shakespeare Wrote For Money

Such a fun book, SUCH a fun book: mind you, Nick Hornby's three collections of "Stuff I've Been Reading" articles, including Shakespeare Wrote for Money, means that I might as well mothball Book Addiction HQ.

The columns Hornby wrote for The Believer are chatty and detailed, thoughtful and personable, and who needs that?

For some readers, the great pleasure in this book will be Hornby's discovery of YA literature, especially fiction, and especially fantasy. In answer to the broad anxiety that grownups shouldn't waste their time on kids' books, Hornby answers simply that if you think YA is for children, you're saying that SF is for engineers. With that absurdity out of the way, he's off to the races, adoring MT Anderson's Feed and Sherman Alexie's Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and a bunch of other YA novels.

But he enjoys poetry, and he gossips about his friends and family, and he rhapsodizes about fiction (Ondaatje's CanLit classic Coming Through Slaughter coming in for the highest praise), and he makes a credible case for reading nonfiction attentively for its artistry, as well as for its content.

Hornby reads for fun and for wisdom, and he reads well. He's a book club all to himself.



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