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tv   Tour of the New York Times Book Review  CSPAN  July 12, 2015 3:00pm-4:03pm EDT

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[applause] >> harper lee's beautiful book is a meditation on family human complex complexity and themes of live. the novel became an instant classic and earned her a pulitzer prize. her work encounters new leaders
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and the united states honors harper lee ask for or outstanding contribution to the great literary tradition of america. [applause] [applause] >> to mark the upcoming release of "go set a watch man" booktv is airing specials about harper lee all weekend. go to booktv.com for air dates and times. >> pamela paul, what is your job? >> i am the editor of "the new york times" book review. >> what does that mean?
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>> i edit the section that has been put out over sunday since 1986. >> how many people work on the new york times book review? >> it is about 16 people. >> what do they do? >> so we have editors, who we call review editors of the session. they have to go through the hundreds of books we get and decide which ones are worthy of review and try to come up with people who think they would be good at reviewing them. >> what is your job? >> i am a preview editor meaning i go through books in a number of non-fiction categories and sign and edit reviews and the like. >> how many books do you look at a week? >> when you look at this? this is not a week but i'm moving on to september. so finishing up august.
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these are the books are i have not assigned for august and i will go through and see what i am missing and things i am hearing about how now. >> what are the books behind you? >> those are books looking at september, october, and november. i have short list books like category close-ups which is particulary cities -- particularly subjects and shorter review. and these are books i am interested in and taking home. >> all of the books on the desk or in the piles, what is the chances one gets a review in the new york times book review? >> i don't know what the percentage is. a long time ago it was said 1% of books coming in get assigned. it is small. we have a small space. it is tough. >> >> let's pick up this one. what is the sheet that you have in each of these books?
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are we allowed to look? >> the sheet is just a little information, pub date, who the publisher is and every time you skip a book you have to write out a reason. a couple sentences saying it is great book but i did something similar. >> all right. recently in the new york times book review there was a book reviewed by linda robinson. it was an iraq war veteran story. so many of those books have come out. how do you chose just one? >> it is perspective, it is a very subjective thing and imperfect art. you are looking for somebody who has a unique twist and different argument. something magical or exciting
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happening in the voice of the pros. >> how did you get into this business? >> i just love criticism and fiction writing. i loved reviews and reading critics and started working at publishers weekly which is a magazine that trends out with reviews and went to npr and worked on longer reviews and got the good luck to wash up here. >> do we every see your by line in the new york times book review? >> i write every now and then a lot of non fiction. how long have you been here? >> three years. >> thank you for your time. >> we have our own dedicated copy desk and we are integrated
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into the book review as a whole. they help fact check the section. that is a huge part of what we do at the book review. you can disagree but you should not distrust it. also avoiding grammatic errors being it a book review. >> what is your job at the new york times? >> i am staff manager or what is called copy editors. >> watt does that mean? >> once the books arrive at my desk we are the last line of defense so to speak. we are reading for content. we are the last production sequence before the reviews go to press. >> host: once they have been written your job is to fact
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check them? >> yes. >> host: write the titles and such. >> yes fact checking is part of the job. other departments have a quick read for content. here it is a weekly production cycle going with magazine haste and we didn't actually tie each piece and multiple times reading books for style and content. we are a fact checking department. >> if something is in error people look to you in this department? >> yes. >> when i pulled up in a recent new york times book review section, georgia peach, is this one you worked on? >> it was. and the review was written by john williams a new york times senior editor. >> did you come up with the title?
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>> i did. as you roare holding the summer shaw, the shortlines are shorter and punchier. there is no subheader or deck as we call them. but these were quite fun to write. we were thinking with what grabs readers quickly and georgia peach, i think i came up five or six for this one, and we had the meeting last week and georgia peach was the clear winner. >> so you are editing john williams senior editor at the new york city times. was that difficult? >> no because john is a fantastic writer. >> what kind of work did you do on this page? >> most of it again, because john is a fantastic writer, i was looking at the facts of the piece. cob's history and information about his personality and on the
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field issues and off the field scrimmages. so a lot of it was researching. and then at the end of the day i think i suggested one or two minor tweaks. this was a pleasure to edit. >> clearwhat happens when you get a piece that is not such a pleasure to edit? >> that is where you earn your keep. you are sort of taking nothing for granted. at a certain point you realize there is nothing that can be taken for granted. you are checking every last line and you are putting a lot more time and trying to wrestling it to the ground till you know you have gotten every fact double checked everything and you made sure that every claim can be
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cooberated with multiple sources and you are taking nothing for granted. very often, it is give and take, because our reviewers are often experts in these field. when you have going back to a fewer and saying i think this may be inaccurate or this destination needs to be revised. you have to back it up with your own information and facts to convince writers and editors if your information is wrong and theirs is wrong. the communication is open and they are cordial. >> how did you get here? >> actually i arrived about 15 years ago. i was a news assistant which i guess would have been called a
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copy boy for seven years. and then 2007 i sort of changed tracks and became a copy editor. i copy edited the sports desk national desk and then the call frame in 2010 for book review. >> are you a reader? >> yes. for pleasure and for work, yes. yeah i have been reading because of the work i will read anything. it broadened by own horizon. i didn't read historical fiction and now it is one of my favorites. science fiction is one of my favorite. i haven't bought a book in 15 years. most of what i read is on the recommendations on reviewers that i am reading.
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>> we have a copy desk editors, art director we have a production editor we have clerks and we have because this is now on online publication as well a producer on the set. >> host: are you removed from "the new york times" in general? >> no the era when the daily paper was different from the weekend and we are the appendix of the weekend edition. we are a little like our own private island within "the new york times" but we are integrated into the rest of the paper in the way all sections are even the weekly and sunday sections. for many readers of "the new york times" they don't think of us in the old fashion print cycle terms. they don't think of cooking, for example, as being a wednesday section anymore or styles as simply being a sunday and thursday section.
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they are all sections online every moment of the day and that is where we are integrated as a whole. >> people get "the new york times" book review in the sunday paper. >> yes. >> how long ago was that prepared? >> we publish ten days head. there is a print edition. do is is tuesday and we close on wednesday and on thursday we will have a physical copy of the paper. and people that subscribe to "the new york times" book review will have their print edition that day depending on how fast the post comes. we are the one section of "the new york times" that you can subscribe to independently from the rest of the paper. those people get early. >> host: how many people subscribe to that? >> i don't know the current number. lots and lots of people. more should do it.
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>> host: pamela paul how long have you worked at the new york times? >> i have been here for four years starting as the children's book editor and pushed my way -- part time for the first year and started editing features which at that time meant the back page of the book review which was an essay and started by the book which is a weekly interview about an author or public figure about what they are reading. did that for a year and became editor in 2013. >> host: in a recent edition of buy the book you have a david mcculla. how do you chose the questions? >> originally i thought there would i would be strict and ask the same questions. and i realized that wasane idotic behavior quickly with the help of my former boss sam
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townhouse because if you have david sedaris you will not ask him what is the funniest book you read or the greatest comic writers. you have to taylor it to the author. so that is a column i edit. >> one of the questions you asked david was who are his favorite presidential biographers? gl >> yes how could you not ask that. >> david puts out a book every couple years. is it an automatic review in the new york times? >> there are some argue authors who are pretty automatic.
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>> there is a lot of factors that go into figuring out what is in a book. the most obvious is the date of publication. we think about the mix in terms of fiction, verses non fiction and all of the genres. you might want a british involve and something in translation and including poetry and on
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non-fiction you want a mix of biography, foreign policy, science, hard science, mathematics, and we are balancing on so many different ways that we don't also think about it as positive or negative. i would say that is one of the things we don't pay a lot of attention to. >> host: you are an author as well. have you had your books reviewed? >> i have. they have been reviewed in the new york times. i got the nasiest review ever in the new york times. so i have been on the other side. >> host: how does that feel? >> it feels terrible when it is happening to you. but i remind myself when we have negative review ses. we are not a service arm for the publishing industry. we support what they do.
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but we are here for readers and they are trying to make the decision about what they should spend their time reading and their money if they are buying a book and important to tell us if it is worth their time. negative reviews serve a function. >> do publishers want their books reviewed in the narcs new york times? >> yes. unfortunately, we are the last standing newspaper book review in the country. with the "washington post" book world and their free standing section and and that gives us more importance in the newspaper world and online. there are a huge number of places reviewing books from blogers to people posting microremicro
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micro-reviews on twitter. >> i think -- what book reviews do you personal read? >> i know i read reviews all over the place. i read them in the new yorker and new york review of books, in the atlantic, and harpers and a number of weeklies and monthlies. i read a lot of it online. i might not read the full print edition of those publications but i read reviews here and there depending on the book. >> is it easy to become new york centric in this business? >> no i think actually it is not. i think that i feel like at the new york times we are thinking globe
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globally. all of the many regions of this country, there is literature that is great. but we are thinking internationally at this point. we don't review books that are not out in the united states but i have an eye on books that are published in translation, authors that are huge in the uk and come over here. so i would say no. >> host: what about self-published books? do you get and review them? >> we get them but we don't review them. we review about 1% of the books that come out in print from a publisher every year. at some point you have to say we are just going to look at these books otherwise it would be 24 hours we were here reading alope. -- alone. >> host: we hear the publishing world is liberal, white male
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dominated. have you found that in your business? >> it is not here. >> host: i mean when it comes to books. >> guest: when it comes to books themselves, i don't think so. the publishing industry is dominated by women in terms of editor editors and people promoting and selling them. publishing is really female dominated. in terms of the books, i would say no. in terms of attention given to the books, i would say yes. we try not to do that here. we try to bear in mind the books of interest are multi faceted. i don't think think of that in terms of there are so many dis distinctions you could chose. i would say ethnicity and country of origin are something we pay attention to.
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in terms of political, we try to get people from across the different ones. we had pj o'rourke review a book last week. and we try to get a number of different political perspectives. >> host: bill o'reilly american sniper, all best sellers on "the new york times" best seller list. when it comes to political books or maybe point of view books what do you do with them? >> we like to review them when we think they are worthy of review. you can get someone who is going to agree with that person hundred peterson -- percent -- and that is boring because people say yes this book is right. or you can get someone on the opposite side of the political spectrum and they make fun of the book and author and take it
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down and that is a setup. and neither is interesting and both are predictable. so with books that are political in nature we try to get someone who will honestly engage with the subject matter as opposed to a takedown. >> in your time as editor of "the new york times" book review what changes have you made? >> they have been very you know, page changes in terms of introducing new changes. the book was something i worked on as feature editor before taking over. we changed the back page because it used to be an essay. it has changed a number of times over the course of the book review existence. before i came on board directly it was an essay and we changed it to book ends with a rotating
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group of 15 columnist and they are matched and answer questions each week in the literary world and world of books and publishers and don't know who they are matched with before taking it on. the idea was that i think in the internet age we don't want to just get one opinion. we want multiple voices and that is why i think online forums are poplar. people want to get different perspectives and this is a way to get two different voices with writers answering one question and even if they both had the same answer and broadly speaking. even if we asked them if the bailey's prize for women helped or hindered writers. if they say it is a terrible thing, but say it in different reason and ways and the columns are short enough you want to
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read both and get both views. that is something we introduced. we added a column at the front called open book. before we had something that was a letter from the editor and i want wanted to introduce a future that is more literature oriented. we have added a lot more essays to the kinds of essays critical take. >> host: who came up with the between books essay idea? >> >> guest: that was her idea. she pitched that and had a book coming out this spring and seemed like a fun topic. sometimes we commission the essays and sometimes writers
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come to us and sometimes we will approach a novelist or critic we like and ask if they are interested in writing about something or generally a topic we are planning an issue on new orleans so that is something we approached a number of writers about. >> host: any of "the new york times" book review outside of "the new york times" fire wall? >> guest: i don't think we have a fire wall. you mean a pay wall? >> host: yes. >> guest: there are -- i don't think so actually. i think there are ways to get around that pay wall. i will not point to those ways but the book review operates in the same way the rest of "the new york times". >> >> host: do you hear from readers? >> guest: all of the time. happy, critical annoyed, but mostly happy. >> host: have you ever reviewed a book because readers said you have to look at this book?
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>> guest: no. by the time readers complain about it it would mean the book is out. this is the last week of may and we are looking at august-september books right now. so it takes us a while to assess the book figure out if it should be reviewed contact reviewers, figure out who we want to write about it have them hopefully agree to do so get the review in take it through editoral process and we close ten days before the book review comes out. that is quite a lead time. and we have to be far ahead of things. >> host: do you severever see a book and say i will review this? >> guest: i have not yet. when i was a children's book editor i did it a lot. my predecessors reviewed books in this job. i have not done it yet. one thing i try to do is get a bunch of writers and i feel like
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my point of view is infused in the review. >> host: what makes a good book review? >> guest: it is a good piece of writing. it should be interesting in and of itself and i will not dilute it. the book review is so they don't have to read the book. it is easier to talk about what make as bad review verses a good review. i will say that one of my personal pet peeves is to get to the end of the book review and say did they like it? if i cannot tell if this is a good book then it isn't a good review. i don't like plot spoilers. i don't know i don't like a disinterested what some viewers might imagine a timely review of
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and being stately about it. someone should time it with material. you should be able to tell there was an interest there. they took interest and engaged with it. >> host: best-seller list. we have moved to all sorts of best-seller list. why >> guest: because i think people read in so many different ways. there are so many books published. if you just did fiction and non-fiction, you would miss out on other books out there. a lot of the books that sell in the real world are cook books and how-to books and inspirational books or children's books probably outset all of the other categories and within children's books you distinguish between young adult books which turns out lots of grownups are reading, and middle grade books. if you have an eight-year-old
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child, you don't want to look at a best-seller list of novels and not know many are for 14 year olds and the last thing you want your eight year old reading. we have accounted for a number of changes. so looking at format e-books, audio books, and books that sell across platforms. >> host: how is the e-book funom phenomenon affected your world? >> guest: not a lot. there was a fear that e-books would overtake carbon based books but i don't think that has happened. what happened was the growth took off, and then kind of started to taper and stabilize.
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a lot of people that read e-books are hybrid readers taking the kindle on an airplane or using their tablet reader for romance romance romance romance novels if they don't want anyone seeing what they are reading. or a book that is too heavy to carry but there are other books they want the real edition. so i think that you know i think what it has done is expand the opportunities for the ways people read but i don't think it is altered reading. >> host: how do you read? >> guest: i am a 100% in print. i have thousands of books. i collect them. i am constantly building new book shelves in my house.
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i cherish them as objects and sometimes buy multiple copies of the same book because i love the book art or the way they are printed. and then to have it in print. so i am print all the way. i am on screen all day and into the night doing other kinds of reading so for me the book has its special petraeuslace in print. >> didn't you have an essay by nick belton at one point? >> guest: he is a columnist for the style section and wrote about inheriting his mother's library or not inheriting and what the importance of it was. i have books that have been handed down to me when my father died i chose the books i wanted to keep and i know they are my dad's books and that is
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meaning ful. >> host: what is bob? >> guest: bob is my book of books. i think of him having a personality. it is a gray journal that is coffee stained and falling a part where i have written down every book i have read since i was 17. >> host: where does it live? in a diary or several diaries? >> guest: no it is one book. people are disappointed to hear i am not on volume 17. but i write very small and just record the author and title. he is on my desk at holeme. it is the one cherished object if my house went up in flames i would i want to get it first. i was going to say i don't have a copy but i have done the 2015 thing and scanned it so i have a pdf on the cloud. >> host: it is 2015 how many
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books are on the list? >> guest: it is not about the number. it is about the content. i don't know the number actually. i didn't keep track of the numbers when i started. i think it took enough people asking me that to think i should know how many i have read. numbering it has its downside because i can do things like quantify how many books and read this year and notice if i start to fall off from my batting average. >> host: you are not telling the number? >> guest: that is my diary. i will write about bob, though. >> host: you have another book coming out? guest i am writing about my life with bob. >> host: how did you get started in this business? >> guest: don't take notes anyone. i have the most round about way. i think the easiest way to
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answer say i was a reader and that is the primarily qualification for someone that wants to work in this industry. >> host: take us on the round about cruise. >> guest: i was a history major at brown university and thought i wanted to go into academics but i was assured not to do that because there were no jobs. i moved to thailand which isn't the obvious answer to that. this was in the early '90s and i wanted to do something that would be different from what i thought i wanted to do which if it wasn't academics it would be publishing and see if there was something else that might
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interest me. i lived in thailand for a year. and i read a lot when i was there and study thai and taught and when i came home it was actually not to live in new york but to get prepared to move to hong kong at the time. while i was at my office looking for alumni to contact, a job opening came from a children's publisher and i thought if i were going to live in new york that is what i would do. i took the job and worked in publishing in new york after all. worked in children's publishing then at time inc and lived in london. when i lived in london i started writing about books and arts for the economist. came back to new york and worked in television actually and news. and then i left that job to
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write my first book. when i left that job, and was writing full-time for the first time ever, i had written for the econ economist at night. and i realized this is what i want and never want to go back to a day job. i worked at american demographics, stayed home after that and wrote books and i wrote on a free lance bases for nine years. >> host: what is your first book? >> guest: it was on the marriage of matrimony. i had a star marriage a brief marriage, and after i got divorced i noticed that many people did and my trend alert went off. i started it doing research about it. i took what i had been doing during my day job, which was
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really trend analysis for mostly cnn and applied to my life and didn't write about my own marriage ending but what i was seeing happening around the country. >> host: how did you get from there to porn? >> guest: at the time i was writing for "time" magazine and they had a sex issue. i was a contributer and thought on staff. everything was chosen by the time i got to pick a topic. so i said how about pornography? and it turned out most of it couldn't be printed in "time" magazine surprise surprise and there was lot more to be said. so i realized this story ran in 2003 and i realized it was an important topic.
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>> host: did pornified sell well? what were the critiques? >> guest: i don't know if it sold well. but it got a lot of attention. not all positive. i mentioned my nasty review. i think it was ahead of its time not to toot my own horn, but the impact especially of the internet on pornography changed the way people consumed pornography and changed access to it and the kind people were looking at and changed the way people were using it. to do the research for that book, i interviewed men who used pornography, to talk about what their use was like affected their attitude seen it affect their sex lives, and the
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reaction was interesting. i thought that people were going to come to it and say finally someone has approached this journalistically and not coming with a political agenda. just playing out the research and who knew or it is time to get its time in the spotlight. instead, people reacted and set political lines. a lot of people on the left who i thought would say finally here is this smart, interesting feminist with non ideas approach to pornography. instead they said this is an attack on free speech or a woman taking away our pornography. on the right i got a stronger perception. >> was it from a moral
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perspective on the right? >> some of it was from a moral perspective. but i think conservatives were more open to seeing the psychological impact. it is very interesting. i heard from a lot of conservatives is going to congress and testifying on the effects and they were interested in the ways it affected men's sex lives and exposure to children. i don't see them as partisan issues. they affect people across the political spectrum. but i would have to say in my experience conservatives were more open to hearing that >> host: starter marriage pornified, and parenting. >> guest: again not so obvious but it was in terms of what was going on in my life. when i wrote the book i had two children, the second one i had
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in the middle of writing that book. it was before my third child was born. what i observed in my real life was that parenting with had become industrialized and a thing. it used to be in the new york times we didn't use parenting we used child rearing. it is a parent way of looking at the things thing we do; raising children. i want to investigate the ways in some companies are taking advantage of parental anxiety. mis this was the era of einstein before it was exposed. i was told there were so many ways that if i only spent time
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xyz and time on other stuff i would raise the perfect child and of course i did. no, i wrote the book on that. >> host: where were you born? >> guest: i was born on long island and my parents divorced at a young age so i spent weekends in the city. i went to school on long island and stuff so i must say i am from there. my mother worked in advertising. she was a peggy and entered the world as a copy writer the same year peggy did on mad man. and my father worked in construction. >> host: do you review new york times reporter's books? >> guest: we do. not all of them but a lot. as you know "the new york times"
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has its sunday book review and daily reviews with our daily critics and they can review "the new york times" reporters but the daily section will get an outside reviewer to write about them. >> have you been pressured to review somebody? >> guest: no. i cannot tell you someone is annoyed if we don't. you know we review the books when we think they are worthy and in general "the new york times" is filled with great writers and books merit the attention. our new york times readers know when big editors or columnist have is books coming out and they are interested. >> host: have you every lost a friendship over a book review? >> guest: no i haven't. unless they are so angry with me
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they are not revealing it. in case they are writing another book they are not letting me know. >> host: what is one thing you don't like about your job? >> guest: nothing. with the possible exception of laying down without anything to do and reading there is the best. >> host: are your children readers? >> guest: yes, they consider this a demotion because the children's book editor was huge. >> host: what does your husband do? >> guest: he works in finance. he is numbers and i am letters. >> host: is the pod cast something you started? >> guest: no that was started by samsung. you can listen on the website or it is on i-tunes and those
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places. >> host: how many times a week do you do that? >> guest: once a week. >> host: are those available outside of the pay wall? >> guest: i think it is. i think you can download it from i-tunes. >> host: let's go to buy the book. what are some of the books on your night stand? >> guest: i got this great new bed that is a japanese platform bed and it has like a border going all around it so i can pile books around the entire bed so i can get by answering that question. so i am surrounded by books. right now i am surrounded by books that are in large part about reading, writing for your books because i am writing a book on your subject. you have writers who avoid the
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subjects and those drawn to it. i am falling into the latter category. i am looking at writers' voices that i admire. i am reading shirley jackson and ruth franklin wrote a terrific essay about shirley jackson's re reissued so-called domestic writing writing about living with her kids in vermont. the titles give a sense of her sensibility and wit so i am enjoying those. >> host: who are some of your favorite non-fiction artist? >> guest: do i torment people with these questions? >> host: uh-huh. >> guest: so many favorites.
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that is a hard question to write. i think if you to go by categories. biographers? david mcculla is amazing. i am going to look over to the side at my book shelves. >> host: what it is about david that brings people to him and sells well? >> guest: well i will add robert caro to the mix. i am a fan of presidential biographies and political memi memiors. it is story telling. if you read david's book on the brooklyn bridge it is about mechanical engineering at the time, it is about what they learned about when you get
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the -- >> host: suspension? >> guest: no i am thinking about when you go scuba diving you get the bends and how they discovered the bends, it is about brooklyn politics and incredible figures that played into the building. what he does is weave this tapisistry. it is story telling and vividness of the writing. >> host: is there trends in fiction or non-fiction books? >> guest: i think the blurring of those definitions. we have seen a lot of people writing fictionalized memories and taking non mf fiction and writing about it is a more non-personal way. when i started writing non-fiction and in journalism
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you rarely saw the first person and i think that is being infused into non-fiction more. and in fiction, a blurring of genre where you have writers infused into the writing. >> host: when a book like boys in the boat takes off. it is this snippet of history. did any books like that surprise you? >> guest: i am always surprised by the best-seller list. every week we do a segment on the best-seller list. i think a book like boys in the boat and sea biscuit and unbroken that narrative non-fiction takes a part the pu
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particulars of a small story within a broader canvas and succeeds in conveying the thrills and ups and downs of that small scale within that broader canvas in a way that illuminates the larger history and they do well with readers. that is something that has been going on in the last few decades. >> host: who is at your littery littery -- literary dinner party? >> guest: i would have dorthy park mark twain and -- >> host: harper lee's new book coming out. how big of a deal is this? >> guest: it is a huge deal.
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just in terms of attention it is getting. what i found most powerful is that shows the impact early reading has on people. most people read "to kill a mockingbird" in school because it was assigned. so as much as people complain about assigned reading and those forces to read in enlish and junior high they have a tremendous impact. the fact a book people read decades ago and generated excitement so shows the in influence and power books have. >> host: have you gotten an early copy?
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have you assigned a review? is it a given you will review it? >> guest: it is a given it will be reviewed. we have an interviewer but no book. >> host: is they are keeping that quite? harp >> guest: they are. >> host: who is the reviewer? >> guest: i cannot tell you that. that is the most exciting part of the job. it is the books and finding the match and who should review that harper lee book and who is the most interesting person's whose voice we have not heard from on the subject and who would provide a different perspective. >> host: when the staff meets what is your editoral staff meeting like? >> guest: we meet as a whole rather rarely.
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this is a very informal place. we are having micromeeting and informal meetings all of the time. i would say it is fun most of all. there is a reason this job is good. and everyone at the book review no matter what role they play is a huge reader and an opinionated reader. there is a debate and sometimes disagreement, but there is also a lot of humor. i think we take what we do seriously. but we have a lot of fun while doing it. >> host: what is the purpose of such a meeting? >> guest: we have these meetings with each preview. david kelly, my deputy and i meet with them as a small group usually once every week or two to discuss the books that editor thinks should be reviewed.
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and sometimes to talk about the ones he or she thinks shouldn't be debuted. and the purpose of those meetings is the editor will tell my deputy and me about the book what it is about why it is worthy of review and then come in with suggested list of three to five names. sometimes with this is my first choice second choice and why those people would be good. if the author has been reviewed a lot, they will come in with a list of everyone who reviewed that person before in the new york times become review and the reason is we have unusual rules and one is if we have reviewed steven king before you cannot review him for us again. >> host: why? >> guest: we want a new voice on it. we want someone knew. our daily critics they will
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review, you know, the next stephen king even if they have reviewed 10-20 books of his before and that is part of their role. but what we do here is to get someone with a fresh perspective on it. someone unexpected. that is challenging when it is someone like stephen king. we look at everyone who reviewed them before, who were the kind of people we went to and reviews we have had and what is new and different. >> host: pamela paul, how would you recommend to readers how they should read the book review? is it accessible? >> guest: you know i still like to read it in print. i think it reads a lot like a magazine. we think of it a lot like a magazine. we thing hard about the cover or what is that one review or maybe those books run a theme we will
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have on the cover and who is going to review it. that has a primacy of place. >> i am in charge of getting the captions, headlines, text on an electronic page and off to printer. >> host: how do you get the elements together? >> guest: a lot of nagging. but we are all electronic here. we use adobe in design and all of the elements of the section are checked into that system so i can see if this is caption ready, headline ready see if i don't have the high resolution photo and i can zero in on things that haven't cleared and
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i know who to go complain to. >> let's look at a recent book review cover. here is your summer reading cover. who designed it and what was your role putting it together? >> guest: the art director came with the overall concept. i gave him a blank page and he looked it. all of the covers have a logo date, and new york times banner there. he takes the blank canvas, talks to the editor who figure out what image they want. we have type on the cover a lot of times but this is a splashy, happy summer cover. they figure out what they want and he finds an illustrator who does something along those lines. he gives me the rough version of the layout. if we need an illustration credit on i will put that type on so the copy desk makes sure the person's name is spelled correctly, send it to me scan
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the art and i will get a high resolution copy and pull that into page. we have gone to desktop publishes we do all plates as well. this is all adobe acrobat types. you don't see the old negatives and frames that started happening when i was doing them back in the day. >> once you send off what you send off how quickly can this be printed? >> guest: i have had close out at 5:00 transmit between 5-6 and have copies back in the morning or overnight. ...
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>> it's something i have to speak to them about. but once i get this done, it'll be pretty much ready for press on the art side. the text still has to go. we don't have a headline here, that's going to happen later. credits aren't quite on. but it's still a work in progress. this normally would be two days before we close. we're on a short week because of memorial day so we're making up for lost time, but we're going to go to press tomorrow with this, and it'll have all of its parts. so if i check that one into the system, and we use k4 which is a big database system to track all of our pages.
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if we check that in, i can pull back here and see an image of all the pages in this particular issue. the gray ones are ads, we don't know what they're going to look like yet because that comes from a different department, but i can see the editorial pages and i give a copy to the art director so he can make sure the pages look nice together on a spread, make sure we don't have the art timestoning across the pages -- tombstoning. if it's red, i've got to nag. >> what's the cover? can you pull that cover up for us? >> yeah, the cover, this is a smaller view. this is still like everything else in the issue a work in progress. and this is over here. so this is, as you can see type's not quite fitting yet. it's a little fuzzy because i don't have the real art in. but this'll be, eventually the cover for june 7th will look something like this except with
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real headlines but this is a mock-up of the all straight that'll be coming in soon. this is a book could "loving day" by matt johnson. so that'll be our cover for the 7th of june. >> in my ideal world, i think of somebody reading it from cover to cover, from beginning to end. online it doesn't appear that way, and i think readers probably read it and read it in conjunction with all of the books' coverage at the time, whether it's from the daily or something that ran in the magazine. but, you know, again, ideally, they would read it all beginning to end. >> what do you think of books that splash new york times best seller on their covers? >> i think it's great. congratulations to them. it's not easy to become a new york times bestseller. if my book was, i'd put that on the cover too. as long as it's true. [laughter] we're okay with it.

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