Pearls of wisdom

Nancy Pearl discussing books during her recent visit to Orcas. - Staff photo/ Colleen Smith Armstrong
Nancy Pearl discussing books during her recent visit to Orcas.
— image credit: Staff photo/ Colleen Smith Armstrong

NPR book guru and librarian Nancy Pearl spoke to a packed room of islanders eager to hear about her latest book recommendations.

Pearl’s choices ranged from science fiction, westerns and mystery to essays, young adult and chick lit.

“All of these books are character driven,” she said. “They feature three-dimensional characters who jump off the page and into your life.”

Pearl is a regular commentator on NPR’s Morning Edition and NPR affiliate stations KUOW in Seattle and KWGS in Tulsa.

Since the release of her best-selling “Book Lust” in 2003 and the Librarian Action Figure modeled in her likeness, Pearl has become a rock star among readers and the tastemaker people turn to when deciding what to read next.

The event on July 10 was sponsored by the Orcas Island Library and The Friends of the Library. The books featured in the list below are available at the library and Darvill’s Bookstore. Her comments from the session are featured in italics.

Nancy Pearl’s Summer Reading List

• “In Zanesville,” by JoAnn Beard.

• “A Tangle of Knots” by Lisa Graff.

• “Crashed,” “Little Elvises” and “Fame Thief” by Timothy Hallinan.

• “The Gone-Away World” by Nick Harkway.

• “The Cowboy and the Cossack” by Clair Huffaker. Very dear to her heart and she helped bring it back into print.

• “The Mystery of Mercy Close” by Marian Keyes.

• “Snapper” by Brian Kimberling. A treasure of a book.

• “Keeping the Castle” by Patrice Kindl. For anyone who loves Jane Austen.

• “We Learn Nothing: Essays and Cartoons” by Tim Kreider. Thought-provoking, universal themes.

• “Defending Jacob” by William Landay. One of the best thrillers she has read.

• “The Towers of Trebizond” by Rose Macauley.

• “The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat” by Edward Kelsey Moore.

• “Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes.

• “The Last Night at the Ritz” by Elizabeth Savage. Every single page has a quotable line.

• “The Fifth Wave” by Rick Yancey. Extremely exciting, great for young readers too.

• “Eleven Days” by Lea Carpenter.


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