Stuff I’ve Been Reading

A Bimonthly Column

by Nick Hornby


  • This Boy: A Memoir of a Childhood—Alan Johnson
  • David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants—Malcolm Gladwell
  • Everything I Never Told You—Celeste Ng
  • Modernity Britain Book 2: A Shake of the Dice, 1959–62—David Kynaston
  • Sin in the Second City—Karen Abbott
  • Speedboat—Renata Adler
  • Soul Picnic: The Music and Passion of Laura Nyro—Michele Kort


  • This Boy: A Memoir of a Childhood —Alan Johnson
  • Invincible: Inside Arsenal’s Unbeaten 2003–2004 Season—Amy Lawrence
  • Roy: The Official Autobiography of Roy of the Rovers—Roy Race (with Bob Dickens)
  • Swing Low: A Life—Miriam Toews
  • & Sons—David Gilbert

I have been writing in these pages for a long time now, so I think I have a pretty good idea of who you are. You are a man aged between fifty and sixty-five, born in the Southeast of England—Watford, say, or Basingstoke—called something like Phil or Keith. You started watching football in the 1970s, never missed The Big Match with Brian Moore and Jimmy Hill on Sunday afternoon, and subscribed to Tiger or Lion, as well as Shoot or Goal. You had a Rod Stewart haircut in 1973/74, but you went a bit punkier in 1977. Uncanny, right? (And if none of this applies, then the Believer isn’t the magazine for you. Move along! There’s nothing to see here! Go and read the New Yorker!) Well, have I got a book for you.

We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

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Nick Hornby is the author of six novels, the most recent of which is Juliet, Naked, and a memoir, Fever Pitch. He is also the author of Songbook, a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award for music criticism, and editor of the short-story collection Speaking with the Angel. His screenplay for An Education was nominated for an Academy Award. He lives in North London.

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