TKC 144 Sam Tanenhaus

Interview – My guest this week is Sam Tanenhaus, editor of The New York Times Book Review. (Click here to subscribe to the Book Review on Kindle.) Sam is also an author, most recently of The Death of Conservatism: The Movement and Its Consequences.  In 1997 he published Whitaker Chambers: A Biography.  He is also the host of the excellent and long-running Book Review podcast. I spoke with Sam on Friday, April 15th, 2011.

News – Amazon hits a triple this week, announcing the arrival by the end of this year of Kindle Library Lending, an update for Kindle for Android, and the opening of the German Kindle Store and related Kindle Direct Publishing capability for the store. Click here for Overdrive’s blog post to libraries about the Kindle Library program and here for Peter Rojas’s prediction of who will make the much-rumored Amazon tablet.

Tech Tip – Listener Tom Semple points out that the web-to-Kindle tools I mentioned last week, Kindlebility and Kindle This Page, don’t offer previews of the clipped content before you send it to your Kindle.  The Chrome extensions Send to Kindle and Later on Kindle do provide previews, which is why Tom prefers them, and I think he’s right.  You’ll also find good Kindle extensions on other major browsers.

Content – Jon Krakauer’s new Kindle Single, Three Cups of Deceit: How Greg Mortenson, Humanitarian Hero, Lost His Way , is a good example of the power of this new publishing category created by Amazon for e-books.  In fact, it may be the first e-book-only title to receive an extended consideration in the NYT Book Review podcast, in the latest episode’s Bestseller discussionClick here for the 60 Minutes segment in which Krakauer appears several times, making points which are covered at greater length in the e-book.

Next Week’s Guest: T.J. Waters, the creator of Autography, a digital way for authors to sign Kindle books.

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Comments 4

  1. Marie Sotiriou wrote:

    I am a daily reader of the NY Times (as well as listener of the book review podcast) and it was interesting to learn about the logistics of the “NYT Best Seller List” compilation.

    Great interview with Sam Tanenhaus, Len!

    Posted 23 Apr 2011 at 9:13 am
  2. Rick Askenase wrote:

    Just a quick note to say how much I enjoyed the interview with Sam Tanenhaus. He is everything you want a book commenter to be- literate, articulate, knowledgeable, and up on the latest stuff.

    I was VERY intrigued that bhe does his book reading on a Kindle!! I think that surprised you, and really said a lot to me about the ebook revolution. This guy works for the NY TIMES!! There is no greater bastion for the old way of doing things (i.e.publishers) than them. And he doesn’t read paper books! Amazing.

    Posted 23 Apr 2011 at 10:12 am
  3. Alan Morris wrote:

    Just wanted to congratulate you Len on a hugely impressive interview with such an interesting, involving and influential guest. It is unusual but fascinating to hear from the angle of the book reviewing community and threw up a number of surprises on how the process works and how they look to nurture and protect new talent. Your podcast continues to impress with the quality of it’s guests and content and I really like your new format. It avoids the repetition of part of the interview allowing seemingly more time to get in depth with your guest and significantly enhances the flow of the show.

    Best regards as always.

    Alan Morris (London England)

    Posted 24 Apr 2011 at 7:46 am
  4. Jim Jones wrote:


    That’s interesting – I’d just sent Len a message saying how much I liked the old format with a “teaser” preview of the interview, and a build-up to the interview with the tech tip, etc. I agree with you, though, that Len has done a really impressive job of finding guests of wide-ranging subjects and perspectives, and interviewing them in a way that elicits very interesting and useful information for the audience. So, I guess in the long run, for me, the format becomes much less important for my listening pleasure.

    Posted 24 Apr 2011 at 6:35 pm