Stuff I’ve Been Reading

A Monthly Column

by Nick Hornby

BOOKS BOUGHT:

  • Open Marriage: A New Life—Nena and George O’Neill
  • Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny—Nile Rodgers
  • Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and Her Family’s Feuds—Lyndall Gordon
  • Parallel Lives: Five Victorian Marriages—Phyllis Rose
  • The Last Word—Hanif Kureishi
  • BOOKS READ:

  • The Last Word—Hanif Kureishi
  • Nameless Novel—Anonymous
  • Respect Yourself: Stax Records and the Soul Explosion—Robert Gordon
  • A Song for Issy Bradley—Carys Bray

This column always begins with a list of books I have bought and a list of books I have read, but the main body of the text, for obvious reasons, tends to relate to the latter list. I wish this were not so, for obvious reasons. But the confidence of my youth has ebbed away: these days, I seem to have much less to say about books I know nothing about. This month, however, there is a title on the Books Bought list that requires explanation, even though I suspect nobody will believe a word of it, not least because I can no longer remember what the explanation is. I was under the impression that I’d bought Open Marriage, by Nena and George O’Neill, because I’d recently read an obituary of Nena and it had piqued my interest, but she appears to have died in 2006, so that can’t have been it. I did read the obituary, but I can’t recall why.

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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