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I was unaware of the existence of The Believer, the magazine for which Nick Hornby writes a regular book review column, but I may have to give it a go (I also find the Charles Burns covers very attractive). This assembles columns from mid 2006 to the end of 2011 (though he skipped 2009), all very deftly written with self-deprecating humour, aware of his own prejudices. One of the delights of the book is his discovery of YA literature as a thing of beauty, starting with Skellig (which I haven't read) and then Tom's Midnight GArden (which I have). Sadly Hornby refuses to read anything sfnal (he doesn't like "sprites and hobbits and third universes) so our tastes are not completely aligned. (I didn't count, but the number of books that I have read which are also reviewed by Hornby here is certainly less than ten and may be as low as six).

You will have noticed that I tend to write most about non-fiction books here, and it's Hornby's non-fiction recommendations which are going on my wishlist now: Spike & Co., by Graham McCann, about Spike Milligan, Eric Sykes, Ray Galton, Alan Simpson and Beryl Vertue (who is Steven Moffat's mother-in-law); Austerity Britain, 1945-51, by David Kynaston; and Claire Tomalin's Dickens biography. But basically the joy of the book is one of meeting a fellow enthusiast for reading.

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