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Review - Judging a Book by its Lover

Thursday, November 8, 2012
Judging a Book by Its Lover: A Field Guide to the Hearts and Minds of Readers Everywhere
by Lauren Leto

4 Stars: Great Read
Publication: October 2, 2012
Pages: 288
Author: Twitter | Tumblr | Findings
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Buy it: Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Book Depository

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.


With plenty of wit and sarcasm to go around in this thought-provoking book, Lauren Leto attacks what we thought we knew about books. Remember Clifford the Big Red Dog? Apparently he has something to teach little kids, and it's not how to be a made scientist bent on creating big strangely colored dogs for all. It's not something most parents would want for their children. You remember that book everyone was talking about, oh, this many years ago? Lauren was paying attention, and now she's outting them for what they really mean to say. There's also advice for book lovers from how to deliver pickup lines to someone in a bookstore to cheating in book discussions, and innovative ways to show off your proud collection of books around the house.

Yeah, after reading this book, I now know how to hit on a hot guy in the bookstore (or public library). Will I put it to use? Maybe if it's a friend I can laugh with later... or on my imaginary, hotter-than-life future book boyfriend who would never let me down. Still, you never know.

This is not a book you should take (too) seriously (most of the time). You should read this prepared to laugh out loud at the snarky comments that Lauren makes in commenting on books, the industry, and those who love it--and the outrageous things book lovers will do to get a healthy dose of literature into their system, like taking a long train ride in a foreign country the day the last Harry Potter book is being released. (On the bright side, she got to finish it before her brother, who laughed when he found out she was going to be abroad when it was released and totally thought he was going to read it before her.) I now know to stick closely to my friends when I'm in a foreign country and they know where they're going and I don't, which is highly likely to happen.

Do I recommend it? Yes, I do.

I received a copy of this book for review purposes from the publisher.

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