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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 April, 2008

Wed, April 9th, 2008
Historical Fiction Webcast
Posted by: Keir Graff

Coinciding with our Spotlight on Historical Fiction (REaD ALERT!), Robert Alexander, author of The Kitchen Boy (2003) and Rasputin’s Daughter (2006), is using a “live book club” to promote his newest novel, The Romanov Bride (2008). The Web, of course, offers authors a lot of ways to bring their work–and themselves–directly to the fans, and this strikes me as a […]


Wed, April 9th, 2008
MC Keyboard vs. Fontie Smalls
Posted by: Keir Graff

On Galleycat, Emily Gould tracks a dangerous new trend (I adulterated this quote with links to Booklist reviews): Rudolph Delson‘s ‘Maynard & Jennica‘, Gary Shteyngart‘s ‘Absurdistan‘ and Benjamin Kunkel‘s ‘Indecision‘ all have something in common besides the frequency with which they’re spotted on NYC’s subways: These popular books all contain homages to hip-hop.  After reading […]


Wed, April 9th, 2008
“BECAUSE IN 1961, NO ONE WOULD HAVE CALLED FIDEL CASTRO THE RETIRING TYPE”
Posted by: Keir Graff

Just got news of Hard Case Crime‘s January 2009 title: In an e-mail blast, publisher Charles Ardai shared a few facts about this reprint’s provenance: …this is by far the rarest of all Block’s books. He wrote it under a pseudonym he never used before or since, it’s never been published under his real name (or […]


Wed, April 9th, 2008
Naked Came the Collaborators
Posted by: Keir Graff

I seem to remember a book written by 13 authors…oh, yes: Naked Came the Manatee (1997). And, in fact, Carl Hiaasen, Elmore Leonard, et al appropriated the concept from a practical joke called Naked Came the Stranger (1969). Now there’s an Internet start-up that’s hoping to turn a hoax and a lark into a business model. According to […]


Wed, April 9th, 2008
The Case of Cain v. Abel
Posted by: Keir Graff

According to recent polls by Harris Interactive, Americans’ favorite genre is crime fiction and their favorite book is the Bible. I’m sure Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great, 2007) could make a one-liner out of that, but I’ll just posit my suspicion that not everyone who picked the Bible has read it cover to cover. Here’s the […]


Tue, April 8th, 2008
Death by Blogging
Posted by: Keir Graff

Also in the New York Times (“In Web World of 24/7 Stress, Writers Blog Till They Drop,” by Matt Richtel), a report on bloggers who are dying on (or near) the job. I know the feeling: tightness in the chest, shortness of breath…. Two weeks ago in North Lauderdale, Fla., funeral services were held for […]


Tue, April 8th, 2008
Soap…Novels…What’s the Difference?
Posted by: Keir Graff

Yesterday, the New York Times reported on a real book with a fake author, but there’s no scandal involved. Last fall, as part of a storyline on All My Children, perfume magnate Kendall Hart decided to try her hand at a little novel writing. Two months later, the book, Charm!, was published on the TV show–and in real […]


Mon, April 7th, 2008
A Really, Truly, Stupendously Wonderful Year for Oscar Wao
Posted by: Keir Graff

The 2008 Pulitzer Prize winners have been announced. Here are the books: Fiction The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz (Riverhead) History What Hath God Wrought, by Daniel Walker Howe (Oxford Univ.) Biography Eden’s Outcasts, by John Matteson (Norton) Poetry Time and Materials, by Robert Hass (Ecco/HarperCollins) Poetry Failure, by Philip Schultz (Harcourt) […]


Mon, April 7th, 2008
These Days, Much Autobiography Is, Too
Posted by: Keir Graff

I started reading Paul Theroux’s new book, Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, this morning. On page four, he quotes Pedro Almodovar: Anything that is not autobiography is plagiarism. I had to laugh.


Fri, April 4th, 2008
Dashiell Hammett’s Handicap
Posted by: Keir Graff

Fans of mystery, sf, and romance know well the second-class status that’s routinely conferred on genre fiction. The big reviews and big awards go to literary fiction; meanwhile, genre fans are checking out, buying, and reading books in numbers that even National Book Award winners dream about. Writers like Michael Chabon, Cormac McCarthy, and even Philip Roth are helping to bridge […]





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