I'm not the biggest Nick Hornby fan, though I do enjoy his music writing, despite its not always gelling with my own tastes and opinions. The McSweeneys edition of Songbook, with its beautiful hardcover package, makes it all the more enticing.
First of all, I love the cover art--the nod to the handwritten tape cover in all its coffee ringed, smudgy glory.
And, of course, the Marcel Dzama illustrations just seal the deal. I love the random creature thrown into the mix. Just perfect.
This one might be my favorite. The three identically dressed ladies (yes, of course they're the Velvelettes) are great on their own but the monkey perched on her arm really makes the drawing. (Now I'm seeing that that's not a monkey at all, but a bird with a human face.)
This edition also comes with a CD of some of the songs written about, though frankly, other than a couple of tracks, they're not really my taste. Then again, I suppose the fact that I enjoyed reading a book about music that I don't even like is a good indication of how well-written it is. I mean, Nelly Furtado? Come on!*
*Imagine the last line spoken in the voice of Gob from Arrested Development.**
**I've been rewatching the series and I can't help but find allusions to it in all facets of life.