This book is a collection of columns that Hornby wrote over a ten-year period for a magazine I’ve never heard of called The Believer, basically talking about what books he chose to read each month, what drew him to those books, and what he thought about them. Hornby is one of my favourite novelists and screenwriters, and I thoroughly enjoyed his highly personal and idiosyncratic comments on what he’s reading. He’s a very funny writer, and sometimes while reading this book I had to stop and read a sentence out loud to whoever I was with, to explain why I was laughing.
I like that in his column he does the same thing I do on this blog: these are not critical reviews, but simply a stream-of-consciousness journey through one reader’s bookshelves. I also like his attitude towards literature, and culture generally. He relentlessly rejects the snobbery of anyone who tries to tell others what they “should” read, or watch, or listen to. I got a few book recommendations to add to my own ever-growing to-read list from Ten Years in the Tub, and I had the great pleasure of wandering down the byways of Nick Hornby’s mind, which was worth the purchase price of the book in and of itself.