"If you can write, that's great. If you can tell a story, that's even greater. But if you can work a resilient premise into both, you're worth digging to find."

Monday, November 20, 2017

My Mistake by Daniel Menaker

Synopsis: Memoir of a career editor at The New Yorker, and former editor in chief of Random House.

Writing Style: Modern Language Association (MLA) upmarket literature.

Pacing: Moderately fast.

Personal Highlights: This was another book where I collected many notes, nodded in agreement... at intervals and in key locations... such as (i.e) ...book publishing financial affairs. I as well admired the writing...an interchangeable mix of long, wending sentences (like here), to bumpy, curt incomplete 'you get the point' thoughts. Mostly I laughed. Hard in fact...and a lot... often to the point of falling off the chair. I mean, ‘seeing his mother’s footprints on the wall’... ‘and by God if he can like poetry, so can I’ ... ‘the daffy lipstick look’... ‘the pell-mell Paulinese’ and far too many other observations to list here—I howled.

Overall, the historical value of what working for influential publishers entailed renewed my respect for this bumptious cloistered culture. There is just so much to comment on. In short, and paraphrasing Mr. Menaker's style... considerately. This work is engaging. Insightful. Touching. Unique. And frankin' freakin' (in too many locations) hilarious! LOVED THIS MEMOIR.


  1. Thank you. You read the book exactly as I hoped it would be read. And I'm embarrassed to say that I myself laughed at the examples of humor you mentioned. Narcissism knows no bounds.

    --Dan Menaker

    1. Dan, thank you for writing 'My Mistake.' Your memoir has given me a lot to think about... and talk about too. Genuine inspiration knows no bounds;-) - Rhonda