cover image Notes of a Nervous Man

Notes of a Nervous Man

James Lileks. Pocket Books, $17 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-671-73701-6

This collection of columns by a former writer for the St. Paul Pioneer Press , now with the Newhouse News Service in Washington, D.C., consists mainly of humor pieces, although a few are serious and a couple (about Halloween and autumn) border on the elegiac. The first section, ``Domestic Life,'' deals with the multiple traumas of a novice home owner. ``The Public World,'' offers observations on adult education, air fresheners, mayhem in the movies and audience members who comment on it to their companions. ``Private Life'' discusses incipient baldness and buying a moped. ``Journalism'' contains pieces on the Minnesota State Fair and, most memorably, New York City--not Lileks' favorite spot on earth by a long shot. The tone is amiable and civilized throughout. (Nov.)