The Book Review

Reviews For The Book Review

While I enjoy the literary news and interviews with authors about new releases, my favorite part of the podcast for the past few years has been the “What we are reading” segment, which introduced countless books I’ve loved that I would have missed or passed over without a second thought. The Towers of Trezibond (Rose Macauley), Wave (Sonali Deraniyagala), and Ghachar Ghochar (Vivek Shanbhag) were some memorable works just in the past year that this segment shared with me. It’s also placed multiple works on my “to read” list that I’ll be scouting out at used bookstores. In the latest podcast, the “What we are reading” segment was not present. I’m hoping this was a short term lapse and that it’ll return next week, or biweekly, with the new reviewer roundup.
Totally biased in the world view. They hate Trump and anybody that voted for him. Blah blah drivel Too bad they could not just give book reviews rather than political bias because that’s what I would’ve like to hear.
The New York Times Book Review podcast is my current favorite bookish podcast because it delivers almost three podcasts in one. Every week there are author interviews handled by the editor, Pamela Paul. Then there is a bit of “news from the literary world.” And finally, several members of the book review staff talk about what they’ve been reading. This is my favorite part.
I did not think that I would enjoy listening to people talk about books I may never read. But I learn about so many books that I want to read. And even the discussions about books I don't want to read are very interesting.
I look forward to this each week. I usually knit while listening. What could be better than knitting, listening to intelligent conversations, and learning about books I add to my reading list?
Quitting this podcast after year listening. This podcast has become 80% a one sided political narrative/20% obvious book industry info. Not worth the time for the minimal new book discovery .
I do like this podcast but recently, there was one woman and two men on the podcast, which really goes against the grain. Women read more books than men, and they buy more books than men. Let's get it straight, especially in light of the recent "Me Too" revelations, which all women were aware of generations ago. If this continues, I just won't care to listen anymore.
with the passing of the host torch, the interviews now lack any sense of wonder or fun. there’s an added “discussion” of “what we are reading.” i could care less - egotistic ny book nerds who like their own vocab. i loved it much more when it included industry news and an overview of the bestsellers. and a sense of humor. it had life. now its the deadly dry lecture you might have thought from the label on the tin. dana former new yorker now in boulder
Really great podcast that provides me information on new books coming out and what books the reviewers are reading. Great interviews. Only caveat is when they are discussing books they are reading there seems to be embarrassment if one is reading nonfiction or a long book as if that is inferior. Get over it people!
I gave a 1 star because of their latest interview of Jill A. on their show. What a ridiculous, self-serving former NYT executive editor they had on their show! The NYT enabled racism and sexism and was instrumental to the destruction of democracy, aka election of Trump, in 2016. That's a fact.
I used to love this podcast, but ever since the election, which apparently didn't go the way the editors wanted, they find any avenue they can to add their digs or political opinions. Please just get back to opinions on the books and great writing. I hope to rejoin the podcast - but telling everyone for now to go to another podcast for the book reviews.
I always start listening to an episode hoping I'll like it but inevitably fail to listen all the way through. The pace feels slow, interviews a bit stale, and I really hate the classical lead in music--feels intentionally pretentious
Love this
Although I use the amazon editor's choice monthly reviews to drive my book choices, I like listening to this podcast for deeper info, snapshots of new books, and hearing discussions of books I've never heard/seen.
The right length at the right depth and the right breadth. Entertaining but also informative. Deft interviews of authors - not the easiest genus of humans to accommodate. Were the rotating cast able to be a bit less NYC-centric, it might help the rest of the country, if not planet, hit the "subscribe" icon. But then again, is not NYC the epicenter of intellectual and entertainment imperialism in the modern world? :-) Paul, Bangkok, Thailand
I enjoy hearing the latest news, but I find the host patronizes her guests. Despite this snobbiness, I still listen to this podcast every week.
I have been a listener to this podcast from the very beginning when it was hosted by Sam Tanenhaus. Even then, it was very good. However, there have been two changes that have vaulted it to the front of my list. First, the new(ish) host Pamela Paul is a delight. I think of her as Terry Gross 2.0: she asks insightful questions, but gets them out much more quickly and is able to cover a lot of ground with her guests in a short amount of time. She is well-prepared (Tanenhaus prided himself on not having read the books his guests wrote, because he felt it gave his reactions freshness and spontaneity; this is complete hogwash). Paul is well-prepared and familiar with the material at hand. The second development that has improved the show is that they have replaced the somewhat-tedious best-seller list review segment at the end with a roundtable discussion among 3 or 4 staffers about what they are currently reading. This segment has turned out to be a delightful surprise: rather than a stuffy, pseudointellectual humblebrag fest of all the great classics they are reading in impossible quantities week after week, it is instead a down-to-earth window into what intelligent and well-read-but-busy people think and feel about the books they are reading: the slog of getting through a long biography; the guilty pleasure of a pot boiler or self-help book, and then, BAM, a deep insight into the nature of life and literature. I cannot recommend this podcast highly enough.
I stumbled across the podcast and figured I would check it out. Love it!
The Times book review podcast was among the first great podcasts, and it remains the best literary podcast around.
but also personal reviews of some books by the hosts. Especially like the "what I'm reading" segment.
Very insightful and entertaining.
I love books. Last year I listened to 106 books. As an avid book consumer, I have always enjoyed the weekly "New York Times Book Review. ". Outstanding! I only just recently started to listen to this podcast. It is exceptional! I love the author interviews and the Staff discussions. Fantastic!
This is the first podcast that I ever subscribed to and my favorite podcast of the 2-3 that I listen to regularly. I find this podcast about books to be very accessible, which is my favorite thing about it. Too many other literature podcasts are too snooty and way above my head, or they are too narrowly focused on a particular genre or author. Some of the interviews with authors are one of a kind, and really allow you to learn more about authors that interest you. I enjoy the newest segment where the hosts discuss the best sellers as well as what they themselves are reading. This is a fun, upbeat, intelligent and captivating podcast for anyone who likes books! I highly recommend it.


By ZelTN
With the exception of their snooty attitude regarding Wuthering Heights, I have enjoyed the comments and perspective of the NYT staff.
It's a great substitute when I can't find the time to read the hard copy. And even when I do read the hard copy, the interviews are a great supplement. I especially enjoy the "What we are reading" segment.
Been a listener since 2012, love how it has evolved and expanded with the new host. Great way to discover and choose your next book.
I always enjoy this podcast. A genuine treat every week.
The interviews with authors are hit-or-miss, but the real reason I listen to his podcast evevery week is the discussion between the employees of the Review of what everyone is reading--it's fun to listen to smart people talk about the books they are are reading in a casual, enthusiastic way. There is also a great weekly interview with someone who highlights the week's news in publishing.
I especially love the interviews with the reviewers, but the author interviews are good, too. It is great to hear an audio update of the bestsellers. Not too keen on the new "what the hosts are reading" segment.
Faithful listener for the last four years, but your recent interview with Jojo Moyes was -- I don't even have words for it. First, the occasion of bringing her on was the premiere of a movie based on her (astonishingly bad) book, which was reviewed three years ago in your paper. So we have a romance novelist who hasn't published anything new in three years. Second, there is a serious backlash going on among the disabled community which is never mentioned in the interview. Instead, we get lots of Jojo talking about how her life was changed by the original review in the NYT. It's framed on her wall! it's everything she hoped a reader would say! Third, I looked up that review after listening to this self-serving nonsense. The reviewer, at one point, quoted from the book ... unfortunately the llines she loved so much were evidence that Jojo didn't know much about the lives of people living with the disability she hooked her story on. (Clue: a person who hasn't used his hands in two years does not have calluses on them.) This whole mess is beneath you guys. I'm embarrassed for you.
This is my first choice when I want to hear about books and authors who write them. I loved listening to Sam for years, and Pamela transitioned easily into the role of host/interviewer a few years ago. Thank you for the anniversary podcast--what a nice inside look at the podcast at inception and the process of interviewing authors. I especially like to hear the "what's happening in the literary world" section. Even though I don't read as much as I'd like, I love hearing about books. Keep up the great work!
For two weeks the pod cast has been off - technical reason. It sounds like its running on double time. Not worth listening to until this is fixed.
This is not a show with book reviews, it is ABOUT books and the Sunday book review section. It is refreshing to hear a host who has a wide knowledge of many topics and the publishing industry who can seriously address a book's content, as well as its context in the culture. Pamela Paul asks solid questions and follows up, but she is also willing to be curious and playful. I continue to enjoy the regular dispatches from the rest of the editorial team at the Book Review.
I used to love this 5 stars when Sam did it. Now I like it 4.
This podcast has its moments, but it’s essentially a book marketing tool for authors. Rarely have I heard actual criticism on here. It really should be renamed, it’s not a review at all. Still, has its moments.
I totally miss Sam Tanenhaus. I still listen to this regularly, but it’s not nearly as good as when Sam hosted.
Nobody else can match the mix of author interviews (fiction and nonfiction, reference and poetry), commentary by reviewers, and industry news that one hears every week on the New York Times Book Review Podcast. Pamela Paul clearly loves her job and loves speaking with people about books and writing, and this passion shows in every episode.
If you love books or are interested in the business of the book industry, you need to listen to this podcast. It is a must listen for me each week. Keep up the fantastic work.
I have so little time that I rely on the Book Review to keep me informed of new works of interest and even what’s trending on the best sellers list. I really enjoy the industry scoops. But I miss Sam. I find Pamela Paul a little dull. Wish there was a way I could skip the interviews when they are boring or, worse, and get to the thick of things. And the other problem is WHEN DOES THE PODCAST get produced and distributed? Friday? Saturday? Whatever. Need more enthusiasm.
I like this podcast very much and will probably continue to listen to it because the guests are always interesting. However, the host can be aggravating. Her questions are more like essays, designed to illustrate how much she knows. Also, she interrupts her guests sometimes, which is not only rude, but also shows a disregard for the fact that the audience is tuning in to hear the guests, not her. I wish she would edit herself a bit more.
Updating comments posted in May 2013, I find Pamela Paul much easier to listen to than I did initially, and have come to enjoy the podcast nearly as much as I did with the previous host.
Like many others, I am a Sam fan girl, but Sam has moved on and Pamela is working hard to give this podcast her own stamp. I loved his theme music, and I love Pamela's choice, as well. More importantly, we still hear interesting guests who talk about the latest books, and we still have a solid format. I look forward to it every week.
I've been a podcast listener since inception and, while there have been many changes over the years, the most recent changes are rather irksome. The new host is a little dry and tentative, but I am sure Pamela Paul will feel her way into her role. Sam and Dwight were also awkward early on; they are editors first and podcasters second. My first complaint is pedantic: The new intro music starts the whole show off on the wrong foot. I love instrumental music, but pretentiousness wafts in with every up-bow undertaken. My second grievance is more weighted, being of a content based nature: From zero hour this show has mutated into a non-fiction review. Perhaps it is simply coincidence. At first I thought there was simply a slow month in fiction publishing, but it now seems to be a trend. Please return to a balanced approach! It may seem demanding, but, as a voracious reader, I want it all.
Great podcast..I have been listening for a long time. I am hopeful the new host will work out, but one thing that does bug me is the new music. Music plays an important part in setting the tone. I wish they consider changing it.
i used to love this potcast and it was a 5-star show, but since the new host took over i'm less and less engaged w the show. i don't like the selections of the books - my gut is pamela chose to discuss the books SHE likes, and it seems she has a pretty narrow interest span. i used to get real updates in the publishing world from sam but it's no more. i even don't like the new music. i miss sam!
The content of the podcast is GREAT! Otherwise, the production NEEDS a lot of work! The podcast does not update on the subscription on my iPhone; the podcasts themselves have no description; and the new host definitely needs to inject some enthusiasm and at least pretend she is greatful to be where she is.
The book review podcast has really turned south since Pamela Paul took over. She has no radio voice, seems distracted and uninterested in the podcast. Sam was engaging, vibrant and made the podcast what it is. Hopefully she will take some broadcast lessons or bring Sam back to host the podcast.
Pamela Paul seems BUMMED OUT. Maybe she's just finding her way as the new head honcho, but she conveys zero enthusiasm for this podcasting gig, and her indifference has sucked the life out of what used to be a lively, quick-thinking show. I mean, as much as Sam Tanenhaus may have occasionally given off a creepy-uncle vibe, at least there was some bounce in his voice, some energy and direction in his interviews. He embraced his role as the peppy, cheesy master of ceremonies. Is Pamela Paul too cool to do something similar? Anyway, I've been a long-time listener, and will continue to be a podcast subscriber, but I hope someone in the control room tells Paul to force herself to smile as she speaks (an old radio broadcaster's trick, I think) and gives her a few Brooke Gladstone tapes.


By D Berne
I'm happy to hear Sam will be moving on to what I am sure is a great freedom for him professionally (although he will be missed in the printed Review), but who can possibly fill his shoes at the Book Review podcast??
Since the last two "Podcasts" apps were set up, NYT Book Review hasn't worked. If I try to download what claims to be the latest episode I get a random episode from months ago. I don't want to stream to listen to this podcast. I LOVE the podcast but am not always where I can listen to a stream. Please, please fix this. It may be the horrible new iTunes podcast app's problem, but bring me back Sam Tanenhaus and great interviews.