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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
By the Book

By the Book

Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from The New York Times Book Review

Edited and with an introduction by Pamela Paul; foreword by Scott Turow

Henry Holt and Co.


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.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Guide to the 100 Best Books of the Year

Introduction by Pamela Paul

We all want to know what other people are reading. We peer at strangers' book covers on an airplane and lean over their e-books on the subway. We squint at the iPhone of the person standing in front of us...

Praise for By the Book

“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

Reviews from Goodreads

Edited and with an introduction by Pamela Paul; foreword by Scott Turow

Pamela Paul is the editor of The New York Times Book Review and the author of My Life with Bob, By the Book, Parenting, Inc., Pornified, and The Starter Marriage and the Future of Matrimony. Prior to joining the Times, Paul was a contributor to Time magazine and The Economist, and her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and Vogue. She and her family live in New York.

image of Pamela Paulo
Earl Wilson / The New York Times

New York Times By the Book

For Parents and Educators

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Download the By the Book projects for children to do at home and in the classroom

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