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SONGBOOK

HORNBY, Nick

11,398 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0971904774 / ISBN 13: 9780971904774
Published by Mcsweeney's Books, San Francisco, 2002
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Brian Cassidy, Bookseller ABAA/ILAB (Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since May 4, 2004

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About this Item

Square 8vo. Original boards. Fine. Bright, clean, sharp and sound. Includes CD. True first edition of this collection of essays on some of Hornby's favorite songs. Out-of-print. Bookseller Inventory # 12410

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Bibliographic Details

Title: SONGBOOK

Publisher: Mcsweeney's Books, San Francisco

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

McSweeney's is excited to release Songbook \226 a brand-new collection of short, personal essays by Nick Hornby on 31 of his favorite songs and songwriters. This hardcover book has 4-color illustrations by Marcel Dzama throughout and comes complete with a CD featuring 11 songs discussed within.

Proceeds from Songbook will benefit TreeHouse and 826 Valencia.

The TreeHouse Trust is a U.K. charity based in central London, established in 1997 to provide an educational Centre of Excellence for children with autism and related communication disorders.

826 Valencia is a nonprofit learning center in the Mission District of San Francisco, providing free writing-based tutoring and workshops for students throughout the Bay Area. Students can drop in for individual one-on-one tutoring, register for workshops, or attend field trips through local schools and community organizations.

Review:

The personal essays in Nick Hornby's Songbook pop off the page with the immediacy and passion of an artfully arranged mix-tape. But then, who better to riff on 31 of his favorite songs than the author of that literary music-lover's delight, High Fidelity?

"And mostly all I have to say about these songs is that I love them, and want to sing along to them, and force other people to listen to them, and get cross when these other people don't like them as much as I do," writes Hornby. More than his humble disclaimer, he captures "the narcotic need" for repeat plays of Nelly Furtado's "I'm Like a Bird," and testifies that "you can hear God" in Rufus Wainwright's coy reinterpretation of his father Loudon's "One Man Guy" ("given a neat little twist by Wainwright Junior's sexual orientation..."). Especially poignant is his reaction to "A Minor Incident," a Badly Drawn Boy song written for the soundtrack of the film version of Hornby's book About a Boy. While Hornby was writing the book, his young son was diagnosed with autism--a fact that adds greater resonance to the seemingly unrelated song he hears much later: "I write a book that isn't about my kid, and then someone writes a beautiful song based on an episode in my book that turns out to mean something much more personal to me than my book ever did." Meandering asides and observations like this linger in your mind (just like a fantastic song) long after you've flipped past the final page.

The 11-song CD that accompanies the book is a great touch, but it's too bad it doesn't contain all of the featured songs--most likely the unfortunate result of licensing difficulties. Overall, Hornby's pitch-perfect prose, the quirky illustrations from Canadian artist Marcel Dzama, and a good cause--proceeds benefit TreeHouse, a U.K. charity for children with autism, and 826 Valencia, the nonprofit Bay Area learning center--add up to make Songbook a hit. Solid gold. --Brad Thomas Parsons

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I focus on intrinsically interesting, important, or unusual books in all fields. Specialties include popular culture; esoterica; modern & contemporary literature; John Steinbeck; The Beat & NY schools; poetry & small press; the avant-garde; little magazines & lit. journals (especially those associated with the Mimeo Revolution); manuscripts & archives; literary ephemera; Americana; as well as vernacular, folk, and outsider books of all kinds. A sense of the eclecticism I strive for can be seen in some of material I've recently handled. From an illuminated 15th-century manuscript Book of Hours to a collection of photographs and collages by Beat great William S. Burroughs, from a Yosemite tourist album containing some of the earliest images of a Sierra Club expedition to an important archive of letters from writer Henry Miller to his agent, I seek material that will fascinate and endure. I am always looking to purchase fine books in any of my areas of interest, from single titles to collections. Please inquire. Search and want services are available, as are appraisals and collection development. For three years I maintained an open shop in Monterey, CA (formerly the Cannery Row Old Book Co.). I now work in the Washington DC area and maintain office space in downtown Silver Spring MD. I am open by chance or appointment. I also exhibit regularly at book fairs around the country. Please check my website for upcoming events. To date, I've issued five catalogues of rare books. Copies may be downloaded on my website (briancassidy.net). Print copies may also be requested. Please email to be added to our mailing list. Proud member: Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA), International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), International Online Booksellers Association (IOBA).

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