HUSH: a podcast from your library – Episode 15 – Librarian and Author Nancy Pearl

Thad Hartman and Lissa Staley interview Nancy Pearl, author of the Book Lust series and model for the librarian action figure.

Listen now, download the mp3, or subscribe to “Hush: a podcast from your library” through iTunes.

Book Lust and other reading recommendations

Our guest this episode is Nancy Pearl, Author and Librarian. She is a rock star among readers and her Book Lust series helps tempt readers with new book recommendations. Nancy invented and popularized the concept of a community reading and discussing the same book together. She is a frequent contributor to NPR on topics of books and reading. She is an inspiration for librarians, library customers and readers everywhere!

In this podcast, she confesses “I wanted to be a librarian because I wanted to make the world a better place” and explains “The rule of 50” for how to judge whether to keep reading a book that you aren’t enjoying.

Books mentioned

Search for these books and place requests at

  • Book Lust to Go by Nancy Pearl
  • The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
  • The Brothers K by David James Duncan
  • The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli
  • National Novel Writing Month
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers
  • E. Nesbit books
  • Half-Magic by Edgar Eager
  • The Sweet Hereafter by Russell Banks
  • A Lesson before Dying by Ernest Gaines
  • Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
  • Dorothy Dunnett
  • And you heard it here first…a new series being published over the next two years– Book Lust Rediscoveries: reprints of Nancy Pearl’s favorite novels, including “A Gay and Melancholy Sound” by Merle Miller and “After Life” by Rhian Ellis
  • Nancy’s best of 2011
  • Rin Tin Tin: the life and the legend by Susan Orlean
  • The Destiny of the Republic: a tale of madness, medicine and the murder of a president  by Candice Millard
  • In Zanesville by Jo Ann Beard
  • The Summer of the Bear by Bella Pollen

Follow Nancy Pearl on twitter @nancypearl or Facebook

Your turn to talk

Continue the conversation about books and movies with people in peril. Why do you like them? What can you recommend? Talk to us here on the blog, or on the library’s Goodreads group at our people in peril discussion.

If you have questions, comments or suggestions for future topics please comment on our blog post or send us an email at

Lissa Staley

Lissa Staley helps people use the library. She is a Book Evangelist, Health Information Librarian, Trivia Emcee, Classics Made Modern book group leader, NaNoWriMo Municipal Liaison, Community Novel Project leader, HUSH podcaster, and frequent library customer. She reads a new book every few days, but recently enjoyed Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley.