Reading Ruminations

[Saturday Reads] A Literary Party in “By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from the New York Times Book Review” edited by Pamela Paul


Myra here.

Every Saturday we hope to share with you our thoughts on reading and books. We thought that it would be good practice to reflect on our reading lives and our thoughts about reading in general. While on occasion, we would feature a few books in keeping with this, there would be a few posts where we will just write about our thoughts on read-alouds, libraries, reading journals, upcoming literary conferences, books that we are excited about, and just book love miscellany in general.


I chanced upon this title in my Facebook feed a few weeks ago, and given my fascination with books about books, I knew I just had to find it. I am glad that our public library has it, and so I am slowly going through this book quite avidly. I own a reading notebook where I jot down titles that I am certain I would hunt down at one point in time, and it is now just about ready to explode with new titles to find.


This book is a compilation of the interviews conducted by Pamela Paul, editor of the Book Review for The New York Times Book Review. There are 65 interviews found in this book with witty exchanges featuring literary notables such as Amy Tan, Khaled Hosseini, Neil Gaiman, Hilary Mantel, Junot Diaz –


and quite a few interesting personalities too such as Drew Gilpin Faust, President of Harvard University; Colin Powell, former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and quite a few celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sting among others. The interview questions are pretty standard throughout, except for a few bookish questions that are directly aligned to the interviewee’s literary leanings or background (e.g. books about the army for Powell, academic texts for Faust, the Dominican-American experience for Junot Diaz).

So if you wish to know what books are found in Isabel Allende’s night stand, J. K. Rowling’s favourite childhood reads, Gaiman’s favourite graphic novels, or Donna Tartt’s next read – find this book and I am certain that your TBR (To-Be-Read) stack would increase exponentially.

2 comments on “[Saturday Reads] A Literary Party in “By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from the New York Times Book Review” edited by Pamela Paul

  1. Pingback: [Monday Reading] Children’s Stories from Persia and Medieval Spain | Gathering Books

  2. Pingback: [Saturday Reads] An Artist’s Manifesto in Patti Smith’s “Just Kids” | Gathering Books

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