Customer Review

81 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Of all to choose from, how to pick a good book?, November 30, 2003
This review is from: Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason (Paperback)
Answer: Take the advice of Nancy Pearl, librarian, reviewer and reader par excellence. Paired with Sara Nelson's So Many Books, So Little Time, you're set up with super reading for the next few years, at a minimum. These two authors approach their craft differently, however: Nelson discusses how books affect her, while Pearl is more inclined to discuss choosing a book based on her already-present mood. Together, you're covered for every eventuality.
And here's permission from an expert to do what many of us cannot give ourselves permission to do: quit reading a book after 50 pages if we're not enjoying ourselves. As hard as that is to act upon ("but surely it'll get better in another few pages..."), think about how many more books you'd have time to read if you skip the last 250 pages of every book you're really not loving.
Perhaps Nancy Pearl's most innovative and imitated accomplishment was to suggest that all the readers within a certain group (hometown, college, newspaper subscribers, PTA, etc.) read the same book and join discussion groups about it. Making this task easier is Pearl's division of her books into about 200 categories, including some unusual groupings such as "Shrinks and Shrinkees." Also invaluable to booklovers are the several "Too Good to Miss" sections in which Pearl discusses particular writers, why they are unique, and what specific books of theirs she would recommend. In this section are authors such as Iris Murdoch as well as many whom Pearl considers inadequately appreciated.
Buy this book. And then begin looking forward to the sequel.
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Location: Oakland, CA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 11,552