As a copy editor for the New Yorker, Mary Norris enforces some of the most authoritative (some might say eccentric) style rules in publishing.

Why you should listen

Mary Norris settled into her 30-year New Yorker copy-editing post almost by accident -- and after a picaresque series of occupations ranging from checking feet at a Cleveland swimming pool to driving a milk truck. Over the years, she has mustered her skills in the service of such storied writers as Philip Roth, Pauline Kael and George Saunders.

In her book Between You & Me, Norris reflects on her career, the oft-debated quirks of New Yorker style, the serial comma and the joys of a well-sharpened pencil.