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tv   About Books New York Times Book Review Editor Pamela Paul  CSPAN  January 1, 2022 6:30am-7:01am EST

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we delve into the news of the public with interesting insight interviews with publishing experts. we will also give updates on current nonfiction authors and books, the latest book reviews and we will talk about the current nonfiction books featured on c-span booktv. welcome to the about a books program and podcast. in this episode we will talk with longtime "new york times" book review editor pamela paul and look at some of the notable books by "the new york times" and also talk to her about her
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most recent book the hundred things we've lost to the internet. but let's start with this week's publishing industry news in the two top items former governor andrew cuomo was ordered to turn over his recent proceeds. multiple reports show that he used state resources to produce the book american crisis leadership lessons from the pandemic. it's estimated that the proceeds amounted to about $5 million. in other book news, harpercollins announced that they will not publish a forthcoming book as the former cnn host it was planned for 2022. the book was entitled deep denial into was going to be a look at the trump administration and the covid-19 pandemic. cnn terminated him earlier for
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his involvement in public relations efforts to assist his brother in the wake of sexual harassment and allegations against the former new york governor. now in other news best-selling novelist and when ice died at the age of 80. the author of over 30 books, she sold about 150 million copies in internationally and of course best known for her 1976 novel interview with the vampire that was later adapted into a movie. also in the news, author reginald is the recipient of a macarthur genius grant. he plans on putting 1,000 micro libraries in prisons across the country. he was in prison for nine years for a carjacking when he was 16. the first of these libraries that he has planned will be occupied in the 1940s at norfolk prison in massachusetts.
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and according to npd bookscan, print book sales dropped just a little bit for the week ending december 4th. adult nonfiction fell for a second consecutive week just down 2% but remain up close to 6% for the year. it just a reminder during the annual holiday period about a quarter of all books are sold. a 750 million were sold in the united states in 2020. one of the new books of 2021 is this one. one hundred things we've lost to the internet. the author is pamela paul who joins us now on about books. pamela is the long-time editor f "the new york times" book review. your book.
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it is a reminder of what life used to be like before the internet before we constantly lived in a very rapid motion that i think is causing us a little bit of emotional whiplash so it's a rewind and saying remember all these things we used to do before we were online all the time and we used to get places and meet people and what it was to know someone as opposed to follow someone so it's a kind of look back at the cataloging of all those things. >> what are some of those things that we miss? >> i think it's different for everyone. some of the things i achingly miss our paper i miss lots of
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things like local newspapers that happen to be really important. you get maybe two or three or four when you used to get maybe 30 or 40 because all those papers use to have these book critics and editors and no longer do. i imagined some of the audience will feel the same aches and pains. i miss the ability to be at one place at one time without feeling there was a horde of people sending me notifications of those likes, texts, e-mails
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to four different e-mail accounts all right there in my pocket at any given time so i feel like my sort of attention span is constantly fragmented and i many scheme of lacrimal. it's going to take discipline on sunday now isn't it? >> i think it's a little harder for us to focus. another thing that's lost his patience. i think that we have gotten use to lots of things and we've gotten very good at it so if it takes a bit of a runway to get
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going. in many cases it is addicted to a full printed newspaper and it doesn't do that all the time. >> celebrating the 125th anniversary this year. you've been the editor since 2013. since 2013 what are some of the changes that you've gone through? >> a lot of things have happened that have changed substantially. the book review of course fundamentally we do the same thing. we review the best of the books coming out and of the entire landscape. what we do is have a labor-intensive to then
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determine which ones to cover so that is the way that we can discover voices that may not be the most obvious. everyone else just saying who ways that and the book reviewed ten books over the course of his career so that fundamentally hasn't changed. everything else pretty much has. speaking of the internet, everything we do is mindful of the fact that most people are reading up online and might be coming to us separate from everything else we do so when we were back in the world of print, everything was curated to be delivered in one fell swoop as it still is in the book review, but now we are viewing things people might have come upon on a social media so we are more mindful of that audience and
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also we are part of a larger task now is how we refer to it in "the new york times," where we work together or in conjunction with the critic. all together it is a well staffed, smart group of people who are book peoples who that's the biggest change in terms of how we operate. >> we took a tour at the new york office and you can watch that online or simply search pamela back to the book 100 things we've lost to the internet. this is a quote from your book. you are either he and ally or you are the enemy in the world of enforced popular opinion. if you dare risk saying things that fall into the muddy metal.
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both known and distressing we are speaking up but most are relentlessly held by the crowd and we all play it safe. what were you driving at? >> that was the unpopular opinion which is something that is gone where it's difficult to have certainly online you can hear a lot of people in conversations say things like i cannot say this publicly please don't tell anyone. i think what happens when you are constantly observed under scrutiny, you tend to be more guarded and that's natural. one of the things is uninhibited miss. both the internet has turned us
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into reality tv stars or celebrities. that makes us fearful of the kind of risks you might take in that kind of setting. i will bring this down to a very granular level for people because i think that it is shaping the way in which people develop as thinkers and individuals. instead you are on a network computer and this is under the name of collaborative learning and perhaps there's some truth to that.
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with kids it means rather than develop your own ideas, you are in with the know it all kid in the classroom and someone that is competitive with you personally. they are commenting and reacting to what you are writing in real time and that means you might not write it in the same way you would if you were all alone with a pen and paper so it is shaping the fact that because we are so constantly subject to other people's opinions it is shaping. a. >> another thing we've lost to the internet and this is a pet peeve of mine as well. the appearance of new words and
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meanings and spellings. it is accelerating even as the more formal language and grammar. >> what bothers you in online reading. >> where are the commas? >> punctuation is seen as fussy to punctuate and capitalize letters and to use a period where all of that is a slap in the face. when they've already learned how to write that is if you write in an e-mail thank you and end it with a period you got an e-mail that said thank you with a period, that means thanks a lot.
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really? he doesn't feel genuine or enthusiastic unless you add it with an! point added this is hard for all of us who learned growing up to be very judicious about the use of the! >> every year "the new york times" lists their top books. let's begin with how the routers passed, a reckoning of slavery across america. >> this book is about oral history and how the stories are told about the past and looking primarily at race as he goes to
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a number of locations that in some way tell the story of the nation's past so there are two different plantations operated in very different ways. he goes to new york city which many people don't think of when they think of the way slavery took place in this city and the way that its history is represented now and a lot of what he's looking at is how do we tell the stories, how do our stories get told. a. >> poverty, survival and hope in an american city is another best nonfiction book of 2021 according to "the new york times." >> she's a pulitzer prize winning reporter at the times he initiated a series on a young woman who was 11-years-old and
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experiencing homelessness with her family in new york city and used her story to illustrate how difficult it is to get by in a large city whether it's this one or another, given the way the institutions were structured so it's a narrative story about her family and it's telling a larger story about how the cities served the population. >> every time and met gordon reed writes something she seems to win an award for it. the most recent his juneteenth. >> this is a series of essays modeled on the writing of james baldwin and i think you see that in the book. it's about a new calling for many people which is where annette gordon reed grew up and
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she tells the story of the celebration and specifically it arrived rather late and that has become popular. so it's about the feelings in the holiday and a celebration and her experience growing up in texas as a black child that ended up going to a largely white school and about her own experiences. it's really the story of how we tell history as historians and what the historians job and responsibility is for the history major in college i appreciated the fact she really focuses on the truth that
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history is something you cannot bend to your will. you need to really do the research and the facts and tell the story that the facts show and not the story that you wish they show, the story that you wish would be told and that we tend to mythologized or changede for a political purpose and so i felt like it was a beautiful and succinct explanation of the art of history. >> have you ever had a professor gordon read on your podcast? >> she came on the podcast to talk about the book. >> and she was the in depth guest last june and during that interview we learned that an elementary school in the hometown of texas has been named after her which i thought was kind of a neat thing. what is it about heather clark's book that attracted you?
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>> i think it's about a thousand pages may be a little bit more or a little bit less. i think that's surprising to those who know the poet and fiction writer diet in her early 30s. she died by suicide and you think how could that possibly be a biography about such a short life. she pulls it off and makes the case. it's not one of those into every single minutia but that really uses that space to explain the work that she did to defend her standing as an artist in her own light not to look within the context of her time into the other fact people know about sylvia platt is that she was married to the poet and is
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thought of in that relationship. >> the fifth the book of "the new york times" five best nonfiction books of 2021 the copenhagen trilogy. >> the name tina and michael because this is a book in translation and was written quite a while ago but now only translated into english and published in three books, though it is actually three books, childhood youth and dependency. i was really surprised by this book and by how magnetic and original the writing and the voice is. this person is so vibrantly
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alive and very famous in her native countries not as well known here but this is sort of before the ideal of a kind of socialist scandinavia and it wasn't a safety net she did not have an easy childhood and she is one of those writers that does right so many letters but doesn't always do it well to which she does bring it back to that time she's able to recapture that feeling of being young and powerless end of the third book you might wonder that title. she becomes addicted to drugs and i get goosebumps just saying that. it's never anyone's fault, but in this case she's married to
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someone who purposefully gets hurt addicted and it's about her struggle about addiction and i would say taken altogether it is also the portrait of an artist and a writer coming of age and seeing that development and the obstacles that were in her past. a. >> and that was the trilogy. pamela paul is "the new york times" review book editor. we really appreciate you joining us on the podcast. your own podcast is called blood? >> book review podcast. >> thanks for being with us. >> thanks for having me. >> talking about a couple of the notable books of 2021, but here's a couple more. reporting on the occupational hazards that come with being an essential worker in america.
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bloomberg businessweek looks at the life of silicon valley investor and entrepreneur. the book is called the contrary contrarian. the pulitzer prize winning offers his thoughts on the cold war cultural exchange between the u.s. and europe in his book the free world. another "new york times" notable book of 2021, the chancellor, this is a look at the life of the german chancellor and columbia university professor john mcwhorter weighs in on the race in america on woke racism. he recently discussed his book during a virtual event hosted by the commonwealth club in san francisco and here is a portion of that. >> what it's for is mostly people left of center who are listening to the voices from the
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radical hard left and begin to get a feeling somehow those peoples views must be actual truths rather than one facet of the left out of fear because there's a certain kind of person who now basically tells you that you are racist, what we now think of as a moral pervert if you disagree with what is a very narrow under thought. i think what we need is left of center about constructive concerned positions on what people need in this country. a. >> and that is discussing the most recent book woke racism. there was a "new york times" notable book for 2021 and you can watch the entire program at any time by visiting the website and search his name or the book title. you are listening to and watching about books, the podcast program looking at a
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publishing news and the latest nonfiction books. >> each week on the program, top nonfiction authors talk about their latest books with relevant guest hosts. in case you missed them we want to take a moment to list some of the notable conversations that occurred this past year. a reminder that you can watch any of these programs online on and listen to them as a podcast. just listen the app. at the beginning of the year "the new york times" columnist made his case for african-americans to amass political power and a challenge white supremacy. he spoke with author and fellow president robert woodson. then in april, cindy mccain reflected on her life with her late husband senator john mccain joined in conversation by former senator joe lieberman who is a very close friend of the lead to
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senator. in june, former new york police department commissioner talked about policing in america and discussed his book the profession with former philadelphia commissioner charles ramsey. at this are all the grand podcast host ben schapiro argued the progressive left is pushing the authoritarian agenda and was interviewed by the nationally syndicated radio talk show host. in another "after words" that we featured this past year it was in october and it was pulitzer prize winning journalist talking about how u.s. companies moving overseas have impacted america's working class. he was joined in conversation by the executive editor of the economic hardship reporting project and coming up this weekend on "after words" it's republican congressman jim jordan of ohio talking about his
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new book. he discusses the investigation by congress during his time on the house judiciary and oversight committees and also reflects on the trump presidency. interviewed by former congressman of virginia and here is a preview of that conversation. >> the opposition and attacks president trump david he needed more of what he said he would do than any president in the lifetime. every democrat in his town was against him. everyone in the mainstream press was against him. everyone in the bureaucracy was against him and a bunch of republicans were against him and in spite of that he said he would reduce regulation and he did. and we did for all demographics in the economy. african-americans come all americans where the wages went
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up. he said he would in jerusalem and he did, he said he would build a wall and heated. we could keep going. >> that is congressman jim jordan of ohio talking about his new book. you can watch the entire interview this sunday when "after words" airs in its entirety. all "after words" programs are also available as podcasts. you can get them on the c-span app. here's a roundup of some of the best-selling nonfiction books of 2021. heather mcgee examines the cost of racism for all americans in her book the some of us into the code breaker walter isaacson looks at jennifer who invented a dna technology and best-selling author malcolm gladwell examines
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the development of precision bombing during world war ii. his book the bomber mafia and fox news commentator jesse waters provides a critique of left-wing activists and their policies and wrapping up our look at some of the best-selling books of 2021, it's the "washington post" bob woodward and robert costas report on the transition between trump and biden administration's and their book that came out this fall was called peril. all of these authors have appeared on booktv and you can watch the programs any time on the website, thanks for joining us on about books. about books is available as a podcast on c-span now or wherever you get your podcasts.
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happy holiday season to you. we will be back in january with another episode of about books. >> you are watching booktv, the top nonfiction books and authors every weekend. booktv, television for serious readers. >> welcome to our viewers, welcome to linda greenhouse, an old friend of mine and i'm excited for her new booklet is out and we will have a conversation of about 60 minutes. i want to start by saying i have known linda since the late 80s when i started covering the supreme court too and for a long time we were competitors, friendly competitors but competitors. i was full-time with the washington post and she was full-time at the new york times and we didn't start on our respective book journeys and


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