Stephen Theaker's Reviews > Shakespeare Wrote for Money

Shakespeare Wrote for Money by Nick Hornby
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Jan 09, 09

bookshelves: mcsweeneys-book-club
Read in January, 2009

This came (from the McSweeney's Book Club) at a good time for me. I've been writing a lot of reviews lately, both here on Goodreads and elsewhere, and I've started to get a bit self-conscious about them. I got it into my head that it was best to be totally objective, to aim for apparent omniscience, to try to ignore my own reading experience in order to provide a more balanced view.

So it was great to read this book of columns, and find a very respectable literary figure talking about books in just the way I like to, writing about them in context; in the context of his life, of other books he's reading, and of books he's not reading. Obviously talent-wise I'm a million miles away from Nick Hornby, but that shouldn’t stop me from trying to learn from his example!

I remember reading Fever Pitch in a single night (in a bedsit in Lille while on a year as a teaching assistant) and this book was just as more-ish. It arrived in the morning and I finished it before going to sleep. Hornby's observations on books are highly entertaining, and at times even inspiring, in a quiet way. It made a good companion piece to Daniel Pennac's The Rights of the Reader, a book I read a couple of weeks before this one, and one which Hornby coincidentally has some kind words for in here.

This book has certainly made me want to read more of the magazine the columns come from. In my heart I know the Believer is pretty much a Sunday supplement on fancy paper, but I do still wish it was more cheaply available in the UK.
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Reading Progress

01/07/2009 page 63
47.73% "Wish I could get myself to concentrate on one book at a time."
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