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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 February, 2007

Wed, February 21st, 2007
Scrota and Other Unmentionables
Posted by: Keir Graff

President’s Day, a sleepless baby, and software testing have all conspired to keep me away from the blogosphere lo these past four days. I know the news cycle has probably already pretty much ended on the controversy regarding the use of the word scrotum in Susan Patron’s Newbery-winning The Higher Power of Lucky, but I can’t help […]


Fri, February 16th, 2007
“When in doubt, throw in a numbing quantity of pointless arcana.”
Posted by: Keir Graff

In The New Leader (“The Real Pynchon and Mailer Stand Up,” p.15), Brooke Allen writes that, “as we age we become more distinctly ourselves.” In the case of certain literary lions, she asserts, this self-caricature isn’t as amusing as the way your great-grand-uncle starts every sentence with, “Now, when I was young…”: Two new books this […]


Fri, February 16th, 2007
New Online Digs for Edgars
Posted by: Keir Graff

There’s a nice new site for the Edgars — stare at that word for a minute, it will stop looking like it’s even a word — but if they really want to be a one-stop-shop for all things Edgar, they should include year-by-year lists of past winners, not just the 2007 nominees. Maybe they’re still […]


Fri, February 16th, 2007
I’m Exhausted Just Thinking about It
Posted by: Keir Graff

Reading an article in the Los Angeles Times (“Trust them, it’s a hit,” by Josh Getlin) about the publishing industry’s arcane accounting of copies sold, I was flabbergasted and dismayed by one statistic in particular. I love books, but this is just overwhelming: Greco estimated that more than 200,000 titles were published last year, which averages out to […]


Wed, February 14th, 2007
Rodney Jones Wins the Kingsley Tufts
Posted by: Keir Graff

And they say that poets are doomed to a life of canned soup, three-speed bicycles, and broadcast television. Rodney Jones, an English professor at Southern Illinois University (Go Salukis!), has won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for Salvation Blues: One Hundred Poems, 1985-2005 (Houghton). It’s an honor just to win, of course, but in the event […]


Wed, February 14th, 2007
Penney Wins the Costa
Posted by: Keir Graff

It suddenly occurs to me that I neglected to announce the winner of the Whitbread Award. Wonder why that slipped my mind. Maybe because they changed the name to the Costa? Somebody’s got to sponsor the awards, but it sure takes away some of the gravitas when the naming rights get sold. Can we please […]


Tue, February 13th, 2007
In Defense of Plagiarism
Posted by: Keir Graff

I spent my whole lunch hour reading Jonathan Lethem’s brilliant essay in Harper’s, “The Ecstasy of Influence.” Well worth a week’s worth of lunch hours, I daresay. (Do people still say “daresay”? Anyone mind if I do?) I copied out far too many quotes for fair use, and while the author wouldn’t mind if I […]


Tue, February 13th, 2007
Just Skim This
Posted by: Keir Graff

In the New York Times, Stacy Schiff (“Ulysses” Without Guilt“) uses Pierre Bayard’s How to Talk about Books You Haven’t Read as the starting point for yet another discussion of information overload. I was too busy to read it, but that won’t stop me from passing on two choice paragraphs: Say what you will about Professor Bayard, he […]


Tue, February 13th, 2007
Germaine Greer’s “Lovable” Word
Posted by: Keir Graff

In the Guardian, in her volunteer review of Will Alsop’s Peckham Library (“Flashy libraries? I prefer to get my adventure out of the books not the building“), Germaine Greer reveals what her favorite word would be, if she were the sort of person who chose favorite words: library. Every now and then a writer will be […]


Mon, February 12th, 2007
OK, I Admit It: I’m Harriet Klausner
Posted by: Keir Graff

A news item from Times Online (“Fake bloggers soon to be ‘named and shamed’,” by Sam Coates), brought to my attention by the ever-attentive Frank Sennett, promises an end to a time-honored practice, at least in Europe: Hotels, restaurants and online shops that post glowing reviews about themselves under false identities could face criminal prosecution […]





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