San Francisco: Believer Books, 2012.
After I read Nick Hornby’s three previous collections of book reviews, I knew who I wanted to be when I grew up. I bought a subscription to The Believer so that I could read his “Stuff I’ve Been Reading” column hot off the press. I didn’t renew my subscription when it came time to, though, because the magazines just piled up, waiting for me to read past Hornby’s column. They stayed mostly unread, and there’s only so much “unread” I can cope with. Thankfully, this book collects his columns from May 2010 to December 2011, so I feel all caught up again. And it’s so much more fun to gorge on these things than to have to wait another month for the next installment, no?
As usual, I have left this book with additions to my wish list, including a couple of books for the kids (Mr. Gum books by Andy Stanton: a cross between Roald Dahl and Monty Python), and with a few bits of surprising and wonderful knowledge:
In England after the war, no TV was shown between the hours of six and eight p.m., a hiatus that became known as the Toddler’s Truce; the BBC decided that bedtime was stressful enough for parents as it was, and, as there was only one TV channel in the U.K. until 1955, childless viewers were left to twiddle their thumbs. (28)
I just don’t even know how to begin wrapping my head around that fact.
Read the book. It’s wonderful for all the usual reasons Hornby is wonderful.