By the Book

Pamela Paul
Star Rating
Reviewer's Rating
Feb 25, 2015

In By the Book, editor Pamela Paul has compiled 65 interviews of a wide range of popular authors and famous readers from her column by the same name in the Sunday New York Times Book Review. If you are not familiar with the column you are certainly familiar with many of these modern-day intellects, ranging from poets to pundits, singers to scientists and actors to authors of modern fiction. Some of the questions asked seemed pretty standard fare and were asked of most of those featured: “What book is on your night stand now?”; “If you could meet any writer, dead or alive, who would it be?”  But what I found most revealing were the more specific and hand-picked questions such as to David Sedaris, “What’s the funniest book you’ve ever read”; or to John Irving, “What book do you find most useful to help teach aspiring writers?” The book also has numerous sidebars throughout, compiling multiple people’s answers to the same question, making it easy to compare answers and also serving as a way to lead me to other related interviews.

For a reader and person curious about what other people are reading and what inspires them, I found this book enjoyable and it definitely left me with a longer “to-read list."  

Reviewed by Sarah As
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