Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Nick Hornby Talks Books! Yay!

Apparently I'm in a good mood today, what with all the exclamation marks. Anyhoo, Nick Hornby contributed to a writer's table display at British bookseller Waterstone's and shared his selection with the Times Online. The list is mixed with old and young, classic and new, fiction and non-fiction - much what you'd expect from Nick Hornby. Does anyone defend literature like Nick Hornby? He doesn't resort to arguing for artistic merit, but makes his picks based on personal enjoyment or growth. His position is, in a nutshell, "if you enjoy it, it's a good book." I can get behind that. Furthermore, he selects two Canadians, Carol Shields (The Republic of Love) and Miriam Toews, for A Complicated Kindness, which made me squeal with joy: "A fresh, quirky fictional voice, telling us about a community of which we know nothing. What else do you need from contemporary fiction?" As my wife mentioned, we know a little more about the community than he does, which, by his reasoning, should reduce our enjoyment of the book. Nevertheless, it is on his list, and thousands of British folk will pick up a new Canadian author, which makes me happy for Miriam Toews. It also creates in my mind a fantastical scenario for which I would pay any dollar amount to see actualized: Nick Hornby and Miriam Toews talking books and life with each other at some literary event, or, even better, in my living room. Two young(ish) authors with a similar view of lightness and tragedy of life and who bring wit and poignancy into everything they write (even book lists), together, talking books? I can't think of anything better. For now, however, the only place they can be found together is on this blog. Sigh.

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