Share 11 Great Books from Our Favorite New Yorker Writers

11 Great Books from Our Favorite New Yorker Writers

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The New Yorker will be a reflection in word and picture of metropolitan life. It will be human. Its general tenor will be one of gaiety, wit and satire, but it will be more than a jester. It will be not what is commonly called sophisticated, in that it will assume a reasonable degree of enlightenment on the part of its readers. It will hate bunk.”

This is the way Harold Ross described The New Yorker in an investor’s prospectus in 1925. Now in its ninetieth year, the magazine has become an American cultural landmark. Known for its acute fact-checking, literary clarity, and unique narrative-driven journalism, its writers and contributors have produced some of the most significant contributions to American letters in the modern era. Here are a few of our favorite books by The New Yorker staff, past and present.


Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen
by Mary Norris

Mary Norris, a longtime copyeditor at the New Yorker, waxes romantic about proper punctuation and grammar in this humorous memoir. You don’t have to appreciate declensions and the subjunctive to get caught up in her charming prose. The Washington Post calls it “porn for word nerds.” If that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will.

Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen
Mary Norris

Mary Norris, a longtime copyeditor at the New Yorker, waxes romantic about proper punctuation and grammar in this humorous memoir. You don’t have to appreciate declensions and the subjunctive to get caught up in her charming prose. The Washington Post calls it “porn for word nerds.” If that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will.

MENTIONED IN:

7 Books that Celebrate the Beauty of Language

By Elaine Wilson | November 17, 2015

11 Great Books from Our Favorite New Yorker Writers

By Off the Shelf Staff | July 16, 2015

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White Girls
by Hilton Als

One of the magazine’s boldest cultural critics deftly weaves together his brilliant analyses of literature, art, and music with fearless insights on race, gender, and history.

White Girls
Hilton Als

One of the magazine’s boldest cultural critics deftly weaves together his brilliant analyses of literature, art, and music with fearless insights on race, gender, and history.

MENTIONED IN:

11 Great Books from Our Favorite New Yorker Writers

By Off the Shelf Staff | July 16, 2015

12 Essential Reads for Black History Month

By Caitlin Kleinschmidt | February 26, 2015

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Up In The Old Hotel
by Joseph Mitchell

Saloon-keepers and street preachers, gypsies and steel-walking Mohawks, a bearded lady and a ninety-three-year-old “seafoodetarian” who believes his specialized diet will keep him alive for another two decades. These are among the characters that Joseph Mitchell—known for his precise, respectful observation, graveyard humor, and offhand perfection of style—immortalized in his reportage for the magazine.

Up In The Old Hotel
Joseph Mitchell

Saloon-keepers and street preachers, gypsies and steel-walking Mohawks, a bearded lady and a ninety-three-year-old “seafoodetarian” who believes his specialized diet will keep him alive for another two decades. These are among the characters that Joseph Mitchell—known for his precise, respectful observation, graveyard humor, and offhand perfection of style—immortalized in his reportage for the magazine.

MENTIONED IN:

8 Books We (Rightfully) Judged by Their Covers

By Off the Shelf Staff | August 15, 2017

11 Great Books from Our Favorite New Yorker Writers

By Off the Shelf Staff | July 16, 2015

Gypsies, Bearded Ladies, and Oysters: Joseph Mitchell’s Love Letters to New York

By Allison Tyler | April 15, 2014

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David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
by Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, suffer from a disability, lose a parent, attend a mediocre school, or endure any number of other apparent setbacks.

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, suffer from a disability, lose a parent, attend a mediocre school, or endure any number of other apparent setbacks.

MENTIONED IN:

11 Great Books from Our Favorite New Yorker Writers

By Off the Shelf Staff | July 16, 2015

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Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China
by Evan Osnos

This vibrant, colorful, and revelatory inner history of China during a moment of profound transformation was the winner of the 2014 National Book Award for Nonfiction.

Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China
Evan Osnos

This vibrant, colorful, and revelatory inner history of China during a moment of profound transformation was the winner of the 2014 National Book Award for Nonfiction.

MENTIONED IN:

11 Great Books from Our Favorite New Yorker Writers

By Off the Shelf Staff | July 16, 2015

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Bad Paper: Chasing Debt from Wall Street to the Underworld
by Jake Halpern

The Federal Trade Commission receives more complaints about rogue debt collecting than about any other activity besides identity theft. Dramatically and entertainingly, Halpern reveals why.

Bad Paper: Chasing Debt from Wall Street to the Underworld
Jake Halpern

The Federal Trade Commission receives more complaints about rogue debt collecting than about any other activity besides identity theft. Dramatically and entertainingly, Halpern reveals why.

MENTIONED IN:

11 Great Books from Our Favorite New Yorker Writers

By Off the Shelf Staff | July 16, 2015

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Sixty Stories
by Donald Barthelme

With these audacious and murderously witty stories, Donald Barthelme throws the preoccupations of our time into the literary equivalent of a Cuisinart and serves up a gorgeous blend of American culture, high and low. Like all of Barthelme’s work, these stories are triumphs of language and perception, at once unsettling and irresistible.

Sixty Stories
Donald Barthelme

With these audacious and murderously witty stories, Donald Barthelme throws the preoccupations of our time into the literary equivalent of a Cuisinart and serves up a gorgeous blend of American culture, high and low. Like all of Barthelme’s work, these stories are triumphs of language and perception, at once unsettling and irresistible.

MENTIONED IN:

11 Great Books from Our Favorite New Yorker Writers

By Off the Shelf Staff | July 16, 2015

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Speedboat
by Renata Adler

When this novel burst onto the scene in the late 1970s it was like nothing readers had encountered before. It disregards the rules of the novel, but wears its unconventionality with ease.

Speedboat
Renata Adler

When this novel burst onto the scene in the late 1970s it was like nothing readers had encountered before. It disregards the rules of the novel, but wears its unconventionality with ease.

MENTIONED IN:

11 Great Books from Our Favorite New Yorker Writers

By Off the Shelf Staff | July 16, 2015

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About Alice
by Calvin Trillin

Though it deals with devastating loss, Calvin Trillin has created a gift to the wife he adored, a woman who, in the words of a friend, “managed to navigate the tricky waters between living a life you could be proud of and still delighting in the many things there are to take pleasure in.”

About Alice
Calvin Trillin

Though it deals with devastating loss, Calvin Trillin has created a gift to the wife he adored, a woman who, in the words of a friend, “managed to navigate the tricky waters between living a life you could be proud of and still delighting in the many things there are to take pleasure in.”

MENTIONED IN:

11 Great Books from Our Favorite New Yorker Writers

By Off the Shelf Staff | July 16, 2015

A Brief Ode to a Long and Beautiful Marriage

By Leslie Kendall Dye | May 18, 2015

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Hand Drawn Jokes for Smart Attractive People
by Matthew Diffee

From a long-time cartoonist for the magazine, this collection offers a hilarious mix of cartoons, visual riffs, and illustrated one-liners that will appeal to anyone who is beautiful and intelligent.

Hand Drawn Jokes for Smart Attractive People
Matthew Diffee

From a long-time cartoonist for the magazine, this collection offers a hilarious mix of cartoons, visual riffs, and illustrated one-liners that will appeal to anyone who is beautiful and intelligent.

MENTIONED IN:

11 Great Books from Our Favorite New Yorker Writers

By Off the Shelf Staff | July 16, 2015

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