Supported by

Book Review

Adultery gets weird in miranda july’s new novel.

An anxious artist’s road trip stops short for a torrid affair at a tired motel. In “All Fours,” the desire for change is familiar. How to satisfy it isn’t.

  By Alexandra Jacobs

nyt book review magazine

Her Sister Is Dead but Life, and Libido, Carry On

In Kimberly King Parsons’s witty, profane novel, “We Were the Universe,” a young mother seeks to salve a profound loss.

  By Alissa Nutting

nyt book review magazine

When Anarchists Were Public Enemy Number One

An entertaining new history by Steven Johnson explores an explosive moment when terror and nascent surveillance collided.

  By Clyde Haberman

Born in the Russian Empire, Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman, her co-conspirator, would be forced to return there after their anarchist activities.

She Taught Generations How to Wield a Wok and a Cleaver

As Michelle T. King demonstrates in this moving and ambitious biography, Fu Pei-mei was far more than “the Julia Child of Chinese cooking.”

  By Thessaly La Force

Although she only learned to cook as an adult, Fu Pei-mei became an authority on Chinese cuisine who wrote dozens of books.

Flipping Off the Patriarchy, Three Chords at a Time

In her intimate memoir, “Rebel Girl,” the punk-rock heroine Kathleen Hanna recalls a life of trauma, triumph and riot grrrl rebellion.

  By Evelyn McDonnell

nyt book review magazine

The Book Review’s Best Books Since 2000

Looking for your next great read? We’ve got 3,228. Explore the best fiction and nonfiction from 2000 - 2023 chosen by our editors.

  By The New York Times Books Staff

nyt book review magazine

17 New Books Coming in May

New novels from R.O. Kwon, Kevin Kwan and Miranda July; a reappraisal of Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy; memoirs from Brittney Griner and Kathleen Hanna — and more.

nyt book review magazine

Let Us Help You Find Your Next Book

Reading picks from Book Review editors, guaranteed to suit any mood.

nyt book review magazine

Best-Seller Lists: May 19, 2024

All the lists: print, e-books, fiction, nonfiction, children’s books and more.

nyt book review magazine

Books of The Times

Can a 50-Year-Old Idea Save Democracy?

The economist and philosopher Daniel Chandler thinks so. In “Free and Equal,” he makes a vigorous case for adopting the liberal political framework laid out by John Rawls in the 1970s.

  By Jennifer Szalai

The political philosopher John Rawls in 1990. Rawls’s theory combined a liberal respect for individual rights and differences with an egalitarian emphasis on fairness.

A Portrait of the Art World Elite, Painted With a Heavy Hand

Hari Kunzru examines the ties between art and wealth in a new novel, “Blue Ruin.”

  By Dwight Garner

nyt book review magazine

Does a Small Cough Make You Think the Worst? Here’s a Book for You.

Caroline Crampton shares her own worries in “A Body Made of Glass,” a history of hypochondria that wonders whether newfangled technology drives us crazier.

Surviving Hodgkin’s lymphoma led Caroline Crampton to worry about her health. John Donne and Howard Hughes are among other hypochondriacs mentioned in her book.

She Wrote ‘The History of White People.’ She Has a Lot More to Say.

“I Just Keep Talking,” a collection of essays and artwork by the historian Nell Irvin Painter, captures her wide-ranging interests and original mind.

“Blue Nell on Kaiser With Jacob Lawrence’s Migrants,” a digital collage on paper by Nell Irvin Painter from 2010.

Young, Cool, Coddled and Raised on the Internet

The best stories in Honor Levy’s “My First Book” capture the quiet desperation of today’s smart set. But there is such a thing as publishing too soon.

Honor Levy is a Bennington graduate who has published work in The New Yorker and New York Tyrant.

On Mother’s Day, Here Are 2 Novels That Get Babies Right

Barbara Kingsolver’s debut, and a bad seed’s beginnings.

nyt book review magazine

A Family Saga That Stays Calm Through Tumultuous Times

Jessica Shattuck’s “Last House” dips into the cultural intrigues of 20th-century America, but keeps its nose surprisingly clean.

By Kate Christensen

nyt book review magazine

A Loving Daughter, Obsessed With Her Parents’ Misery, Seeks Its Roots

Inspired by her own family’s past, Claire Messud’s “This Strange Eventful History” unfolds over seven decades and two wars.

By Joan Silber

nyt book review magazine

David Shapiro, Who Gained Fame in Poetry and Protest, Dies at 77

A renowned member of the New York School of poets, he also found accidental notoriety when he was photographed during the 1968 uprising at Columbia University.

By Alex Williams

nyt book review magazine

Talking to Leigh Bardugo, Fantasy Superstar

The best-selling author of dark fantasy novels for Y.A. and adult audiences discusses her career and her stand-alone new historical fantasy, “The Familiar.”

nyt book review magazine

Book Club: Discuss ‘James,’ by Percival Everett, With Us

For The Book Review Podcast’s May book club, we’ll talk about “James,” Percival Everett’s radical reimagining of “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”

By MJ Franklin

nyt book review magazine

6 New Paperbacks to Read This Week

Recommended reading from the Book Review, including titles by Jenny Erpenbeck, Julia Lee, Simon Winchester and more.

By Shreya Chattopadhyay

nyt book review magazine

Book Bans Are Surging in Florida. So Lauren Groff Opened a Bookstore.

It’s called The Lynx, after the wildcat native to the state. “We wanted something a little fierce,” she said.

By Alexandra Alter

nyt book review magazine

One Man’s Quest for ‘Photographic Justice’

A new book from the legendary lensman Corky Lee captures both struggle and celebration across several decades of Asian American life.

By Wilson Wong

nyt book review magazine

How a Novelist Became a Pop Star

In fiction, Ali Sethi wrote about being queer in Pakistan. Now he’s singing his story.

By Emily Lordi and Philip Cheung


More from the Review

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Best of The New York Review, plus books, events, and other items of interest

May 23, 2024

Current Issue

UCLA: Whose Violence?

For two days, UCLA’s pro-Palestine encampment was a site of violent aggression—committed not by the students but against them. 

May 11, 2024

Big Germany, What Now?

The post-Wall era is over and everyone, including the Germans, is asking which way Germany—the most powerful country in the European Union—will go.

May 23, 2024 issue

A View from Cairo

The Egyptian government’s repression of its citizens and the Israeli government’s occupation of Palestine are inextricably linked.

May 12, 2024

Inside Uber’s Political Machine

By spending vast sums on political lobbying, Uber has mounted a multi-pronged assault on the regulatory state.

May 9, 2024

Transatlantic Flights

The collected poems of Denise Levertov and Anne Stevenson suggest what a poet can gain by expatriation, in both directions between England and the United States.

Nathan Thrall

Read the article that grew into the book of the same name, this year’s winner of the Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction

How Bondage Built the Church

Rachel Swarns’s recent book about a mass sale of enslaved people by Jesuit priests to save Georgetown University reminds us that the legacy of slavery is simultaneously the legacy of resistance.

‘Give Me Joy’

Madonna’s genius is not just for controversy, or for pressing on the fissures in femininity, or for her bold support of once-unpopular causes. It is for doing it all with no apology.

The Whistleblower We Deserve

The ambiguous hero of Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People is a man of science who insists on the primacy of truth and evidence. But he’s also, possibly, a bit of a fascist.

The Woman in the Well

In Forbidden Notebook by Alba de Céspedes, a dissatisfied Italian everywoman starts keeping a diary, and eventually her own thoughts become too much to bear.

Triumphs of Skepticism

Hilary Mantel wrote in favor of the doubting, the irreverent, and even the fickle against conservatism, nostalgia, and sentiment.

Perpetual Expectation

The Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho’s operas have a pervasive aura of waiting for something just out of sight, shrouded in veil upon veil.

Ecstasy’s Odyssey

When the creator of MDMA first experimented with the drug, he felt a mellow sensation that he compared to “a low-calorie martini.”

‘A Long-Tongue Saga’

Over the course of more than a thousand pages, Leon Forrest’s novel Divine Days , reissued after three decades, elicits from the reader every emotion from awe to exasperation.

“Roughly half of the world’s tax havens are directly linked to the UK and responsible for a good share of the estimated $8.7 trillion held offshore. Seeing postwar history through the tax haven helps us understand how empire ended but so little changed.”

Jill Biden is a barrier-breaking national figure. What are we to make of the wholesome, at times bland story she tells about herself?

Choosing Pragmatism Over Textualism

A method of judicial interpretation that looks only to the original meaning of legal texts risks producing a Constitution and laws that no one would want.

Supersize That?

New supertall skyscrapers planned for Manhattan will reduce the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building to the scale of souvenir tchotchkes. With the current glut of unoccupied office space, they may be the last of their kind.

nyt book review magazine

Thoughtfully chosen gifts for readers and writers

Death and Detention on the Texas Border 

As Joe Biden and Greg Abbott escalate their standoff over border enforcement, migrants find themselves caught in the middle.

May 5, 2024

More Real Than Life

In Jane Schoenbrun’s films, personal metamorphosis happens on both sides of the screen. 

May 4, 2024

The Immunity Con

For the first time in American history, the supreme judicial authority is parsing how much criminality to permit the chief executive. 

May 1, 2024

Haiti on the Precipice

The chaos and violence in Haiti today result from years of political interference from abroad and democratic decay at home.

April 27, 2024

Translation Without Angels

Self-Portrait of the US as Conjoined Twins

Voicemail from the Impaled

May 9, 2024 issue

Free from the Archives

“The more militarized we allow law enforcement agents to become, the more likely officers are to use lethal violence against citizens: civilian deaths have been found to increase by about 130 percent when police forces acquire significantly more military equipment.”

The First and Last of Her Kind

The legal academy has tended to be dismissive of Sandra Day O’Connor, arguing that she had no overarching theory of constitutional interpretation. But the Supreme Court is not a law school faculty workshop. She saw herself as a problem-solver.

November 7, 2019 issue

Hail to the Chief

“John Marshall, while hugely instrumental in assuring for the federal judiciary its limited supervisory role over the legislative branch, exhibited a subservience to the executive branch that continues to haunt us.”

November 22, 2018 issue

Law Without History?

How Justice Scalia’s understanding of the Constitution is wrong

October 23, 2014 issue

Bad Man from Olympus

Oliver Wendell Holmes argued that law should be conceived as a means to the attainment of human ends, and that judges should admit that they decide debatable cases on the basis of policy, not of precedent or abstract principle.

July 13, 1995 issue

How to Understand the Dreyfus Affair

“The Dreyfus Affair demonstrates the fragility of reason, of the rights of man, and indeed of civilized values when a nation feels itself under threat from an external or internal enemy.”

June 10, 2010 issue

Holy Hysteria

“From January until October 1898 a convulsion of anti-Semitism ran through France; no major population center was spared, whether there were Jews living in it or not. There were demonstrations and riots, attacks on synagogues and shops; ‘patriots’ encouraged hotelkeepers to evict Jews from their rooms.”

April 10, 2003 issue

The Lesson of the Dreyfus Case

“Another book about the Dreyfus Affair? What could possibly justify loading another volume upon that already over-crowded shelf? The simplest answer is the timelessness of the story. It is a morality tale.”

February 27, 1986 issue

No End to the Affair

“French politics after 1900 were not the same as before. Perhaps even without the Affair, the new forces—socialists demanding reform, syndicalists calling for direct action, a new right-wing anti-democratic nationalism represented by the Action Française, a renewed movement among the Radicals for the final separation of the Roman Church from the French State—these would have begun to make themselves felt; but there seems little doubt that the Dreyfus experience accelerated these developments.”

May 18, 1967 issue

In Harvard Yard

Civil discourse and critical inquiry are not abstract concepts in the encampment. They are active principles.

May 8, 2024

Migrant Workers in Their Own Land

After closing its borders to Palestinians employed in critical sectors, Israel’s government has faced a labor shortage—which is being met by Indian migrant workers.

April 21, 2024

In Gaza’s Hospitals

It’s not easy to work under continuous military attack, to wake up and close your eyes to injuries and corpses, to feel helpless to stop it all.

April 19, 2024

The Road to Famine in Gaza

Hundreds of thousands of people in Gaza are at the brink of famine—a human-made disaster with roots in Israel’s history of using food as a weapon. 

March 30, 2024

Anti-Rent Wars, Then and Now

Amid the 1840s economic crisis, landlords tried to drive out tenants in default. The remarkable movement that rose to challenge evictions can be a model for today’s housing activists.

October 25, 2021

Tenants Under Siege: Inside New York City’s Housing Crisis

New York City is in the throes of a humanitarian emergency. The tide of homelessness is only the most visible symptom.

August 17, 2017 issue

Kicked Out in America!

“It is odd that the shortage of low-income housing gets little attention, even among experts on the left. Decent affordable shelter is a primal human need, and its disappearance is one of the most troubling results of growing inequality.”

March 10, 2016 issue

The Rise of the Homeless

“Three years into Ronald Reagan’s first administration, the effects of his social welfare policies—from the elimination of certain nutrition and health programs to the drastic cuts in federal subsidies for the construction of low-income housing—were just being felt in the cities.”

February 16, 1989 issue

Reading, Reading, Reading

“My gold standard for a novel is whether it’s doing something that only a novel can do, or that a novel can do best.”

Dancing on the Page

“How do I capture what happened—and what moved me—during a performance that most of my readers will never have a chance to see?”

Storm Over Columbia

“The only reason we didn’t descend into violence that day was that the students remained calm. They were the only adults in the room.”

A Curious Temperament

“I don’t have any programmatic agenda for art, merely a hope to cut through received patterns of thought.”

April 20, 2024

Into the Cave

Episode Six of “The Critic and Her Publics”

April 9, 2024

A Gender Emergency

Episode Five of “The Critic and Her Publics”

March 26, 2024

The Channeler

Episode Four of “The Critic and Her Publics”

March 12, 2024

‘I Am the Cabbage Writer’

Episode Three of “The Critic and Her Publics”

February 27, 2024

The latest releases from New York Review Books

Loved and Missed

Robert Glück

Pier Paolo Pasolini

An Ordinary Youth

Walter Kempowski

Amelia Rosselli

Poor Helpless Comics!

Ed Subitzky

Safe Havens

Subscribe and save 50%!

Read the latest issue as soon as it’s available, and browse our rich archives. You'll have immediate subscriber-only access to over 1,200 issues and 25,000 articles published since 1963.

nyt book review magazine

Get immediate access to the current issue and over 25,000 articles from the archives, plus the NYR App.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

  • Craft and Criticism
  • Fiction and Poetry
  • News and Culture
  • Lit Hub Radio
  • Reading Lists

nyt book review magazine

  • Literary Criticism
  • Craft and Advice
  • In Conversation
  • On Translation
  • Short Story
  • From the Novel
  • Bookstores and Libraries
  • Film and TV
  • Art and Photography
  • Freeman’s
  • The Virtual Book Channel
  • Behind the Mic
  • Beyond the Page
  • The Cosmic Library
  • The Critic and Her Publics
  • Emergence Magazine
  • Fiction/Non/Fiction
  • First Draft: A Dialogue on Writing
  • The History of Literature
  • I’m a Writer But
  • Lit Century
  • Tor Presents: Voyage Into Genre
  • Windham-Campbell Prizes Podcast
  • Write-minded
  • The Best of the Decade
  • Best Reviewed Books
  • BookMarks Daily Giveaway
  • The Daily Thrill
  • CrimeReads Daily Giveaway

nyt book review magazine

10 Things You Didn’t Know About How the NY Times Book Review Works

Pamela paul on what goes into those pesky year-end lists.

Pamela Paul, the editor of The New York Times Book Review , hopped on reddit yesterday afternoon to answer questions about the Book Review and the recently published list of their editors’ picks for the 10 best books of the year . In addition to recommending a number of great books and writers (Nora Ephron, Christopher Hitchens, George Orwell, George Eliot, and more), dubbing Colson Whitehead one of the greatest novelists of our time, and suggesting that, of the Times ‘s Top 10, a Trump supporter might most enjoy The North Water , Paul shed a little light on how things work at the Book Review (a question that some of us have been asking ourselves lately!). Below, find a few things you may or may not have known about how books are assigned, reviewed, and considered for the year-end lists of the paper of record.

Way more books come out every year than you think.

“The Book Review at The Times reviews about 1% of the books that come out in any given year.”

Planning for the Year-End Notable Books List starts in January.

“Basically, the entire year is a winnowing process that culminates in the 10 Best Books. We start thinking about it in January. As we see books that we think are true standouts, we put copies aside so that all editors can read through contenders throughout the year, and weigh in. Books come on and off that list of contenders, and in the course of the year, we check in on it periodically and update it, depending on how people respond to individual titles. Toward the end of the year, around October, the process becomes more intense. I would describe the overall system as democratic, with a decisive wielding of the autocratic sword at the end. Ultimately, hard decisions have to be made, and not every editor at the Book Review will end up with all his or her favorites on the final list, but will hopefully have at least one book he or she lobbied hard for make the final cut.”

“Each week, we go through the previous issue and denote certain books as ‘Editor’s Choices’—these are the 9 books we especially like from that issue. At the end of the year, we pull together all of our Editor’s Choices and narrow them down to 100 Notable Books of the Year—50 fiction and 50 nonfiction. From those, we pick the 10 Best.”

The Book Review editors are probably hanging out right now.

“At The New York Times Book Review , we have no staff critics—we are all editors and we sit together and we talk all the time. I like to get up and walk around and have actual-human-contact with people. Our staff critics at The Times mostly work from home, though they do come in and we do talk to them, often on the phone. We are all people who like to talk about books, and having conversations around them—what books are you seeing, what looks good, what are you hearing, what do you like—are things we could talk about all day. Except we also have to read. And write. And edit.

Book reviews are generally a top-down process.

“Here at the Book Review , the editors select which books we want reviewed, and then we find reviewers to write about them. We review all genres, though our tastes reflect the tastes of our editors and those of readers of The New York Times . The staff critics for The Times choose which books they want to review themselves.”

“Each editor here handles a number of titles in a given week. They will come up with a list of possible reviewers and then bring it to my deputy and me. We then talk them over and sometimes add our own names to the list. Then we establish the order in which we approach people with the assignment. Sometimes, the first person on our list is too busy or has a conflict of interest (knows the author, shares an agent, blurbed an earlier book of theirs, etc.) and is disqualified, so we move to the next person on the list. In terms of finding reviewers, we are always on the lookout for smart new voices. Sometimes we find these among new authors, sometimes writers in other publications, sometimes people reach out to us directly with clips and a description of the kinds of books they’re interested in reviewing and their areas of expertise.”

There is lots of mail (you probably actually knew this).

“We have our mail opened several times a day. On most days, we have three large carts piled high with boxes and envelopes, plus 10-20 Postal Boxes filled to the top. So picture that!

There is a (loose) definition for “Best Books.”

“I like to think [the ten best books of the year] have little in common other than a high standard of ambition and excellence. By “Best Books,” we mean books that are extremely well executed in every sense: the scope of the work, originality of thought, writing on a sentence level, storytelling. It’s not necessarily about which books have the most “important” message or a position we agree with. It’s about books we think will stand the test of time, and that people will want to read 5, 10, 20 years from now.”

End of the year lists can have nothing to do with how books were reviewed.

“It is often the case that books we like don’t necessarily get hugely favorable notice in the Book Review . One recent case: Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See got a negative review in the Book Review . But we still named it one of the 10 Best Books of the year at the time. Our 10 Best is when we editors get to exert our own opinions, no matter what our reviewers say.”

The best book reviews are emotional.

“I think the biggest mistake reviewers make is conflating a book review with a book report. Generally speaking, readers don’t want to know what happens in a book, and they certainly don’t want (nor should they get) plot spoilers. I hate that personally as a reader! Let me discover for myself. What I’m more interested in a review is seeing a writer engage with a book—intellectually and often, emotionally. I want some depth and context: What else has been written on the subject? What has this writer done previously? What kind of research did the writer do? I want to know what the writing is like—give me some examples, quote from the book, describe the style. I want to know what the writer does well and not so well. I want judgment. I want to know if a book is well done and if it’s worth my time. Is this a book I’ll actually want to read, or just read about? Hopefully, at least ONE of those things.”

Don DeLillo might have been in the Top 10 this year.

“ Zero K was one of the finalists! Almost made it.”

When it comes to reading, Pamela Paul is just like us.

“One year, when I didn’t have a job and I didn’t have a partner and I didn’t have kids and before the Internet, I read 76 books for fun, including “Moby-Dick.” That hasn’t happened since. I try to read a book a week, but big books sure do slow you down. As does life. The big sacrifice is TV; I never get to watch TV.”

“I’ve always wanted to read Dumas—one of those authors I’ve never actually gotten around to. But I also think life is too short to finish a bad book, unless you’re really getting something out of it.”

  • Share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)

Emily Temple

Emily Temple

Previous article, next article, support lit hub..

Support Lit Hub

Join our community of readers.

to the Lithub Daily

Popular posts.

nyt book review magazine

Follow us on Twitter

nyt book review magazine

LitHub Daily: December 15, 2016

  • RSS - Posts

Literary Hub

Created by Grove Atlantic and Electric Literature

Sign Up For Our Newsletters

How to Pitch Lit Hub

Advertisers: Contact Us

Privacy Policy

Support Lit Hub - Become A Member

Become a Lit Hub Supporting Member : Because Books Matter

For the past decade, Literary Hub has brought you the best of the book world for free—no paywall. But our future relies on you. In return for a donation, you’ll get an ad-free reading experience , exclusive editors’ picks, book giveaways, and our coveted Joan Didion Lit Hub tote bag . Most importantly, you’ll keep independent book coverage alive and thriving on the internet.

nyt book review magazine

Become a member for as low as $5/month

Profile Picture



  • Seen & Heard

‘New York Times’ Reveals Its Best Books of 2021

BY Michael Schaub • Nov. 29, 2021

Share via Facebook

The New York Times Book Review unveiled its list of the 10 best books of the year , with titles by Honorée Fannone Jeffers, Patricia Lockwood, and Clint Smith among those making the cut.

Jeffers was honored for her debut novel, The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois , which was a finalist for this year’s Kirkus Prize and longlisted for the National Book Award.

Lockwood made the list for her Booker Prize-finalist No One Is Talking About This , while Imbolo Mbue was honored for her novel How Beautiful We Were . The other two works of fiction selected by the Times were Intimacies by Katie Kitamura and the genre-defying When We Cease To Understand the World by Benjamín Labatut, translated by Adrian Nathan West. Kitamura’s novel made the National Book Award fiction longlist, while Labatut’s book was on the prize’s translated literature shortlist.

Smith’s How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America , also longlisted for the National Book Award,was one of the nonfiction books to make the Times list, along with Annette Gordon-Reed’s On Juneteenth .

Other nonfiction books on the list included Andrea Elliott’s Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival and Hope in an American City and Tove Ditlevsen’s memoir cycle,  The Copenhagen Trilogy: Childhood; Youth; Dependency , translated by Tiina Nunnally and Michael Favala Goldman.

Rounding out the list was Heather Clark’s Red Comet: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath . The biography, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award, was published in 2020; when asked on Twitter why it was named one of the Times’ notable books of 2021, Times Book Review editor Pamela Paul explained , “We used to make the cut after the Holiday issue and carry the titles over [to the] following year. Moving forward, it’s the full calendar year.”

Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.

Memoir by Kenny G Coming This Fall

  • Seen & Heard Memoir by Kenny G Coming This Fall

Colson Whitehead Cancels UMass Commencement Speech

  • In the News Colson Whitehead Cancels UMass Commencement Speech

‘Red, White & Royal Blue’ Sequel in the Works

  • Book to Screen ‘Red, White & Royal Blue’ Sequel in the Works

4 Kids’ Books Celebrating Asian American Heritage

  • Perspectives 4 Kids’ Books Celebrating Asian American Heritage

Our Take On This Week's Bestsellers


Our Verdict


More Seen & Heard

Tom Selleck Talks New Memoir on ‘Today’

Featured Interviews

Episode 371: Best May Books with Aimee Nezhukumatathil

  • podcast Episode 371: Best May Books with Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Episode 370: Alexandra Tanner

  • podcast Episode 370: Alexandra Tanner

Episode 369: Guest Host David Levithan

  • podcast Episode 369: Guest Host David Levithan

Episode 368: Darcie Little Badger

  • podcast Episode 368: Darcie Little Badger

Episode 367: J. Drew Lanham

  • podcast Episode 367: J. Drew Lanham

cover image

The Magazine: Kirkus Reviews

Featuring 325 reviews of fiction, nonfiction, children’s, and YA books; also in this issue: interviews with Colm Tóibín, Amy Tan, George Takei, and Bianca Xunise; and more

kirkus star

The Kirkus Star

One of the most coveted designations in the book industry, the Kirkus Star marks books of exceptional merit.

kirkus prize

The Kirkus Prize

The Kirkus Prize is among the richest literary awards in America, awarding $50,000 in three categories annually.

Great Books & News Curated For You

Be the first to read books news and see reviews, news and features in Kirkus Reviews . Get awesome content delivered to your inbox every week.

  • Discover Books Fiction Thriller & Suspense Mystery & Detective Romance Science Fiction & Fantasy Nonfiction Biography & Memoir Teens & Young Adult Children's
  • News & Features Bestsellers Book Lists Profiles Perspectives Awards Seen & Heard Book to Screen Kirkus TV videos In the News
  • Kirkus Prize Winners & Finalists About the Kirkus Prize Kirkus Prize Judges
  • Magazine Current Issue All Issues Manage My Subscription Subscribe
  • Writers’ Center Hire a Professional Book Editor Get Your Book Reviewed Advertise Your Book Launch a Pro Connect Author Page Learn About The Book Industry
  • More Kirkus Diversity Collections Kirkus Pro Connect My Account/Login
  • About Kirkus History Our Team Contest FAQ Press Center Info For Publishers
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms & Conditions
  • Reprints, Permission & Excerpting Policy

© Copyright 2024 Kirkus Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Go To Top

Popular in this Genre

Close Quickview

Hey there, book lover.

We’re glad you found a book that interests you!

Please select an existing bookshelf

Create a new bookshelf.

We can’t wait for you to join Kirkus!

Please sign up to continue.

It’s free and takes less than 10 seconds!

Already have an account? Log in.

Sign in with Google

Trouble signing in? Retrieve credentials.

Almost there!

  • Industry Professional

Welcome Back!

Sign in using your Kirkus account

Contact us: 1-800-316-9361 or email [email protected].

Don’t fret. We’ll find you.

Magazine Subscribers ( How to Find Your Reader Number )

If You’ve Purchased Author Services

Don’t have an account yet? Sign Up.

nyt book review magazine

You have exceeded your limit for simultaneous device logins.

Your current subscription allows you to be actively logged in on up to three (3) devices simultaneously. click on continue below to log out of other sessions and log in on this device., new york times book review reveals top 10 books of 2022 | book pulse.

nyt book review magazine

The New York Times Book Review revealed their top 10 books of the year in a virtual event for subscribers. More best-of-the-year lists arrive. Comedian Rob Delaney’s new memoir, A Heart That Works , gets reviewed and buzz. SFWA Names Robin McKinley the 39th Damon Knight Grand Master. Colm Tóibín will be awarded the Bodley Medal in 2023. Ulrika O’Brien wins 2022 Rotsler Award. Bob Dylan’s autopen flap causes a stir.  NYT  features Tanya Holland’s California Soul: Recipes from a Culinary Journey West . Plus, Merriam-Webster chooses its 2022 word of the year.

Want to get the latest book news delivered to your inbox each day? Sign up for our daily Book Pulse newsletter.

Awards, news & best of the year lists.

nyt book review magazine

BookPage delivers the  Top 10 Books of 2022 . 

NYPL released its Best Books of 2022 list.

OprahDaily shares “Our Favorite Books of the Year.”

The Star Tribune shares 56 great books to give and receive for 2022 . 

SFWA Names Robin McKinley the 39th Damon Knight Grand Master .  Tor reports. 

Irish novelist Colm Tóibín will be awarded the Bodley Medal in 2023, and will give the 2023 Bodley Lecture during the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival.

Ulrika O’Brien wins 2022 Rotsler Award.   Locus has details. 

Essence  highlights the award ceremony for the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize winners .

For commentary on the Bob Dylan autopen flap, see coverage in  LA Times , USA Today , and  Vulture . Plus,  The Guardian considers: “do authors use autopen?”

nyt book review magazine

The Guardian reviews Dickens and Prince: A Particular Kind of Genius by Nick Hornby (Riverhead): “Their creative force operated at a relentless, virtually industrial pace; Hornby’s tribute to their self-destructive genius is ardent but more than a little fearful.”

nyt book review magazine

Datebook reviews Screaming on the Inside: The Unsustainability of American Motherhood by Jessica Grose (Mariner: Houghton Harcourt): “The picture the book paints of American motherhood stands in stark contrast to the gauzy, Instagram world of parenting bliss, which Grose argues is also making us miserable.”

Briefly Noted

nyt book review magazine

USA Today talks with Rob Delaney about writing his latest memoir , A Heart That Works (Spiegel & Grau), after the death of his son Henry. 

LA Times  talks with Robin Coste Lewis about her new poetry collection , To the Realization of Perfect Helplessness (Knopf).

Shondaland  chats with poet Mary-Alice Daniel about her new memoir , A Coastline Is an Immeasurable Thing: A Memoir Across Three Continents (Ecco), and “fallacies and power of borders.”

Publishers Lunch reports that Astra Publishing House is shutting down its literary journal , Astra Magazine after just two issues. 

nyt book review magazine

The New Yorker reflects on “The Year in Rereading.”

Lithub shares 8 new books for the week.

BookRiot highlights new releases .

The Millions has  notable new releases for the week . 

The Atlantic has 7 books to make you smarter.

CrimeReads recommends November’s best debuts . 

ElectricLit provides 7 genre-defying books by women of color.

Lithub shares a personalized booklist from n+1’s November bookmatch service.

Authors on Air

nyt book review magazine

PBS Canvas examines the significance of Merriam-Webster’s 2022 word of the year.   

Misty Copeland discusses her new book ,  The Wind at My Back: Resilience, Grace, and Other Gifts from My Mentor, Raven Wilkinson , written with Susan Fales-Hill (Grand Central), on Q with guest host Talia Schlanger. 

A live-action series adaptation of the Hugo Pratt Corto Maltese graphic novel series is in the works .  Deadline reports. 

Get Print. Get Digital. Get Both!

Add comment :-, comment policy:.

  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

First Name should not be empty !!!

Last Name should not be empty !!!

email should not be empty !!!

Comment should not be empty !!!

You should check the checkbox.

Please check the reCaptcha

nyt book review magazine

Ethan Smith

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

Posted 6 hours ago REPLY

Jane Fitgzgerald

Posted 6 hours ago

Michael Woodward

Continue reading.

Libraries are always evolving. Stay ahead. Log In.

nyt book review magazine

Added To Cart

Related , patricia evangelista wins nypl’s bernstein award for excellence in journalism | book pulse, ben fountain wins joyce carol oates prize | book pulse, john vaillant’s ‘fire weather’ wins shaughnessy cohen prize for political writing | book pulse, the pulitzer prizes are announced | book pulse, ‘this summer will be different’ by carley fortune tops holds lists | book pulse, winners of ibpa benjamin franklin book awards | book pulse, "what is this" design thinking from an lis student.

nyt book review magazine

Run Your Week: Big Books, Sure Bets & Titles Making News | July 17 2018

Story Image

Materials on Hand | Materials Handling

Story Image

LGBTQ Collection Donated to Vancouver Archives

L J image

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, --> Log In

You did not sign in correctly or your account is temporarily disabled

REGISTER FREE to keep reading

If you are already a member, please log in.

Passwords must include at least 8 characters.

Your password must include at least three of these elements: lower case letters, upper case letters, numbers, or special characters.

The email you entered already exists. Please reset your password to gain access to your account.

Create a Password to complete your registration. Get access to:

Uncommon insight and timely information

Thousands of book reviews

Blogs, expert opinion, and thousands of articles

Research reports, data analysis, -->

Add to Cart

New Yorker Magazine

48 Issues: $119.00 Save 23% -->

Readers Digest Magazine

Readers Digest

9 Issues: $24.95 Save 23% -->

Ellery Queens Mystery Magazine

Ellery Queens Mystery

12 Issues: $24.99 Save 23% -->

Alfred Hitchcocks Mystery Magazine

Alfred Hitchcocks Mystery

12 Issues: $22.99 Save 23% -->

Todays Christian Living Magazine

Todays Christian Living

6 Issues: $17.95 Save 23% -->

Asimov Science Fiction Magazine

Asimov Science Fiction

12 Issues: $25.00 Save 23% -->

Harpers Magazine

Harpers Magazine

12 Issues: $21.25 Save 23% -->

Writers Digest Magazine

Writers Digest

6 Issues: $22.99 Save 23% -->

Poets & Writers Magazine

Poets & Writers

6 Issues: $19.90 Save 23% -->

Vital Speeches of the Day

12 Issues: $99.90 Save 23% -->

Write A Review

nyt book review magazine

Quick Navigation

  • Magazine Deals
  • Customer Benefits
  • Shipping & Return Policy
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms & Conditions

Customer Service

  • Price Match Guarantee

Need Help? Contact us anytime.

[email protected]

Payment Methods


� 2009 - 2024. All Rights Reserved.

The Book You’re Reading Might Be Wrong

Most nonfiction isn’t fact-checked. The Kristi Noem saga could change that—but it probably won’t.

Young woman holding book up in air, low angle view

This is an edition of The Atlantic Daily, a newsletter that guides you through the biggest stories of the day, helps you discover new ideas, and recommends the best in culture. Sign up for it here.

If Kristi Noem never actually met the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, then how did that anecdote make it into her memoir? The answer, after these three stories from The Atlantic :

  • It’s not a rap beef. It’s a cultural reckoning.
  • Trump flaunts his corruption.
  • Who really has brain worms?

The Art of the Check

The newsletter you’re reading right now was reviewed by a fact-checker named Sam. Sam spent about an hour this afternoon scrutinizing my words and sentences, and making sure the quotes from my interviews match my recordings. You know what probably didn’t get that kind of review? The book on your nightstand. Or, as it happens, Noem’s new memoir.

Book publishers don’t employ fact-checking teams, and they don’t require a full fact-check before publication. Instead, a book is usually reviewed only by editors and copy editors—people who shape the story’s structure, word choice, and grammar. An editor might catch something incorrect in the process, and a lawyer might examine some claims in the book to ensure that the publisher won’t be sued for defamation. But that’s it. University presses typically use a peer-review process that helps screen for any factual errors. But in publishing more broadly, no one checks every date, quote, or description. It works this way at all of the Big Five publishers, which include HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House, Hachette, and Macmillan. (None of these publishers responded to my requests for comment.)

Whaaat?! you might be thinking, spitting that Thursday glass of merlot all over your screen as every book you’ve ever read flashes before your eyes. Was it all a lie? The answer is no. But books absolutely do go out into the world containing factual errors. For most books, and especially for memoirs, “it’s up to the author to turn in a manuscript that is accurate,” Jane Friedman, a publishing-industry reporter, told me.

A few writers will go out and pay for their own fact-checker. Many don’t—including, evidently, Noem, who, as you may have heard by now, shot her dog in a gravel pit. That incident , which the South Dakota governor wrote about in her memoir, No Going Back , seems to be true. But a passage about the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is probably not. In the book, Noem claims to have met Kim during a congressional trip where he “underestimated” her. At least one former congressional staffer has said that that meeting never happened. And after being questioned about it, Noem’s office said it would be correcting a few errors in the book.

A simple fact-check could have prevented this particular embarrassment for Noem: A checker would have called others who were part of the delegation to verify whether the meeting had taken place. So why don’t publishers fact-check, to avoid this problem in the first place? From the publisher’s perspective, hiring a team of checkers is “a huge expense,” Friedman said—it would “destroy the profitability” of some books. And there are logistical challenges: Fact-checking memoirs, for example, can be difficult, because you’re dealing with people’s memories. But magazines do it all the time.

If authors want their work checked, they generally have to pay for it themselves. Many of my Atlantic colleagues have hired fact-checkers to review their books. But the process is cumbersome and expensive—the editorial equivalent of an “intensive colonoscopy,” as one colleague described it to me recently. The checker pores over every word and sentence of the book, using multiple sources to back up each fact. She listens to all of the author’s audio, reviews transcripts, and calls people to verify quotes. The whole process can take several weeks. One fact-checker I spoke with charges $5,000 to $8,000 for a standard nonfiction book. Others charge more. It makes sense, then, that, as Friedman said, the number of authors who opt for independent fact-checking “is minuscule.”

So what of Noem’s book? Her publisher, Center Street, which is a conservative imprint of Hachette, had a decision to make when the error was discovered: It could conduct an emergency recall of Noem’s books, pulling all of them back from bookstores and Amazon warehouses around the country, and print new, accurate copies, Kathleen Schmidt, a public-relations professional who writes the Substack newsletter Publishing Confidential , explained to me. But that would have been incredibly difficult, she said, given the logistics and extreme expense of both shipping and paper. Center Street issued a statement saying it would remove the Kim anecdote from the audio and ebook versions of No Going Back , as well as from any future reprints. (Noem’s team did not reply to a request for comment about her fact-checking process.)

This means that, for now, Noem’s book, which was officially released on Tuesday, will exist in the world as is. Many people will buy it, read it, and accept as fact that Noem once met—and was underestimated by—Kim Jong Un.

Books have always had a certain heft to them—sometimes literally, but also metaphorically. We tend to believe a book’s contents by virtue of their vessel. “People might be a little less likely to do that if they understood that the publisher is basically just publishing whatever the author said was correct,” Friedman told me.

Maybe this latest incident will spark a change in the publishing industry—but it probably won’t. For now, people should think critically about everything they read, remembering, Friedman said, “that [books] are fallible—as fallible as anything else.”

  • The blurb problem keeps getting worse.
  • The wrath of Goodreads

Today’s News

  • Last night, President Joe Biden said that if Israel launches a large-scale invasion of Rafah, a city in southern Gaza, the U.S. would stop supplying Israel with certain weapons and artillery shells.
  • House Democrats overwhelmingly joined Republicans in rejecting Representative Majorie Taylor Greene’s motion to oust House Speaker Mike Johnson.
  • Barron Trump, Donald Trump’s 18-year-old son, was selected to be a Florida delegate at the Republican National Convention, where he will participate in nominating his father for president.
  • The Weekly Planet : Scientists are debating whether concepts such as memory, consciousness, and communication can be applied beyond the animal kingdom , Zoë Schlanger writes.
  • Time-Travel Thursdays : 50 years ago, the architect Peter Blake questioned everything he thought he knew about modern building, Sam Fentress writes.

Explore all of our newsletters here.

Evening Read

An illustration of a uterus, silhouetted, with a feminine face superimposed in the middle

A Fundamental Stage of Human Reproduction Is Shifting

By Katherine J. Wu

In recent decades , people around the world, especially in wealthy, developed countries , have been starting their families later and later. Since the 1970s, American women have on average delayed the beginning of parenthood from age 21 to 27 ; Korean women have nudged the number past 32 . As more women have kids in their 40s , the average age at which women give birth to any of their kids is now above 30, or fast approaching it, in most high-income nations. Rama Singh, an evolutionary biologist at McMaster University, in Canada, thinks that if women keep having babies later in life, another fundamental reproductive stage could change: Women might start to enter menopause later too. That age currently sits around 50, a figure that some researchers believe has held since the genesis of our species. But to Singh’s mind, no ironclad biological law is stopping women’s reproductive years from stretching far past that threshold. If women decide to keep having kids at older ages, he told me, one day, hundreds of thousands of years from now, menopause could—theoretically—entirely disappear.

Read the full article.

More From The Atlantic

  • What you need to know about making a good impression
  • Watch Apple trash-compact human culture.
  • The biggest way that elections have consequences

Culture Break

The logo for How to Know What's Real

Listen. The trailer for How to Know What’s Real , a new season of the How To podcast series (out on Monday). Co-hosts Megan Garber and Andrea Valdez explore deepfakes, illusions, misinformation, and more.

Read. The writer dream hampton thinks hip-hop is broken . But she can’t stop trying to fix it, Spencer Kornhaber wrote last year.

Play our daily crossword.

A ton of inbreeding is required to produce purebred dogs—and it’s causing serious health problems for them, according to a recent New York Times column by Alexandra Horowitz, a cognitive scientist. Your Frenchie’s parents are likely more closely related than half-siblings! Your golden retriever might have parents that are genetically as close as siblings! Such inbreeding has consequences: A pug’s skull shape makes breathing difficult. German shepherds are prone to hip dysplasia. “As a species, we are so attached to the idea that we should be able to buy a dog who looks however we like—flat of face or fancy of coat—that we are willing to overlook the consequences” for them, Horowitz writes .

Stephanie Bai contributed to this newsletter.

When you buy a book using a link in this newsletter, we receive a commission. Thank you for supporting The Atlantic .


  1. Take a Journey Through 125 Years of Book Review History

    nyt book review magazine

  2. Take a Journey Through 125 Years of Book Review History

    nyt book review magazine

  3. NYT Book Review Editorial Piece on Behance

    nyt book review magazine

  4. New York Times, Book Review

    nyt book review magazine

  5. NYT Book Review Celebrates 125 Years

    nyt book review magazine

  6. Take a Journey Through 125 Years of Book Review History

    nyt book review magazine


  1. T-Shirt Folder Review

  2. Keputusan untuk Childfree #childfree #menikah #tujuanmenikah #bahagia


  1. Book Review

    Reviews, essays, best sellers and children's books coverage from The New York Times Book Review.

  2. The New York Times

    Editors' Choice / Staff Picks From the Book Review. Paperback Row. Minimalist landscapes, maximalist extraterrestrials and schlock movie stars populate this month's offerings. In Freddy. GRAHAM CHAFFEE, AFTER A NINE-YEAR BREAK, The Book Review Podcast. Previous issue date: The New York Times - Book Review - April 28, 2024

  3. The New York Times Book Review

    0028-7806. The New York Times Book Review ( NYTBR) is a weekly paper-magazine supplement to the Sunday edition of The New York Times in which current non-fiction and fiction books are reviewed. It is one of the most influential and widely read book review publications in the industry. [2] The magazine's offices are located near Times Square in ...

  4. The New York Times

    The New York Times - Book Review Now you can read The New York Times - Book Review anytime, anywhere. The New York Times - Book Review is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at the newsstand. Sections and supplements are laid out just as in the print edition, but complemented by a variety of digital tools which enhance the printed ...

  5. Home

    The simplest answer is the timelessness of the story. It is a morality tale.". February 27, 1986 issue. "French politics after 1900 were not the same as before. Perhaps even without the Affair, the new forces—socialists demanding reform, syndicalists calling for direct action, a new right-wing anti-democratic nationalism represented by ...

  6. The Best Books of 2022

    The Book of Goose. by Yiyun Li (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) Fiction. This novel dissects the intense friendship between two thirteen-year-olds, Agnès and Fabienne, in postwar rural France. Believing ...

  7. The New York Times Book Review at a Crossroads

    In the Times ' view, this gives its reviews an authority that surpasses what can be found elsewhere. "In my mind there's an almost platonic notion of what the center is," explained one of ...

  8. 10 Things You Didn't Know About How the NY Times Book Review Works

    Below, find a few things you may or may not have known about how books are assigned, reviewed, and considered for the year-end lists of the paper of record. Way more books come out every year than you think. "The Book Review at The Times reviews about 1% of the books that come out in any given year.". Planning for the Year-End Notable Books ...

  9. The New York Times Book Review

    The New York Times Book Review has been one of the most influential and widely read book review publications in the industry since its first publication in 1896. Reviewers select 20-30 notable or important new titles each week, including exceptional new authors. Now, join book lovers and professionals in subscribing to the stand alone Book Review .

  10. The New York Times Replica Edition

    The New York Times Replica Edition

  11. 'New York Times' Reveals Its Best Books of 2021

    The New York Times Book Review unveiled its list of the 10 best books of the year, with titles by Honorée Fannone Jeffers, Patricia Lockwood, and Clint Smith among those making the cut.. Jeffers was honored for her debut novel, The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois, which was a finalist for this year's Kirkus Prize and longlisted for the National Book Award.

  12. New York Times Book Review Reveals Top 10 Books of 2022

    The New York Times Book Review revealed their top 10 books of the year in a virtual event for subscribers. More best-of-the-year lists arrive. Comedian Rob Delaney's new memoir, A Heart That Works, gets reviewed and buzz. SFWA Names Robin McKinley the 39th Damon Knight Grand Master. Colm Tóibín will be awarded the Bodley Medal in 2023. Ulrika O'Brien wins 2022 Rotsler Award. Bob Dylan ...

  13. New York Times Book Review Magazine Subscription

    About New York Times Book Review Magazine. Discusses current literary trends in several features about books and authors: paperback talk, spring and fall review of new books, and children's and Christmas issues. You May Also Like. Quick view. Readers Digest Large Print. 9 Issues: $24.98. Add to Cart ...

  14. New York Times Book Review Magazine

    NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW MAGAZINE. With a worldwide circulation of over 145,000, The New York Review of Books has established itself, in Esquire's words, as. "the premier literary-intellectual magazine in the English language.". The New York Review began during the New York publishing strike of 1963, when its founding editors, Robert ...

  15. The book you're reading might be wrong

    The book on your nightstand. Or, as it happens, Noem's new memoir. Book publishers don't employ fact-checking teams, and they don't require a full fact-check before publication.