Have women’s backs replaced galoshes as the go-to book cover image? Sure seems that way. There have been an awful lot of new books coming out lately that show a women’s back on the cover, Chloë Schama notes in this weekend’s New York Times Book Review.
“A plague of women’s backs is upon us in the book cover world,” Ms. Schama writes. And she has the evidence to back it up.
Reviews of Reviews
The New York Times Book Review is modernizing under the editorship of Pamela Paul, who was appointed to the positon in early April. The section announced three changes in a new column in this Sunday’s issue (it was posted online today). Starting this weekend, the e-book bestseller list, which first joined the printed list in early 2011, will be online only. Additionally, book prices will no longer be included for any books.
You have to love The New York Times’ ridiculously ethical refusal to look out for their own in reviews. If you haven’t already, check out Rice history professor Douglas Brinkley’s review of Times correspondent Jodi Kantor’s The Obamas in this week’s New York Times Book Review, one of the more condescending and (sorry) gendered reviews we’ve seen in a long time.
With weeks of media hype and White House blowback muddying the water surrounding The Obamas, one can imagine how the freelancer assigned to review it might not be able to pass up the opportunity to flay a Times reporter in her own backyard. (See Michael Kinsley’s review of Times documentary Page One.) But Mr. Brinkley’s review wasn’t negative, it was just dismissive.
“Call it chick nonfiction, if you will,” he wrote. (We probably won’t, thanks.) “This book is not about politics, it’s about marriage, or at least one marriage, and a notably successful one at that.”