- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Harper Perennial; Original edition (October 2, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062070142
- ISBN-13: 978-0062070142
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,065,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Judging a Book by Its Lover: A Field Guide to the Hearts and Minds of Readers Everywhere Paperback – October 2, 2012
Customers who bought this item also bought
“If CliffsNotes had an opinion and a couple of drinks under their belts, they’d sound like Lauren Leto.” (Omnivoracious.com)
“It’s On the Origin of Species for the library set.” (James Frey, author of A Million Little Pieces)
“In terms of allowing me to sound smart at cocktail parties, this book surpassed my English degree by page twelve.” (Christian Lander, author of Stuff White People Like)
“Leto is as funny as she is well-read; a delight for bibliophiles and wannabes alike.” (Wylie Overstreet, author of The History of the World According to Facebook)
From the Back Cover
Want to impress the hot stranger at the bar who asks for your take on Infinite Jest? Dying to shut up the blowhard in front of you who’s pontificating on Cormac McCarthy’s “recurring road narratives”? Having difficulty keeping Francine Prose and Annie Proulx straight?
For all those overwhelmed readers who need to get a firm grip on the relentless onslaught of must-read books to stay on top of the inevitable conversations that swirl around them, Lauren Leto’s Judging a Book by Its Lover is manna from literary heaven! A hilarious send-up of—and inspired homage to—the passionate and peculiar world of book culture, this guide to literary debate leaves no reader or author unscathed, at once adoring and skewering everyone from Jonathan Franzen to Ayn Rand to Dostoyevsky and the people who read them.
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Top Customer Reviews
I'm tempted just to quote the entire book in order to convince you to read it. Here's a bit from the first chapter, Commercial Confessions, in which Leto admits her love of Janet Evanovich:
I make this distinction because most of this book is about avoiding bad books, and I don't want a reader to think I'm being an elitist snob. Considering yourself a serious reader doesn't mean you can't read light books. Loving to read means you sometimes like to turn your head off. Reading is not about being able to recite passages of Camus from memory. Loving young adult novels well past adolescence isn't a sign of stunted maturity or intelligence. The most important thing about reading is not the level of sophistication of the books on your shelf. There is no prerequisite reading regimen for being a bookworm.
JUDGING A BOOK BY ITS LOVER will teach you how to make a bookstore hook-up, how to pretend to have read an author, and how to properly participate in a book club. It will even teach you how to stereotype people by their favorite author, but it won't teach you to look down on them. Leto's definitely critical of certain books, authors, and techniques, but she's writing with a true passion for reading.
I laughed through the entirety of JUDGING A BOOK BY ITS LOVER. But as much as I enjoyed it, I am not passing this one on. Leto's book is staying on my shelf and my friends can get their own copies. I hate for this one to never be returned. I might need to know how to spell 'spaghetti.'
While Leto focuses on literary fiction, I think any book love will find something to enjoy in this chic green volume. So pick up a copy and give it to one of your fellow bookworms for the winter holidays, before they buy a copy for themselves. (Oh yeah, buy your own copy first.)
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.
Judging a Book by Its Lover is a fun, witty read about books, authors, and the people who put them on their bookshelf. As someone who has four bookshelves (with highly contrasting books on each one), reads for hours every day, and finished the Twilight series in a weekend, I'd consider myself a lover of books. Even though I didn't read every book that is mentioned in this book, I found many of the ones I have read in it, or know of the author, and found Leto's witty take on it hilarious.
I love this book and author's writing for many reasons. Here are a few of the top ones for me. She love Harry Potter and thinks J.K. Rowling fans are "smart geeks." She hates the term "bookworm" and thinks it should be changed to "bookcats." She also loves real books over e-books, and continues to give books as gifts, even though she knows not everyone will read them. She is witty and can sum up a book or author quickly, so it is easy for us to now fake having read some "classics" we never really wanted to read anyways.
I highly recommend this book for all book lovers. If you are a book lover, get it. If you know a book lover, buy it for them. Trust me, they'll thank you for it.
* Thank you to the publisher of Judging a Book by Its Lover, Harper Perennial, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.