But what distinguished her even more to me was the passion for reading that any book lover can sense in another – but expressed, in Pearl, on an unprecedented scale that went beyond genre or age or personal likes.
“She is almost like a 'Jeopardy!' quiz person,” a librarian told me at the time. “You could throw out the most obscure book imaginable and not only would she know what that book was and who the author was, she also would know the other books in the series and five other books to read if you liked that book.”
Pearl is plain the most fun person I can remember talking with about books. Her recommendations make me run to the library to check out her picks, much like
my favorite school librarians did years ago.
I asked her via email this last week if she still thinks of herself as a librarian. “Once a librarian, always a librarian,” she replied.
Is her current career anything like what she imagined when she sort-of retired? She never imagined at the point, she wrote, that this would be her life. “It's been amazing, humbling, invigorating, and exhausting.”
Here’s what else she had to say. And for her ongoing picks, check her out (figuratively, of course) here.
Q: What are some of your favorite recent books?
A: Jo Walton's "Farthing" and her newest, "Among Others." I am a huge fan. I'm just starting "Tooth and Claw." Daniel Aaronovitch's "Midnight Riot" – great fun for those who love a little bit of dark fantasy with their mysteries. Edmund de Waal's "The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Family's Century of Art and Loss." C.J. Sansom's "Heartstone" (historical mystery).