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Book Blog - Likely Stories, by Keir Graff - Booklist Online

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 May, 2006

Fri, May 12th, 2006
I’m Shocked, Shocked
Posted by: Keir Graff

James Frey has, of course, already confessed that he didn’t really serve that three-month stint in the pokey that he wrote about in A Million Little Pieces. Given that My Friend Leonard starts with Frey in stir, his latest admission is a bit anticlimactic. I wonder if Kaavya Viswanathan will now confess that she was […]


Fri, May 12th, 2006
175 Words
Posted by: Keir Graff

Yesterday I wrote three book reviews: The Thinking Fan’s Guide to the World Cup, by Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey; Damnation Street, by Andrew Klavan; and Soccer against the Enemy, by Simon Kuper. Anyone who writes for publication knows that the challenge isn’t writing something that’s long enough – it’s writing something that’s short enough. […]


Wed, May 10th, 2006
Damnation Street
Posted by: Keir Graff

Recently I’ve written about not loving a book everyone else seems to love, a mostly good anthology with a few clanks, and deciding not to star a review by a favorite author. I sound like a lot of fun, don’t I? Being a book reviewer has definitely made me a more critical reader, but I’m […]


Tue, May 9th, 2006
The "Right" Opinion
Posted by: Keir Graff

I meant to post yesterday, but somebody had a case of the Mondays, and that somebody was me. I started this but didn’t finish it: I rarely read other reviews of books I’ve reviewed. (This is one of Keir Graff’s Rules of ReviewingTM, soon to be immortalized on a sticky note somewhere in my office.) […]


Fri, May 5th, 2006
The Strange Romance of Brazilian Names
Posted by: Keir Graff

It’s Friday, so I’m going to let another writer do the talking. Er, writing. This riff from John Lanchester, in his essay about Brazil from the forthcoming The Thinking Fan’s Guide to the World Cup (see yesterday’s post), starts with a mention of the captain of Brazil’s 1982 World Cup team, “the chainsmoking doctor Socrates”: […]


Thu, May 4th, 2006
Oh Yeah
Posted by: Keir Graff

And, oh yeah, I’m still reviewing a book: The Thinking Fan’s Guide to the World Cup, edited by Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey (Harper Perennial). If it seems like it’s taking me a long time to get through it – I first wrote about it here – you’re right. The book isn’t a doorstop – […]


Wed, May 3rd, 2006
Mission: Stated
Posted by: Keir Graff

Okay, here it is, my mission statement: In my blog, “Likely Stories,” I will candidly discuss the craft of book reviewing, chronicling my reading habits, evaluation criteria, strengths, and shortcomings. I want to show both the work that goes into a book review and the challenge of balancing objectivity and personal taste. As I work […]


Tue, May 2nd, 2006
Mission Statement: Impossible
Posted by: Keir Graff

Yesterday I had a lot of fun writing a fake mission statement, but today it’s time to get serious and write a real one. Before putting it in prose, I’ll just make a list. In “Likely Stories,” I plan to: 1. Write about the job of book reviewing with honesty and candor, providing a glimpse […]


Mon, May 1st, 2006
Mission Statement: First Draft
Posted by: Keir Graff

In an earlier post (“What I Think I’m Doing”), I wrote about the challenges of blogging about book reviewing (damn it, I promised myself I’d never use the word blog as a verb!), but I never got around to defining more precisely what I plan to do with “Likely Stories.” And then last night it […]





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