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

Category: Non-Fiction
By the book Pamela Paul book review

One thing that I often want to know about any author, novelist or poet, or simply anyone who writes anything is about the books that one loves, authors one admire and books one thought to be interesting but could not find it likewise… The best way to know these things might be reading many interviews of your favourite authors or read their biography or autobiography or just find any source which might make you aware of those simple but interesting facts about any author. As clumsily the line might have appeared, the same pain one might experience while finding these details. So, is there any easy way?

Pamela Paul, who is the editor of The New York Times Book Reviews, has compiled a book. By the Book, as the title says, has all the information that one might want to know about any author of choice – favourite books, what one was reading at that time (time of interview), who were the authors one loved as a child, what authors impressed him or her the most… and many other questions related to books, authors have been asked from many authors and celebrities in this collection that any book lover would fancy.

Ian McEwan thinks he would choose Puck given a chance to become a literary character he loves… Hilary Mantel would love to meet Shakespeare given a chance to meet a writer… Rowling could consider meeting P. G. Woodhouse for her reasons you might know by reading this book. Arnold Schwarzenegger believes the greatest book he has written was the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. Dave Barry loves reading physical books over electronic books because of many reasons among which the most important is (amusingly) the smaller royalties he and other authors receive on ebook sales…

There are many facts which come up your way once you begin reading the book and I must say that the editor has done a commendable job in piling all the information and then compiled in the form of a book. I would recommend Pamela Paul’s edited By the Book for every reader who is a fan of 20th-21st century American fiction… yes, American largely because the authors are from the United States only. I could have loved something similar done by The Guardian, Times of India and all the leading publications in all the leading countries because we all want to know what the authors we read actually read… Do you get my point here, dear publishers?

The book deserves a 5/5 rating without any chance to cut down any rating for any possible reason. Absolutely loved the work and I am sure that you will also love it once you read the book. It’s a perfect source of general knowledge about authors for the bookworms. You might get lucky to get the book someday on Amazon India because the book is not available right now. If you get a copy, do share about it with your reader friends and explore the literary taste, interest and choice of your favourite American authors.


Review by a regular writer for BookWorm Reviews

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