By the BookPosted: February 25, 2015
By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from The New York Times Book Review
Henry Holt and Co. (October 28, 2014), 337 pages
Kindle Edition $14.99, Hardcover $19.54
eBook borrowed from the Santa Clara County Library System
By the Book is a weekly column in the Sunday The New York Times Book Review in which authors (and a few non-authors) answer questions posed by the editor. This book contains the initial set of questions and answers.
The questions vary somewhat, but there is a formula:
- What is on your nightstand right now? or What memorable books have you read in the last year?
- Which of your own books is your favorite?
- What book do you wish someone else would write?
- What book would you recommend the president read?
The column began during President Obama’s first term. Interestingly, in response to the last question, a number of authors said something to the effect of, “I think the President is well read. He doesn’t need my advice.”
By the Book is pleasant reading. It’s like having a jar of candy on your desk. Which means you’d enjoy a piece or two each day. But since I had borrowed the book from the library I had to consume all of the candy in a limited amount of time before returning the jar.
By the Book is best enjoyed as a weekly column and not as a wholesale binge. Or you might want to buy the book and dip in at your leisure.