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jenn

Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Housekeeping vs. the Dirt

Housekeeping vs. the Dirt - Nick Hornby

I gave Hornby's first collection of critical essays, The Polysyllabic Spree, 5 stars because I thought it was excellent.  Well-written and hysterically funny, he writes about books like he's a book lover, not a critic.  I liked it so much I went immediately to McSweeney's website and bought the next three collections.  This is the second book and takes place pretty much where The Polysyllabic Spree leaves off.

 

Here's the problem:  I like this one even better.  At the risk of blowing what little meaning ratings have, I sort of need another 1/2 star to add to the 5 I've already given it.

 

The 14 essays contained in Housekeeping vs. the Dirt are the same format as The Polysyllabic Spree - a list of books bought, books read, and a chatty narrative about his thoughts on those reads.  But this time the essays are even smoother, like Hornby found his groove at this point.  Also, and I'm sure it's not coincidental to my added enjoyment, he had titles on his list that I've actually read (although he doesn't discuss any of them in this book).  He includes 4 excerpts from the books he read and loved, and one of them I've added to my own list (Assassination Vacation).

 

It's going to be hard putting off diving directly into the next collection, but I'm trying to pace myself to string out the pleasure as long as I can.  If you think you might enjoy critical essays that aren't very critical and have a bit of fun at the expense of pretentiousness, I definitely recommend giving Hornby's essays a try.