Monday, January 30, 2023

Judging a Book by Its Lover by Lauren Leto

Judging a Book by Its Lover by Lauren Leto

Judging a Book by Its Lover: A Field Guide to the Hearts and Minds of Readers Everywhere (2012) is a book by Lauren Leto. It’s a collection of essays, with reflections on reading, writing, and authors. Some humorous pieces were republished from Leto’s blog. The chapters are a mixed bag of sincerity and snark.

Some of the chapters resonated with me, especially those on loving reading and finding connections with others through books. It’s clear that Leto loves reading. She knows how to succinctly and humorously describe books, genres, and literary movements. She also provides a wealth of interesting factoids about authors.

Other chapters in the book were less enjoyable to me, especially the long one titled “How to Fake It,” which is a guide to discussing well-known books you haven’t read. I’m not interested in feigning knowledge about books to impress anyone, and I have no problem being honest when I haven’t read a classic or a book by a famous contemporary author. I started wondering who the audience of the book was meant to be—those who love reading or those who pretend to be literary.

In spite of these misgivings, the book made me want to read more. As I read it, I jotted down the names of several authors and books that I’d like to explore in the future. I was glad to have some new ideas on how to expand my reading.

Purchase and read books by Lauren Leto:

Judging a Book by Its Lover by Lauren Leto Texts From Last Night: All the Texts No One Remembers Sending by Lauren Leto and Ben Bator


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