The New Yorker Book of Literary Cartoons, edited by Bob Mankoff. Washington Square, 112 pages, $12 softbound.
History's pre-eminent purveyor of nonpolitical cartoons, The New Yorker, lately has been spinning out themed collections of those gems of drawing and wit, many chosen and edited by Mankoff, the magazine's cartoon editor since 1997. All are entertaining, and some irresistibly provoking -- such is the nature of the form and of The New Yorker's legendary capacity to inspire, choose and publish consistent excellence. For lovers of the printed word, this set of 101 spoofs and send-ups of literary arts and proclivities is of special delight. It ranges from Roz Chast's book to end all books through James Thurber on Emily Dickenson to Adam telling Eve, sitting under a familiar apple tree, "I can't help thinking there's a book in this." There are 98 others. This belongs on every home-library shelf.