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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 January, 2008

Mon, January 28th, 2008
Paging Barton Fink
Posted by: Keir Graff

According to Marc Weingarten in the Los Angeles Times, struggling novelists now face another source of competition: striking screenwriters (“Hollywood writers turn to Plan B: the novel“). Given the film scribes are used to earning, though, book advances certainly won’t make them forget their day jobs: Lydia Wills at Paradigm agreed that “back-burner projects” are now getting more attention, noting […]


Mon, January 28th, 2008
Kennedy Wins the Costa
Posted by: Keir Graff

A. L. Kennedy (Paradise, 2005; Indelible Acts, 2003) has won the Costa Book of the Year award (you remember the Costa, it used to be the Whitbread) for her fifth novel, Day (Jonathan Cape, 2007). Taking a quick look at the author’s site, I found myself charmed by her reviews of her reviews. Not for […]


Mon, January 28th, 2008
The Man Who Would Be Harriet Klausner
Posted by: Keir Graff

In Slate, Garth Risk Hallberg asks, “Who Is Grady Harp?” I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I had imagined Amazon’s customer reviews as a refuge from the machinations of the publishing industry: “an intelligent and articulate conversation … conducted by a group of disinterested, disembodied spirits,” as James Marcus, a former editor at […]


Fri, January 25th, 2008
Wait a few years and this won’t be satire anymore
Posted by: Keir Graff

And, because it’s Friday, The Onion: Area Eccentric Reads Entire Book GREENWOOD, IN – Sitting in a quiet downtown diner, local hospital administrator Philip Meyer looks as normal and well-adjusted as can be. Yet, there’s more to this 27-year-old than first meets the eye: Meyer has recently finished reading a book. Yes, the whole thing. […]


Fri, January 25th, 2008
Embossed Foil Dragon vs. Booker Prize Badge
Posted by: Keir Graff

In Wired, Clive Thompson calls science fiction–or, if you prefer, speculative fiction–”the last great literature of ideas.” And he makes his case in a language appropriate to the venue: Here’s my overly reductive, incredibly nerdy way of thinking about the novel: Consider it a simulation, kind of like The Sims. If you run a realistic […]


Fri, January 25th, 2008
I believe Don Imus is what they refer to as a “wild card”
Posted by: Keir Graff

From the Department of Really, What Did You Expect? NEW YORK (Reuters) – A book publisher that bought an ad on Don Imus’s radio show is suing the shock jock and his former bosses at CBS Radio for more than $4 million, saying Imus insulted the book he was paid to promote. (“Advertiser sues Don […]


Fri, January 25th, 2008
Cartographical Errors in Long Way Gone?
Posted by: Keir Graff

More on the Ishmael Beah controversy in The Australian. Another former child soldier, Kabba Williams, has questioned Beah’s account of events (“Child soldier questions Beah’s tale,” by Peter Wilson): “That is not true … 1995 was the period when Ishmael got involved in the conflict,” Mr Williams told The Australian in a telephone interview yesterday. However: […]


Fri, January 25th, 2008
Thanks a lot, C. J. Box
Posted by: Keir Graff

I’m on deadline today for my review of the new C. J. Box novel, Blood Trail (Putnam). A couple of years ago, I complained that Mr. Box had deprived me of a good night’s sleep. At the time, I’d just returned from spending three months at home with my first son, and the readjustment to […]


Thu, January 24th, 2008
A Terrific Game of Critic Kong
Posted by: Keir Graff

Check out the critical conversation in the new Time Out Chicago (“Critical Condition,” by Kris Vire), featuring Booklist‘s very own “books critic,” Donna Seaman (the accidental title makes it seem as if we also have food, TV, and automotive critics). An excerpt: Kris Vire: Is passion more important than education? Donna Seaman: Initially, but passion […]


Thu, January 24th, 2008
The Australian: Beah’s Statement “Seriously Flawed”
Posted by: Keir Graff

Peter Wilson and Shelley Gare of The Australian have published a point-by-point rebuttal (“Response to author, publisher claims“) to Ishmael Beah’s rebuttal: Author Ishmael Beah and his publisher Farrar Straus & Giroux have attempted to refute The Australian’s disclosure of major factual errors in his best-selling book “A Long Way Gone.” But a statement issued by […]





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