I managed to get my hands on a copy of the new Nick Hornby yesterday. I've always enjoyed his writing. I remember when Fever Pitch came out in 1992. I was a bookseller in Bristol at the time and I used to go to watch Bristol City for every home game. There was nothing like it at the time, which, considering the plethera of football books around now, is hard to imagine. Hornby managed to change the perception of the football obsessive, and I imagine that there were loads of blokes around the country forcing this book on to their girlfriends/wives and saying 'please read this book, it explains why i'm like I am'. It was a phenomenon at the time, and I devoured it. Then came 'My Favourite Year', a collection of football writing, with Hornby himself writing a great piece on Cambridge United, and a brilliant short by Roddy Doyle on Ireland's world cup rollercoaster.
When his next book came out 'High Fidelity', I loved him even more. Does this man live in my head?, I thought, because it seemed he was writing his books with just me in mind. It remains on of my favourite ever books.
I've been lucky enough to meet him a few times, most recently when he did a 'tour' with a band called Marah in April last year. It was an interesting concept. Nick would read a piece about a band or a time period in his life, and then Marah would blast out a four minute song to compliment the reading. And Phil Jupitus was comparing, and also in attendance was comedy legend Bob Mills (In Bed With Medinner, Win Lose or Draw...genius).
Anyhow, Slam promises to be another gem, and I'm really looking forward to reading it. It's out soon, and as luck would have it, our shop will be open (hopefully) soon after that.
We've been pulling together an events programme for the period between opening and Christmas, and this seems like a great soapbox for some shameless request. If you happen to be in a position of influence in the publishing industry, or maybe the music industry, and have an author/band that you think would like to visit the mighty Wood Green in November, and appear at a most exciting new bookshop , my e-mail address is in my profile.
By the way, were off to the bank on Monday to ask for cash. The business plan is complete, and if I were a bank, i'd lend us the money, so that's alright then isn't it?