Saturday, March 22, 2014

Judging a Book by Its Lover

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

Published 2012

First Sentence
"The first book I ever loved was a book about a monster in a child's closet."

Publisher's Description:

Want to impress the hot stranger at the bar who asks for your take on Infinite Jest? Dying to shut up the blowhard in front of you who’s pontificating on Cormac McCarthy’s “recurring road narratives”? Having difficulty keeping Francine Prose and Annie Proulx straight?

For all those overwhelmed readers who need to get a firm grip on the relentless onslaught of must-read books to stay on top of the inevitable conversations that swirl around them, Lauren Leto’s Judging a Book by Its Lover is manna from literary heaven! A hilarious send-up of—and inspired homage to—the passionate and peculiar world of book culture, this guide to literary debate leaves no reader or author unscathed, at once adoring and skewering everyone from Jonathan Franzen to Ayn Rand to Dostoyevsky and the people who read them.

Dear Reader,

This book was included in the BookRiot Quarterly box, check it out. Anyone who loves getting surprise mail, especially book related, should check out this subscription. Judging a Book by Its Lover isn't a book I would have picked up on my own, the Author is the co-creator of the popular site Texts From Last Night. I wouldn't have thought her to be someone who has a lot to say about books and literature but how wrong that is! After enjoying every little chapter, I can now say that I will be following her on twitter and other social media sites to devour more of her bookish knowledge. She is extremely well read but not elitist about it, she isn't afraid to put down her own tastes and make fun of anyone and everyone. I find it very compelling that she has the balls to do this and this book shines because of it.

Every chapter has something to enjoy, whether it be a comical review or advice on how to impress someone with your book reading prowess (even if you haven't read the book). I came away from this book adding quite a few "to-reads" and discovering things I didn't even know about myself. One of my favorite chapters was called, Petition to Change the Term from "Bookworm" to "Bookcat". The title says it all, and I stand behind her on this 100%. I will admit, there were times in this book that I felt a pang of anger when she jabbed at a favorite Author of mine, but I had to remind myself this was all in jest and she does it to everyone, even the most acclaimed.

Another section of the book that had me on the floor laughing was the part that stereotyped the reader by their favorite Author. I found myself ashamed to admit that a few of these nailed it straight to my heart, and a few others I giggled about knowing it described perfectly other people in my life. I think the best part of this book is the connection you get with Lauren Leto, knowing she is just another reader like you... but how she is sharing these funny tidbits to connect you to the world of other readers. She tells you a little about herself, growing up without many friends, bumping into walls because she can't put a book down long enough to look where shes going. All those little quirks about her, those are the things that I related to most and she pulls you into her world before she bashes her hammer down on your favorites, bringing a little reality to the world of literary snobs. I loved everything about it.

I can't help but want to shove this book into every hand I know who loves to read. It's quick, witty and makes your stomach hurt from all the laughter. Bravo to BookRiot and Lauren Leto for this wonderful reading escapade, I will be picking this book and referencing it for years to come.

Happy Reading,

P.S. - I feel lucky to have read two favorites within the past month, but it always leaves me worried that my next read will be criticized all the more because of that. Keep that in mind when you read the next few reviews, I might be a little less gracious with me ratings. 

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