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Literary Love Affairs

May 28, 2008 - Amanda Alexander

Reading one book often turns into reading several more, in my case. Often I will pick up a book on recommendation from a friend or because it catches my eye in the bookstore, and then I fall in love with the author. Some of the authors I've fallen in love with in the past include Jodi Picoult, Ian McEwan, Ann Brashares, and Jhumpa Lahiri. When you find a book that satisfies your every reading desire, it only makes you want more, and the most logical place to look is in other books written by the same person.

Well, my latest literary love affair is with British writer Nick Hornby. A few of Hornby's novels have been turned into popular films, including High Fidelity with John Cusack, Fever Pitch with Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon, and About a Boy with Hugh Grant.

I picked up the novel version of About a Boy while I was studying abroad in England last week. I have always wanted to read this book, but I just never seemed to get around to it. I finally decided England was the perfect place to buy it. I read the entire book on my flight home, while listening to the movie soundtrack (I highly recommend doing this if you plan to read the book as well). Thus began my newest affair.

I am now reading another of Hornby's novels, A Long Way Down. This is the story of four people who decide they are going to commit suicide, but they all attempt to do it in the same place and end up getting into arguments about who should and shouldn't be allowed to kill themselves.

The great thing about Hornby is that he covers a lot of dark subjects with a great sense of humor and warmth. Hornby's characters are very real and they deal with situations in a way that you can easily see real people dealing with them. They are loveable, but they have flaws. They also learn a lot of life lessons, but they're never cheesy.

So if you're looking for a long-term litarary relationship, I suggest a date night with one of Hornby's books. I'm willing to share.


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