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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 April, 2008

Wed, April 30th, 2008
The Story behind the Short Story
Posted by: Keir Graff

So, for the first time ever, there’s a short story in Booklist. Called “Reading Is My Business,” it’s in the May 1 issue, our Mystery Showcase, and it’s a hard-boiled tale about a boozy book reviewer named . . . Keir Graff. And it’s written by . . . yep, you guessed it, me. What’s going on here? […]


Tue, April 29th, 2008
Chabon Wins the Nebula
Posted by: Keir Graff

I may not always be first, but I do get there eventually. The winners of the 2007 Nebula Awards have been announced. Novel The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, by Michael Chabon Novella “Fountain of Age,” by Nancy Kress Novelette “The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate,” by Ted Chiang Short Story “Always,” by Karen Joy Fowler Script […]


Tue, April 29th, 2008
ALA Annual Conference and You
Posted by: Keir Graff

With the American Library Association’s Annual Conference in Anaheim fast approaching, whiz kid Dan Kraus has put together a handy primer on taking part. (Stars director of membership development John Chrastka, who, rumor has it, was born wearing a tweed blazer with a pipe in the pocket.) Gee willikers! Check out this swell 1950s-style educational […]


Tue, April 29th, 2008
Bad Sourcing, Bad Citing, and Bright Shiny Book Events
Posted by: Keir Graff

Ashes to ashes, pulp to pulp. A forthcoming biography of Madame de Maintenon, Louis XIV’s mistress, written by Veronica Buckley (Christina, Queen of Sweden, 2004) is being recalled due to its reliance on a faulty source (“Hoax diary snares Bloomsbury,” by Claire Armitstead, the Guardian‘s theblogbooks): The problem, it turns out, is with the attribution of a little-known document […]


Mon, April 28th, 2008
The L.A. Times Book Prizes: A Terrible Blow for Oscar Wao
Posted by: Keir Graff

The 2007 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes have been announced. And there’s one name that’s conspicuously absent. Biography Young Stalin, by Simon Sebag Montefiore (Knopf) Current Interest Soldier’s Heart: Reading Literature through Peace and War at West Point, by Elizabeth D. Samet (Farrar) Fiction Be Near Me, by Andrew O’Hagan (Harcourt) Art Seidenbaum Award for First […]


Fri, April 25th, 2008
Another Untapped Picture-Book Market
Posted by: Keir Graff

At Booklist Coffee™ this morning, we were discussing My Beautiful Mommy and one of the youth books editors suggested another potentially untapped market: the very young children of very old celebrities. As some luminaries move on to their third, fourth, and fifth marriages, there does seem to be a growing opportunity here. Should any entrepreneurial types […]


Thu, April 24th, 2008
Kicking Off with a Disclaimer
Posted by: Keir Graff

I just finished reading Alan Black’s Kick the Balls last night–it’s very funny. And while many people have suggested that memoirs, especially humorous memoirs, should be assumed to have disclaimers, Black provides one anyway. I admire its economy: Some names and identities have been changed to protect the guilty. A little timing manipulation helped the flow […]


Thu, April 24th, 2008
Ich mag diese Idee
Posted by: Keir Graff

According to the CBC, the German publisher Bertelsmann AG is planning a print version of Wikipedia (“German publisher plans printed version of Wikipedia“). Well, the German part, and only the most-searched articles. Still, I hope shopkeepers are prepared for the people who show up with pens, scissors, glue, and alternate pages.


Thu, April 24th, 2008
April: More Than Just the Cruellest Month
Posted by: Keir Graff

Celebrate National Poetry Month by reading Ray Olson’s review of Fakhraddin Gorgani’s Vis & Ramin (Mage), or even the book itself, or some other book of poetry, or a single poem, or even by writing a poem. I’ll admit it, I’m a little behind in my celebrating, too, but, counting today, there are seven fulls days left in […]


Wed, April 23rd, 2008
Literary Advice from Beyond the Grave
Posted by: Keir Graff

So Dmitri Nabokov will not be burning his father’s manuscript. From Die Welt (“Nabokovs “Laura” wird doch nicht verbrannt,” von Wieland Freund): Der Fall hielt die Literaturfreunde in Atem. Vladimir Nabokov wollte, dass sein letzter Roman verbrannt wird. Die Witwe brachte es nicht übers Herz, Sohn Dimitri Nabokov (73) hatte die Tat bislang immer mal […]





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