10 Best Authors Like Nick Hornby

Discover authors like Nick Hornby for novels on popular culture and literature involving music, sports, and the all-consuming search for purpose.

Authors like Nick Hornby focus on writing about the present. They highlight what complicates contemporary life, sharing their perspectives through novels with humor and relatable characters.

Nick Hornby, an English writer, lyricist, and screenwriter, is known for his lad-lit novels, specifically High Fidelity and About a Boy. These two novels became films and TV series with the same titles. His writing style is simple but scholarly. Many readers enjoy Hornby’s comedic (sometimes poignant) prose when conveying his characters’ internal conflicts. 

Goodreads lists 99 books under Hornby’s profile. With such a portfolio, it’s no surprise he has earned numerous awards, including the E.M. Forster Award and ALA Best Books for Young Adults. 

Hornby was inspired by music journalists when he was a teenager. He said, “It taught me a lot about voice and people being opinionated and people drawing from other forms of culture to describe the music they were listening to and it was one of the first times I think that writing made much sense to me.”

These 10 authors like Nick Hornby, may just help you figure out what it’s all about and raise a smile or two at the same time.

Do you want to be more productive? Check out our list of the top time management books.

Authors Like Nick Hornby Ranked

1. David Nicholls, 1966 –

David Nicholls
David Nicholls’s first novel was released in 2003

David Nichollas spent eight years as a theater actor. He later became a script reader, researcher, and editor for stage plays and films, including Simpatico. After earning two BAFTA nominations, he decided to become a full-time writer. He later earned the Galaxy Book of the Year Award, Honorary DLitt, and the U.K. Author of the Year.

His most famous novel is the 2009 One Day, which focuses on the relationship between Dexter and Emma. The tale begins with a one-night stand in college and progresses to them being best friends and helping each other through various tragedies. Nicholls shares the pair’s journey of over 20 years. It became a global bestseller and was adapted into a 2011 movie starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess called One Day.

You can live your whole life not realizing that what you’re looking for is right in front of you.” 

David Nicholls, One Day
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02/18/2024 11:12 am GMT

2. Jonathan Tropper, 1970 – 

Jonathan Tropper is an international bestselling author of six novels. He’s also a screenwriter and producer of over nine films and T.V. series. 

Trooper is recognized for his hilarious yet heartbreaking storytelling. His most notable novel is the comedy-slash-drama This is Where I Leave You. It was later adapted into a 2014 film with Tina Fey, Adam Driver, and Jason Bateman. It’s a lad-lit story about a dysfunctional family reunited by their father’s death. 

It would be a terrible mistake to go through life thinking that people are the sum total of what you see.

Jonathan Tropper, This is Where I Leave You
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02/18/2024 11:31 am GMT

3. Helen Fielding, 1958 –

Helen Fielding
Helen Fielding’s first two installments of the Bridget Jones Series sold over 15 million copies

Helen Fielding is recognized as one of the most influential 20th-century authors. Her most famous work, Bridget Jones’s Diary, became a big part of the literary and film industry.

The story follows the main character’s attempts to fit in. She struggles with social norms, like the need to have a boyfriend, a perfect body, and a successful career. 

In 2001, it became a romantic film with Renée Zellweger. It earned $282 million at the box office and has two sequels.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces.

Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones’s Diary
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02/18/2024 03:21 pm GMT

4. Michael Chabon, 1963 –

Michael Chabon
Michael Chabon is part of the screenwriting team of John Carter, Star Trek: Picard, Spider-Man 2, and Wonder Boys

Michael Chabon is an acclaimed and bestselling author of many works. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay received the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. It centers around a pair of Jewish cousins and is set before, during, and after World War II. 

Chabon’s writing prowess has been recognized since he debuted with The Mysteries of Pittsburgh at age 24. He has consistently achieved honors since. Some of his notable awards include the O. Henry and Hugo awards, the Nebula Award for Best Novel, and the Sidewise Award for Alternate History. 

Forget about what you are escaping from. Reserve your anxiety for what you are escaping to.

Michael Chabon, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
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02/18/2024 02:32 pm GMT

5. Tony Parsons, 1953 – 

When he became a novelist, Tony Parsons was already an expert journalist and broadcaster. His years of experience prepared him to create engaging tales like Man and Boy. It won the 2001 British Book of the Year and topped The Sunday Times bestseller list through word-of-mouth. 

The coming-of-age novel follows the story of a single dad. Since it was written in the 1990s, many publishers avoided it. The societal stigma then was that only a woman could care for a household. This witty and heartwarming tale shows the complex relationship of Harry, who’s left to care for his four-year-old son. That’s not all — he’s also coping with his father’s death and finding a new job. 

Love means knowing when to let go.

Tony Parson, Man and Boy
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02/18/2024 11:32 am GMT

6. David Sedaris, 1956 –

David Sedaris
David Sedaris collaborates in writing with his well-known comedian and actress sister, Amy Sedaris

David Sedaris is a five-time Grammy nominee. But he’s also a well-known humorist, author, and radio contributor. His most notable work is Me Talk Pretty One Day. It’s a collection of hilarious essay pieces from the time when he was learning French in Paris that received the 2001 Thurber Prize for American Humor. Readers enjoy his self-deprecating comedy and relate to his embarrassing accounts.

His works usually delve into his family life and their middle-class status. Sedaris also talks about his struggles with drug and alcohol abuse. His vivid anecdotes make his storytelling more stimulating and relatable.

I was just struggling with my inner vachette and pondering the depths of my own inhumanity.”

David Sedaris, Me Talk Pretty One Day
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02/18/2024 11:22 am GMT

7. Haruki Murakami, 1949 –

Haruki Murakami
Haruki Murakami sees himself as an outcast in the Japanese literary world

Haruki Murakami is an award-winning Japanese author who touches on themes of Japan’s contemporary culture. Mostly, he diverts readers’ attention to the alienation of Western influence and the search for life’s meaning. His ability to merge reality and fantasy makes for almost hypnotic storytelling. 

His 1987 novel Norwegian Wood stands out the most among his literary works. This coming-of-age tale is set in late 1960s Japan and features the complex story of a woman. It follows her as she navigates a homosexual relationship while grieving her best friend’s death. 

Murakami has many notable honors, including the Gunzo Award, World Fantasy Award, Hans Christian Andersen Literature Award, and Franz Kafka Prize. 

People leave strange little memories of themselves behind when they die.

Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood
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02/18/2024 10:42 am GMT

8. Maria Semple, 1964 –

Maria Semple
Maria Semple’s writing is influenced by her husband, George Meyer, a scriptwriter and producer of The Simpsons

Though she’s already known for her T.V. shows, Maria Semple vowed to be a novelist after having a baby. Her debut novel, This One Is Mine, was released in 2008 and became a contender for the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award two years later.

However, it was Where’d You Go, Bernadette, that earned Semple the most popularity. It’s the fictional tale of an agoraphobic mother who goes missing and her daughter’s search to find her. The story reflects Semple’s struggles in adjusting to life in Seattle. 

The novel spent a year on The New York Times Bestseller List. It also became a 2019 comedy-slash-mystery film starring Cate Blanchett and Emma Nelson.

Maybe that’s what religion is, hurling yourself off a cliff and trusting that something bigger will take care of you and carry you to the right place.

Maria Semple, Where’d You Go, Bernadette
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02/18/2024 11:22 am GMT

9. Dave Eggers

Dave Eggers
Dave Eggers founded McSweeney’s, a nonprofit, independent publishing company that produces books

Dave Eggers is an award-winning author who has bagged the American Book Award, Dayton Literary Peace Prize, TED Prize, and many others. Among his works, his 2013 The Circle is popular with many for its dystopian style. 

It’s about Mae Holland, who becomes a part of the most influential and powerful internet company. But as she gets more involved, she stumbles upon a dark secret. Via this book, Eggers criticizes internet culture. This techno-thriller novel was adapted to the big screen in 2017, starring Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, and John Boyega. Check out these authors like Yann Martel.

Under the guise of having every voice heard, you create mob rule, a filterless society where secrets are crimes.”

Dave Eggers, The Circle
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02/18/2024 11:22 am GMT

10. Melissa Bank, 1960 – 2022

Melissa Bank
Melissa Bank took 12 years to write her first book

Although she published only two books, Melissa Bank still became a notable author for her minimalist prose and sense of humor. Her debut work, The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing, is a hilarious, heart-wrenching tale of a woman finding her way through life.

At the time of her writing the story, Bank suffered post-concussion syndrome following an accident. The book entered the U.S. and U.K. Bestseller lists and received glowing reviews from The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the L.A. Times.

The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing is a collection of seven short stories about Jane Rosenal. It focuses on her triumphs as she navigates social expectations, love, relationships, and work. Through the stories, Bank reminds readers of the importance of being true to yourself and others. For more, check out our list of authors like Francine Rivers.

I felt I couldn’t lose anything else, but just then I realized I already had: I’d lost the hope that I would ever be loved in just that way again.”

Melissa Bank, The Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing
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02/18/2024 11:31 am GMT