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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 July, 2007

Tue, July 31st, 2007
This would never get old!
Posted by: Keir Graff

Things you never knew existed: possessed books. (Be sure to watch the video.) Antique looking books seem perfectly harmless until someone walks by, then the middle book slides out toward the victim as if it will fall from the shelf. Books also emit spooky sounds for a totally haunted effect.   Can I get this […]


Tue, July 31st, 2007
Yes, but are they safe?
Posted by: Keir Graff

TankBooks: As one habit dies hard, another takes hold. The ban on smoking in public places comes into operation in the UK on July 1, 2007. Tank is launching a series of books designed to mimic cigarette packs – the same size, packaged in flip-top cartons with silver foil wrapping and sealed in cellophane.   […]


Mon, July 30th, 2007
And Don’t Forget Harold Robbins
Posted by: Keir Graff

At Booklist Coffee ™, we often joke about authors whose deaths have done nothing to keep them from publishing new novels. In the New York Times (“The Ludlum Conundrum: A Dead Novelist Provides New Thrills“), Richard Sandomir reports that Robert Ludlum has become even more prolific since he died. And yes, the successful Matt Damon movie franchise […]


Mon, July 30th, 2007
Warning: Citizen Kane Spoiler Ahead
Posted by: Keir Graff

In the New Yorker, in his essay about Meryle Secrest’s Shoot the Widow (Knopf) and Nigel Hamilton’s Biography: A Brief History (“Lives of Others“), Louis Menand offers some useful perspective on the biographer’s art. Briefly put: a fact doesn’t explain its subject better simply because it was previously unreported. For one thing, it leads biographers to invert the […]


Fri, July 27th, 2007
Why do people love soccer?
Posted by: Keir Graff

A great passage from Jamie Trecker’s forthcoming book, Love and Blood: …It’s a weakness of our entertainment culture that there is very little empathy and compassion for loss. Americans prefer to extol great individual performances — say, the swoops of Michael Jordan or the shotgun arm of Satchel Paige — and brush away failure with laughter; think […]


Fri, July 27th, 2007
B&N, Borders Slash Soft Seating
Posted by: Keir Graff

In the Baltimore Sun (“Hard facts oust soft chairs at bookstores“), Rob Hiaasen (any relation to Carl?) reports that bookstores are coming to the conclusion that creating a library-like environment doesn’t necessarily translate to better sales: At the Barnes & Noble at the Power Plant in the Inner Harbor, the comfy chair that once sat […]


Fri, July 27th, 2007
Review of Reviewing Reviewed by Reviewer
Posted by: Keir Graff

Over at book/daddy (“Hosannah in the lowest“), Jerome Weeks reviews a book about book reviewing, Gail Pool’s Faint Praise. They both make some decent points about the blindness of ”objective” reviews – and Weeks offers useful perspective on the financial realities of newspapers’ book sections. But in the end, American editors and reviewers still supposedly seek objectivity — a kind of […]


Thu, July 26th, 2007
Yes, But You Can’t Put a Price on the Satisfaction of Getting It For Free
Posted by: Keir Graff

In the Guardian (“Downloads cast a spell on the unwary“), Charles Arthur uses Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as the launching pad for a discussion of something that hasn’t actually been talked to death yet: The thing about the internet is that it tempts people to spend money in ways that make no sense if […]


Thu, July 26th, 2007
And in This Corner….
Posted by: Keir Graff

Although we live in an era of increasingly cordial literary sparring, there are signs that this could change. From Galleycat (“The Ames/Davidson Literary Fight night“): Last night, around 250 people packed Gleason’s Gym in Dumbo to watch a boxing match. Vegas it may not have been, but the roar that went up in the crowd […]


Wed, July 25th, 2007
More on Austen’s Powers
Posted by: Keir Graff

In the Independent, John Franklin offers “The real reason why publishers miss good books“: The real reason that publishers miss good books is no secret, and it is nothing to do with literary judgement, knowledge of first lines or acquaintance with the classics. It is the same reason that film companies miss great scripts and […]





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