Fever Pitch, by Nick Hornby

If all you know of Hornby is the version of his coming-of-age memoir that was turned into a Jimmy Fallon/Drew Barrymore vehicle with the Boston Red Sox replacing Arsenal as the angst-creating team, this is a must-read. It's not a love story, per se, but it's a touching recollection of a divorce-divided youth in London where the common thread between a boy and his father becomes 1970s soccer. As Hornby's life progresses, his interest in Arsenal is the connective tissue in his timeline. Of note for this year's World Cup is Hornby's memory of the first game he ever watched, featuring Brazil's Pele as the protagonist: "It was the way [Brazil] regarded ingenious and outrageous embellishment as though it were as functional and necessary as a corner kick or a throw-in," he writes.