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Nancy Pearl

Nancy Pearl

Nancy Pearl is a regular commentator about books on NPR's Morning Edition and NPR affiliate stations KUOW in Seattle and KWGS in Tulsa.

The New York Times calls her "the talk of librarian circles." Readers can't get enough of her recommendations while bookstores and libraries offer standing room only whenever she visits. Since the release of the best-selling Book Lust in 2003 and the Librarian Action Figure modeled in her likeness, Nancy Pearl has become a rock star among readers and the tastemaker people turn to when deciding what to read next.

Having worked as a librarian and bookseller in Detroit, Tulsa, and Seattle, Pearl's knowledge of and love for books is unmatched. In 1998, she developed the program "If All of Seattle Read the Same Book," which spread across the country. The former Executive Director of the Washington Center for the Book, Pearl celebrates the written word by speaking at bookstores and libraries across the country and on her monthly television program Book Lust with Nancy Pearl on the Seattle Channel.

In 2004, Pearl became the 50th winner of the Women's National Book Association Award for her extraordinary contribution to the world of books. In the moments when Pearl finds herself without a book, she is an avid bicyclist and happy grandmother of two. She lives in Seattle with her husband Joe.

  • The only thing that these books have in common is that NPR's go-to librarian likes them a lot. Nancy Pearl's self-described "higgledy-piggledy" list includes a book of cartoons, a Civil War history, a coming-of-age story, a spy novel and more.
  • The librarian extraordinaire sorts through the piles of books in her office and comes up with 10 captivating tales. With strong narrative voices and wonderfully drawn characters, these books will make you stop and savor the story.
  • Librarian Nancy Pearl loves reading about other people's lives. And while an unappreciative therapist might call that a predilection toward snooping, it won't stop her from gravitating to the memoir section of the bookstore. Here, for your own vicarious pleasure, are some of her favorites.
  • All aboard, armchair travelers! In Book Lust to Go, our go-to librarian shares her favorite accounts of intrepid exploration and fiction from faraway lands.
  • As a librarian and a reader, Nancy Pearl scours the shelves in search of hidden treasures — titles you may have missed. Her findings include two chilling thrillers, one exquisite 1960s memoir, a lively biography of George Orwell, an example of historical fiction at its very best, and much more fiction, nonfiction and poetry.
  • Librarian Nancy Pearl shares the work of a few of her best-loved poets. They include a former nun who wrote about Marilyn Monroe, a man who was left paralyzed after a bicycle accident, and writers who — despite the sometimes rigid requirements of their chosen form — find surprising, inventive ways to use words.
  • The end of another year means another giant stack of books you missed during the past 12 months. Nancy Pearl, our favorite librarian, stops by to share recommendations that should keep old, young and 'tween readers content.
  • Getting ready for one last trip to the beach? Have a long plane ride coming up? Or are you just ready to become engrossed in a good book? Try these mysteries you may have missed.
  • Librarian Nancy Pearl's book list includes a somber, genre-defying graphic novel about Doctors Without Borders volunteers, and a whimsical first novel about a die-hard Philadelphia Eagles fan.
  • Seattle librarian Nancy Pearl returns with another set of titles you should be reading but haven't (yet). The latest batch features the story of three royal cousins, tales of wild animal adventures and a pun-filled picture book for younger readers.