Reader reviews for Judging a Book By Its Lover

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
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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.
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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 (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?
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