2007: 94. Housekeeping Vs. The Dirt

“I started writing this column in the summer of 2003.  It seemed to me that what I had chosen to read in the preceding few weeks contained a narrative , of sorts - that one book led to another, and thus themes and patterns emerged, patterns that might be worth looking at.  And, of course, that was pretty much the last time my reading had any logic or shape to it.” 

Housekeeping Versus The Dirt, Nick Hornby

This is Hornby’s second collection of columns from The Believer, the sequel, of sorts to The Polysyllabic Spree.*  They too are enjoyable and well-written, and best of all, his raving about Marianne Robinson’s Gilead was enough to make me pick it up when I got to the R section of my commuting books, and for that I will be eternally grateful (more on this to come, of course, if I ever get through my backlog!).  So, I would recommend this collection, because maybe he’ll recommend a book to you that you will find to be earth shatteringly awesome.  Also, it contains the following pretty awesome quote, which basically explains why I became a history, not an English major -

pg. 108 

“Lukacs’s book is completely gripping, clear and informative, and corroborates a theory I’ve been developing recently: the less there is to say about something, the more opaque the writing tends to be.  In other words, you hardly ever pick up an unreadable book on World War II, but pick a book up on, I don’t know, the films of Russ Meyer, and you’ll be reading the same impossible sentence about poststructuralist auteurism three hundred times.”

Awesome and true.

Recommended for: Readers with a sense of humor and a yen for recommendations

* I bought them both a the recent McSweeney’s save our business sale - a bargain and a good cause!

Date/Place Completed: 6/29/07; D.C. 

Categories: Non-Fiction; Criticism

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017