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A Matter Of (Book) Taste

This Episode is FULL of interesting things, my friends. The extraordinary Jeff O’Neal, editor of Book Riot, is my guest host this week. We talk about book taste (or lack thereof), the controversy surrounding literary fiction, the idea of reading insecurity, the trouble with relationships (as it pertains to reading), and much more. Don’t miss it!


Questions Discussed:

Dear Book Nerd,

I love reading and I think I am somewhat intelligent (I’m in my second year of a PhD on libraries and reading), but I intensely dislike literary fiction. I read a lot of crime fiction, chick-lit, non-fiction and academic writing, but nothing literary or ‘cultured’. This makes me feel constantly defensive when I read sites like Book Riot and The Guardian books section. Should I force myself to try and read literary fiction?

– Jen

Dear Book Nerd,

I met my wife at a party 18 years ago. We discussed books and bonded over a shared love of Henry Miller. Then something called Harry Potter came out and I’ll be damned if I can recall her finishing a single “adult” book since. It’s all kids and teens. I took a deep breath and held my judgment during the “Twilight” phase, though I did want to poison the friend who foisted them upon her.

I’ll admit my tastes tend to involve challenging fat books composed by men (Pynchon, Gaddis, Vollmann, etc.), so I understand if we have different interests. But I do want to lure her back into the world of books written for adults so we can talk about ’em. I tried my hand at kid and teen fiction, it just doesn’t work. I can re-read the books I loved as a child but that’s as far as it goes. Any suggestions?

Thanks, L

Articles Discussed:

Top 20 Books You Pretend to Have Read

Top 10 Books You’re Embarrassed to Admit You’ve Read


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