Tuesday, October 24, 2006


About The Believer Mag, Nick Hornby and envy.

I just got my new Believer Mag and as always I turned immediately to Nick Hornby's column, "Stuff I've Been Reading." I am not sure how old Nick Hornby is, but possibly I am old enough to be his mother. I know that I was busy raising children, trying to make it as an indie singer/songwriter and other important pursuits, but it is just not fair how good he is at writing about books. (Of course, last month he made me really mad because he spent the whole month watching the World Cup playoffs instead of reading, but he is a guy, so I forgive him. I learned this about guys by trying to talk to my son on the phone while he was watching Sports Center.)

I was not raised Catholic, so I am not sure, but I think envy is one of the seven deadly sins. Well, I don't believe in hell either, except for being pretty sure that we are all already there. This is not my first experience with envy. In highschool I could never get my hair to look as cute as the popular girls' hair. Later on in life, I spent countless hours trying to write even one song as good as any Joni Mitchell song. Now I am trying to review books as best I can and along comes Nick Hornby.

My Believer subscription was a gift last Christmas. I just got the first notice about renewing (which shows admirable restraint on the part of the magazine. Most mags I subscribe to start bugging me about renewing about three months in.) It is an expensive mag and I have to admit that I don't always get through all the articles in each issue. But I like it. It makes me feel hip and up-to-date about how people who are young enough to be my grandchildren are viewing the world. Just you wait: it is very hard to stay up-to-date with people two generations away when you reach my age. It is important though because those people are going to be running the world very soon which has a big effect on how life will be for my actual grandchildren.

OK, I am getting away from my subject here. I guess what I am trying to say is that I wish Nick Hornby was running the New York Times Book Review, which has gotten really bad. And maybe if I kept practicing he would give me a job reviewing books. And maybe someone at The Believer is Googling their own mag and finds my blog post and decides to give me a free year's subscription. And maybe the United States will get out of Iraq. And maybe something can still be done about global warming. See, it is not about envy, it is all about hope.


  1. Anonymous7:26 PM

    Dear Judy,

    I'm ignorant of The Believer Mag and don't know Nick Hornby, but your humorous "A Short Aside" makes me want to subscribe and get to know both!

    From A to Z

  2. Don't you just want to be his best friend? I know he's the much maligned king of "lad lit", but I just love him. I want to hang out with him and talk about books and music. If it ever happens, you will have to come with me, that way we can both hang out with him AND we can keep the sports talk to a minimum.

  3. A to Z,
    Thanks for getting the humor. A good way to get to know Nick Hornby is to read his novel, About A Boy. His columns about reading are collected in The Polysyllabric Spree, which you can find in most bookstores.

  4. Piksea,

    OOH! Happy hour with Nick Hornby! That would be so much fun. I'm there.