Have I never talked about how much I love the New York Review of Books Classics?

coverI have no idea when or how the NYRB classics series began, but it is amazing. You know how the Penguin Classics are every book you’ve ever heard of but never read? Well the NYRB classics are every book that you ought to have heard. They’re fantastic. And there’s a definite aesthetic tilt to the books, too. Where Penguin Classics are often long and serious, the NYRB classics are often slim and light. Still important. Still beautiful. But light. A perfect example is Dezso Kosztolanyi’s Skylark. A very short Hungarian novel about two parents who rediscover how to live life when their awful daughter goes away for the weekend.

Enthusing about Boleslaw Prus made me think about all the fantastic NYRB classics I’ve blogged about over the past two years:

In most cases, I only heard about these books because they were NYRB classics. The Doll, for instance, is a book I came across by browsing their catalogue. Nothing more.  They’re beautiful and well-chosen books. Love them. If it wouldn’t be prohibitively expensive (and if I didn’t read everything on the kindle), I’d buy every single one of them as they came out and arrange them on my bookshelf in long rows.

Comments (



  1. Ben

    I haven’t read any of these books, but I still thank you (and Abigail Nussbaum) for my NYRB Classics habit. I have Rebecca West’s The Fountain Overflows sitting on my nightstand. It’s pretty wonderful.

    1. R. H. Kanakia

      Oh awesome. Glad to have helped to turn you into them.