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Dorothy W.

Thanks for mentioning the Howard collection -- I wasn't aware of it, and now I can look around for it. I love the Oates book, too -- I read it cover to cover a few years ago. Wonderful.

Kate S.

I too picked up this book after reading Sandra's post about it at Book World and my response is as enthusiastic as yours. I put aside all of the books that I'm supposed to be reading and read "Polysyllabic Spree" instead. A very satisfying read.

I bought the Mary McCarthy collection a couple of months ago but haven't yet managed to find an entry point to it, which is surprising given that I've loved everything else of hers that I've read. I'll be interested to hear your what you think of it as you work your way through.


Hornby's book is a lot of fun. You are right that you will breeze your way through it. I zipped right through, coouldn't help it. :)


A couple of years ago I picked up a little book of bibliophilic essays by Anne Fadiman: "Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader". And I fell completely in love with them. Must check out of the Hornby book.

Also, if you haven't read Virginia Woolf's essays yet you really must, esp. the Common Reader volumes. She really puts modern critical essay writers and reviewers in the shade.


Och, when I went searching for the "Polysyllabic Spree" on Amazon I discovered *another* book, coming out in September, called the "Complete Polysyllabic Spree". Maybe I should wait for that? :-/

Mike B.

The name of my fantasy baseball team is The Polysyllabic Spree in honor of Mr. Hornby.

As for essays, my favorite, and I've written about them before, is E.B. White's essays.

Lazy Cow

Hi Dani,
Thanks to linking to both my blogs!
I adore the Polysllabic Spree (but his last novel was his worst, in my opinion), and it was my inspiration to begin a book blog.
Are you reading the ML top 100 list from 100 to 1? I don't know if you posted about this (I must have missed that entry when reading your archives if you did).

Lazy Cow

That should have been Polysyllabic.
Oh, and I really enjoy reading your blog.


Dorothy you are such a prolific reader--you must have read quite a lot as an undergrad and grad student (and before, I would suspect!). Kate--the Hornby book is very fun--night light reading. I was surprised in the McCarthy anthology that her "place in literature" is somewhat ambivalent, and the editor put this book together to help convince critics that she does belong there (at least according to the intro). Victoria--I have the Fadiman book and I plan on pulling it out to put with my other essay "reads"! I looked for Woolf's essays in the bookstore, but I could only find her novels. I think the Lopate book must have some, so I will start there. Mike, as Hornby seems to be a rather big sports fan, I am sure he would be honored to know! I will have to add E.B. White to my list! Lazy Cow--For now I will stick to his columns/essays! At the beginning of this year I decided to start on the ML list--working my way from 100 to 1. As you can see I am moving rather slowly! Actually I was hoping to read at least 10 books from the list (though 20 would be my ultimate goal) this year. And I love personal blogs that are international and have lots of photos--I love seeing what other places look like!

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