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Avid Reader
Avid Reader: A Life | Robert Gottlieb
20 posts | 8 read | 17 to read
A spirited and revealing memoir by the most celebrated editor of his time After editing The Columbia Review, staging plays at Cambridge, and a stint in the greeting-card department of Macy's, Robert Gottlieb stumbled into a job at Simon and Schuster. By the time he left to run Alfred A. Knopf a dozen years later, he was the editor in chief, having discovered and edited Catch-22 and The American Way of Death, among other bestsellers. At Knopf, Gottlieb edited an astonishing list of authors, including Toni Morrison, John Cheever, Doris Lessing, John le Carr, Michael Crichton, Lauren Bacall, Katharine Graham, Robert Caro, Nora Ephron, and Bill Clinton--not to mention Bruno Bettelheim and Miss Piggy. In Avid Reader, Gottlieb writes with wit and candor about succeeding William Shawn as the editor of The New Yorker, and the challenges and satisfactions of running America's preeminent magazine. Sixty years after joining Simon and Schuster, Gottlieb is still at it--editing, anthologizing, and, to his surprise, writing. But this account of a life founded upon reading is about more than the arc of a singular career--one that also includes a lifelong involvement with the world of dance. It's about transcendent friendships and collaborations, "elective affinities" and family, psychoanalysis and Bakelite purses, the alchemical relationship between writer and editor, the glory days of publishing, and--always--the sheer exhilaration of work. Photograph of Bob Gottlieb by Jill Krementz
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ValerieAndBooks
Avid Reader: A Life | Robert Gottlieb
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Pickpick

I enjoyed this for the most part — Gottlieb‘s memoir focuses almost completely on his life and career in publishing and perhaps intentionally less on family. I liked his insights on authors (several may be more familiar to older readers like me) and books he worked with. Added a few to the TBR!

Leftcoastzen I liked it too!I like seeing how the sausage is made....sometimes !😂 1mo
ValerieAndBooks Haha, yes!! An interesting behind the scenes look. 3w
74 likes2 comments
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ValerieAndBooks
Avid Reader: A Life | Robert Gottlieb
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It‘s hard to imagine that Catch-22 almost was Catch-18 or another number, but here‘s the story of how it happened.

tjwill I love this story. 1mo
ValerieAndBooks @tjwill Agree! Any other number just doesn‘t have the same ring to it. 1mo
49 likes2 comments
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ValerieAndBooks
Avid Reader: A Life | Robert Gottlieb
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“Jane Austen had pinned me to the wall.”

Book editor Robert Gottlieb tells us how he discovers “some kind of moral compass “ after reading Emma and other novels. (page 11).

BookBabe 😄🙌🏻 1mo
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MrBook
Avid Reader: A Life | Robert Gottlieb
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Staff Picks for August are now up! Took me awhile, but I got it done.

Have you read any of these fine choices my colleague made?! The one on the top-right is Diana Athill‘s “Stet”.

#LitsyLovesLibraries

cathysaid Absolutely love The Shadow of the Wind...the best of Zafon's books IMHO. 2mo
Leftcoastzen I have read Avid Reader and The Library Book , loved them ! 2mo
Lindy ❤️Diana Athill 2mo
Lcsmcat I‘ve read 4, and liked some more than others. 2mo
74 likes4 comments
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Nag1
Avid Reader: A Life | Robert Gottlieb

“To know anything you have to know everything..” Robert Gottlieb

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SharonGoforth
Avid Reader: A Life | Robert Gottlieb
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Not sure where the lit quizzes are that everyone is posting, so I just went online and picked one. Obviously it isn't the same, but I like the result (and the graphic) 😊.

saresmoore Oh, the graphic is very nice! The other quiz is a Buzzfeed, and it's pretty silly. https://www.buzzfeed.com/farrahpenn/we-know-what-type-of-book-nerd-you-are?utm_t... 2y
SharonGoforth Thanks Sara, I'll check it out! 2y
59 likes2 comments
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Jdscott50
Avid Reader: A Life | Robert Gottlieb
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"I felt then, and still do, that readers shouldn't be made aware of editorial interventions; they have a right to feel that what they're reading comes direct from the author to them." *cough* Go Set a Watchman *cough*

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Jdscott50
Avid Reader: A Life | Robert Gottlieb
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...this was a milestone in my education about publishing--grasping the fact that the act of publishing is essentially the act of making public one's own enthusiasm." Thrilling to read about how some of the great novels of the last 50 years came to life.

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H.Louise
Avid Reader: A Life | Robert Gottlieb
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...and here are the books I bought myself the past few weeks. I'm thinking of limiting my purchase of books to a mere 24 in the new year so I'm going a little crazy. I really need to conquer my huge tbr pile but can I really stop bringing books home?

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TiffReadsAndRuns
Avid Reader: A Life | Robert Gottlieb
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Panpan

This book disappointed me. It's a gossipy memoir of venerated editor Robert Gottlieb and I enjoyed his stories about legendary books he edited. But his insistence of describing the beauty and charm of every women, his supposedly intimate relationships with a staggeringly unreal amount of people, and the noticeable lack of his wife and children make this is a strange read. At the very least, this great editor needed more editing in this book.

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scripturient
Avid Reader: A Life | Robert Gottlieb
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Well, you all understand of course, but sometimes I feel like printing this on a t-shirt for the rest of the world. 😊❤

Thessalia True story 3y
Tanner I'd buy that shirt! 3y
MargaretPinardAuthor I have that shirt! 3y
151 likes3 comments
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TiffReadsAndRuns
Avid Reader: A Life | Robert Gottlieb
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"Professionalism. Again and again I've bored young hopefuls with the unexciting news that though you can't legislate talent into yourself, you can legislate efficiency. It certainly helped my early career that I turned manuscripts around overnight or over a weekend ... you're going to have to do it sooner or later, and it doesn't take more time to do it right away after putting it off for whatever neurotic reason."

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TiffReadsAndRuns
Avid Reader: A Life | Robert Gottlieb

"But my problem with religion didn't stem from these misadventures. I've simply always lacked even the slightest religious impulse--when people talk about their faith, I can't connect with what they're talking about. This isn't a decision I came to, or a deep belief or principle; I'm just religion-deaf, the way tone-deaf people hear sounds but not music. I suppose my religion is reading."

vivastory "My religion is reading." Yes! 3y
26 likes1 comment
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QuintusMarcus
Avid Reader: A Life | Robert Gottlieb
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Pickpick

Pure catnip for book lovers, Knopf groupies, and the generally literate (a rapidly evanescing population). Some score settling, some "setting the record straight", but mostly great anecdotes about his authors, many of which are my favorites: John Updike, Robert Massie, John Gardner (who remembers him?), Raymond Carver, Thomas Bernhardt, and on and on. Great book.

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Suetara
Avid Reader: A Life | Robert Gottlieb
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I am loving this book!! And today, I'm thankful for many things, including books, reading and sharing both with the wonderful people of Litsy. This community is so amazing. Thank you all!!

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RebeccaH
Avid Reader: A Life | Robert Gottlieb
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How Catch-22 got its name.

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jes
Avid Reader: A Life | Robert Gottlieb
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I'm 100% a polygamist reader. How about you? #reader #books

jes @BookishMarginalia They need to add one. My friend is a "skimmer". I don't think she ever really reads the whole book. She does this with TV and movies too. She fast forwards to the main parts. Haha! 3y
WordWaller Ditto! I always read so many at the same time because that way I can spend more time reading. I have bad ADD and can never stick with reading the same book for long 😒 3y
Morgan7r I'm definitely a monogamist reader 🤓📚 3y
5 likes4 comments
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Kkhalifeh
Avid Reader: A Life | Robert Gottlieb
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It sits, taunting me, daring me to get my work done so I can get back to the more important work of avid reading. If I'm a good person in this life can I be reincarnated into Robert Gottlieb during the golden age of publishing? Please?

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Kkhalifeh
Avid Reader: A Life | Robert Gottlieb
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In 3 hours the library opens and I can pick up my copy of Avid Reader 😍🍾🙌.....

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Hobbinol
Avid Reader: A Life | Robert Gottlieb
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Dwight Garner of the NYT wrote today: How bookish was Mr. Gottlieb? At summer camp, as a child, he arranged to have The New York Times delivered to him daily. His family-- they lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan-- read books rather than converse at the dinner table. "Only later did it occur to me that this was not normal."

Hobbinol Sounds like my kind of family and my kind of book. The NYT went on to say, "This is an indispensable work of American publishing history, thick with instruction and soul and gossip of the higher sort." 3y
LeahBergen The NY Times at summer camp?! That is the best. ❤️ 3y
DivineDiana I suspect someone else has the New York Times delivered. 😉 The title alone sold me! 3y
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Hobbinol @LeahBergen Can you imagine?!😂 3y
Hobbinol @DivineDiana I'm coaxed out of bed in the morning only by the NYT! 3y
DivineDiana @Hobbinol So funny! I don't know if you save newspaper clippings, but I found one today of a place I wanted to visit from the NYT in 1979! 3y
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