A “delightful” (Vanity Fair) collection from the longest-running, most influential book review in America, featuring its best, funniest, strangest, and most memorable coverage over the past 125 years.
Since its first issue on October 10, 1896, The New York Times Book Review has brought the world of ideas to the reading public. It is the publication where authors have been made, and where readers first encountered the classics that have enriched their lives.
Now the editors have curated the Book Review’s dynamic 125-year history, which is essentially the story of modern American letters. Brimming with remarkable reportage and photography, this beautiful book collects interesting reviews, never-before-heard anecdotes about famous writers, and spicy letter exchanges. Here are the first takes on novels we now consider masterpieces, including a long-forgotten pan of Anne of Green Gables and a rave of Mrs. Dalloway, along with reviews and essays by Langston Hughes, Eudora Welty, James Baldwin, Nora Ephron, and more.
With scores of stunning vintage photographs, many of them sourced from the Times’s own archive, readers will discover how literary tastes have shifted through the years—and how the Book Review’s coverage has shaped so much of what we read today.
Tina Jordan is the deputy editor of The New York Times Book Review. Before joining The Times, Tina was the longtime books editor at Entertainment Weekly, where she worked since the magazine's founding.
Noor Qasim is a writer and editor. From 2020 to 2021, she served as the editing fellow of The New York Times Book Review.
The New York Times is dedicated to helping people understand the world through on-the-ground, expert, and deeply reported independent journalism. Their mission is simple: They seek the truth and help people understand the world. This mission is rooted in their belief that great journalism has the power to make each reader's life richer and more fulfilling, and all of society stronger and more just. The Times has received 130 Pulitzer Prizes.
“A fascinating selection of reviews, letters, interviews, essays, announcements, book lists, bits of gossip and op-ed pieces published in the supplement since its first appearance on Oct. 10, 1896 . . . An ebullient celebration of literature.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“[A] meticulously crafted celebration of the written word . . . Each chapter is full of entertaining reviews and book covers, plus delightful photos. Literature lovers are in for a real treat.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)