It's a strange fact (maybe an outgrowth of reading too much) that I love reading descriptions of books I've already read. I suppose it lets me enjoy them again in an incredibly efficient way! So I read this book cover-to-cover, though it's just an assemblage of brief reading lists with some commentary. Pearl (best-known perhaps as the model for Archie McPhee's shushing librarian action figure
) has very eclectic tastes (yay!) which don't overlap with mine very much (too bad for me...) I've added a few to-reads to my ever-growing list, but I'm actually relieved there weren't more (I couldn't possibly make a serious dent in the list before I die, especially since I'm very attached to RE-reading). But if you don't have such a list, this is a great way to start one; with segments from the Alices (Adams, Hoffman, Munro, Sebold, Walker, etc.) to Zero (books on the counter-intuitive concept that revolutionized mathematics), there's something for most everyone. Especially intriguing: "Too Good To Miss" sections which highlight Hamilton Basso, Frederick Busch, George MacDonald Fraser, Robert Heinlein, Ward Just, P.F. Kluge, Mark Kurlansky, Jonathan Lethem, Elinor Lipman, Ian McEwan, Merle Miller, Iris Murdoch, Lewis Nordan, Richard Powers, Van Reid, Rex Stout, Ross Thomas, Gore Vidal, and Connie Willis. Heinlein and Fraser are the only two I've read; I agree with her on Heinlein (this book is what led me back to Red Planet
, the only H. juvenile that was missing from my collection, though I don't think it holds a candle to the later ones), not on Fraser, but reading at least one each of the others would be a good goal.