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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 May, 2007

Mon, May 21st, 2007
A Faithful Reader’s First Impressions of Freshened Features
Posted by: Keir Graff

The Chicago Tribune‘s Books section, as threatened, finally showed up in the Saturday paper. As part of the general trend of declining book coverage in newspapers, this isn’t as alarming as the Atlanta Journal Constitution‘s decision to eliminate the job of the books editor, but taking Books out of Sunday does seem like a turn for the worse. The Trib, […]


Fri, May 18th, 2007
Simon & Schuster: It’s Out of Print When We Say It Is
Posted by: Keir Graff

Simon & Schuster is trying to redefine “out of print” — much to its authors’ chagrin. From the New York Times (“Publishers and Authors Parse a Term: Out of Print,” by Motoko Rich): When is a book out of print? A change in standard contract language at Simon & Schuster could effectively alter the answer […]


Fri, May 18th, 2007
The Book as Notepad (and Purse)
Posted by: Keir Graff

Carlos Orellana, one of Booklist‘s two production editors, sent me this great MetaFilter post (“things found written upon books,” by blahblahblah): We’ve discussed odd bookmarks, but what about the humble inscription? Start with two lovely efforts to collect inscriptions, including the Book Inscription Project and Inscripticateded Dedicated to the One I Love, which tracks inscriptions found at used […]


Thu, May 17th, 2007
A Company Whose Stock I Won’t Be Buying
Posted by: Keir Graff

BookSwim. Which I learned about from Galleycat (“Another “NetFlix for Books” Idea“): This time the company is BookSwim, and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune has more on the fledgling company based out of New Jersey. For $15 to $20 per month, the company will send your top five book choices. Return three books in a prepaid envelope, […]


Thu, May 17th, 2007
Somebody Wasn’t Singing “Happy Birthday”
Posted by: Keir Graff

Well, even though the skies turned blue yesterday, I never did see any skywriting. And leave it to The Weekly Standard (“Wrong for 95 Years,” The Scrapbook) to rain on Studs’ parade: But does a bilious radio DJ who turns a tape recorder on and off, and hires somebody to type up the transcripts, qualify as […]


Wed, May 16th, 2007
Pretty Good Company, If You Ask Me
Posted by: Keir Graff

It’s good to know I’m not the only one who gets behind on the news. Sometimes even newspapers get behind on the news. The Washington Post (“Writing Under the Influence,” by Bob Thompson), using Jonathan Lethem’s March-published novel, You Don’t Love Me Yet, as a peg, is just now getting around to talking to him about his great essay […]


Wed, May 16th, 2007
Do good reviews sell books?
Posted by: Keir Graff

In The New York Sun (“How Not to Write a Best Seller“), David Blum asks whether good reviews actually sell books. It’s a good and obvious question, one worth asking even if we BookPeople (TM) prefer to focus less on money and more on the cultural conversation. (Money, we’ve learned, has a great effect on the cultural conversation.) His […]


Wed, May 16th, 2007
Opposing lawyers both claiming victory? It’ll never happen.
Posted by: Keir Graff

Whoops. It’s a win-win…or is it a lose-lose? From the Los Angeles Times (“Both sides in Cussler-Anschutz case claim victory,” by Kim Christensen and Glenn F. Bunting): After a marathon battle of big egos and a long-winded 14-week civil trial, author Clive Cussler and billionaire industrialist Philip Anschutz both claimed victory Tuesday, but neither walked away […]


Wed, May 16th, 2007
Happy Birthday, Studs
Posted by: Keir Graff

Studs Terkel (my neighbor, even though he doesn’t know it) is 95 years old today. His publisher is trying to organize the biggest cross-country party in history. Right here in Chicago they’ve hired a skywriter to — literally — laud him to the skies. It’s been cloudy all morning, but it looks like it might clear […]


Tue, May 15th, 2007
But did he cover the microphone with a handkerchief?
Posted by: Keir Graff

This is the first time I’ve heard of Alan Smithee working in the audiobook industry. From Publishers Weekly (“Narrator Takes Name off Mickey Mantle Audiobook,” by Kevin Howell): The strange back story surrounding publication of Peter Golenbock’s 7: The Mickey Mantle Novel took another twist this week when Michael Viner’s Phoenix Audio released the unabridged audiobook […]





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