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Shakespeare Wrote for Money by Nick Hornby

Shakespeare Wrote for Money (2008)

by Nick Hornby

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I'd been in the mood for a book about books and started reading The World Between Two Covers, but it's turning out to be more a thesis of, than ode to, reading, so I switched to a sure thing and picked up Nick Hornby's third collection of columns from the Believer magazine.

Shakespeare Wrote for Money covers two years, from 2006-2008, and purports to be the last one, as Hornby left the Believer after his September 2008 column. As it turns out the leave was temporary, as I already own his fourth collection, but this one does seem to lack the enthusiasm that over-flowed from the first two books. It was still highly entertaining and thought-provoking, but there was a hint, in comparison, of a going through the motions.

I still highly recommend it and thoroughly enjoyed it, and I'm looking forward to the fourth collection; perhaps after his self-imposed hiatus he'll be back in top form. ( )
  murderbydeath | Nov 23, 2016 |
For years Nick Hornby (author of High Fidelity) has written a column for Believer Magazine about the books he is currently reading. In the hands of another author the column could have been condescending or intimidating, but Hornby’s casual style and honest approach made it fun.

This isn’t my favorite collection of the columns. I think he comes off as a bit more jaded and frustrated with the editorial staff at Believer here. But there are still some wonderful gems about his love of reading. I also discovered a few books that I immediately added to my TBR. Hornby and I don’t have the same taste in books, but at this point I’m pretty sure I know where our tastes overlap.

Hornby has always been a vocal advocate for reading being fun, not work. That enthusiasm comes through in his writing and I can’t help feeling a bit more passionate about it myself after reading one of his columns.

“I now see that dismissing YA books because you’re not a young adult is a little bit like refusing to watch thrillers on the grounds that you’re not a policeman or a dangerous criminal, and as a consequence, I’ve discovered a previously ignored room at the back of the bookstore that’s filled with masterpieces I’ve never heard of.”

Each chapter represents one month’s column and begins with a list of “Books Bought” and “Books Read” that month. This collection contains his first “What are you watching” column too. It was a fun deviation from the norm to read about shows or movies he was enjoying.

BOTTOM LINE: If you’re new to these columns I would recommend starting with The Polysyllabic Spree. It’s the first collection and my personal favorite. If you already love them then this one is a must for you!

“Yes, it’s the job of artists to force us to stare at the horror until we are on the verge of passing out. But it’s also the job of artists to offer warmth and hope and maybe even an escape from lives that can occasionally seem unendurably drab.”

“There have always been relentless and empty-headed self-promoters, although in the good old days we used to ignore them, rather than give them their own reality show.”

“Maybe the best thing to do with favorite films and books is to leave them be: to achieve such an exalted position means that they entered your life at exactly the right time, and precisely the right place, and those conditions can never be re-created.” ( )
  bookworm12 | Feb 20, 2015 |
This is maybe a thing I should read? It's definitely a thing I should flip through in a bookstore.
  AlCracka | Apr 2, 2013 |
I love books about books and reading. Nick Hornby has a sweet and funny way of talking about books and life- perfect reading for fiction nerds.

( )
  eenee | Apr 2, 2013 |
The third in a series of books aggregating Nick Hornby's "What I bought this month/What I read this month" columns for The Believer magazine, this showcases Hornby's typically witty, insightful and engrossing critical writing.

I have not read most of the titles he reviews (which consist of a mix of fiction and nonfiction, classics and contemporary), though the danger here is clear: Your to-read list will grow.

It's too late for me, but you should save yourselves while you still can. Or just read Hornby's critical columns, which are by turns funny, warm, personal and incisive. ( )
  TCWriter | Mar 31, 2013 |
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Book description
This is the third and final collection of columns by celebrated novelist Nick Hornby from "The Believer" magazine. Hornby's monthly reading diary discusses cultural artifacts the way they actually exist in people's lives, and his notes on books--highbrow and otherwise--are accessible and hilarious.
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With an affectionate introduction by Sarah Vowell, this is the third and final collection of columns by celebrated novelist Nick Hornby from "The Believer" magazine. Hornby's monthly reading diary discusses cultural artifacts the way they actually exist in people's lives, and his notes on books--highbrow and otherwise--are accessible and hilarious.… (more)

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