It’s not just because we’re deep into Goodread territory here, but I feel like many of us are past the need for a Book of Lists like we have here. This review isn’t based on the concept as a whole. How do you find the books you’re interested in reading?
There’s still books that I want to read that my brother read for college classes and told me about during the summers home when I was still in high school. I still have a list in the back of my head of books recommended to me by other college students or grad students. Some that I want to read because they sound amazing, and others because I want to confirm my suspicions about those recommenders. I still check the Pulitzers and National Book Awards and Booker Prize, and while I still have a few from each of those lists I plan on reading, I am much less susceptible than I used to be to their influences. It only takes a few duds and or worse to sour you on those award lists. I have a few longer lists made from various recommended guides. One of my favorite ways to find a new book is to buy it in a used book store or a little free library and read it first.
Anyway, this book is by no means terrible for finding books to read. It’s also not out of date really, even though you’re limited to the books listed by the date of this book’s publication/laws of time and space. The issue is a few problems. One, this book is VERY American-centric, and very white. Even when reading the list for “The World of Islam” you still end up with a lot of non-Muslim voices telling you about the Islamic world (re: terrorism). It’s just the way the goes. Second, and this is a writing issue — it’s written in a way that feels like Nancy Pearl has read any of these books. I believe she had, but this book struggles to convey that.