“I love talking about books, and reading this collection of wonderful By the Book columns from The New York Times Book Review was like getting to have dozens of such conversations with my favorite authors. I learned what David Sedaris would give the president to read, what Ira Glass thinks of guilty pleasures, and who Donna Tartt admires. There's a wide selection of interviewees, including some non-authors, and it's fascinating to see how many of their answers overlap. Whether read in short bursts or in one decadent gulp, this is the perfect gift for bibliophiles!”
— Lauren Peugh, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ
Sixty-five of the world's leading writers open up about the books and authors that have meant the most to them
Every Sunday, readers of The New York Times Book Review turn with anticipation to see which novelist, historian, short story writer, or artist will be the subject of the popular By the Book feature. These wide-ranging interviews are conducted by Pamela Paul, the editor of the Book Review, and here she brings together sixty-five of the most intriguing and fascinating exchanges, featuring personalities as varied as David Sedaris, Hilary Mantel, Michael Chabon, Khaled Hosseini, Anne Lamott, and James Patterson. The questions and answers admit us into the private worlds of these authors, as they reflect on their work habits, reading preferences, inspirations, pet peeves, and recommendations.
By the Book contains the full uncut interviews, offering a range of experiences and observations that deepens readers' understanding of the literary sensibility and the writing process. It also features dozens of sidebars that reveal the commonalities and conflicts among the participants, underscoring those influences that are truly universal and those that remain matters of individual taste.
For the devoted reader, By the Book is a way to invite sixty-five of the most interesting guests into your world. It's a book party not to be missed.
Pamela Paul is the editor of The New York Times Book Review and oversees books coverage at The New York Times. She is also the host of the weekly podcast, Inside The New York Times Book Review. Prior to joining the Times, she was a contributor to Time magazine and The Economist; her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Slate, and Vogue.
She is the author of My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues; By the Book; Parenting, Inc.; Pornified; and The Starter Marriage and the Future of Matrimony.
“Invaluable.” —Vanity Fair
“The effect is like being at a very well-attended cocktail party, or peeking onto the nightstand of a favorite author… At times delightful and always entertaining, this book can be taken in large gulps, or small sips. Reading it will surely result in a monstrous and fascinating reading list.” —Library Journal (starred)
“A captivating hodgepodge of literary musings.” —Publishers Weekly