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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 September, 2007

Fri, September 28th, 2007
And Yet Their Disagreements Are Somewhat Arcane
Posted by: Keir Graff

It’s a fact that authors are not always treated as royalty by their publishers. And yet rarely do you see a case like this, where the publisher binds a takedown letter into the book. (“After 50 Years, Passions Persist Over the Publication of ‘Doctor Zhivago’,” by Peter Finn, Washington Post): MOSCOW — When Sergio D’Angelo […]


Fri, September 28th, 2007
Commitment Redefined
Posted by: Keir Graff

I suppose we could call this good news for Booklist–less competition?–but really, it’s a dismal trend that seems to be accelerating (“AP Ends Book Reviews, LA Times Also Makes Book Changes,” by Dermot McEvoy): In a move that echoed the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s decision earlier this year to eliminate its book review editor, the Associated Press, according to […]


Fri, September 28th, 2007
What’s a Mere Eight Years Between Contracted Parties?
Posted by: Keir Graff

There’s a great tradition of authors missing deadlines, although usually the publishers don’t take the authors to court. From The New York Sun (“Biographer Brinkley Sued to Repay Advance on Delayed Kerouac Project,” by Sarah Portlock): In a rare move by a publishing house, the Penguin Group is suing a prolific biographer for the return […]


Fri, September 28th, 2007
Pretty Soon, There Will Be Social Networking Sites for Social Networking Sites
Posted by: Keir Graff

In The Stranger, Paul Constant offers a nice take on Goodreads (“Facebook for Book Nerds“): It’s a weird monument to the solitary exhibitionism of reading, and it’s addictive – the online equivalent of the glow you get while reading Anna Karenina on the bus, where strangers can see you reading Anna Karenina on the bus. […]


Thu, September 27th, 2007
From the Department of Philosophical Inquiry
Posted by: Keir Graff

In the Los Angeles Times, Josh Getlin asks a number of people whether more is less (“N.Y. Times creates more bestsellers“): NEW YORK — It has been criticized for being ingrown and unscientific, a weekly work of fiction that — for all its seeming authoritativeness — is shrouded in mystery. So when the New York […]


Thu, September 27th, 2007
Putting the “Fun” Into “Fundraising”
Posted by: Keir Graff

Booklist reviewer, sometimes Likely Stories contributor, pal o’ mine, and all around great guy Frank Sennett has a new book out: FUNdraising: 50 Proven Strategies for Successful School Fundraisers (Corwin). Oh, and did I mention that he’s a serial blogger? Because he’s starting a new blog to further the ideas in the book: We’ve seen a […]


Thu, September 27th, 2007
Free People Read Freely
Posted by: Keir Graff

A good start to Banned Books Week, which begins on Saturday (“Prisons to Restore Purged Religious Books,” by Neela Banerjee, New York Times): WASHINGTON, Sept. 26 – Facing pressure from religious groups, civil libertarians and members of Congress, the federal Bureau of Prisons has decided to return religious materials that had been purged from prison chapel libraries because […]


Wed, September 26th, 2007
How about shortlisting a book that hasn’t been written yet?
Posted by: Keir Graff

I don’t usually cover this award, but why not? The shortlist for the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year has been released (by the Financial Times, natch): The Age of Turbulence, by Alan Greenspan (Penguin) The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Random) Immigrants: Your Country […]


Wed, September 26th, 2007
I Guess I Don’t Need That Laptop After All
Posted by: Keir Graff

From Japan (via the Wall Street Journal), a heartwarming story about how enterprising young people are creating inspiring art using everyday technology–a useful lesson reminding us of the way inspiration flourishes in the most unlikely places. What am I talking about? Cell phone novels, of course (“Ring! Ring! Ring! In Japan, Novelists Find a New Medium,” by Yukari Iwatani Kane): […]


Wed, September 26th, 2007
Usually I Frown on the Practice of Cutting Up Books
Posted by: Keir Graff

Via Bookninja, the incredibly cool book sculptures of Brian Dettmer.                                 And also a gimmicky lamp-in-a-book that’s kinda sorta cool.





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