Why did you choose this book?
I’ve been meaning to read Gaiman for quite some time now, and my favorite yearly reading challenge asked for a collection of essays. This seemed as good an option as any, though I did fail to realize it was over 500 pages long until after picking it up from the library.
What’s it about?
It is, most simply, a collection of written speeches and essays by a well-known author. Most have to do with art, comics, literature, film, and other authors.
Other recommended reads?
Probably authorial memoirs. The one jumping to mind is In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri and Ann Goldstein, though I can’t say why exactly.
My interest in these pieces waned and waxed in accordance with the topic of each section. I certainly learned a few new things, and if I wasn’t interested in the topic, it was nice that the pieces were fairly short and diverse. There was one anecdote that cracked me up completely. Gaiman recounts his experience at the Oscars, when he was in line behind a woman in a beautiful watercolor dress (Rachel McAdams). Someone stepped on her dress. She stopped for a photo, and he used the time to inspect her dress for footprints. Much to his surprise, a photo of her graced the cover of The Guardian, with him front and center, staring at her dress in rapt concentration.
Funny Girl by Nick Hornby