I am finding that while I really enjoy Nick Hornby’s fiction (especially About a Boy and How to be Good), I just can’t get into his non-fiction work. I tried Fever Pitch last year and couldn’t finish it (rare for me), and found Songbook — while a quick, easy read — to be dull as well.
I think the issue is that I just don’t relate to what he writes about, and he’s not trying to write to someone who doesn’t share his experiences. For instance, Fever Pitch is meant to be read by a British soccer fan. I’m neither British nor a soccer fan (and I will totally admit I picked this book up thinking it would be baseball like the movie because I am dumb). I don’t understand the first thing about clubs and these fans. And he doesn’t try to explain either — he’s writing for someone who loves the sport. Which is fine — that’s just not me.
Songbook is a collection of essays about music. I like music! But Nick Hornby is a 56 year old British man, and I am a 27 year old American woman, and our musical tastes just do not overlap. It’s still interesting to read his essays in that you can tell this man has great enthusiasm for his subject, and he’s definitely a good writer. But I think I’ll stick to his fictional novels from now on.