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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 January, 2008

Thu, January 31st, 2008
A Poet with a Doctor’s Handwriting
Posted by: Keir Graff

I’m a little slow getting around to this story (“Editing of Frost Notebooks in Dispute,” by Motoko Rich, New York Times), but I can’t resist it: last January, Harvard University Press published The Notebooks of Robert Frost, by Robert Faggen (not to be confused with Mr. Dickens’ Mr. Fagin). The hefty tome, which provided transcriptions of 47 notebooks […]


Wed, January 30th, 2008
And a Round of Applause for the Audience
Posted by: Keir Graff

If there’s anyone who questions the enthusiasm of librarians for their line of work–and it sure ain’t me–show them this. Could writers and readers have any better friends? (Further reading.)


Wed, January 30th, 2008
That Story Is So Four Months Ago
Posted by: Keir Graff

Hello, New York Times. Nice to have you with us. “Thumbs Race as Japan’s Best Sellers Go Cellular,” by Norimitsu Onishi (January 20, 2008) “Cell Phones’ Latest Plot Twist,” by Stevenson Swanson (Chicago Tribune, November 12, 2007) “Ring! Ring! Ring! In Japan, Novelists Find a New Medium,” by Yukari Iwatani Kane (Wall Street Journal, September […]


Wed, January 30th, 2008
The Nabokov Exception
Posted by: Keir Graff

Also in the Guardian‘s theblogbooks, Kathryn Hughes considers Dmitri Nabokov’s dilemma: However, there’s something about the way in which Vladimir Nabokov and his son Dimitri have conducted themselves over this business that makes me think that none of these normal considerations apply. Nabokov père was the most extraordinary trickster, playing games not just with language […]


Wed, January 30th, 2008
Will shorter books save reading?
Posted by: Keir Graff

In the Guardian‘s theblogbooks, Jean Hannah Edelstein attacks “sizeism” in fiction and suggests that novellas might be the perfect antidote to the reading public’s (supposedly) declining attention span: And then I had an epiphany: could it be that we should look to classics like Ethan Frome to find the key to saving fiction from the […]


Wed, January 30th, 2008
Now That’s the Oprah We Know
Posted by: Keir Graff

Oprah just announced her new pick–perhaps a pick-me-up for any lingering hangovers from reading The Road? Best-selling author and spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle has been inspiring readers since his first book, The Power of Now. In A New Earth, Eckhart provides practical teachings for waking up to a new, enlightened mind-set. If you’re seeking a […]


Wed, January 30th, 2008
Think Twice before Taking on the Australian Press
Posted by: Keir Graff

The Australian reports more recent developments in the Ishmael Beah (Long Way Gone, 2006) controversy. “US critics ‘wanted to believe’ child soldier’s tale,” by David Nason: THE US literary establishment gave former Sierra Leone child soldier Ishmael Beah a “free pass” on the accuracy of his international bestselling memoir A Long Way Gone because it […]


Tue, January 29th, 2008
Internet Use Competes With, Enables Act of Reading
Posted by: Keir Graff

So Internet use is allegedly dominating people’s time and causing them read fewer books. But an awful lot of people are using the Internet to buy books. (Although U.S. online shoppers don’t crack the top 10.) From BBC News (“Books ‘most popular online buy’“). More books are sold on the internet than any other product and the number is […]


Tue, January 29th, 2008
Orhan Pamuk Safe for the Moment
Posted by: Keir Graff

From the Guardian (“‘Plot to kill’ Nobel laureate,” by Richard Lea): Thirteen people have been arrested in Turkey as part of an investigation into an ultra-nationalist gang reported to be planning the assassination of Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk. According to reports in the Turkish press, the author of international bestsellers including My Name is Red […]


Mon, January 28th, 2008
One Heck of a Pull Quote
Posted by: Keir Graff

Simon Dumenco wittily dismisses Steve Jobs’ dis of the reading public (“The Written Word? It’s So Totally Over, According to Mr. IPod,” Advertising Age)–but that still doesn’t change the fact that, riding the bus last Friday, I was sandwiched between two guys watching TV on their iPods. As for Jobs’ stat, it seems he extrapolated […]





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