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

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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  2,491 ratings  ·  306 reviews
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 topi ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 12th 2003 by Sasquatch Books (first published 2003)
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Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman84, Charing Cross Road by Helene HanffBook Lust by Nancy PearlThe Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die by Peter Boxall
Best Non-Fiction Books About Books and Reading
3rd out of 246 books — 263 voters
The Book Thief by Markus ZusakFahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyMatilda by Roald DahlThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz ZafónThe Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Books about Books
41st out of 636 books — 997 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Amanda
I have great respect for Nancy Pearl. Anyone who has turned reading into a "profession" deserves some serious props. That combined with a title as awesome as Book Lust (I tried to read this in public as often as possible, holding the cover up where everyone could see my wanton bibliophilia on display) was an irresistible siren song to which I had to give in.

After an inspiring introduction on the pleasures of reading, the book basically consists of recommended reading lists for an eclectic colle
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Cheryl
Y'know, Pearl means well. But her annotations are so simplistic, if you're not willing to fly blindfolded, she won't be much help. I glanced at every page and used this website to look up a few of her recommendations, but found nothing to add to my to-read list.

Two main problems - 1) if your taste doesn't match hers, you'll often be disappointed. 2) GoodReads community reviews and Listopias and groups make a book like hers unnecessary. Even google books and amazon reviews are probably more help
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Faith-Anne
Jan 16, 2008 Faith-Anne rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: bibliophiles
I can't begin to tell you how many wonderful books that I've gotten from "Book Lust". It's a perfect manual for deciding just what to read. It's also a great conversation starter. While carrying it around I've had people ask me about it. So besides being a wonderful book of books, it also has gained me some literary friends.
Erin (*is in a reviewing slump*)
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 gathere
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Katie Abbott Harris
I'm a huge fan of booklists, and this was a good example of one. Most of the books chosen by Pearl aren't bestsellers or award winners, but are more obscure options that you probably haven't read yet. She arranges the collection into 175 useful, creative, and humorous lists. The lists are named specifically, presented in alphabetical order, and posted in the Table of Contents. Some examples are: Adventure by the Book, Bird Brains (books about birds), Fathers and Daughters, First Novels, Shrinks ...more
Christine

"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."
Esteban del Mal
This lady has read a lot.
Janelle
Jun 24, 2008 Janelle rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: other book lusters
Recommended to Janelle by: NPR
It's not like I honestly need any more book recommendations, my to-read list is already more than I'm likely to get through in a lifetime. But Nancy Pearl grew up near my hometown, I enjoy her reviews when I hear her on NPR and when it comes to lusting after books I think I've found a kindred spirit. So I thought I'd take a look.

The recs are divided into all kinds of lists - such as books about zero, Elvis, New Orleans, sex and natural disasters.
It's sure to expose me to some books I never wou
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Nikki
Not sure how useful this book will be to me, since it tends to confirm my own tastes -- I knew that from the moment I spotted a recommendation of Dorothy L. Sayers' Gaudy Night -- but I think it's worth keeping around. Nancy Pearl's recommendations are very brief, but here and there they spark a thought or lead on to another book you really must get round to reading.

Something to keep around for reference, though, not something to read cover to cover. If you're in a mood for, say, a 'coming out'
...more
Becca
I found it a bit sloppy. Half-hearted reasons/reviews, then chunks of more books thrown at the end of each category for no reason whatsoever it seems. She also seems to be obsessed with adventures to the arctic and Antarctic circles and mountain climbing. I got a few recs but I think I could write this book in my sleep.
Michael
“What to read next is every book lover’s greatest dilemma.”

Any real book lover knows that picking the next book is hard, but this is not the book that solves this issue. Book Lust is a collection of different reading lists for different topics, moods and so on. Say you want to know what Russian books to read or want a list of coming of age books. That is all well and good, hats off to Nancy Pearl for able to make a collection of book lists into a book series. The problem I found is book lovers a
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I have very much enjoyed perusing this book full of possibilities. Nancy Pearl's true love of books permeates every page, and her categories are unconventional and sometimes amusing.
Shellie (Layers of Thought)
Original series review posted at Layers of Thought.

If you love books and lists, and are an eclectic reader, you will adore this series. Each recommends books which are organized into themes, with great little descriptions; all are softbound, small and easy to read.

Books reviewed:
Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason ~ by Nancy Pearl
More Book Lust: Reading Recommendations for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason
Book Crush: For Kids and Teens

Thoughts: Nancy Pearl, librarian
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Serara
This is not a book of reviews.

Despite the fact that Nancy Pearl is a well respected critic and possibly one of the most famous librarians in history (not that I know much about famous librarians), Nancy very rarely details why she chose the books that she did. Instead, we are to assume that every book that Pearl lists is one that she likes- after all, why else would she bother to mention it? And I imagine that every title listed must be at least somewhat notable if it managed to stick in her mem
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Amber Ditullio
Oct 21, 2011 Amber Ditullio rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Bibliophiles
Recommended to Amber by: Paul Weimer
If I remember correctly, Paul Weimer was the one who recommended this to me. And I haven't regretted it since. This is actually the second time I've read through it, and this time, I have a notebook to write down the books that interest me and I want to read.

The book is incredibly easy to read, with lots of different categories for the reader to immediately go to some of their favorites. While there are some books that I am disappointed to see missing (most particularly Neil Gaiman's The Sandman
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Sarah
Book Lust. Nancy Pearl. 2003. Sasquatch Books. 287 pages. ISBN 1570613818.

Nancy Pearl is a long-time librarian and writes book reviews for both local and national publications. Her book expertise and recommendations are gathered in Book Lust, a compilation of books of all genres for every mood, moment, and reason as is her catch-phrase.

Thumbing through Book Lust, you'll find the most intriguing categories and descriptions of books and novels you most likely would never have thought to pick up! P
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John
Anyone who stumbles over the intriguingly titled "Book Lust" is obliged, as a book lover, to pick up this book and see what it's about.

The book is organized into LISTS, similar to a GoodReads list, except with only one voter, the author. Some of the lists are worth checking, like "Civil War Fiction" or "Russian Heavyweights". Other lists are absurd, like "Books about Cats", or "Books about Elvis Presley".

There are hundreds of lists in the book, and Pearl mentions thousands of books and writers,
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Patricia
I love lists.

While some of Pearl's recommendations are predictable and mainstream, her lists are quite varied and interesting. There are a number of books listed here that I've never heard of before and many that sound wonderful. My to-read list is in danger of overflowing beyond what is attainable in my lifetime.

I borrowed this copy from the library and read through it quickly, but this is one of those references that I'd like to have available on my shelf for those times when I'm in the mood f
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Erin W
This book was not what I imagined. I suppose I expected a book of essays, with each essay an analysis of a particular book and why it was significant for the author. For the Love of Books is something of a model for that. But no, Book Lust is basically a thickened-out list of librarian-approved "you might also like"s. There's nothing wrong with that. The books are spread apart into different chapters which represent categories and genres, so you can find recommendations for exactly what you migh ...more
Jz
Get our of your rut! Get this book!

My daughter works at a used book store, and gave me this to keep me from constantly asking her to recommend books for me, since our preferences have diverged more in recent years. (I'm just not into graphic novels and microbiology.)

That said, everyone should have a copy of this book and its companion (More). Of course, it's not the list of the thousand books you must read before you die. Someone else did that, so don't whine that it doesn't have all your favor
...more
Marisa Atkinson
I am such a huge Nancy Pearl fan.

The reason I'm always in the middle of seventeen different books and can't consistently finish one book at a time in an organized fashion is because I have reading moods: I want something scholarly and thought-provoking, or I need something trashy, or I want something set in Paris or during the 1960s, etc. Nancy Pearl completely gets this, and recommends her favorites accordingly. Culled from a lifelong career working as a librarian, Nancy makes sense of the vas
...more
Sian Lile-Pastore
I love books about books. I really enjoyed reading through this as it has really interesting book themes and categorisations such as books about Alaska, birds, cats, Canadian fiction, wild life and elvis. Possibly extra interesting for me as I live in the UK and this was mainly about American books so included loads and loads of stuff I'd never heard of.

Onwards to More Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason now!
Paula Dembeck
This book contains organized lists to help a reader find a book they would like to read. Written by a librarian who has enjoyed books her entire life, the author is a professional book reviewer and reader who compiled these lists from thirty years of reading. She believes that sharing the books you really love is one of the joys of reading.
She also tries to comfort those who do not finish books they do not enjoy. One of her strongest held beliefs is that no one should ever finish a book that t
...more
Terra
Nancy Pearl is a librarian who reads widely and in her book "Book Lust" suggests books in 175 clever topic lists for us to consider reading. Pearl has a sense of humor which shows in some of her list titles.
The full title of her book is "Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment and Reason."
Here are just of few of the lists she has written with reading suggestions:
Do Clothes Make the Man (Or Woman) ? Shrinks and Shrinkees
Kitchen-Sink Poetry Texas: A Lone Star State of Mind
Brothers
...more
Janet Gardner
It’s hard to know how to rate a book like this, as it’s not really meant to be a great reading experience itself, but rather to point to future great reading experiences. It’s a collection of short (1-3 page, mostly) mini-essay/lists of Pearl’s book picks on topics ranging from novels about mothers and daughters, to presidential biographies, to children’s fantasy that adults enjoy, to fiction and nonfiction about the world’s great rivers, to Polish poetry (in translation), to…well, just about an ...more
Lisa Vegan
Jun 15, 2007 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: bibliophiles, everyone at goodreads
Not at all comprehensive and it can be downright frustrating when “perfect” books are left out of the various sections. But it’s a way to find new books, and new authors also, in lists with many diverse catagories. Also can bring up good memories of books already read. And these Book Lust books are an enjoyable read - I read them cover to cover. Would recommend making a detailed list of books to read as read about them, which is something I didn’t do.
Debbie Sladek
I love pulling this lithe gem off the bookshelf periodically and finding an interesting topic. Then I reserve several of Pearl's suggestions at the library and begin my journey. I've armchair traveled to Iran, Zaire, Tanzania, France, New York. I've immersed my self in French baking, the fresh, earthy flavors of Tuscany, and the aromatic spices of India. Since my interests change over time, I always find something new.
Melissa
Well worth a look if you're the kind of person who enjoys browsing others' bookshelves. Quite a few recommended titles looked interesting to me, and Pearl's delight and enthusiasm are catching.

I wish, though, that Peak had included a paragraph about each and every title she suggests. Her descriptions were lovely and intriguing, but quite a lot of titles were merely listed without comment.

The appeal of this book lies largely in its recommendations being curated and catalogued and limited, compare
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Steph
Dec 21, 2010 Steph rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
I hardly think I need a book to recommend to me more books to read. I've got over 300 on my to-read list as it is. If you have trouble finding enough books to occupy your time (who are you?!) then this book seems perfectly capable of helping you with that. If you were looking for anything else here you won't find it.
Erin
This is a book of book lists presented in paragraph form. Many of the books Nancy Pearl suggests are ones that I would recommend to other readers as well, so I trust her suggestions overall as good ones. The problem with the book for me was that nothing in Pearl's writing sold me on reading the books. If you're looking for books that make you want to read the books they suggest, I'd go with The Novel Cure: From Abandonment to Zestlessness: 751 Books to Cure What Ails You or Read This Next: 500 o ...more
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I need your opinions on sorting books.. 2 10 Aug 09, 2014 04:06PM  
Topeka & Shaw...: Librarian and Author Nancy Pearl 1 14 Jan 25, 2012 07:54AM  
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More Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason Book Crush: For Kids and Teens-Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment and Interest Book Lust To Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers Book Lust Journal Now Read This: A Guide to Mainstream Fiction, 1978-1998

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“People frequently ask me how many pages they should give a book before they give up on it. In response to that question, I came up with my “rule of fifty,” which is based on the shortness of time and the immensity of the world of books. If you’re fifty years of age or younger, give a book fifty pages before you decide to commit 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 making your decision to stay with it or quit. Since that number gets smaller and smaller as we get older and older, our big reward is that when we turn 100, we can judge a book by its cover!” 0 likes
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