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Book lust : recommended reading for every mood, moment, and reason
Nancy Pearl
Adult Nonfiction Z1035.9 .P38 2003

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From Publishers' Weekly:

So many books, so little time-so which of the countless titles should a hungry reader pick out and devour? Pearl, a longtime reader, book reviewer and public librarian, presents a hundred or so of her favorites in this novel guide to finding the right book for the right mood. Presented in eclectic categories of people, places and themes (e.g. "Prose by Poets," "Dinosaur Hunting," "In Big Sky Country" and "Academia: The Joke"), each of her suggestions is accompanied by a few of her thoughts on it, a succinct plot summary and often information about the volume's prizes and print status. Her notes are sprightly and concise: in the section on "Families in Trouble," Pearl mentions Pat Conroy's The Prince of Tides ("I always thought that [it]...defined the dysfunctional novel") and Sylvia Foley's Life in Ocean Air ("surely one of the most depressing books I have ever read in a lifetime of reading grim and depressing books"). There's more than just novels, of course: she recommends, for instance, good "Techno-thrillers" ("nonfiction about science and technology") such as The Thread Across the Ocean: The Heroic Story of the Transatlantic Cable and One Good Turn: A Natural History of the Screwdriver and the Screw. Interestingly, Pearl urges readers to abandon books they dislike after 50 pages, though she does point out that frame of mind often determines one's opinion of a book. "When I begin reading a new book, I am embarking on a new, uncharted journey," Pearl declares in her brief introduction; with this guidebook in hand, readers can benefit from her experience as they travel their own ways. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

From Library Journal:

For librarians who read (and many of them do not), the most enjoyable aspect of work has often been the opportunity to provide a readers' advisory service: to read, examine, and literally digest reams of books in the pursuit of finding the perfect title to recommend to an enthusiastic, dedicated reader. In Book Lust, Pearl (Washington Ctr. for the Book), a longtime LJ reviewer, has distilled hours and weeks of reading into recommendations for others. The titles, arranged by categories, will most likely be appreciated by readers whose interests coincide with Pearl's, as some categories have more suggestions than others. For the most part, these categories do not contain "expected" titles such as the "classics," heavily publicized works, or books made into TV movies; instead, they are individualistic recommendations from a voracious reader. For another perspective-that of authors themselves-one might consult Ronald B. Shwartz's For the Love of Books: 115 Celebrated Writers on the Books They Love Most. For other personalized lists like Pearl's, look to Colin Wilson's The Books in My Life; for more specific titles, check out Clive Bloom's Bestsellers: Popular Fiction Since 1900. For all public libraries.-Marilyn Lary, Stewart Lib., Dahlonega, GA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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