West Hartford Reads! is a town-wide initiative encouraging everyone to read the works of one notable author, culminating each year with the author visiting West Hartford, Connecticut. This year, we’re excited to host acclaimed author Nick Hornby on October 12, 2023 at 7pm at King Philip Middle School.
Tickets are available at all West Hartford Library locations. Please note the following:
- Tickets are required for entry to the program.
- Seats are limited so we ask that you please only request the amount of tickets you will definitely be using.
- If you are unable to attend, please call the library immediately at 860.561.6990 or email firstname.lastname@example.org so your ticket(s) can be redistributed.
- Doors open at 6pm.
- You do not need a library card and you do not need to be a resident of West Hartford to receive tickets.
- River Bend Bookshop will be selling books by Nick Hornby at the event.
- The event will be sign language interpreted.
- Event parking is available in the parking lot adjacent to King Philip Middle School and along King Philip Drive.
- Free tickets are made possible through the Thomas F. Kilfoil Bequest, West Hartford Public Library Foundation
To keep up to date on West Hartford Reads 2023 follow us on social media, sign up for our newsletter, or check back in on this page.
Nick Hornby is an award-winning author and Oscar®-nominated screenwriter whose stories explore human connection with a catchy blend of snappily observed humor and unsentimental emotion. His books, which have sold over 5 million copies, include the bestselling novels High Fidelity, About A Boy, How to Be Good, Juliet Naked, and 2020’s Just Like You.
His latest nonfiction book Dickens and Prince: A Particular Kind of Genius is a short, warm, and entertaining reflection on art, creativity, and the unlikely similarities between Victorian novelist Charles Dickens and modern American rock star Prince. Equipped with a fan’s admiration and his trademark humor and wit, Hornby invites readers to consider the cosmic link between two unlikely artistic geniuses, each of whom electrified their different disciplines and whose legacy resounded far beyond their own time. Connecting both artists’ personal tragedies, social statuses, boundless productivity, and other parallels, both humorous and haunting, he shows how these two unlikely men from different centuries “lit up the world”, simultaneously ruminating on the creativity, flamboyance, discipline, and soul it takes to produce great art.
“An ardent fan letter from Hornby that makes you want to re-read Great Expectations while listening to Sign o’ the Times.” —Vogue
Other notable non-fiction titles include 31 Songs, The Complete Polysyllabic Spree, Shakespeare Wrote for Money and Stuff I’ve Been Reading—collected from the bi-monthly column of the same name which he continues to write in The Believer magazine—and his breakout book, Fever Pitch. Hornby’s memoir about life as a maniacal Arsenal fan was adapted for the screen twice, including a remake by the Farrelly brothers for an American audience, transporting the action to the baseball diamond and starring Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon.
Hornby’s bestselling novels have also served as inspiration for filmmakers in movies known for their keenly observed, emotional honesty. Cult-classic High Fidelity was first adapted into a 2000 film directed by Stephen Frears, starring John Cusack and Jack Black, and in 2020 was re-imagined as a Hulu streaming series starring Zoe Kravitz. About A Boy was directed by the Weitz brothers, starring Hugh Grant, Rachel Weisz and Toni Collette.
A masterful screenwriter himself, Hornby’s screenplay credits includes the adaptation of Colm Tóibín’s novel Brooklyn, which was directed by John Crowley and starred Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, Julie Walters, and Jim Broadbent. Praised as a top film of 2015, it received three Oscar nominations, landing Hornby a Best Adapted Screenplay nod, and was awarded BAFTA’s Outstanding British Film. Hornby also received Oscar and BAFTA nominations for his adaption of Lynn Barber’s memoir An Education, a “nostalgically elegant, comically restrained, cleverly scripted film” (The Spectator), which was directed by Lone Scherfig and starred Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, and Emma Thompson. Other notable adaptations include Wild, an adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s New York Times bestselling memoir starring Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern; his own memoir for the original screenplay of Fever Pitch starring Colin Firth; and a BBC1 television series adaptation of Nina Stibbe’s memoir Love, Nina. Hornby is also the creator and writer of the short form series State of the Union on Sundance TV. He won an Emmy for the first season, which was directed by Stephen Frears and starred Rosamund Pyke and Chris O’Dowd. The second season starred Brendan Gleeson and Patricia Clarkson.
In 2010, Hornby co-founded the children’s writing charity The Ministry of Stories, originally located in East London and now expanding to other UK cities. Modeled on literary nonprofits like Dave Eggers’s 826 Valencia, the organization works with schools and the local community to offer mentoring and writing labs. The Ministry, which strives to “help young people discover their confidence, imagination and potential through the power of their writing” has been shown to positively impact young writers’ confidence, engagement, self-respect, and ability to learn new skills through and innovative storytelling and writing workshops.
Hornby was awarded the E. M. Forster Award by the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1999. He lives in London.
Books by Nick Hornby
Selected Film Adaptations
Selected Screenplays by Nick Hornby
Since 2000, many prominent authors have appeared in West Hartford including the following:
Gish Jen (2022)
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2019) (watch here)
Billy Collins (2018)
Anna Quindlen (2017)
Richard Russo (2017)
Luis Alberto Urrea (2016)
Amy Bloom (2002/2007/2015)
Wally Lamb (2014)
Sue Miller (2013)
Adriana Trigiani (2012)
Frank Deford (2011)
David Rhodes (2010)
Elizabeth McCracken (2009)
Ralph Nader (2009)
Anne Fadiman (2008)
Alice Mattison (2001/2008)
Mary-Ann Tirone Smith (2008)
Galway Kinnell (2007)
Stewart O’Nan (2007)
Jonathan Franzen (2005)
Anita Shreve (2004)
Elizabeth Berg (2003)
Jennifer Weiner (2002)
Thomas Cahill (2002)
Jill Ker Conway (2001)
Simon Winchester (2001)
Dominick Dunne (2001)
Bill Bryson (2000)
Read Past Authors!
West Hartford Public Library is able to offer this annual free event to the public each year through grant funding from the Thomas F. Kilfoil Bequest, West Hartford Public Library Foundation, and from library lovers like you! To donate to the Foundation, click the PayPal button or see other ways to give HERE.