What will people think if you play Van Morrison at your funeral? When was the last time you listened to Pet Sounds? How does a mandolin solo illustrate or clarify the plight of Eskimos, anyway? In twenty-six song profiles that are hilarious, nostalgic, and deeply personal, one of our greatest music critics reminds us how much pop songs affect our lives. After all, as Hornby says, “There’s something in us that is beyond the reach of words… It’s the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part.”

At long last, this deluxe, limited-edition reprint of Hornby’s National Book Critic’s Circle Award–nominated book will reprise its original form: a square-shaped, intimate, Marcel Dzama–illustrated ode to the lasting joys of the fleeting art of pop music.

You can pick up the CD that came with the first edition of this book right over here.

Praise for Songbook:

“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

“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.”—Seattle Weekly

“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