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Judging a Book By Its Lover: A Field Guide to the Hearts and Minds of Readers Everywhere

Judging a Book By Its Lover: A Field Guide to the Hearts and Minds of Readers Everywhere

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Judging a Book By Its Lover: A Field Guide to the Hearts and Minds of Readers Everywhere

3.5/5 (37 évaluations)
212 pages
2 heures
Oct 2, 2012


“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

Lauren Leto, humor blogger and co-author of Texts from Last Night, now offers a fascinating field guide to the hearts and minds of readers everywhere. Judging a Book by Its Lover is like a literary Sh*t My Dad Says—an unrelentingly witty and delightfully irreverent guide to the intricate world of passionate literary debate, at once skewering and celebrating great writers, from Dostoevsky to Ayn Rand to Jonathan Franzen, and all the people who read them. This provocative, smart, and addictively funny tome arose out of Leto’s popular “book porn” blog posts, and it will delight and outrage literature fans, readers of  Stuff White People Like and I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar—people obsessed with literary culture and people fed up with literary culture—in equal measure.

Oct 2, 2012

À propos de l'auteur

Lauren Leto dropped out of law school to start the popular humor blog “Texts from Last Night.” She co-authored the book Texts from Last Night: All the Texts No One Remembers Sending. She lives in Brooklyn.

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Judging a Book By Its Lover - Lauren Leto



For the Love of Print

Commercial Confessions

I’M AN ANXIOUS PERSON. My guess (gathered from an unscientific survey of fellow readers and the uneducated opinions of my family) is that this may be the result of years of overexposure to fictional worlds and underexposure to real-world activities such as recess, school dances, and cocktail parties. I’m not very comfortable in settings and situations most people take for granted as part of the comings and goings of everyday life. For example, traveling: traveling with me is an experience I wouldn’t want to wish on anyone—and I go to great lengths to save friends and family the trouble. Accompanying me on planes and in cars is nightmarish. If it weren’t for the helpful tricks that I’ve come to rely on, I don’t know how I’d get anywhere. I’ve developed ways to deal with my anxiety, tics that keep the pressure down and keep the terror at bay. These quirks are my dirty little secrets. Sometimes it’s just two stiff drinks at the airport TGIF before boarding; other times the situation calls for more drastic actions to divert my attention from my mounting anxiety over the prospect of hurtling forward on a road or through the sky. I need something a little more potent.

I’m telling you this because I want to be as honest as possible with you. Janet Evanovich books are my booze; I can’t board a plane without checking the airport bookstore to find the newest tale of Stephanie Plum. If I’ve read all the available Evanovich, I have to pick the next-easiest, sleaziest thing. I started and finished Twilight on red-eye trips from Detroit to Los Angeles and back; I conquered New Moon before touchdown from New York to San Francisco. I wept over Idaho while reading the first Hunger Games. At these moments I need my reading easy and quick; I need to turn the pages without knowing it. I don’t have the bandwidth to wonder about the underlying meaning of the exact word chosen to phrase how one turned around or analyze just why an object was described in a certain way. I need distraction, not deep thoughts.

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 from Camus by 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.

Let’s all embrace the fact that The Da Vinci Code has sold more copies than all of Saul Bellow’s works combined. Dan Brown and his ilk are keeping our bookstores in semi-business. If America chooses easy escapism over dense dialogue, we should welcome that decision with equanimity. When it comes to reading, whatever floats the boat. And if someone deems your reading choice frivolous, who cares? If it’s what you want to read, go for it.

However, silly books shouldn’t be all we read. We have to acknowledge that there is a problem with an exclusive diet of the latest hot commercial fiction and nonfiction: after a while, you realize, the books blend together. The voices, the stories, the characters, the arcs of the drama—after a while, it can all start to feel so…familiar. If we get too comfortable in our reading choices—too lazy—we’re giving something up. Kids get turned off of reading before they even begin in earnest because they recognize the predictability of it all. Die-hard readers who stick to Nicholas Sparks must have missed a few steps on the road through adolescence. How does one waste significant time reading and never open a book by Philip Roth? Before a middle schooler reads another boy meets girl young adult novel, we should hand them a copy of Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson or sit them down with a Brontë sister. Small steps to open up their perspective on plots a bit.

Nabokov described great stories as supreme fairy tales—they take our imagination to work, igniting dreams we wouldn’t know how to express in our daily lives. The best books expand and challenge the mind. The easy books don’t give us folds and symbols to look beneath or around; they don’t have images that come to you suddenly when you’re alone on a street corner and a passing man’s face suddenly strikes you, like the line in Jeffrey Eugenides’s Middlesex, as rumpled like an unmade bed. They don’t have perfectly captured vignettes that live on for you beyond the book and enter your life; like the line from Lorrie Moore’s Self-Help that comes to you as you accept a third date with someone you really could see yourself with, just like the last guy: You love once, I told you. Even when you love over and over again it is the same once, the same one.

I am not a scholar of literature. All my commentary comes from my experiences and presumptions as a reader. As you read what follows—my one-sentence book reviews, my gross generalizations about others’ bookshelves, my categorical statements on how to fake any author, my love lavished on little-known treasures in literature, my cheat sheets on how to write like any author, my horror stories from my life as a bookworm, and my open letters to authors’ fans—feel free to be annoyed if I snark on an author you love. Feel free to berate my schooling—my college degree is in political theory and constitutional democracy, a pretentious way of explaining that at one point in time I read a lot of Dostoyevsky and Plato. I’m a law school dropout and I managed to fail my college precalculus math class three semesters in a row. I’m afraid to get on planes. I am not an authority. I’m a Janet Evanovich fan, for Christ’s sake.

The Bookshelf of the Vanities

WHO AM I TO comment on bookshelf displays? My family home has a bookshelf filled with…pottery. But it wasn’t always like that. I grew up in a home with the most beautiful bookshelf you’ve ever seen. My father spent weeks constructing a built-in bookshelf that spanned the entirety of a long wall in our living room, save a center spot for the television. The bookshelf was painted a bright white and had intricate molding, contrasting with the raspberry-colored walls and deep-green carpeting of our living room. For the better part of a decade, I turned to those shelves to find my mom’s extensive collection of Kitty Kelley biographies, The Andy Warhol Diaries, Ken Follett books, past yearbooks, and Stephen King novels.

A few years ago my mother decided the bookshelf was no longer for holding a book collection. Instead, it would be for her burgeoning pottery collection. I visited my family’s home over the holidays to find, instead of rows of books, a neatly arrayed series of bright greenish-blue ceramic pottery lining the living room wall. Plates, candlesticks, vases, all in various shades of aquamarine, which my mother swore up and down matched with her green carpet and raspberry wallpaper in some way my untrained eyes couldn’t perceive.

Where were the books? She had relocated them to a low cabinet at the end of the room, near our kitchen. The cabinet had a broken latch, so the door swung open violently no matter how steadily and slowly you tried to crack it. Instead of being neatly lined up, the books were placed in plastic bins according to no method that I could discern. Harry Potter found himself in the same crate as Norman Mailer, my father’s guide to self-employment next to my brother’s Calvin and Hobbes. Tears sprung to my eyes as I saw Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination piled underneath numbers five and nine of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. The bins could hardly fit in the cabinet, so every time I opened the doors, they would lurch forward at me. I’d use one hand to push the bins of books back, a knee to hold the cabinet door steady, and my free hand to root through and find what I wanted.

I felt I had to set the books free. I had to rescue them from my mother’s shuttered hiding place. So I mailed the ones I wanted to protect to myself in New York City. With no doorman at my fifth-floor walk-up apartment to receive packages, I would have to go to the post office, pick up one box at a time (there were four in total), and walk the fifteen blocks home with—by that time—arms that felt like they were slowly catching fire. Then I’d head up the five flights and unpack the books onto the small coffee table that I fashioned into a type of bookshelf by lining up rows between the legs and across the top. My next apartment was also on the fifth floor. I had a friend help me with the boxes this time, our arms burning for days afterward. There, I lined the assorted paperbacks and hardcovers across a pair of drawers, stacking one row on top of the other to fit them all. In a third apartment, I bought two cheap ladders from a hardware store and stacked books across their rungs, the ladders leaning against the wall. It was improvisation. I didn’t have the money to invest in a choice piece of furniture but displaying my books felt like an important step of moving in. Ask anyone with a big book collection, and they’ll tell you moving them was the hardest part of the move. Take down a bookshelf and there’s often no less than four, possibly up to eight, good Lord if it’s over ten, boxes of dense material. This is the single greatest argument for welcoming e-books. Abandoning print and having your Kindle on display instead doesn’t sound like such a bad idea while carrying book box number seven to the car.

For some reason, even people who don’t read own bookshelves or a sort of showcase for their books. They seem to be a necessary component of the home, an adornment no self-respecting adult can live without. But what, when you really look at them closely, do these simple pieces of furniture tell you when they’re filled with their owner’s library—books received as gifts, bought in an airport on the outgoing leg of a vacation, or idly picked up while in line at a store? You are in someone’s home. Somewhere—likely right in front of you—is a wealth of information about who your host is, or who they want you to think they are. Let’s review a few of the typical bookshelf presentations you may encounter and the personalities behind them.

The Tortured Artist

Story: You have a passion for denying yourself a steady job and a resolve to keep posting YouTube videos until you get a viral hit (but so far views haven’t tipped past the double digits).

Books: Charles Bukowski (heavily read and marked up), Milan Kundera (read heavier in the areas where the protagonist describes his apathy toward commitment), Nietzsche (attempted, abandoned).

Objects: Bottle of Maker’s Mark strategically propping up the Bukowski, some change, rolling papers.

Bookshelf: Windowsill just within reach of your mattress on the ground.

Sorority Girl

Story: You are marked by an inability to recognize yourself as a caricature of what the media thinks twenty-year-old girls act and think like.

Books: Chelsea Handler (any book by her, bought at an airport bookstore), Eat, Pray, Love (but you’ve never heard of Committed), Jack Kerouac (a memento from high school days).

Objects: Pendant with Greek letters; oversized, painted martini glasses; pink frame with picture of four or more overly made-up women; Andy Warhol poster of Marilyn Monroe.

Bookshelf: The cubby in the upper part of your desk, built into the bunk at your sorority house.

Fraternity Guy

Story: Books aren’t your main concern—in fact they don’t even rank in the top one hundred things you care about—but it’s college and your mother bought you a shelf on a parent’s-weekend shopping spree, so why not?

Books: Tucker Max (received at your high school graduation party; you have an involuntary memory as to where specific stories are located in the book), The Bachelor’s Guide to Survival (again, a gift from your high school graduation), Between a Rock and a Hard Place (unread).

Objects: Empty beer can, girl’s necklace, speakers.

Bookshelf: Ikea-brand that your parents helped you put together; will be discarded or simply left in place instead of taken home after graduation.

Quirky Hipster

Story: You’ve run the gamut from Gabriel García Márquez to Miranda July. It is your sense of adventure that drives you to find the next most obscure author to champion. Either that or your pretentiousness.

Books: Che Guevara biography (purchased from independent bookstore), Susan Orlean’s The Orchid Thief, copies of The Paris Review (lined up just right), graphic novel (unread gift from ex-boyfriend).

Objects: Ceramic owl statue, cardboard cutout of a unicorn, vintage typewriter.

Bookshelf: Shelves ordered from Etsy and placed with loving precision on your bedroom wall.

Brash Entrepreneur

Story: You read all the business books and take notes so you can be sure to apply their priceless lessons with your team. You don’t appreciate the irony of taking up your time to read books revolving around the philosophy of get things done by sitting around and reading about how to plan to get it done.

Books: Tim Ferriss’s 4-Hour Workweek and 4-Hour Body; The Starfish and the Spider; The Checklist Manifesto.

Objects: Kitschy piggy bank, keep calm and carry on poster, clock, buckyballs.

Bookshelf: Books are placed on your minimalist-style glass desk.

Old-Money Prep

Story: Contemporary

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Ce que les gens pensent de Judging a Book By Its Lover

37 évaluations / 16 Avis
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Avis des lecteurs

  • (3/5)
    Okay book, though a bit disjointed (as most/many books based on or built from blog posts read to my eyes). Still fun from a bibliophile's or reader's standpoint.
  • (4/5)
    This was a fun little book. I saw myself in so many of the types of readers and in reader behaviors. I kept thinking all through this book, "Yep, that's me." or "Oh, I do that." I thoroughly enjoyed this and it read a lot quicker than I expected.
  • (3/5)
    Originally posted on A Reader of Fictions.

    As you might guess, I am a bit of a reader. As such, one of the things I enjoy doing when not reading is discussing literature. In Leto's book, I can sort of read and discuss reading all at once, albeit in a format where the discussion is rather one-sided with me unable to respond to Leto's opinions. Leto's work is for book lovers, or, perhaps even more, for those of us who want to pretend we've read all the most pretentious works but haven't.

    Judging a Book by Its Lover, like most books containing short snippets of story or essay, is a bit of mish mash. Some of the sections entertained me and resulted in my wanting to be best buds with Lauren Leto. Other sections made me roll my eyes at Lauren Leto's handing down of her mighty opinion to the masses, much of which I didn't agree with. Leto's observations will primarily be entertaining to those who a) get the references and b) share her opinions. When she snarks at something I hated, I laugh along merrily. However, when the snark turns on beloved books, I could not help but be annoyed, especially since much of the snark came with no context or backing whatsoever.

    One of Leto's bits of snark that bothered me in its inaccuracy comes from the lengthy section "Stereotyping People by Favorite Author," in which she asserts that those whose favorite author is Jane Austen - since they are totally the same in their writing style, these four people - are "girls who made out with other girls in college when they were going through a 'phase.'" Really, Lauren Leto? I would have gone more for the "girls who are always disappointed that real men don't measure up to fictional ones and remain single forever." Also mean, but more applicable to the fan base, which includes myself. Besides, for someone claiming to have so much knowledge of reading and its culture, why does she make the rookie mistake of pairing Austen and Brontës as though they're the same?

    I guess I just felt that Leto was often overly brutal toward an author or a book in an effort to be edgy and funny, and, more importantly, to show how clever Lauren Leto is. I got the distinct sense that things she enjoys are awesome and to be judged as such, and things she doesn't automatically suck. Well, isn't that nice. For all that her posturing frustrated me, I actually preferred the snippets of her life to the gimmicky bits and lists. I wish it had been a bit more memoir, a bit less book snob.

    The long lists, "Stereotyping People by Favorite Author" and "How to Fake It" drag on and on, not especially fun to read back to back. The latter gives key information for those who want to pretend they've read an author they haven't. They both run on too long, taking on a number of figures I've never even heard of, which, given that I spend a lot of time looking at books, makes me wonder about relevance to the average reader. In the stereotypes, it definitely felt as though people liked that so she wrote as many as she could, resulting in the forced feeling to many of them.

    Obviously, I had a number of issues with this book. However, there were good things and I did enjoy reading it more than I didn't. When not sniping, Leto can actually be quite funny. She clearly loves books, which is always good, and advocates reading strongly, even if it has to be things she denigrates. In addition, there are a lot of fun facts to be learned, like that Norman Mailer liked to punch people and that I should never touch a Charles Bukowski novel.

    If you're a book lover that wants to judge most of the books released in the last ten years and some classics, Judging a Book by Its Lover will help you with that. This one is for snark release, not for too much serious analysis though.
  • (3/5)

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

    This was a book bullet I think, but sadly turned out not to be for me - unexpectedly, I actually got more out of [[Francine Prose]]. [Reading Like a Writer] may have felt snobby, but it was passionate and honest; I don't share Prose's taste in Chekhov, but I understand her love of books. Leto's work reads (perhaps unsurprisingly, given her background) like a snarky collection of blog posts for a select audience in on some joke that I never quite grasped. It might just be some hidden cultural chasm - Leto snarks mostly about modern American literati who I've neither read nor aspired to read. But even her short-form snark - 3-word or 3-line demolition of a broader range of authors, books and their readers - didn't make it across that gap. In the UK at least, we don't have some hidden suspicion that girls who like Austen are bi-curious (huh?) so such jokes fell very flat.While Leto is clearly well-read (not genre fiction though; that's the domain of teenage boys in black with unwashed long hair, apparently), her love for fiction eluded me, buried beneath the snark. Perhaps it's all very loving snark - she and James Frey may have some longstanding Twitter flirt feud - but I couldn't tell. I'm left with (snark alert!) an impression of her as the loud, bitchy one in the corner at parties, toasting you ironically for having the wrong opinions. Which is ironic in itself, given her opinions of such people. I'd much rather have coffee with her Mum.

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • (3/5)
    Like most collections of columns or blog posts, this is hit and miss. Unlike most collections of columns or blog posts, the hits are very good, and most of the misses are not that bad.

    The only part that didn't really work for me is the "how to fake that you've read....". Most of the rest was quite delightful, particularly the pieces where Leto examines her own childhood and familial relations to books.

    She is a good writer, and I enjoy her snark and her eye for skewering character, so I suspect I'd probably enjoy reading anything else she writes.
  • (4/5)
    Series of humorous essays on reading and readers. Tips on how to cheat that you've read certain authors and books. Universal truths that if you are a reader you can relate to. I enjoyed it. Certain essays made me chuckle. I realize that my reading tastes and hers are different. I haven't read many of the books or authors that she has but I could relate to what she said. Fun!
  • (1/5)
    zoolobg yanegyan
  • (3/5)
    A funny read about being a reader with advice on appearing "well read". I don't totally agree with the author's definition of well read and some of the "fake it" section went on a bit long for me but mostly enjoyable.
  • (5/5)
    This is a must have for serious readers. It's incredibly funny and will fill in a lot of your literary knowledge "gaps."
  • (4/5)
    Part memoir, part field guide, this is a fun book for anyone who loves books. While the anecdotes about Leto's life are fun, the best part is when she talks about the books and the people who love them, stereotyping all the way.
  • (3/5)
    A collection of essays, mostly humorous, about books, readers, and literature, including rules for "bookstore hookups," speculation about what it would be like to invite various famous literary couples to dinner, and a guide to "how to write like any author," among other things. Being a book person myself -- of course! -- I was hoping this was a book I would really click with, but... Yeah, not so much. Some of it is amusing, and there are a couple of more serious pieces at the end that are rather nice. And the section about how to fake it when talking about books you haven't read is full of a lot of interesting trivia about various authors. But that "faking it" conceit just bugs me, even if it is tongue-in-cheek. (And given the anecdote she relates elsewhere involving lying about having read Infinite Jest, it may not be entirely tongue-in-cheek.) This, I'm afraid, is where the failure to click comes in. Because while Leto clearly does genuinely love books, she's way too preoccupied with the idea of looking cool and hip and impressing people with your ability to talk about books at cocktail parties, or wherever it is cool, hip people get together to talk about books. I don't know, because that is really, really not what being a reader is about for me, and it annoys me that Leto keeps talking to me as if she's assuming it is.She's also.. Well, I was going to say "a little too snarky," but that's not really it; I like me some good snark. It's more that she's often just not quite witty enough to make the leap from "uncomfortably judgmental" into "acerbically funny" when she's slinging the snark.I feel like I'm probably being way too hard on what is really a fairly fluffy and mostly perfectly readable little book. I think I'm just allergic to a certain kind of pretentiousness, and I can't help but detect more than a whiff of it here.
  • (3/5)
    I wasn't so impressed with the 'How To Fake It' section, particularly since I don't believe in lying about what you have or have not read, but I enjoyed most of it. 'Survival of the Nerdiest' was my favourite and I have it tagged for rereading.
  • (3/5)
    I gave this book 4 stars when I first finished, since it made me chuckle and laugh out loud so many times. A few days later, I have no recollection of what this book was truly about, except techniques to fake that you've read a book, or several books by the same author, without actually reading it. Some chapters are really fun to read, especially the ones about how the author grew up as a bookworm, with a bit of inflation on her part, of course. The chapters about hitting on men in bookstore and imaginary dinners with literary couples are both fun. All after all, the only agreement I have with the author is that sometimes we need to take a break from reading serious books that requires thinking, and read something plot-driven so our noodles can take a break. She reads Stephanie Plum for those occasions, and I do, too. It's a fun, little book to read to people who actually reads a lot and know what and who she's talking about; otherwise, this book can be summed up as: lots of mockery, showing off, inflated history, and nothing else important.
  • (4/5)
    Lauren Leto loves to let us laugh. I also love alliteration, can you tell? Anyway, Judging A Book By Its Lover: A Field Guide to the Hearts and Minds of Readers Everywhere (for the rest of this post, henceforth known as JABBIL) may be one of the longest book titles ever, but it’s also one of the funniest damn books I’ve EVER READ. PERIOD. EVER. LIKE, EVER.
    And it’s non-fiction. I can’t believe I just said that. Yes, I read non-fiction. When this book was pitched to me, it sounded so unbelievably awesome, I had to read it, even though non-fiction doesn’t fall into my wheelhouse. Because guess what? This book falls into every book lover’s wheelhouse. Yes, that’s right: if you are a bookcat (don’t worry, you’ll get that reference when you read it), you will greater than-three (<3) this book. I would never lie to you.
    Leto captures the essence of every book lover’s soul in her own stories, from early childhood when being a bookcat meant it was also a constant struggle to fit in with the other kids in school. There are anecdotes involving her family, random encounters in bookstores, and how she feels about Harry Potter.
    It’s not just how much I identified with her stories… but her storytelling is fun and entertaining. In case you breezed through the synopsis, Leto is also responsible for the blog site, Texts from Last Night (a wonderful time waster, btw). Her sense of humor matched mine perfectly and I thoroughly enjoyed reading JABBIL for the snark and wit, if nothing else. No, that’s not true…Leto is a book lover just like me. I enjoyed it, because it could have been me on those pages (save for her weirdly sick obsession with classic literature – I am not a fan of the classic, with a few exceptions). But she was me. Only her. We were one with each other on those pages, AND I GOT HER.
    The only section I had a problem with was about 70% through the book in the How To Fake it section. The section details how to fake like you’ve read many pieces of famous literature (none of which I had read, of course), but to be honest, it felt like it was written for those who had already read them. I didn’t find the humor in them, because I hadn’t read the books, and therefore didn’t get the funny-haha jokes imparted on the pages. The section was so looooong, eventually I just said F it, and skipped to the next chapter, where all was good again.
    Overall, I highly recommend JABBIL to anyone who has been a bookcat their entire life (or even a part of their life). It’s engaging and hysterical and I really look forward to more of Leto’s non-fiction work. Imagine that: Jennifer reading non-fiction. Who would have ever thought?
  • (3/5)
    This book made me feel like a bad English major. I only recognized about half of the authors and titles that Leto mentions (one bit of advice is to keep paper and pen with you to take notes on all the books she references). It might be the fact that the vast majority of the books are "contemporary literature" and I haven't really read "literature" published in the last 50 years or so. My literary education focused on eras before modernism, probably because I like a linear plot and I am not apologizing for that.It's just that after reading Judging a Book by Its Lover, I feel that there is so much I missed and now have seriously make up for lost time. However, I've gotten used to reading fun books, or commercial genre fiction (lots of paranormal fiction at the moment), so I'm out of practice with that kind of reading. I've been meaning to stop reading such fluffy books (usually with quite a bit of sex), and start on books that really make me think, but again I place some blame on my English and liberal arts classes for the sheer amount of reading they forced me to do. After all that scholarly reading I just wanted to turn my mind off, and thus fluff books and tv took over.So I will make a resolution to start reading books that make me think. I'll start slowly and intersperse them with other types of reading as I have wanted to get back into more epic fantasy and there are quite a few nonfiction books that I think look interesting. Let's see how this goes.On other notes Leto is pithy and acerbic at times while warm and touching at others. And I'm sure that her insights into the authors and books would be more meaningful if I had read more of them.
  • (4/5)
    The Good Stuff Wickedly funny often good naturedly snarky Actually learned a lot & not just how to pick up a guy in a bookstore/library Love the fact that she adores Evanovitch as much as the literary elite Wonderful suggestions that will help me in my job as a bookseller and Librarian Cannot say enough about the chapters Book Critic's Bag of Tricks - which has given me many new words for my reviews Fabulous message about the importance of books Touching and personal Loved the chapter What your child will grow up to be if you read them .. It's hilarious and spot on -- and btw I read them a lot of Seuss so phew things are looking good for my boys The chapter How to Fake it will come in extremely well at my part time job ; ) A compelling, pithy read - see chapter Book Critic's Bag of Tricks And no I will not lend this book to you --- go buy your own The Not So Good Stuff Wanted more The Classifying literature chapter was far too intelligent for me Favorite Quotes/Passages "You would've thought I'd learn after that. Books aren't good gifts for people who don't read. But like a maniac, I keep shoving books into nonreader hands. I picture myself as not unlike John the Baptist. But instead of preaching for Jesus, I'm preaching for stories.""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 from Camus by memory.""They're BEAUTIFUL THINGS, tangible books. The iPad, Nook, and Kindle are swiftly taking away our ability to instantly judge people by their choice of reading material in public places, but for a little while longer, you'll be able to strike up a conversation with a stranger, or silently mock them, as you notice them cracking open a wonderfully bulky copy of I am Charlotte Simmons." Who Should/Shouldn't Read For those who passionately love the written word Perfect gift for the book lover Not for those who aren't crazy about books4 Dewey's I received this from William Morrow in exchange for an honest review