The New Yorker’s Mystery Claw

If you’re an avid reader with a photographic memory, you’ll score well on the New Yorker’s “Cover Contest,” where hints of book covers can, if correctly identified, be turned into prizes (more books). This week the evocative pincer on the cover of The Secret Life of Lobsters caught the New Yorker’s fancy—along with a head of lettuce (Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food), a slimy dead fish (Mark Kurlansky’s Cod), and a Native American dignitary whose repose on a sumptuous leopard skin is being rudely interrupting by marauding white barbarians (Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel). I think there may be a book in all four of those topics, combined, such as: Lobsters, Fish, and Lettuce: How Germs & Guns Changed the World. Meanwhile, I had no difficulty identifying the mystery claw, of course—all I had to do was glance at my iPhone.