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48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Collects all the titles you wish you knew
Nancy Pearl is back! In case her name doesn't ring a bell, she's probably just about the coolest librarian you can imagine. If you tell her you want something adventurous, she won't simply hand you a Jon Kraukeur book, she'll ask you to be more specific. She could probably ask you half a dozen questions and then suggest the perfect title for you. She did this for the...
Published on October 6, 2010 by Amy Henry

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Perfect companion for armchair travelers
Filled with hundreds of pointers on recommended reading for armchair travelers, this is a great pick up and browse a section here and there type read, that covers just about every city and destination one would expect from such an offering. This book is at its best when Nancy Pearl actually read the listed books as those entries are filled with energetic and interesting...
Published on July 30, 2011 by Sibelius


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48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Collects all the titles you wish you knew, October 6, 2010
This review is from: Book Lust To Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers (Paperback)
Nancy Pearl is back! In case her name doesn't ring a bell, she's probably just about the coolest librarian you can imagine. If you tell her you want something adventurous, she won't simply hand you a Jon Kraukeur book, she'll ask you to be more specific. She could probably ask you half a dozen questions and then suggest the perfect title for you. She did this for the world when she wrote Book Lust a few years ago. In it, she compiled lists of authors and book titles (often with a synopsis) that have connections to other books. So if you wanted Irish Fiction, the category would give you a large list of fiction titles, some well known and others long out of print. Similarly, she classified hundreds of books under different categories, some general(cold war spy novels) or more specific (novels written by physicians).

In her third book, Book Lust To Go, she tackles travel. To me, it's the best of the series. These aren't Lonely Planet guides: you aren't going to learn language or customs or cheap places to stay. Instead, it collects a list of titles based on the destination. You want books set in Finland? There's a section for that, and it includes fiction and nonfiction from the region, as well as history books that may be useful. She covers the world with books; even the most obscure countries and cities have titles listed. Being able to see a grouping of several genres in one geographical category makes this the ultimate resource if you are studying a particular area or doing a regional reading challenge.

Besides travel to real cities, states, and countries, she includes sections on imaginary travel destinations. Also listed are groupings of books based on sailing, walking, rowing, travel by plane, etc. The book is complete and thorough: this just released new collection is up to date. Books that were released as recently as a few months ago are listed in their appropriate region. It's hard to hide my enthusiasm for this title, it's just that good, especially for those of us who are curious about the world around us...
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book for everybody who can read, October 25, 2010
By 
Bookreporter (New York, New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Book Lust To Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers (Paperback)
I am shedding no tears of sympathy for NPR book maven Nancy Pearl. As far as I'm concerned, she has the best writing job in the world. She gets to write books about books, and in the process, research and select the best of the books, including the ones she likes, and recommend them to others. In fact, she can create the categories to suit her literary proclivities. Heavens, is there no limit to this lady's good fortune?

In this book about books, Pearl shines the luster of her book lust on books for travelers, both the inner and outer variety. BOOK LUST TO GO is subtitled "Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers." Does this not include, well, just about everybody who can read?

This is not a trip read; it's a book to read before you go, to help you choose some books to take along. If you're traveling to Sweden, grab a trendy Stieg Larsson mystery for the journey (but be advised, as Pearl points out, Larsson's books are as dark as a far northern winter). If to Botswana, throw in your pack the writings of the delightful Alexander McCall Smith and the more complex Bessie Head --- a study in contrasts, but both writers are equally true to the soil of their home. Head's MARU, a bit darker and more poetic than the offering Pearl chose, is a near-poetic depiction of tribal prejudice and personal pride.

Going to Cornwall? Corfu? There's a book for you.

Maybe you just want to travel "in the footsteps of." Try Tim Butcher's BLOOD RIVER: A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart, about the great explorer H.M. Stanley, or CHASING CHE: A Motorcycle Journey in Search of the Guevara Legend, by Patrick Symmes. If you're a hiker, walk along with Dan White and his girlfriend Melissa in THE CACTUS EATERS: How I Lost My Mind - and Almost Found Myself - on the Pacific Crest Trail.

You may not wish to visit Haiti in these troubled times, but you can read about it in the classic TELL MY HORSE: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica, by Zora Neale Hurston, a Southern black writer who is finally, posthumously, getting the attention she deserves. If Burma is on your literal or literary itinerary, you can read George Orwell's remarkable BURMESE DAYS, and if that piques your interest, you can follow up with FINDING GEORGE ORWELL IN BURMA by Emma Larkin.

I agree with Pearl in hoping that people still read J. P. Donleavy and will do so if Ireland is the destination. His THE GINGER MAN is, as she attests, "probably one of the funniest, raciest, and most outrageous novels you'll ever encounter." And so Irish!

In such a collection, because it is expansive but not exhaustive, there are bound to be little sins of omission. I would have loved to have seen a few of the many books about the Pilgrim Walk in Spain, and was surprised at the exclusion of any but peripheral mention of India, home to some of the greatest literature of modern times. E. M. Forster's marvelous A PASSAGE TO INDIA is de rigeur for the sub-continental vagabond, and no one should bypass the immortal Rudyard Kipling's KIM or HEAT AND DUST by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. Vikram Seth's epic A SUITABLE BOY sprang at once to my mind, along with the older but no less powerful NECTAR IN A SIEVE by Kamala Markandaya. I read the latter as a child and was infused with the goal to see India, which I was able to fulfill in my 20s.

However, it would be churlish to complain that my or your personal picks are not included, because this is not our book. It's Pearl's, and --- I will say it again --- she is one lucky lady. But luck is made by being smart and being there. BOOK LUST TO GO is a fun read, an erudite view and a helpful guide, and I will be recommending it to my traveling companions.

--- Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended for active and armchair travelers, September 24, 2010
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This review is from: Book Lust To Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers (Paperback)
I love Nancy Pearl's new book. What a great idea to give suggestions for books that will enhance your travel experiences. Several years ago I took a cruise down the Seine from Paris to Honfleur. I decided to take along the book Bel Ami (Vintage Classics) by French writer Guy de Maupassant, not realizing that he was an author from the very region we were passing through - Normandy. It really enhanced my experience to be reading stories about the very area we were visiting. Book Lust to Go encourages you to have this same experience no matter where you are traveling. Even if you are an armchair traveler, this book would be an invaluable aid to the study of many different places.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Perfect companion for armchair travelers, July 30, 2011
By 
Sibelius (Palo Alto, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Book Lust To Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers (Paperback)
Filled with hundreds of pointers on recommended reading for armchair travelers, this is a great pick up and browse a section here and there type read, that covers just about every city and destination one would expect from such an offering. This book is at its best when Nancy Pearl actually read the listed books as those entries are filled with energetic and interesting commentary (as opposed to some entries that are mere title-author lists)
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oustanding resource, and entertaining too!, November 2, 2010
This review is from: Book Lust To Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers (Paperback)
Nancy Pearl aims to offer selections for all reading tastes and topics rather than saying "these are the best of the best and everyone should read them." With that in mind, I don't rate her books based on whether I liked the books she suggests. Instead, I rate them for the feeling of possibility, anticipation, and excitement she creates for me. Her love of books and their authors infuses every page. She always includes interesting personal anecdotes and a sprinkling of humor, so it's not just a dry list of books you should read.

The sections in Book Lust to Go are presented according to region, city, state, or country. If you have an interest in a particular place, you can turn to that section and find both fiction and non-fiction offerings about its history, people, recent events, or fellow travelers' experiences. There are also some sections devoted to mode of travel rather than location, including sea voyages, river rides, mountain climbing, bicycle trips, train travel, and walking treks.

Whether Cavorting through the Caribbean, Frolicking in Finland, Galloping Through the Galapagos, Sheltering in the Shetlands, or Peru(sing) Peru, there's something for everyone, if only for travel of the armchair variety.

Pearl explains in the introduction that she has tried to avoid repeating suggestions. So if you think there are titles conspicuously missing from a particular section, you'll probably find they've already been mentioned in Book Lust or More Book Lust.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book Lust on a Plane, March 22, 2011
This review is from: Book Lust To Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers (Paperback)
I bought this book in an airport as I dreaded an upcoming flight that was headed into bad weather. I'm a poor plane traveler at best, and this flight was stacking up to be the worst ever. I started reading as we began loading the plane. I determined that I would write notes to myself making a list of every book that interested me and annotate why it might interest me. Nancy writes short reviews of fiction and nonfiction books that are set in countries on every continent. Her writing style is so personal and engaging that the annotations read like a novel. I couldn't wait to find out about the next place and the book about it. I lost myself so much in the book that I became calmed as the plane lurched about. I can feel Nancy's pain about traveling. I wrote myself notes on every page and then reread my notes and ended up with an initial 27 books that I must read immediately. I highly recommend this book to anyone who travels or just loves the thought of travel or, perhaps, to those who need to be calmed down on a rough flight.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite in the Book Lust series so far..., December 4, 2010
By 
Angela Reads (Pennsylvania, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Book Lust To Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers (Paperback)
The latest in the series of "Book Lust" books, Book Lust To Go is an traveler's (or armchair traveler's) reading companion. Pearl recommends books for over 120 destinations - whether you are in the mood for fiction, memoir, adventure, mystery, etc.

Pearl admits that she doesn't love travel as much as some of her friends do. Adventurous or not - it's no problem - this collection suggests books you can pack with you in your suitcase as you travel, or books that make you feel you are in a new place without leaving your couch.

Maybe it's because I happen to LOVE travel books, but this was my favorite in the series so far. While reading, I filled 6 note cards with book titles to check out someday...which might be a personal record! Another reason I like this book is there seems to be more of Nancy Pearl herself. Her earlier books contained a lot of bare lists of books, while this book seems to have more talk about the books. Pearl also tells some travel stories about herself, her family, and her friends.

Reading this book felt like a conversation with an EXTREMELY well read friend.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pearl is one of the best book-recommenders in the business, October 1, 2011
This review is from: Book Lust To Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers (Paperback)
I've been a heavy reader since about 1950 -- and even in 1st Grade, I wasn't just looking at the pictures. I was wondering what to read next and asking other people for recommendations. That love affair with books led to my becoming a librarian, a career in which I spent my entire adult life, and in retirement I read even more books than I had the time for when I was working. Nancy Pearl is "one of us," a librarian of some note (she invented the "If everyone in this city read the same book" program, among other things) with a penchant for recommending books to readers. This time, it's books "for travelers, vagabonds, and dreamers" -- which is not to say it only includes "travel books." Pearl herself, as she explains up front, isn't really much of a traveler; she finds it hard to make the plans and to leave home. But in the vicarious sense, she's been all over the world, and this book reports the results of her globe-trotting literary experiences. Now, I have developed my own reading preferences over the years, and books about travel isn't especially one of them. I traveled a good deal myself at an earlier stage of my life and that was enough, usually. And while I've read a great many books, both fiction and nonfiction, set in Britain, and quite a few in and about France, Italy, and Japan, and sometimes Australia, there are certain parts of the world in which I simply don't have much interest. That includes India and the Middle East, and Latin America, and Africa. It's not a matter of prejudice but of experience -- because I've repeatedly attempted well-reviewed and widely recommended books written in or set in all those places. But because I'm always willing to have my mind changed, I still read the reviews. Pearl is very useful in this regard since she's already done the first shaking-out of possible titles and I've come to generally trust her taste in books.

Like the previous three "Book Lust" volumes, there's no real plan to this one. It consists of a series of relatively short chapters, each on a theme, which allows a number of books to be briefly discussed together. The themes here include Laos, Oxford, Paris, Imaginary Places, New York City, Greece, Zimbabwe, Philadelphia, Martha's Vineyard, ocean travel, and so on. Pretty obvious, given her focus, but this miscellaneous method allows you to dip in and browse, making notes along the way of titles you think might be of interest. All authors and titles are indexed if you want to check on something in particular. And that's basically it -- just jump in and see what you can turn up. (I rather wish she had included dates of publication, though.)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent resource if you are interested in "travel books", broadly construed, May 19, 2014
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This review is from: Book Lust To Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers (Paperback)
I used to like going through books that listed and recommended books for reading by different categories. The last such book that I canvassed, about ten years ago, was Nancy Pearl's "Book Lust". I found it better than most other books of its ilk. But I ignored her sequel, as by then I had more than enough books on my shelves to see me through the rest of my days even if I should live as long as Methuselah. But the subtitle of the latest Pearl reading guide -- "Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers" -- snagged my fancy and I bought it and read it. For my money BOOK LUST TO GO is better than the original "Book Lust" and I now have another fifty books to track down and purchase and, knock on wood, live long enough to read.

The entries in BOOK LUST TO GO do NOT include travel guides. Otherwise, they include almost every sort of book about travel and travel destinations -- travel narratives, biographies of explorers, memoirs, novels set in those destinations, even history. Here's a representative sampling of the categories or chapter titles: Arabia Deserta; Baltimore; Cavorting through the Caribbean; Iran; Making Tracks by Train; Nebraska: The Big Empty; Provence and the South of France; To the Ends of the Earth: North and South; and Vietnam.

For the most part, the recommendations do not duplicate or overlap with Pearl's earlier volumes. That means that there are some omissions (although one could always refer back to "Book Lust" and "More Book Lust" to remedy that). Still, there is a cornucopia of books about travel and the cities and countries many folks are interested in reading about and/or visiting in person. Pearl's writing is sufficiently varied and engaging that she avoids the pitfall of a "book of lists". Best of all, Pearl is very well read and she is discriminating in her judgments and recommendations. As it turns out, I have already read about one hundred of the books she lists in BOOK LUST TO GO. And with the exception of only two or three that I found to be duds, I endorse Pearl's recommendations. She even lists relatively obscure gems, such as James McClure's Kramer and Zondi mysteries set in South Africa, Richard Shelton's "Going Back to Bisbee" (Arizona), J. B. Mackinnon's "Dead Man in Paradise" (Dominican Republic), Barbara Pym's novel "Jane and Prudence" (Oxford), and Gavin Young's two classics of traveling the world in a miscellany of ships, "Slow Boats to China" and "Slow Boats Home" -- all of which I have reviewed separately on Amazon.

If you are interested in the category of "travel books" broadly construed and you are looking for reading suggestions, BOOK LUST TO GO is the place to go.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for the traveler or those that want to travel, January 18, 2011
By 
Gregg Eldred (Avon Lake, OH USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Book Lust To Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers (Paperback)
Going on vacation and need some recommendations for reading material? Heading off on a business trip and want to know something about your destination? Always wanted to visit a specific area of the world and wanted to know more about it? Looking for adventure? Nancy Pearl has answered those questions, and more, in Book Lust to Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers.

Nancy Pearl may be known to you as a commentator on National Public Radio or as, arguably, the most popular librarian in the United States. In Book Lust to Go, she provides 120 destinations and her recommended reading for those places. While many of her endorsements are quick, others have her personal thoughts. It's those that make this book as it is evident that she is very well read. She writes as if she is standing in front of you, giving you friendly, knowledgeable advice. Also, it is as if she is expecting your next question. For example, she tells you why she has included Iceland in the book. As you consider that island as a destination, she then moves on to a chapter on following in the footsteps of some past adventurer. It's almost uncanny how she segues into that topic; it feels natural.

Thinking of Sweden? Pearl recommends Stieg Larsson, but tells the reader that she finds the prose too dark for her to read comfortably. If you've read Larsson's novels, and want more with a Swedish bent, Pearl delivers additional authors to read. She delves into Florida, but does not recommend Carl Hiaasen, Thomas Cavanagh, or Tim Dorsey, which I found unusual. That is probably my only complaint with this book and it is small. Happily, I discovered that I had read quite a few of her recommendations, some of which I had thought were off the beaten path. It was nice to have some validation to the books I had read.

Not only is Book Lust to Go a great reference for those readers that travel the world, for the avid or casual reader, it will provide return trips to the local library and on-line bookseller, as Nancy Pearl's praise for the books included is infectious. Be sure to have paper and pen at the ready, you will be writing down quite a few books to add to your "Must Read" list.

Disclosure:
Obtained from: Library
Payment: Borrowed
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Book Lust To Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers
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