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From Transcribing for Obama to Writing Her Own Story

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“Every day that I worked in the Obama administration, it was very easy to be hopeful,” Beck Dorey-Stein says of the time she spent working as one of the stenographers who recorded and transcribed the president’s speeches and meetings. “Obviously, it’s just hard looking back now, and looking forward, to be quite as idealistic.”

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CreditVictor Schrager

Ms. Dorey-Stein remained in the White House position for two months under the Trump administration before leaving to write and publish her new memoir, “From the Corner of the Oval,” which she discusses on this week’s podcast.

The memoir includes details about Ms. Dorey-Stein’s personal life while in her high-stress government job, which she also talks about, along with her candid thoughts about the brief time she worked for President Trump, her feelings about transcribing speeches after the most tragic events and the advice she received about writing the book from The New Yorker editor David Remnick.

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Also on this week’s episode, Caroline Weber talks about her new book, “Proust’s Duchess: How Three Celebrated Women Captured the Imagination of Fin-De-Siècle Paris”; Alexandra Alter has news from the publishing world; and Lauren Christensen, Gregory Cowles and John Williams talk about what people are reading. Pamela Paul is the host.

Here are the books discussed in this week’s “What We’re Reading”:

“Kokoro” by Natsume Soseki

“Ulysses” by James Joyce

“Portrait of a Novel” by Michael Gorra

“The English and Their History” by Robert Tombs

We would love to hear your thoughts about this episode, and about the Book Review’s podcast in general. You can send them to books@nytimes.com.

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