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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 May, 2008

Fri, May 30th, 2008
Who Said That Nobody Reads?
Posted by: Keir Graff

I guess a cynic might say that nobody’s reading because everybody’s publishing. Either way, the traditional paper book is obviously practically extinct. Some staggering numbers for you to ponder over the weekend (“On-Demand Titles Drive Jump in Book Output,” by Jim Milliot, Publishers Weekly): The production of traditional books rose 1% in 2007, to 276,649 new […]


Wed, May 28th, 2008
I Want to Put My Kids to Sleep–Not Give Them Nightmares!
Posted by: Keir Graff

I think it’s the “quiet Dick Cheney whispering ‘hush’” that creeps me out the most. Take a look inside at the Goodnight Bush site. (Via.)


Wed, May 28th, 2008
How about a Downbeat Reading List for People Who Find Comic Novels Amusing?
Posted by: Keir Graff

I received an e-mail yesterday from Marianne Goss, who wants to promote her site, www.positivelygoodreads.com, “an upbeat reading list for people who often find serious novels depressing”. In the event that there are a lot of like-minded readers out there, I’m happy to share the link. But as someone who thrives on darkness and despair, I don’t think […]


Wed, May 28th, 2008
Self Wins the Wodehouse
Posted by: Keir Graff

Did you hear about the 2008 Wodehouse Prize for comic fiction? It’s a funny story. From the Guardian (“Hay festival: Will Self wins comic fiction prize,” by Richard Lea): A prize winner may come to seem almost inevitable after the announcement, the newly-crowned work suddenly towering above its former rivals on the shortlist like a […]


Wed, May 28th, 2008
Or Maybe They Didn’t Read the Subtitle
Posted by: Keir Graff

USA Today calls Scott McClellan’s What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception “surprisingly scathing” (“Ex-spokesman’s book blasts Bush administration,” by Mike Allen). Maybe they missed the excerpt that was released last fall. The New York Times, of course, is not surprised (“In Ex-Spokesman’s Book, Harsh Words for Bush,” by Elisabeth Bumiller).


Tue, May 27th, 2008
Books in Space!
Posted by: Keir Graff

Well, not paper-and-glue books–those would be too heavy and would take up too much room. But, in two fascinating extraterrestrial tales, the always forward-thinking Baen Books is giving its e-books away free to astronauts–at least, to those astronauts currently residing on the International Space Station–and, thanks to the success of NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander, the Red […]


Fri, May 23rd, 2008
Judging Books by Their (Working) Titles
Posted by: Keir Graff

For those of you interested in judging books by their titles, David McKie (“The Great Trimalchio,” the Guardian commentisfree) investigates what playwright Neil LaBute calls “a rarely considered miniature art form”: book titles. Many trivia fans already know that Margaret Mitchell considered calling Gone with the Wind the more pedestrian Pansy–but how many know that F. […]


Fri, May 23rd, 2008
Front Covers: A Trend with Legs
Posted by: Keir Graff

For those of you interested in judging books by their front covers, PRINT Magazine chronicles a trend with legs (“One Leg Leads to Another,” by Steven Heller). (Thanks, Dan!)


Fri, May 23rd, 2008
Judging Books by Their (Back) Covers
Posted by: Keir Graff

On the Guardian’s theblogbooks, book reviewer Chris Power admits that even he sometimes chooses books by their covers. Not the front covers, but the back covers, which often consist of synopses or blurbs or both: The problem with your common or garden synopsis is that it boils off all the stuff that attracts me about fiction […]


Thu, May 22nd, 2008
From Boys to Men
Posted by: Keir Graff

And, just in time for Father’s Day . . . Harper Entertainment is betting that it’s not just young boys who are interested in retro, clip-arty activity books–their fathers may be, too:   This one, however, makes me kind of sad, and not only because my poor book-loving father never taught me how to flush a radiator:





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