by Nancy Pearl
Seattle, Wash.: Sasquatch Books, 2003.
The subtitle says it all - "Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason." The lists are organized alphabetically from "A is for Alice" to "Zero," which just about every genre and topic you can think of in between. Because it's organized topically, there is some overlap in books mentioned that fall into more than one category, with books like The Brothers K, for example, listed in both "Baseball" and "Mothers and Sons." Nancy Pearl, reader and librarian extraordinaire, also offers her comments on a book's plot or what she loved about a particular title. I love that she's not afraid to give her opinion, saying upfront which books she loved and which sequels she did not think were as good. I know from listening to her podcast and reading her blog that her opinions about books do not always coincide with mine, but I love that she doesn't try to sugarcoat her responses to try to appeal to more readers, because reading is personal.
This is not a book I would necessarily recommend reading from cover to cover unless you read widely and you could stand adding several books to your already large list of books to be read. I added about 30, and that was only by being really picky and rushing through some of the lists to get this book back to the library before it did more damage to my ever-growing TBR list. If it's not a book to be read straight through, however, it's an excellent book to own. I want this book. I want to be able to dip into it at random in the rare moments that I'm stuck for something to read. I want to be able to talk back in the margins - "No, The Makioka Sisters is dead boring, NOT like Jane Austen." I want to add books I've read that fall into each list that perhaps were published since Book Lust came out in 2003. The topical lists are also great for display ideas, and I admit to using one in the library soon after I started this book. Should you fail to find enough books to interest you here, there are more: More Book Lust, published in 2005, and Book Crush, similarly recommended books for children and teens. Personally, though, I'm going to wait until I can buy these, too, and dip into them in an appropriately slow manner. My TBR list is bloated enough as it is.