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Review: ‘Judging a Book By Its Lover’ by Lauren Leto

Review: ‘Judging a Book By Its Lover’ by Lauren Leto post image

Title: Judging a Book by Its Lover: A Field Guide to the Hearts and Minds of Readers Everywhere
Author: Lauren Leto
Genre: Nonfiction
Year: 2012
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Acquired: From the publisher for review consideration.
Rating: ★★★★☆

Review: What do you need to know to fake having read Jonathan Franzen? How should you go about picking up the cute guy browsing the biographies at your local indie bookstore? Which book should you buy for your obnoxious mother-in-law? What books should you feature on your living room bookshelf if you want visitors to know what a quirky hipster you are?

The answers to these questions and more can be found in the snarky homage to literature and the current literary scene that is Lauren Leto’s Judging a Book By Its Lover. In the book, Leto (a humor writer and blogger) offers her perspective on the big questions of Great Literature while poking fun at the people who take books and bookish drama too seriously.

In her most extensive chapter, Leto offers her advice for how to fake reading any major author, but my favorite chapter was about stereotyping people by their favorite author — women who are constantly constipated love Nicholas Sparks, people who don’t mind smokers like Tom Wolfe, and guys who love skinny jeans (and the women who love them) are fans of Nick Hornby. A little unfair? Probably. But worth a laugh? Oh, definitely.

Leto also has chapters about which literary pairs might be fun to have over for a dinner party, strategies to avoid talking about the plot points of major novels, and the joy of getting book dirty and cheap. Admittedly, Leto hasn’t written anything revolutionary — her chapters about the general bookish life are funny, but certainly nothing that hasn’t been written before — but her youthful perspective and sense of humor bring a new sense of fun to topics that constantly risk being stripped of fun by critics and Serious Readers a like. If you love books, give this one a try.

Other Reviews: eclectic/eccentric | In Bed With Books | JulzReads |

If you have reviewed this book, please leave a link to the review in the comments and I will add your review to the main post. All I ask is for you to do the same to mine — thanks!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jennifer November 2, 2012, 6:31 am

    Books about books are the best sort of books ;) I’ll definitely be looking for this one, if only to read the stereotyping passages lol.

    • Kim November 5, 2012, 8:20 pm

      They are so funny! Not accurate for everyone, I’m sure, but at least for a few fans :)

  • bermudaonion(Kathy) November 2, 2012, 9:21 am

    This sounds like a great book!

  • Leah November 2, 2012, 10:44 am

    This sounds like such a fun book! Gotta love books about books :)

  • Andi (@estellasrevenge) November 2, 2012, 1:38 pm

    I’m intrigued by this one. It’s been on my wishlist since I saw eclectic/eccentric’s review. Good stuff!

    • Kim November 5, 2012, 8:20 pm

      It’s very fun. I think you would like it!

  • Trisha November 3, 2012, 7:55 am

    I adored this book. It was just so fun if, as you say, not exactly revolutionary.

  • Jenny November 3, 2012, 9:56 am

    Good title at least! And sounds like a fun read if not groundbreaking. :)

    • Kim November 5, 2012, 8:21 pm

      Yes, the title is awesome. I love the cover too.

  • Laurie C November 3, 2012, 2:02 pm

    Sounds like fun, although I like Nick Hornby but definitely do not wear skinny jeans!

  • Lu November 4, 2012, 4:13 pm

    I’m always a little bit disappointed in books about books, but maybe this one is worth the read. I’ll give it a shot!

  • Julie Merilatt November 5, 2012, 1:16 pm
    • Kim November 5, 2012, 8:22 pm

      Thanks for sharing!

  • Rebecca November 7, 2012, 11:05 pm

    I have heard nothing but great things about this one!

  • Kailana November 11, 2012, 6:50 pm

    I really like the title of this book!