I found this book in Ten Years in the Tub - Hornby's description made it a book I thought I would want to read. The creation of Sugar is as much a par...moreI found this book in Ten Years in the Tub - Hornby's description made it a book I thought I would want to read. The creation of Sugar is as much a part of the story as the advice, so the introduction is really an important part of reading this. I really enjoyed the book though would say its not be best bed-time reading material because of content and the fact that I couldn't stop reading (and so did not go to bed...).
One of my problems with therapists is that I have to do all the talking and explaining, and they get to analyze and evaluate the content of my life. I know they are knowledgeable and educated and that they can probably help, but there is still the sense that they have NO idea how to relate to my pain. I like that Sugar shares her pain and then addresses the advice-seeker's. It lets me know she KNOWS, she gets it. Regardless of whether she does or not, I believe it and that is all that is important. Then she provides real advice in lovely sentences, with beautiful words and deep tenderness. Her general message is one of love, forgiveness and tolerance - all good stuff - but she exposes herself so completely as a flawed, real person who struggles with the opposites of the good stuff that I can trust her. She accepts the feelings presented in the letters and while she suggests different ways to react, she never says the feelings are wrong. She appreciates that loss and pain is individual, that everyone's is unique even though there is a universal quality. Out of her own stories comes great wisdom, phrased in ways that don't require a dictionary. Reach - "grab like a drowning girl for every good thing" - to get unstuck. "You must stop. Stopping is not running away from your problems. It is solving them." "Z is like a motorcycle with no one on it. Beautiful. Going nowhere." Even if I don't take the advice, the words speak to me and change me. (less)
This is a book about reading - how, why, what, when, about not reading, about discovering books and words and sentences. Books of this sort are extrem...moreThis is a book about reading - how, why, what, when, about not reading, about discovering books and words and sentences. Books of this sort are extremely personal and revealing. Writing about what one reads is personal and revealing, I think.
I am a List Person, so I appreciated the Lists of books purchased and books read at the beginning of each 'chapter'. I liked finding out why some books made it on to each list, liked Hornby's acceptance that some books would never be read but that made them no less important in his life. I own any number of books that I probably won't read but I like having them. As Walter Mouse says, they are 'to look at'.
At first, I found that I enjoyed reading about the books Hornby read, but that I did not particularly wish to read any. We have very different tastes, though perhaps similar attitudes toward those tastes. Then he discovered young adult fiction, fell in love, and while I still really enjoyed reading about the books he'd read, I started to want to read a few - or at least put them on the "To Read" list (which is, effectively, my Books Purchased list). I even requested one of them at the library but then life got in the way (something Hornby provides absolution for in nearly every article) and I didn't read it.
I appreciate greatly that he abandons books, cannot read them - me too! But also that it isn't necessarily the book that is at fault; sometimes it IS the reader. Also, that the reader changes. There are books that grow with me, that I happily read over and over; there are books that I grow out of - that I loved dearly and deeply, and that now we just don't have much in common. These are not rules that get shared when you are a child because, of course, there are curriculum that depend upon you slogging through books. Not many good things about being an adult, but permission NOT to read a book is one of them.
Hornby is a sarcastic, funny writer, though sometimes too clever for his own good. Fortunately, the book is in an easy-to-put-down-and-pick-back-up form so it never got tedious when he was being overly clever.
I enjoyed the cartoons and the book when it was behaving like the cartoons - highlighting, exposing issues through humor, but not preaching. The first...moreI enjoyed the cartoons and the book when it was behaving like the cartoons - highlighting, exposing issues through humor, but not preaching. The first part is interesting: how the book came to be, the process (brief though the description was) of cartoon selection and incorporation, and then some details on where 'food went wrong' in the U.S. There wasn't just one incident, but a series that led us down a rather dark path of super-sizing our portions and ourselves. That, fairly suddenly, there was an average of 3900 calories per day per person available - far more than one needs unless, perhaps, you are training for the olympics or doing a forced march in combat - and that this led to fiercer competition for our attention: enlightening. That type of information was great and the book would make a fantastic lens for studying a wide range of topics (if it were allowed in schools - public schools get a bit of a ding). I think it would engage and intrigue young adults, raise questions, allow them to explore. The preachier parts - and I actually agree with the author's position for the most part - were made tolerable only because of the cartoons. I did appreciate her honesty - she didn't try to hide her position and she did try to present the alternative view. The presentation got preachy and even patronizing in places.(less)
An unexpectedly delightful experience! I like collections of this sort - common structure within which authors explore. Good opportunity to explore ne...moreAn unexpectedly delightful experience! I like collections of this sort - common structure within which authors explore. Good opportunity to explore new authors, too. I was pleased that so many authors understood the cadence, the language, the silliness and the color of Sherlock Holmes' world and could maintain that while still providing something new. Many took a traditional approach, with Watson as the narrator, but still did something new. Stephen King's contribution was wonderful. A few used a different narrator - a village hedgewitch, Irene Adler - with Holmes and Watson as characters, and those were very well done too. H.G. Wells, Charles Dodgson, Conan Doyle and even (possibly- it was a quick reference but quite likely...and funny) Indiana Jones made appearances as characters in others, as did a dinosaur (that one got the silliness just right). Gaiman's 'Study in Emerald' is included (as appropriate) but was the only familiar one in the bunch. The rest were new, familiar and a great deal of fun. (less)
Think I liked the stories in #1 better, but these were certainly readable. Huff's "Quartered" reminded me a bit of Nix's 'Sabriel' but was too short f...moreThink I liked the stories in #1 better, but these were certainly readable. Huff's "Quartered" reminded me a bit of Nix's 'Sabriel' but was too short for a world with so much going on. 'Bone Garden' was a bit creepy for my taste. 'The Sergeant and the General' was probably the best - different and sad - though I also enjoyed 'Rat-Catcher' quite a bit. I like collections like this because I can try out new authors without a serious commitment.(less)