“The Cigar Lover’s Compendium”: review & giveaway

Cigar Lover's Compendium

While reading is one of my favorite hobbies, cigar study has never really driven me to the realm of books. The majority of information I have learned has come from word of mouth or experiences, verification of information online and other electronic research. When Cigar Inspector approached me to review a newly released book I jumped at the opportunity to explore a new (to me) avenue of learning in the hopes that I might not only be able to learn something myself but also convince those less inclined to read that it can be fun if you choose the right content. The vehicle for accomplishing this is Lawrence Dofman's book The Cigar Lover's Compendium : Everything You Need to Light Up and Leave Me Alone.

In order to understand the purpose of this book, the reader need only look as far as the title. A compendium is a summary of a larger knowledge base that while to the point, still offers a certain amount of depth. Based on this descriptive title I would expect the book to cover the gamut when it comes to cigar information including the historical progression of tobacco, information about the various types of cigars, selecting and smoking them and pretty much the highlights from each vital area of the cigar world, which so many of us have come to enjoy.

Dorfman does a very good job at staying true to the focus of his book and that is to provide the reader with a portable reference guide and means of entertainment. He does not distribute five hundred pages on the American and Cuban Tobacco industries but touches on the key elements contributing to their differing pasts. Additionally, the author does a very good job of walking the reader through the entire smoking process beginning with locating a cigar, followed by selection, cutting, lighting and finally enjoying the experience. He does this without attempting to cover thousands of brands, vitolas, or blends. His down to earth attitude and straightforward approach serve to cut through the mystique of cigar smoking making for a very approachable read.

On the whole The Cigar Lover's Compendium (available from Amazon) is a very good basic reference guide. It will not exhaust a single topic but again, that is not its purpose. A person who is new to the hobby or has not thought about the cigar experience byond just the smoking of a cigar will benefit from the book greatly. Although I would not suggest someone who has been around the proverbial cigar block make this their must-read, there are enough poems, anecdotes and random factoids to interest even the most experienced aficionado. Personally, I enjoyed the read and it has sparked interest in areas that I will research more indepth but having completed it, will likely pass my copy onto a friend or acquantaince to enjoy further, rather than keeping it around to continually utilize.

Now for the fun part - courtesy of Robert Sembiante from Globe Pequot Press, we've got 6 copies of The Cigar Lover's Compendium to give away. That's right, SIX copies. Just leave a comment on this post to be entered. US only. The winners will be chosen at random and announced in one week.

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47 Comments on ““The Cigar Lover’s Compendium”: review & giveaway”

  1. I enjoy reading and this one looks like a good read!

  2. Looks like an interesting book to check out. Thanks for the review.

  3. Lloyd Ladrillono says:

    “COMPENDIUM.” Now there’s a word you don’t hear everyday…

  4. Looks like a good read! I am always interested in learning more about the hobby I love.

  5. I think a lot of might actually enjoy a five-hundred page history of North American tobacco, if written by the right person.

    I thought Joel Sherman’s “A Passion for Cigars” was a great book in this style – you just have to get used to him shamelessly plugging Nat Sherman cigars.

  6. Sounds like fun. I’ll put it right next to the ultimate bathroom reader for the long hauls.

  7. Thanks for another contest.. love reading! Good luck to all.

  8. Great review!!! Would love to see more books like this.

  9. Nice to have something written to help guide us to what we like to begin with. good luck with the book.

  10. Sounds interesting. Thanks for the giveaway.

  11. looking forward to getting my hands on this book! thanks for the info!

  12. Edification, not pontification. Sounds good.

  13. Right up my alley and they always read better when you win them.

  14. If I don’t win a copy, I will certainly purchase a copy.

    Thanks for the review

  15. My brother-in-law would love to read this
    Many thanks!

  16. smoke…Smoke…SMOKE!!!

    Can’t get enough info on The Leaf, so this looks awesome.

  17. I enjoy Steve Luck’s little book “The Complete Guide To Cigars” for it’s specific information about growing, selecting, and aging of cigar tobacco. Does Dorfman’s get into that sort of thing?


  18. slickster81 says:

    I agree that most cigar related reading material is quite subjective, some is downright fictional! It will be a pleasure to read and review “The Cigar Lovers Compendium”.

    I believe I shall now light up one of my favorites, and watch for the mailman to deliver my copy!

  19. Thanks for another contest.

  20. Thanks for another great contest! Sounds like a great book!

  21. Thanks for the review and the giveaway!

  22. It’s always a pleasure to read your feed via RSS!

  23. Well, I AM a cigar lover; and I’ve always wanted my own compendium; so, I guess I’m in.

  24. Thanks for another contest!

  25. hawaiihughes says:

    Sounds like a great read. Count me in!

  26. Sounds like a good read.

  27. Keep on rocking guys, u r the best!

  28. Looks like a fun read. Could make me the Cliff Clavin of cigars.

  29. Sounds awesome! Would love to read it!


  30. Looks like a great read. Too few cigar books out there.

  31. Would love an opportunity to read and then promote on my blog. Thanks!

  32. Looks like a great book for cigar lovers!

  33. Thanks for the review. Sounds like a great book for light reading, touching on a lot of topics, giving enough info but not over doing it.
    Thanks for the contest!

  34. Glad people are liking the review overall so far and jumping on the contest. Thanks to the inspector and Rob Sembiante for the contest.

    Leo, I agree that reading an in-depth resource on historical tobacco would be rather interesting. It does not fit into Dorfman’s intent for this Compendium was what I was getting at.

    Albert C it looks like yours was the only question thus far but if I missed any please let me know folks. As for tobacco growing and aging process Dorfman does not really touch on that. He goes into machine vs handmade cigars, styles, wrapper color and where those tobaccos come from but not so much on the process leading up to the finished product. One thing I would have liked to see more is the impact the wrapper color and style has on flavor. Such as a Claro wrapper vs a Oscuro.

  35. Would love to read this! Thanks for the opportunity.

  36. Sounds very interesting. Thanks for the tip.

  37. I’ve got a number of new cigar friends that I would love to give this book to for Christmas! Pick me! Pick me! I want to spread the love!

  38. Thanks for the contest and the review.

  39. thanks for the contest and keep up the reviews!

  40. This book sounds great!

  41. In it too win it.

  42. Sounds like a great read with good smoke.

  43. sounds intresting always love the chance to expand my knowledge

  44. Felix Cappuccio says:

    I have been a cigar smoker for thirty four years it is always good to read new literature on this fine subject-FC.

  45. Sounds like a great read. Would appreciate a copy.

  46. hook it up!

  47. Robert Ritchie says:


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