Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason

(No Series)

What to read next is every book lover's greatest dilemma. Nancy Pearl comes to the rescue with this wide-ranging and fun guide to the best reading new and old. Pearl, who inspired legions of litterateurs with "What If All (name the city) Read the Same Book," has devised reading lists that cater to every mood, occasion, and personality. These annotated lists cover such topics as mother-daughter relationships, science for nonscientists, mysteries of all stripes, African-American fiction from a female point of view, must-reads for kids, books on bicycling, "chick-lit," and many more. Pearl's enthusiasm and taste shine throughout.

First, the title. How could a reader not love the title Book Lust? Paired with the enchanting cover, it's a perfect cover/package deal that immediately drew my eye. I really need to find more books ABOUT books, and have several on my wishlist.

Nancy Pearl is an admirable woman - the intro to the book is one of more interesting parts as she discusses having a troubled childhood and using books as a path of escape. She emphasizes the second home she made in her local library and the respect gathered for the local librarians, who inspired her so much she became a librarian herself.

I have go into something here - I keep seeing everywhere on here that elsewhere Nancy Pearl's words of wisdom on giving a book a chance, and most of it is listed as wrong. Even the sequel lists this in the plot description of it:

..."and her Rule of 50 (give a book 50 pages before deciding whether to continue; but readers over 50 must read the same number of pages as their age) became a standard MO."

It actually reads from her book:

"I live by what I call "the rule of fifty," which acknowledges that time is short and the world of books is immense. If you're fifty years old or younger, give every book about fifty pages before you decide to commit yourself to reading it, or give it up. If you're over fifty, which is when time gets even shorter, subtract your age from 100 - the result is the number of pages you should read before deciding."

I love the categories in the book, and they're broken down into an amazing ensemble of categories. A qualm I hold is I wish she would have gone more in-depth with some sections and their books. Sometimes it's listing them as a mere list.

I liked how she describes blending Horror, Fantasy, and Science-Fiction: "Science fiction deals with the world of the possible, if not the probable; fantasy deals with another world, one that doesn't conform to the natural laws of the world in which we live; and horror fiction (often referred to as dark fantasy) depicts a world marked by unnatural terrors." Even with this cool description, she admits to not really being a horror fan and not even reading Stephen King books.

One thing I notice is, while she rarely mentions a book twice in any list, she has now brought up Pat Conroy's Prince of Tides at least 4-5 categories now. I've heard good things about it and the movie was enjoyable. Thankfully I own it TBR. She apparently thought it was so intriguing I just "bumped it" up to read much sooner.

I recognized some of the titles in the lists, but honestly most of the stuff she mentions was unrecognizable to me. My wishlist grew though, and I became interested in being open minded to more subjects. It's amazing that she's read so many books on so many subjects, good grief.

This is more of a guide/list/reference than something that you sit down and enjoy reading. I do wish it were a bit more organized sometimes, more details were given for many of the books, and more explanations on some things.