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Adult Fiction Books

Towne Book Center Book Club: How to be Good Nick Hornby

I’m a Nick Hornby fan so when our bookclub chose How to be Good, I was game! I mean, who didn’t love About a Boy or High Fidelity?

How to be Good Nick Hornby

Sadly, I did not enjoy this book. But that’s ok, you can’t love everything every author writes, can you?  Anyway, How to be Good is about Katie, a doctor and her husband David, an angry man.  David’s sarcastic wit has turned him into a mean man and he is not pleasant to live with. Katie has an affair.  David meets a spiritual healer named GoodNews (I know) and completely transforms into a giving, caring, charitable person. The problem is, his actions make him seem holier than thou and he puts the family in strange situations without gaining their approval.

For example, David asks GoodNews to come stay in their spare bedroom. He gives away the kids’ toys.  He coerces the neighbors into taking in homeless people, which as you’d expect, devolves into chaos.  But not funny chaos like you’d expect. More like pitiful, why would you agree to this, chaos. No one benefits from these exchanges and it makes you wonder what was going on in David’s brain.

So, in the end, only a handful of us enjoyed the book. It just didn’t do it for us. I, for one, was hoping for more Bridget Jones’ type humor.  Thank goodness one of our bookclub members is English and she provided some useful translations for us, like car park, ploughman’s lunch, and row.  This book is a drama with small comedic bits. There is no diversity in this book.

Have you read any Nick Hornby? What’s your fave?

By Pam

My passion is advocating for diversity in children's and YA literature.