NANCY PEARL is a librarian and lifelong reader. She regularly comments on books on National Public Radio’s "Morning Edition." Her books include 2003’s Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment and Reason, 2005’s More Book Lust: 1,000 New Reading Recommendations for Every Mood, Moment and Reason; Book Crush: For Kids and Teens: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Interest, published in 2007, and 2010’s Book Lust To Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers. Among her many awards and honors are the 2011 Librarian of the Year Award from Library Journal; the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association; the 2010 Margaret E. Monroe Award from the Reference and Users Services Association of the American Library Association; and the 2004 Women’s National Book Association Award, given to “a living American woman who …has done meritorious work in the world of books beyond the duties or responsibilities of her profession or occupation.”

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A Novel

Touchstone – September 5, 2017

From “America’s librarian” and NPR books commentator Nancy Pearl comes an emotionally riveting debut novel about an unlikely marriage at a crossroads.

George and Lizzie have radically different understandings of what love and marriage should be. George grew up in a warm and loving family—his father an orthodontist, his mother a stay-at-home mom—while Lizzie grew up as the only child of two famous psychologists, who viewed her more as an in-house experiment than a child to love.

Over the course of their marriage, nothing has changed—George is happy; Lizzie remains…unfulfilled. When a shameful secret from Lizzie’s past resurfaces, she’ll need to face her fears in order to accept the true nature of the relationship she and George have built over a decade together.

With pitch-perfect prose and compassion and humor to spare, George and Lizzie is an intimate story of new and past loves, the scars of childhood, and an imperfect marriage at its defining moments.


A September LibraryReads Pick

“As sparkling as Prosecco, as jubilantly quirky and inventive a love story as you could ever want, and a jigsaw puzzle you never want to finish—as in what makes Lizzie and George who they are? And how will they fit together? What can I say? If I could marry a novel, this wise, witty and rapturously inventive book would be it.“—Caroline Leavitt, author of Cruel Beautiful World and the New York Times bestsellers Pictures of You and Is this Tomorrow

“Nancy Pearl became famous as the go-to person for book lovers asking: What should I read next? With her first novel, Pearl makes the answer to that question easy. Read George and Lizzie. This smart, sexy novel has a smashing premise, an engaging cast of characters, and a voice that propels you from first page to last with its wit, insight into secrets, families, and football, and its unrelenting energy.“—Stephen McCauley, author of The Object of My Affection and My Ex-Life

“Everybody who loves books loves librarian Nancy Pearl, and now she has written a debut novel that I adored. George & Lizzie is a fresh, sweet, funny, and completely charming love story between two people, two families, and two unlikely paths in life, which somehow find their way to each other, entwined and braided as challah. To read this novel is to see family, love, and life in a new light. Brava, Nancy, George, and Lizzie!“—Lisa Scottoline, New York Times bestselling author

“Overflows with humor and heart, with quirks and eccentricities, with unforgettable characters… The end result is an irresistible debut by a born storyteller.“—Jim Lynch, author of Before the Wind

“Nancy Pearl has long been a bright light in the literary world—what a delight to bask in the glow of her debut novel. George & Lizzie is a richly absorbing portrait of a perfectly imperfect marriage; a wryly observed story of family, love, and absurdity; and a deft consideration of the moments that shadow and shape our lives, and just might take on lives of their own.”—Amy Poeppel, author of Small Admissions

George & Lizzie is an unusual story about a marriage, except that really it’s a story about growing up, except that really it’s a story about a cast of uncommon, bewitching characters I could have happily read about for a month. It’s smart, funny, warmly sketched, cleverly put together, engagingly told, and sums to something wonderful and unexpected. I will be recommending it unrelentingly to everyone I know.”—Laurie Frankel, author of This is How It Always Is

“Nancy Pearl understands the desperate, confused, needy heart that beats under the surface of even the most dysfunctional of relationships, and exposes it with wit and genuine love. Oh, and you’ll never think about football the same way again.”—Katherine Heiny, author of Single, Carefree, Mellow

“Quirky and charming and utterly winning.“—Southern Living

“Through knotty predicaments both sorrowful and hilarious, Pearl dramatizes a complicated and deeply illuminating union of opposites and conducts profound inquiries into the self, family, empathy, and love. The result is a charming, edgy, and many faceted novel of penetrating humor and resonant insight.”—Booklist, starred review

“With eccentric characters, relationship drama, and a vivid sense of place, this Anne Tyler-esque debut novel is sure to interest and please Pearl’s many fans.“—Library Journal

“The path George and Lizzie’s relationship takes toward wholeness points to truths about the way people self-sabotage, the complexity of love, and the importance of being able to let go of the past.”—Publishers Weekly

“With humor and heart, Pearl mines the absurdities of life to great effect, while also unraveling a much deeper, moving love story that touches upon thought-provoking aspects of family, happiness and truth.”—Shelf Awareness

“Relationships, good and bad, past and present, all come together to make a truly wonderful tale of the reality of the struggles of everyday life. Very well-written.“—Debbie Wittkop, Shelf Awareness

“An homage to true love, painful childhood experiences and emotional scars that last a lifetime. It’s a story of forgiveness, especially for one’s self. Astonishingly, it even turns into a testimony to the efficacy of Buddhist meditation as a path toward tranquility — what George describes as greeting ‘the next moment of your life with no trace of the last.’”—Washington Post

“A fun read.“—Seattle Times

“Sweet, funny and sometimes heartbreaking, this tender novel is a meditation on the reality of love and relationships.”—Real Simple

“Pearl skillfully explores love in its many facets — true, unrequited, long-standing, parental, platonic and love for oneself. In the end, George & Lizzie is a tribute to love, warts and all.”—USA Today

“A quirky, quietly unconventional love story that will be certain to prompt much discussion among readers about the choices its characters make.”—Book Reporter

“NPR books commentator and author Nancy Pearl uses beautifully written humor and compassion in this imperfect love story.”—BuzzFeed





Book Crush Rediscoveries is a series devoted to a dozen reprints of some of the best and long out of print books for kids and teens. Each book is personally selected by Nancy Pearl and includes an introduction by her, as well as discussion questions for book groups and a list of recommended further reading.

Titles in the Book Crush Rediscoveries Series

Not THIS Bear! by Bernice Myers
The Christmas Crocodile By Bonny Becker
The Highly Trained Dogs of Professor Petitby Carol Ryrie Brink
Family Grandstand by Carol Ryrie Brink
Family Sabbatical by Carol Ryrie Brink
Greensleeves by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
Hannah West: Sleuth in Training by Linda Johns
Hannah West: Sleuth on the Trail by Linda Johns
Walter the Lazy Mouse by Marjorie Flack
Best Friends by Mary Bardd
Mr. Pudgins by Ruth Christoffer Carlsen





Book Lust Rediscoveries is a series devoted to reprinting some of the best (and now out of print) novels originally published between 1960-2000. Each book is personally selected by Nancy Pearl and includes an introduction by her, as well as discussion questions for book groups and a list of recommended further reading.

Titles in the Book Lust Rediscoveries series

The Cowboy and the Cossack by Clair Huffaker
The Soul of Viktor Tronko by David Quammen
One Sweet Quarrel by Deirdre McNamer
The Last Night at the Ritz by Elizabeth Savage
The Girls from the Give Great Valleys by Elizabeth Savage
Fool by Frederick Dillen
The Man in the Window by Jon Cohen
The Lion in the Lei Shop by Kaye Starbird
A Gay and Melancholy Sound by Merle Miller
After Life by Rhian Ellis
One Minus One by Ruth Doan MacDougall
Plum & Jaggers by Susan Richards Shreve

Jessica SpiveyP