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"Before you know it as the years go by, you're just like other people you have seen, with all those peculiar human ailments. Just another vehicle for temper and vanity and rashness and all the rest. Who wants it? Who needs it? These things occupy the place where a man's soul should be." -- Henderson the Rain King

Saturday, January 29, 2005

The Polysyllabic Spree

I just finished reading The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby (of High Fidelity and Fever Pitch fame). The book is a collection of 14 of his monthly "Stuff I've Been Reading" columns that have previously been published in The Believer (which by the way is a great magazine). The name of the book is a play on the name of a band called The Polyphonic Spree after whom Hornby has affectionately nicknamed the people who run the magazine.

The basic premise is that each month he describes the books that he's read, how he decided to read them, etc. Hornby's book selection is all over the map, which reminds me a lot of my own reading. It's cool to see how one book or author leads him to another, which leads him to another, and so on. I know that to be true from my own reading as well. The reason I picked up Hornby's book is because I had read Dave Eggers' A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, which got me into reading McSweeney's (which Dave Eggers publishes), which lead me to The Believer (which McSweeney's publishes).

Hornby has a great sense of humor and seems to really enjoy writing the column, which in turn makes it a lot of fun to read. Another thing I like is that he breaks down the "Books I Bought" from the "Books I Read" each month. I was glad to see I'm not the only one who suffers from the affliction of not being able to read them as fast as I can find new ones to read.

All of this reading about reading has got me thinking about my own reading habits. I'm thinking that I may try to participate in the 50 Book Challenge this year. The challenge is to read 50 books in one year and post about them all on your blog. With this one done I'm now up to four so far. That's a pretty good pace, but I guess I'll have to see if I can keep it up. Even if I get to the 35-40 range, I'll be pretty darned happy.


Blogger Jamie said...

Powell's Books has posted their review of this book here.

9:44 PM


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