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My Mistake #2020

My Mistake A wry witty often tender memoir by a former New Yorker editor magazine writer and book publisher who offers great tales of a life in wordsDaniel Menaker started as a fact checker at The New Yorker

  • Title: My Mistake
  • Author: Daniel Menaker
  • ISBN: 9780547794242
  • Page: 450
  • Format: ebook
  • My Mistake By Daniel Menaker, A wry, witty, often tender memoir by a former New Yorker editor, magazine writer, and book publisher who offers great tales of a life in wordsDaniel Menaker started as a fact checker at The New Yorker in 1969 With luck, hard work, and the support of William Maxwell, he was eventually promoted to editor Never beloved by William Shawn, he was advised early on to find a posA wry, witty, often tender memoir by a former New Yorker editor, magazine writer, and book publisher who offers great tales of a life in wordsDaniel Menaker started as a fact checker at The New Yorker in 1969 With luck, hard work, and the support of William Maxwell, he was eventually promoted to editor Never beloved by William Shawn, he was advised early on to find a position elsewhere he stayed for another twenty four years.Now Menaker brings us a new view of life in that wonderfully strange place and beyond, throughout his than forty years working to celebrate language and good writing.He tells us his own story, too with irrepressible style and honesty of a life spent persevering through often difficult, nearly always difficult to read, situations Haunted by a self doubt sharpened by his role in his brother s unexpected death, he offers wry, hilarious observations on publishing, child rearing, parent losing, and the writing life But as time goes by, we witness something far beyond the incidental a moving, thoughtful meditation on years well lived, well read, and well spent Full of mistakes, perhaps But full of effort, full of accomplishment, full of life.

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    1 thought on “My Mistake

    1. Memoirs in the US tend to be of three flavors nowadays There is this flavor I m a self destructive member of the hoi polloi I ve been a take your pick addict, criminal, abuser of a sibling spouse parent, but I have overcome my flaws come read about my pain and recovery There is this flavor I ve been horribly treated as a take your pick child of war, victim of child abuse, child of poverty, adult abused by someone I loved, employee of a bad company, citizen of a bad government, but I ve beaten th [...]

    2. I never tire of reading books about the experience of working at The New Yorker during its golden hey day I especially enjoy anecdotes about the notoriously fussy and famous New Yorker editor William Shawn and this book has plenty of those, plus many sweet stories about working with the esteemed novelist and beloved New Yorker fiction editor, William Maxwell Daniel Menaker worked at The New Yorker for twenty six years, first as a fact checker and then as an editor and edited many famous writers, [...]

    3. Meh I am not sure how this got on my to reads, but I really wasn t enad I ve also had a crazy busy week otherwise and took way too long to read it As far as memoirs go, Menaker is not really all that interesting I mean, I love literature and I followed most of his name drops and I understand why The New Yorker is important , but there was no real story here He doesn t get personal EVER I mean his wife is mentioned may 4 times in the whole book and his kids in passing , which would be okay if his [...]

    4. Nearly everything you read, fiction, memoir, whatever, is full of small lies about the way people behave and the way the world works There isn t a dishonest sentence in this book, which is the highest praise I can think of Also missing cant phrases, cliches, windiness, self aggrandizement, bulk The book combines brave and juicy truth telling about the New Yorker and the publishing industry the part about putting together a PL made me wince in its accuracy with personal history, and the two never [...]

    5. I adored this thin, rich volume by the former New Yorker editor Daniel Menaker is captain of his own iceberg, understanding that our conscious navigation of life usually amounts to an after the fact process of trying to make sense of where we just drifted As an editor he was and still is near the epicenter of several cultural earthquakes, and the people he loves, you will fall in love with as well The mentor, William Maxwell the scribe, Alice Munro This is memoir not autobiography, and thus lack [...]

    6. This is a fascinating book for anyone interested in the writing world Dan Menaker worked at the New Yorker for 26 years, then went on to Random House It has some funny moments It certainly isn t as high drama as many memoirs out there, but as a writer, I really enjoyed the behind the scenes description of the publishing world I only gave it 4 stars because I think it might not hold the interest of someone not as interested in the writing industry, but they are four good stars because it is well [...]

    7. Daniel Menaker reveals the literary scene with all its complexity and backbiting appeal in his memoir MY MISTAKE He introduces us to an environment that writers long for and find so difficult to crack It s a witty, intricate journey filled with Menaker s puckish outlook and steely insight.Make no mistake Menaker is a proud, unapologetic insider, but he is willing to share his insight about the guts of the industry while pointing out the indomitable hurdles to getting published I was flabbergaste [...]

    8. The ways of publishing are somewhat shrouded with mystery How does the magazine staff of The New Yorker put together their publication every week You will gain some insights reading MY MISTAKE.I loved the pointed storytelling about how the inside of a magazine works and I enjoyed Daniel Menaker s stories about the publishing world and his life of commitment to the power of the printed page I found some of the early chapters somewhat boring so I rated the book four stars instead of five.Yet this [...]

    9. Disclosure I have never met Dan Menaker but we worked together for six months or so on a project inexplicably left out of the book that was based in NYC where he was, and into which I telecommuted from Chicago where I live We have corresponded warmly by email from time to time since then and I think he s a nice man This is an entertaining, serious, and well written book Reading it, one feels that it is honest.It is startling how many serious topics childhood abandonment the death of a worshiped [...]

    10. My Mistake by Daniel Menaker is an interesting book It destroyed any illusions I had about ever having my fiction published That was probably the last dream I had left, and Mr Menaker took care of that While I have often noticed that the new stars in Hollywood are often related to the old stars in Hollywood, I surely should have assumed that such connectivity applied also to the publishing world of New York That I did not was my mistake Daniel Menaker was born into the erudite and exclusive worl [...]

    11. A Christmas gift from my daughter, she could hardly have found a precisely delightful memoir Years with the New Yorker, then Random House, then HarperCollins All the gossip, the vagaries of publishing in New York And his home life Broken into years of his life, we get elementary school and the death of his brother, the flavor of homelife and extended family And because his writing is so clear, casual, unaffected the range of emotional response is immediate Laugh out loud, oh yes, the stories of [...]

    12. First, the ideal reader must be a fan of the New Yorker Second, he or she must be a fan of memoirs Menaker s New Yorker anecdotes are fresh and entertaining He weaves his own climb through the publishing houses and back to the New Yorker with readable prose Menaker is connected as an insider and he shares memories of working with such luminaries as William Maxwell and Alice Munro For those interested in publishing past and present this book will be gobbled up.

    13. My Mistake Was in not reading Daniel Menaker s My Mistake until today Sat down at 10 in the morning to start it, just read the last beautiful page I am worried about what punctuation to use, and know he will deride my grammar, but the book is just delicious.

    14. I ve been on a bit of a jag of reading books culled from or about the workings of The New Yorker lately, and Daniel Menaker s My Mistake is a wonderful addition to the genre Written in a wryly witty voice that exemplifies why Menaker was able to work his way up at the magazine from fact checker to fiction editor as well as publish several of his own pieces within it , the book is a pleasure to read often a laugh out loud one, particularly in the passages concerning the prudish Mr Shawn, who Mena [...]

    15. Got off to a slow start, but Menaker was laying the foundation for the rest of his life i.e the rest of the book Just kept getting better

    16. This is an enjoyable memoir by a man who had a successful career as an editor at the New Yorker magazine and then as a book publisher It offers a compelling window on a subculture social and regional that has set a guiding tone for American intellectuals for decades That said, it really is a memoir the broader feel for Menaker s time and place have to be drawn from his account he s not trying to provide a guided tour Part of the appeal of the book is its humility not that Menaker himself comes a [...]

    17. What a title for a memoir Dan Menaker is in great company in framing his life around his mistakes, but I didn t realize it until he used the word errata in one of the early chapters That open reference to the conceit and the nod to The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin adds a complex layer of ironic self deprecation It s hard not to recognize the trick of adopting exaggerated humility in a thinly veiled effort to cast successes in all the flattering light, as Franklin did But in borrowing the [...]

    18. Who knew the publishing industry was so crazy It s a wonder any books ever get published at all That said, Mr Menaker not only writes here about the life of an editor, but about life in general and what he has to say resonates with the honesty in everyone I love what he says on page 201 about mourners missing their dead he paints the subject in perfect color and contrast The world, with all its impossible variegation and the basic miracle of its existence, draws most mourners out of their grief [...]

    19. I actually read Menaker s The Old Left way back when it was published one of the few, I assume , and so this memoir interested me In his 70 s and battling lung cancer, he decides to tell bits and pieces of the story of his life And what a life in publishing it has been My favorite parts were his tales of under appreciated writer and his boss at the NY er as Fiction Editor William Maxwell If you haven t read him yet, you should especially if you are from the Midwest The other part I enjoyed was t [...]

    20. Fluid writing and a some great stories However, there may have been too many stories, and, in a thin volume, they became too cursory.While the underlying them may have been Mr Menaker s coming to grips with his brother s death many years previously, it surfaced off and on through the book, diluting its meaning.The descriptions of the cast of characters at the New Yorker Magazine and of his 26 years there as editor, writer, fiction editor were wonderful I ve read other books about the magazine mo [...]

    21. This is a well written intelligent memoir by a man I wished lived next door to me Daniel Menaker was the fiction editor of the New Yorker for years under Shawn and Tina Brown as well as an editor for Random House and Harper It was debating whether to give it 3 stars or 4 only because it is a very inside publishing book I was particularly amused by his being taught how to do a profit and loss statement on a book it you can t make money on 10,000 copies, say you ll sell 20,0000 All my publishing f [...]

    22. Daniel Menaker s memoir covers everything from his early childhood to his career at The New Yorker and in the publishing world Considering that Menaker was an editor for a large portion of his career, I was surprised to find that the book seemed to need some editing itself The voice was somewhat erratic, almost devolving into a stream of consciousness near the end, which made me feel as if he was on strong painkillers and wasn t entirely lucid I didn t get much out of the discussions of his earl [...]

    23. I loved The Treatment, and was again laughing out loud when the therapist reappears here, in this deeply engaging memoir Menaker s not a warm sounding man, but he also seems to know that, and reading his memories, I felt the sort of dispassion I feel when discussing myself with myself, from a distance you re there and keenly interested but with your judgement intact, and ready for jokes It s an honest memoir, in other words The final paragraph of his introduction is a very fine call to action, y [...]

    24. He worked for the NYer for years and later was in publishing He has a wry sense of humor and I like how the book blends him talking about his family history and some tragedy and insights into himself with descriptions of work and the interesting people he worked with He confirms that Shawn was an asshole and that William Maxwell was wonderful I d have cried if the latter wasn t true So Long, See You Tomorrow is one of my favorite books.

    25. This deserves 4.5 stars I borrowed it from the library, but wish I had bought it, because I kept wanting to write marginal notes, highlight clever, funny things Reading it was like being privileged to get to know someone a little older and a little or quite a lot smarter than you, who is willing to open up and tell you the things about life people don t usually acknowledge You learn stuff, but importantly, you get to know a person who is worth knowing.

    26. I ll read any memoir or history about the New Yorker, so I m glad I randomly stumbled across this one No surprise, considering Menaker is a skilled editor, that it s wonderfully crafted.

    27. Paraphrasing Mr Menaker s style somewhat Engaging Insightful Touching Unique And frankin freakin hilarious in spots LOVED IT.

    28. When you look into the eyes of an old man, a frightened child looks back.I frequently say, Nobody writes like an old ad man That s true, but an old editor has an inside track, too I m glad that this beautiful book was on sale this month I ve seldom read a memoir entertaining or that speaks clearly to the enduring importance of childhood experiences.This author was the child of a mismatched couple His brilliant, arrogant, seductive mother was a Boston Brahim, a Bryn Mawr graduate, and an editor [...]

    29. This review is also on my blog right here.Okay, let me just get one thing straight Menaker is hilarious.He s funny, not in just an obligatory heheh, I acknowledge your intelligence and I see what you re trying to do there but it just didn t hit my funny bone right way, but in a I m genuinely laughing and leaning over to the person sitting next to me to read this outloud sort of way Okay, that sentence was very forced, I admit it, but that s besides the point.This may be old news to everybody els [...]

    30. A child at heart, Daniel Menaker provides us with a heartfelt, moody, and delightful memoir of his life as a literary enthusiast Beginning at The New Yorker as a fact checker, he rises to become a respected Acquiring Editor of the 1980s 2000s he works at publishing houses such as Random House and Harper Collins and edits pieces from high profile authors He goes through triumph and embarrassment, loathing and desire, and ultimately comes through the tunnel with a hint of laughter and a lot of hum [...]

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