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31 Songs is best-selling author Nicky Hornby's ultimate desert island disks
Through thirty-one songs that he either loves or has loved, Nick Hornby tells us what music means to his life. These personal and passionate pieces - refreshingly free of pretension - are a celebration of the joy that certain songs have given him. Together with additional writings on music from his column in the new Yorker - seen in the UK for the first time - 31 Songs is for Hornby what many of us have always wanted: a soundtrack to accompany life.
Winner of The National Book Critics Circle award, this funny and touchingly personal book, from the author of the million-copy number one bestseller About A Boy, is a must for music fans everywhere.
'Original, well written and wholly lacking in pretension...as good a book about pop music as I have read in many years and the most accomplished of Hornby's books so far' Spectator
'Funny, provocative, immensely readable. It is not simply about music...it is about Hornby, and us, and about being alive. His enthusiasm is such that he makes me want to be a better listener - and I can offer no better compliment. A triumph' Tim Lott, Evening Standard
'Refreshing, candid, very moving. Reminds you why you loved music before you knew enough to explain your love away' Uncut
Nick Hornby has captivated readers and achieved widespread critical acclaim for his brilliantly observed comic books High Fidelity, How to be Good, A Long Way Down (shortlisted for the Whitbread Award), Slam, Juliet, Naked and his autobiographical Fever Pitch (winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award). Also available from Penguin is The Complete Polysyllabic Spree, which shares his thoughts on books and writing.
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There is nothing quite so incomprehensible as love: 31 Songs is Nick Hornby's account of a selection of the music that lives deep in his heart and it is beside the point that most of us would make radically different selections. He makes some useful distinctions--these are not songs he loves for their associations so much as particular songs through which he learned more about his capacity for loving songs in general. Along the way, he talks movingly and intelligently about other matters on which those songs impinge--his relationship with his autistic son, his limited but real capacity for spirituality--but the songs rather than Hornby and his life are his real subject. It would be almost impossible to read this book and not get caught up in at least some of Hornby's enthusiasms--where you read thrillers trying not to cheat by looking at the end, here you spend time hoping the discography will be as good as the rest of it, and of course it is. The book is a serious attempt to define what it is about rock and pop that speaks to us in ways other types of music might not; those who either do not share Hornby's tastes or who have more eclectic ones will find it a useful and enlightening explication of what rock and pop do. --Roz KaveneyReview:
"A collection of music-as-metaphor essays...like a diary in mix-tape form."
"That whole subculture, all those mournful guys to whom the sound of record-store bin dividers clicking by is almost music enough, should love Songbook, yet so should anyone interested in great essays, or in the delicate art of being funny, or in how to write about one's feelings in such a way that other people will actually care." The San Francisco Chronicle
"Delivered in a hugely enjoyable, invisible prose that does in words what Hornby s tunesmiths do with sound. He writes good." Time Out London
"Quintessentially Hornby: an idiosyncratic and charming exploration of the meaning of music and how it changes as we grow up and grow old." SeattleWeekly.com
"A book about the joy of listening to great pop songs, about the elusive genius of a catchy chorus...what shines most is Hornby himself his wry self-awareness, his disarming honesty. Effortlessly readable, every chapter reminds us how special an observer of human behavior Hornby is" Heat
A small, singular, delightful collection [about] the power of songs to bind people culturally and to reach deeply into the human spirit, bending the heart into new shapes with new potential. The New York Times Book Review
"When Hornby writes about his enthusiasms and how they intertwine with his life, he's amusing and inspiring." Rolling Stone"
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Book Description Penguin, 2011. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0241951097