Nick Hornby's Favorite Books

Below are Nick Hornby's 5 favorite books as listed on his blog. Or, should I say, favoUrite books? (Oh, and he was unclear as to whether these are listed most to least favorite, least to most, or just all really good. Maybe he'll stop by and let us know?)


The Accidental Tourist

by Anne Tyler

Leah Smith from Burtonsville, MD says:

Ms. Tyler was born in Minnesota, but has made Baltimore, where many of her novels are set, her home for many years. Even if you have seen the movie adaptation of this novel starring William Hurt and Geena Davis, you must read the book. The author’s charming, dysfunctional characters leap off of the page. Tyler does in this novel what she does so very well in all of her novels: teaches the reader about life and love.

This book also appears on The Best Books by Maryland Authors


Great Expectations

by Charles Dickens

Dena from New York, NY says:

I like Dickens. Even so, I didn't read "Great Expectations" until I was in grad school — I'd seen the movies, and they all seemed boring and love-storyish. Mawkish, what with Miss Havisham and her house and Pip longing for Estella...

Charles Dickens, how could I have forgotten? That's not what you do at all. "Great Expectations" has a mystery at its heart, and it plows along until all of a sudden you're on page 500 and you've laughed out loud — to Dickens! — on the subway.


This Boy's Life: A Memoir

by Tobias Wolff

Michael Hill says:

A haunting, unsentimental memoir of a boy growing up with a close-to-dysfunctional mother, whom he deeply loves, and the abusive man she allows in their lives in her desperate search for family and stability.

Tobias takes you through the pains of adolescence as they are turned up to an almost unbearable volume, isolated in a remote logging town in Oregon. There are promises of a better world — a half brother, an absent father — that are always just out of reach.

This Boy's Life tells of Tobias' attempt to do what all of us do — invent ourselves as we figure out who we are — in an atmosphere that robs him of most of the tools needed for that task.


Where I'm Calling From

by Raymond Carver

Hornby didn't specify any one book of Carver's — he just said "The collected stories of Raymond Carver." I chose this book as representative of Carver's work.


I Capture the Castle

by Dodie Smith

Mallary from France says:

I loved this book. It made me laugh and, at times, it made me want to cry. I found it extremely hard to put down and found myself reading long after I should have put the light out!

It is written in diary-narrative and tells the story of budding young writer Cassandra Mortmain. She lives in a charming but crumbling old English castle — in a certain degree of poverty — with her eccentric family.

A beautiful coming-of-age novel filled with love, heartbreak, humour and family loyalty.