How to Be Good

February 28, 2008 Categories: Books , Reviews | 4 Comments  


I’m pretty sure I was introduced to Nick Hornby by Staci at Writing and Living. I read A Long Way Down last year, and so when I saw How to Be Good sitting on the shelf at Barnes and Noble, I had to pick it up.

How to Be Good is the story of Katie Carr, a doctor in England. She’s an unhappily married mother of two and isn’t sure she wants to be married anymore. She’s always considered herself a good person – after all, she is a doctor – and she doesn’t want to be responsible for damaging her children. Her husband isn’t very easy to live with, though. He writes a column called “The Angriest Man in Town” – and the title fits. She can’t stand him, and doesn’t want to live with him anymore.

Then her husband undergoes a spiritual transformation, and decides to start living as if he actually believes all the things that liberals (and Katie, herself) like to talk about: the need to do something about the homeless, that their lifestyle is too materialistic, etc. He stops being nasty and starts being good, and now Katie wants the angry man back.

Hornby is extremely funny – I laughed out loud several times while reading this – but he also makes you think. I wasn’t quite thrilled with the ending (hence the 4 stars instead of 5), but I still recommend this.


  1. Carrie (Reading to Know)

    I haven’t read anything by Hornby yet. I see his books everywhere but haven’t worked up the nerve. Sounds like you enjoyed him very much though! Have you read anythign else by him? If so, is there one that you would recommend above another? Curious for your thoughts.

    Thanks for the review!

  2. carrie

    Carrie – the only other Hornby I’ve read is A Long Way Down – and I think I probably enjoyed that one a little more, simply because I liked the ending better.

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  4. Wendi B.

    Your review is wonderful – I’m adding this book to my wish list!

    Thanks ~ Wendi