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by NICK HORNBY
ISBN 0670914266 / 9780670914265 / 0-670-91426-6
› Find signed collectible books: '31 Songs'
There is nothing quite so incomprehensible as love: 31 Songs is Nick Hornby's account of a selection of the music that lives deep in his heart and it is beside the point that most of us would make radically different selections. He makes some useful distinctions--these are not songs he loves for their associations so much as particular songs through which he learned more about his capacity for loving songs in general. Along the way, he talks movingly and intelligently about other matters on which those songs impinge--his relationship with his autistic son, his limited but real capacity for spirituality--but the songs rather than Hornby and his life are his real subject. It would be almost impossible to read this book and not get caught up in at least some of Hornby's enthusiasms--where you read thrillers trying not to cheat by looking at the end, here you spend time hoping the discography will be as good as the rest of it, and of course it is. The book is a serious attempt to define what it is about rock and pop that speaks to us in ways other types of music might not; those who either do not share Hornby's tastes or who have more eclectic ones will find it a useful and enlightening explication of what rock and pop do. --Roz Kaveney [via]