Riverhead Books, Paperback, 9781573223560, 240pp.
Publication Date: October 7, 2003
"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." --Nick Hornby, from "Songbook "
Songs, songwriters, and why and how they get under our skin... "Songbook "is Nick Hornby's labor of love. A shrewd, funny, and completely unique collection of musings on pop music, why it's good, what makes us listen and love it, and the ways in which it attaches itself to our lives--all with the beat of a perfectly mastered mix tape.
"That whole subculture, all those mournful guys to whom the sound of record-store bin dividers clicking by is almost music enough, should love Songbook, yet so should anyone interested in great essays, or in the delicate art of being funny, or in how to write about one's feelings in such a way that other people will actually care."—The San Francisco Chronicle
"Delivered in a hugely enjoyable, invisible prose that does in words what Hornby’s tunesmiths do with sound. He writes good."—Time Out London
"Quintessentially Hornby: an idiosyncratic and charming exploration of the meaning of music and how it changes as we grow up and grow old."—SeattleWeekly.com
"A book about the joy of listening to great pop songs, about the elusive genius of a catchy chorus...what shines most is Hornby himself—his wry self-awareness, his disarming honesty. Effortlessly readable, every chapter reminds us how special an observer of human behavior Hornby is"—Heat
“A small, singular, delightful collection [about] the power of songs to bind people culturally and to reach deeply into the human spirit, bending the heart into new shapes with new potential.”—The New York Times Book Review
"When Hornby writes about his enthusiasms and how they intertwine with his life, he's amusing and inspiring."—Rolling Stone