Tuesday, September 20, 2005

And the 53rd Book of the Year Was...

The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby! The exclamation point is because I liked the book.

Remember a few weeks back when I told you all about the books I brought home from the library? And the ones I wanted to bring home, but didn't? Well, Nick Hornby does a column every month for The Believer in which he talks about the books he bought the preceding month and the books he read. They're not necessarily one and the same. His reading interests are all over the place, which I rather like. When he writes about your more literary books, he does so in a very nonpretentious way; and when he writes about genre books, he doesn't act as if he's slumming. I love this guy!

Though I'm not a hundred percent certain what the title means. The Polysyllabic Spree is how he refers to the people who run The Believer. They seem to have an attitude about book criticism. I won't go so far as to say they want it to be positive. It's more that they don't want it to be snarky. I won't get into all that.

I will say, though, that the Polysyllabic Spree should be grateful to be represented by the likes of Nick Hornby. I'm going to check out their magazine now. Just because of him.

Now, you're probably saying, that's all very nice, Gail, but what does any of this have to do with children's literature, the so-called topic of your blog? Okay, I can make a connectinon.

You see, Nick Hornby wrote a book called About a Boy, which also doesn't technically have anything to do with children's literature, the so-called topic of my blog. However, About a Boy involves a twelve-year-old boy who suffers terribly because he just doesn't get cool. He doesn't understand how to be cool. About a Boy also involves a thirty-something man who does get cool. He doesn't understand much of anything except how to be cool. I think About a Boy would make a good "adult book for young adults." Especially for young adult guys. When I see adult books on, say, high school reading lists, so many of them are womany-type books. This is a guy book.

Okay, it's been a few years since I've read About a Boy, and I suppose it might contain some druggin' and sex talk, if not real sexual activity. But, I ask you, have you read any YA books lately? I don't think there's anything in About a Boy that would damage high school students, and they may find some good stuff in it.

So there. I made a connection.

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