Monday, October 8, 2012
Judging a Book by Its Lover
review copy provided by Harper Perennial
Description from Goodreads:
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.
As someone who has been accused of being a literature snob on more than one occasion and who is blamed for causing our son to be a literature snob, I thought that Judging a Book by Its Lover would be a really fun book to read. I mean, we all judge others by the books they are reading, right? At least sometimes. I've mellowed a lot in my judgment of books and the people who read them. But there are times when someone says this or that book is their favorite book of all time and all I can think is "Really? Why?" And then proceed to try to figure out what about their personality makes them choose that book or was that the last book they read or was that just the only title they could think of? Well, you get the picture. So, Judging a Book by Its Lover seemed to be something I would enjoy.
I read this book in the spirit I think it was written. I had so much fun while reading it. I snickered, I laughed out loud, more that a few times I thought "Oh, that is totally true!" and I just generally had a good time while reading this book. I didn't agree with everything, but then again, I don't agree with lots of things. It is obvious than Lauren Leto is an avid reader and book lover. As a bookworm from my earliest memory, I could relate to so many of her anecdotes of bookworm-ness.
Looking back at the sections, I see that my favorite sections are in "Snark Bait". Am I surprised? Not really. Twitter-Sized Reviews of Memoirs was quite humorous. I think my favorite within Snark Bait was Book Critic's Bag of Tricks though. So funny. I have to agree with her admonition, "For the love of God, please use these words sparingly." If I see very many of these words in a review I can't help but think, "Pompous windbag." Maybe that's not fair, but there it is.
I would highly recommend this book to book lovers without a qualm. The wider and deeper you have read, the more you'll get out of it, though. I hate to quote too much from the book, because the discovery is half the fun. The sudden snort of derisive laughter at something you've thought but never written down much less actually said to someone is just priceless.