The New York Times Book Review

The New York Times Book Review (NYTBR) is a weekly paper-magazine supplement to 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 offices are located near Times Square in New York City.

The New York Times Book Review
New York Times Book Review cover June 13 2004
Cover from June 13, 2004
EditorPamela Paul[1]
First issueOctober 10, 1896
CompanyThe New York Times
Based inNew York, New York


The New York Times has published a book review section since October 10, 1896, announcing:

We begin today the publication of a Supplement which contains reviews of new books ... and other interesting matter ... associated with news of the day.

— October 10, 1896, The New York Times[3]

The target audience is an intelligent, general-interest adult reader.[2] The Times publishes two versions each week, one with a cover price sold via subscription, bookstores and newsstands; the other with no cover price included as an insert in each Sunday edition of the Times (the copies are otherwise identical).

Each week the NYTBR receives 750 to 1000 books from authors and publishers in the mail, of which 20 to 30 are chosen for review.[2] Books are selected by the "preview editors" who read over 1,500 advance galleys a year.[4] The selection process is based on finding books that are important and notable, as well as discovering new authors whose books stand above the crowd.[2] Self-published books are generally not reviewed as a matter of policy.[2] Books not selected for review are stored in a "discard room" and then sold.[2] As of 2006, Barnes & Noble arrived about once a month to purchase the contents of the discard room, and the proceeds are then donated by NYTBR to charities.[2] Books that are actually reviewed are usually donated to the reviewer.[2]

As of 2015, all review critics are freelance; the NYTBR does not have staff critics.[5] In prior years, the NYTBR did have in-house critics, or a mix of in-house and freelance.[2] For freelance critics, they are assigned an in-house "preview editor" who works with them in creating the final review.[2] Freelance critics might be employees of The New York Times whose main duties are in other departments.[5] They also include professional literary critics, novelists, academics and artists who write reviews for the NYTBR on a regular basis.[5]

Other duties on staff include a number of senior editors and a chief editor; a team of copy editors; a letter pages editor who reads letters to the editor; columnists who write weekly columns, such as the "Paperback Row" column; a production editor; a web and Internet publishing division; and other jobs.[2] In addition to the magazine there is an Internet site that offers additional content, including audio interviews with authors, called the "Book Review Podcast".[2]

The book review publishes each week the widely cited and influential New York Times Best Seller list, which is created by the editors of the Times "News Surveys" department.[6]

Pamela Paul was named senior editor in spring 2013. Sam Tanenhaus was senior editor from the spring of 2004 to spring 2013.

Best Books of the Year and Notable Books

Each year, around the beginning of December, a "100 Notable Books of the Year" list is published.[7] It contains fiction and non-fiction titles of books previously reviewed, 50 of each. From the list of 100, 10 books are awarded the "Best Books of the Year" title, five each of fiction and non-fiction. Other year-end lists include the Best Illustrated Children's Books, in which 10 books are chosen by a panel of judges.


In 2010, Stanford professors Alan Sorenson and Jonah Berger published a study examining the effect on book sales from positive or negative reviews in The New York Times Book Review.[8][9] They found all books benefited from positive reviews, while popular or well-known authors were negatively impacted by negative reviews.[8][9] Lesser-known authors benefited from negative reviews; in other words, bad publicity actually boosted book sales.[8][9]

A study published in 2012, by university professor and author Roxane Gay, found that 90 percent of the New York Times book reviews published in 2011 were of books by white authors.[10] Gay said, "The numbers reflect the overall trend in publishing where the majority of books published are written by white writers."[10] At the time of the report, the racial makeup of the United States was 72 percent white, according to the 2010 census (it includes Hispanic and Latino Americans who identify as white).[10]

See also


  1. ^ "» Pamela Paul is named New York Times Book Review editor JIMROMENESKO.COM".
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Inside The New York Times Book Review". C-SPAN. October 17, 2006. Retrieved April 12, 2015. A behind-the-scenes tour of the offices of the New York Times Book Review showed how an issue is created. Editor Sam Tanenhaus guided the tour through the editorial and production process of review while staff members described their various responsibilities. Included were selecting and rejecting books; choosing reviewers for books; fact checking and editing the review; composing the layout design; creating headlines, blurbs, and artwork; and selecting and editing letters from readers.
  3. ^ The New York Times, October 10, 1896. Inaugural book review issue (announced on page 4, column 1)
  4. ^ Noah Charney (August 8, 2012). "Inside the NYT Book Review: 'How I Write' Interviews Sam Tanenhaus". The Daily Beast. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
  5. ^ a b c Pamela Paul (January 1, 2016). "Answering the Most Frequent Questions About the Book Review". New York Times Book Review. Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  6. ^ Allen Pierleoni (January 22, 2012). "Best-sellers lists: How they work and who they (mostly) work for". The Sacramento Bee. Archived from the original on January 25, 2012. Retrieved August 13, 2014.
  7. ^ "HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE; 100 Notable Books of 2010". The New York Times. December 5, 2010. p. 28. Retrieved January 7, 2011. (Page has links to previous years also.)
  8. ^ a b c Alan Sorenson, Jonah Berger. "Positive Effects of Negative Publicity: When Negative Reviews Increase Sales". Marketing Science, Vol. 29, No. 5, September–October 2010, pp. 815–827.
  9. ^ a b c Jenny Thai, "Bad publicity may boost book sales", The Stanford Daily, February 23, 2011.
  10. ^ a b c Roxane Gay (June 6, 2012). "Where Things Stand". The Rumpus. Retrieved June 13, 2012.

External links

1955 in poetry

Nationality words link to articles with information on the nation's poetry or literature (for instance, Irish or France).

Amal El-Mohtar

Amal El-Mohtar is a Canadian poet and writer of speculative fiction. She has published short fiction, poetry, essays and reviews, and has edited the fantastic poetry quarterly magazine Goblin Fruit since 2006.Beginning in February 2018, she reviews science fiction and fantasy books for the New York Times Book Review. She lives in Ottawa, Ontario where she has worked as a creative writing instructor at Carleton University and the University of Ottawa.

Between Hope and History

Between Hope and History: Meeting America's Challenges for the 21st Century is a 1996 book by then-incumbent United States President Bill Clinton. It was published by Random House in September 1996 in the lead up to the 1996 US presidential election, partly as a means to reach out to the electorate.

The New York Times Book Review described it as "A snapshot of President Clinton's "New Democratic" philosophy as he segues from his first to (he hopes) his second term."

Christopher Lehmann-Haupt

Christopher Lehmann-Haupt (14 June 1934 – November 7, 2018) was an American journalist, editor of the New York Times Book Review, critic, and novelist, based in New York City. He served as senior Daily Book Reviewer from 1969 to 1995.

Kate Christensen

Kate Christensen (born August 22, 1962) is an American novelist. She won the 2008 PEN/Faulkner Award for her fourth novel, The Great Man, about a painter and the three women in his life. Her previous novels are In the Drink (1999), Jeremy Thrane (2001), and The Epicure's Lament: A Novel (2004). Her fifth novel, Trouble: A Novel (2009), was released in paperback by Vintage/Anchor in June 2010. Her sixth novel, The Astral: A Novel, was published in hardcover by Doubleday in June 2011. She is also the author of two food-related memoirs, Blue Plate Special (Doubleday, 2013) and How To Cook A Moose: A Culinary Memoir (Islandport Press, 2015), which won the 2016 Maine Literary Award for memoir.She is a graduate of Reed College and the Iowa Writers Workshop. Her essays, articles, reviews, and stories have appeared in many anthologies and periodicals, including The New York Times Book Review, Bookforum, Elle, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Food & Wine, Cherry Bombe, and the Jewish Daily Forward.

Kathryn Harrison

Kathryn Harrison (born March 20, 1961, in Los Angeles, California) is an American author. She has published seven novels, two memoirs, two collections of personal essays, a travelogue, two biographies, and a book of true crime. She reviews regularly for The New York Times Book Review.

Ken Tucker

Kenneth Tucker is an American arts, music and television critic, magazine editor, and non-fiction book writer.

Lists of The New York Times Fiction Best Sellers

This is a list of lists by year of The New York Times Fiction Best Sellers.

The New York Times Best Seller list was first published without fanfare on 12 October 1931. It consisted of five fiction and four non-fiction for the New York City region only. The following month the list was expanded to eight cities, with a separate list for each city.By the early 1940s, fourteen cities were included. A national list was created 9 April 1942, in The New York Times Book Review (Sundays) as a supplement to the regular paper's city lists (Monday edition). The national list ranked by weighting how many times the book appeared in each city list.A few years later, the city lists were eliminated leaving only the national rankings, which was compiled according to "reports from leading booksellers in 22 cities," a system which remains, although the specifics have changed.

Marilyn Stasio

Marilyn Stasio is a New York City area author, writer and literary critic. She has been the "Crime Columnist" for The New York Times Book Review since about 1988, having written over 650 reviews as of January 2009. She says she reads "a few" crime books a year professionally (about 150) and many more for pleasure. She also writes for Variety, The New York Post, New York magazine and others. She has served as a dramaturg at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center.


NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity is a book by Steve Silberman that discusses autism and neurodiversity. Neurotribes was awarded the Samuel Johnson Prize in 2015, and has received wide acclaim from both the scientific and the popular press. It was named to a number of "best books of 2015" lists, including The New York Times Book Review, and The Guardian.

Per Petterson

Per Petterson (born 18 July 1952 in Oslo) is a Norwegian novelist. His debut book was Aske i munnen, sand i skoa (1987), a collection of short stories. He has since published a number of novels to good reviews. To Siberia (1996), set in the Second World War, was published in English in 1998 and nominated for the Nordic Council's Literature Prize. I kjølvannet, translated as In the Wake (2002), is a young man's story of losing his family in the Scandinavian Star ferry disaster in 1990 (Petterson himself lost his mother, father, younger brother and a niece in the disaster); it won the Brage Prize for 2000. His 2008 novel Jeg forbanner tidens elv (I Curse the River of Time) won The Nordic Council's Literature Prize for 2009, with an English translation published in 2010.

His breakthrough novel was Ut og stjæle hester (2003), which was awarded two top literary prizes in Norway – the Norwegian Critics Prize for Literature and the Booksellers’ Best Book of the Year Award. The 2005 English language translation, Out Stealing Horses, was awarded the 2006 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the 2007 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (the world's largest monetary literary prize for a single work of fiction published in English, €100,000). Out Stealing Horses was named one of the 10 best books of the year in the 9 December 2007 issue of the New York Times Book Review.Petterson is a trained librarian. He has worked as a bookstore clerk, translator and literary critic before becoming a full-time writer. He cites Knut Hamsun and Raymond Carver among his influences.Petterson's works have been translated into almost 50 languages.

Philip Roth bibliography

This is a bibliography of works by and about Philip Roth.

Pigs in Heaven

Pigs in Heaven (ISBN 9780060168018) is a 1993 novel by Barbara Kingsolver; it is the sequel to her first novel, The Bean Trees. It continues the story of Taylor Greer and Turtle, her adopted Cherokee daughter. It highlights the strong relationships between mothers and daughters, with special attention given to the customs, history, and present living situation of the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma. It is Kingsolver's first book to appear on the New York Times Best Seller list.The New York Times Book Review praised Kingsolver's "extravagantly gifted narrative voice" and called the novel a "resounding achievement".

Run Silent, Run Deep

Run Silent, Run Deep is a novel by Commander (later Captain) Edward L. Beach Jr. published in 1955 by Henry Holt & Co. Run Silent, Run Deep is also the name of a 1958 film of the same name starring Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster. The story describes World War II submarine warfare in the Pacific Ocean, and deals with themes of vengeance, endurance, courage, loyalty and honor, and how these can be tested during wartime. The name refers to "silent running", a submarine stealth tactic.

It was the first of Beach's 13 novels. He told an interviewer that writing, for the most part, came easily:

Things have to happen, one thing happens after another. All of a sudden you come to an impasse, damn it, and you throw it away and start over again. The subs [Submarine!, 1952, nonfiction] I did okay, but writing about women–I never had so much trouble in my life as with this one.

The novel was on The New York Times Book Review list for several months. The staff of the New York Times Book Review included it on their list of 250 Outstanding Books of the Year. Beach served on submarines in the Pacific Ocean during the war, and this adds to the realism of the story. He composed two sequels to Run Silent, Run Deep: Dust on the Sea (1972), a third person narrative detailing later patrols of the Eel; and Cold is the Sea (1978), about the same protagonist's later service on a nuclear-powered submarine in 1960.Run Silent, Run Deep proved to be the best-known of Beach's novels.

Shop Talk

Shop Talk: A Writer and His Colleagues and Their Work is a collection of previously published interviews with important 20th-century writers by novelist Philip Roth. Among the writers interviewed are Primo Levi, Aharon Appelfeld, Ivan Klima, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Milan Kundera, and Edna O'Brien. In addition, the book contains a discussion with Mary McCarthy about Roth's novel The Counterlife and a New Yorker essay on Saul Bellow. Roth's trip to Israel to interview Appelfeld inspired his novel Operation Shylock.

The Anatomy Lesson (Morley novel)

The Anatomy Lesson (1995) is a novel by John David Morley, inspired by Rembrandt’s painting The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp.

The New York Times Best Seller list

The New York Times Best Seller list is widely considered the preeminent list of best-selling books in the United States. Published weekly in The New York Times Book Review, the best-seller list has been published in the Times since October 12, 1931. In recent years it has evolved into multiple lists in different categories, broken down by fiction and non-fiction, hardcover, paperback, and electronic, and different genres.

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