Monday, September 5, 2011

Review: Book Lust to Go by Nancy Pearl

My husband saw me reading this latest collection of book lists by Nancy Pearl with a pen in my hand and he just shook his head and groaned. The implication of course, was that I needed a book of book lists like I need a hole in my head. Of course, he's not far wrong either but I do enjoy reading other people's recommendations. And Nancy Pearl, probably the most famous (former) librarian out there is a fount of these recommendations.

In this, her fourth book (following two general books and one for YA and kid's books), she chooses to focus on books set in or about very specific places on our planet. Chapters are based on the country or city being highlighted and as such the book is perfect for travelers who like to read about the country or city which they intend to visit to get a better sense of it. The lists include travel narrative, fiction, and authors native to the place (although they may not live there currently). Certain sections of the book are more packed with recommendations than others, especially when there's a paucity of works in English translation from which to choose. And as in her previous books, Pearl suggests both current and out of print books that might be available at your local library.

What I noticed as I read along in this particular book is how very many mysteries Pearl recommends. Obviously this is a genre she enjoys and with which she is familiar but as I am not a mystery reader, I found the number of these suggestions a bit excessive. Purely a taste thing. Also, I enjoyed those sections where Pearl annotated the titles a bit rather than just mentioning the title and author and moving on. I like to have some sense of the general premise of the book and am more inclined to look for more information if I have that than if I just read the title in an unenlightening list of books set in, say, East Tumble Bumble. But these are minor quibbles and as mentioned above, I read with a pen in hand and came away from the book as a whole with quite a substantial list of books I intend to further research and possibly add to my ever expanding library. Plus, now I have an easy way to find a vacation-set book before my next trip.


  1. My wishlist swelled dramatically after buying this book!

  2. I loved her first two books, but have yet to pick up this one or her YA one. And my husband would groan, too. :)

  3. I love to read books about or based in cities that I am visiting, so this sounds perfect!

  4. My wishlist swelled alarmingly after I read the first two books, and if I get my hands on this one I'm sure it will get even bigger. Which is why I'm staying away for the time being - I'm trying to get my TBR stack down to a manageable size. But oh boy, I do want to read it!


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