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

Superstar librarian Nancy Pearl adds her own book to the shelf

Courtesy of Andrew Bannecker
Book Lust maven Nancy Pearl wrote a novel she'd love to read.

Does anyone not know Nancy Pearl?

For years she’s told NPR and KUOW listeners what to read with a kind of care and insight that’s made her a household name. There’s also a decent chance her action figure is on your desk or bookshelf right now. 

Now there’s a new Nancy Pearl. The peerless recommender of novels we’ll love has written one herself.

Here’s how this all happened: On “the best day of her life,” Nancy Pearl had foot surgery (“it was not bunions”) and while high on pain medication, two characters came to her. For years she thought about them. They stayed with her and were real to her. So she found a way to tell their story by writing, she says, “the kind of book I love to read.”

While Pearl does not lack the qualities of human interaction, as you’ll hear here, it’s fair to say books are everything to her. She’s said as much: “It’s not too much of an exaggeration—if it’s one at all—to say that reading saved my life.”

Pearl joined Katy Sewall, co-host of The Bittersweet Life podcast, to read from and discuss her debut novel “George and Lizzie.” The Seattle Public Library Central Library hosted the event in partnership with Town Hall Seattle on September 5. Thanks to Jennie Cecil Moore for our recording.

Listen to the full version below:

Year started with KUOW: 2006