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Likely Stories

A Booklist Blog
Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

Archive for April, 2006

Fri, April 28th, 2006
Not a Cable News Show
Posted by: Keir Graff

I might have overdone it yesterday, so just a few final links on the Kaavya Viswanathan controversy (if this were a high-school newspaper or a small-town mini-mart I could spell it “Kontroversy” – how I wish I could): Slate’s Jack Shafer explains Why Plagiarists Do It… …Kaavya Viswanathan apologizes again… …The Book Standard claims a […]


Thu, April 27th, 2006
Getting It Right
Posted by: Keir Graff

A while back, I wrote about C. J. Box’s new book In Plain Sight. I liked the book a lot, though not quite as much as last year’s, Out of Range (which, by the way, made the list of The Year’s Best Crime Novels, which will be published in a few days). But even when […]


Wed, April 26th, 2006
The New Supergroups
Posted by: Keir Graff

Megan McCafferty to Kaavya Viswanathan: apology so not accepted. More on the YA age-range thing in the comments to yesterday’s post. But, as I say far too often, back to soccer. I’m working my way through the 32 essays (one for each country in competition) in The Thinking Fan’s Guide to the World Cup and […]


Tue, April 25th, 2006
A Teaching Moment
Posted by: Keir Graff

Well, Kaavya Viswanathan confessed. Sort of. She did copy language from Megan McCafferty, she said, but the borrowing was “unintentional and unconscious.” Her agent backed her up, saying, “Teenagers tend to adopt each other’s language.” (These quotes are cribbed from the New York Times article; there’s a free article at the Harvard Crimson.) Yesterday I […]


Mon, April 24th, 2006
The Food Court of Public Opinion
Posted by: Keir Graff

I don’t usually patrol the Books for Youth beat, but while I was speed-eating a bowl of cereal this morning, I spotted a bit of literary news in the pages of the Chicago Tribune (yes, I read it the old-fashioned way, on paper). When I got to work, I found the original story in the […]


Fri, April 21st, 2006
You Don&#8217;t Talk about <i>My</i> Country Like That
Posted by: Keir Graff

I started reading The Thinking Fan’s Guide to the World Cup last night, edited by Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey, and in the first paragraph of the introduction – the very first paragraph, as he begins his discussion of what he likes about the World Cup – Wilsey notes: “There are irritating fans: ‘USA! USA! […]


Thu, April 20th, 2006
Redeeming Qualities
Posted by: Keir Graff

Every time I ask for something while I’m reading The Redemption Factory, author Sam Millar provides it. Last night it was in the form of a chapter titled “Tidying Up All Loose Ends.” Very considerate! At any rate, I finished reading it and this morning I drafted my review. The plot elements did come together […]


Wed, April 19th, 2006
Snooker in the Redemption Factory
Posted by: Keir Graff

I had read just three more pages in Sam Millar’s The Redemption Factory last night when, lo and behold, Paul Goodman says, “I don’t think I could allow any woman to come between me and snooker. It’s what I live for.” And 40 pages later, Millar writes, referencing a tournament that we’ve just learned Goodman […]


Tue, April 18th, 2006
Back to Work
Posted by: Keir Graff

I started reading a new book for review last night: The Redemption Factory, by Sam Millar. When Bill Ott handed it to me, he said, “Take a look at this one, it’s about a snooker player.” (Please note that all dialogue in this blog is remembered, not verbatim. If my colleagues saw me carrying a […]


Mon, April 17th, 2006
Lucky Me
Posted by: Keir Graff

Between naps (mine) and diapers (his), I read Kingsley Amis’s Lucky Jim (1953)-obviously not to review it. When I really want to relax, character, setting, and plot come in second, third, and fourth to a more important consideration: language. I especially love the language of mid- and early-twentieth-century British writers and the dry, wry humor […]





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