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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 May, 2008

Thu, May 22nd, 2008
Another Bad Boys Book
Posted by: Keir Graff

Or should that be Another Bad-Boys’ Book? I’m just going by the cover here. But this trend is getting dangerous:


Thu, May 22nd, 2008
Mother of Mercy! Is this the end of critics?
Posted by: Keir Graff

Prompted by Ronan McDonald’s The Death of the Critic, Salon offers a thoughtful conversation between Louis Bayard and Laura Miller in which they ask whodunit (“Who killed the literary critic?“). There are plenty of culprits: overabundance of entertainment options, intellectual snobbery, cultural studies, poststructuralism, democracy, newspapers, blogs, etc. (I wish they would have written it up as […]


Thu, May 22nd, 2008
Likely Stories Lunch
Posted by: Keir Graff

Well, I’m not likely to give Publishers Lunch any meaningful competition, but I am pleased to be able to announce an up-and-coming author’s new book deal. From Likely Stories (“Likely Stories Lunch,” by Keir Graff): In a bold deal brokered by the Endeavor Agency, Random House has acquired Daniel Kraus’s coming-of-age novel, The Monster Variations, with plans to publish […]


Wed, May 21st, 2008
Frey’s Reading Is a Riot!
Posted by: Keir Graff

Well, it wasn’t the Hell’s Angels that were the problem, apparently, but still, a recent James Frey book event gave some attendees more than they bargained for (“Crowds Collide,” Page Six): May 17, 2008 — JAMES Frey – who told Page Six, “I’m trying to break the mold of what readings can be” – had […]


Wed, May 21st, 2008
This Is Only Partially True at Booklist
Posted by: Keir Graff

In the Guardian’s theblogbooks, Molly Flatt has some interesting thoughts on how hard it is to “praise interestingly”–and why reviewers seem more likely to go for the funny put-down than balanced praise (“Criticism’s vocabulary of cruelty“): Despite our native savagery, surely there is nothing quite so pleasing as a balanced, sensitive and generous review that manages to capture the […]


Wed, May 21st, 2008
Twenty Thousand Pounds of Prizes
Posted by: Keir Graff

Paul Verhaeghen (Omega Minor, Dalkey Archive) takes the 2008 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize–and gives the 10,000-pound check to the ACLU. Here’s why. Lawrence Hill (The Book of Negroes, HarperCollins Canada) wins the 2008 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, wonders why everyone is looking expectantly at his 10,000-pound check. (Or, if you prefer, cheque.)


Wed, May 21st, 2008
I Heard the Stereotypes and Clichés Weren’t Even True
Posted by: Keir Graff

Leonard Kniffel, Editor-in-Chief of American Libraries and author of A Polish Son in the Motherland, has reviewed James Frey’s Bright Shiny Morning for us (which just went live moments ago as our Review of the Day). Although he does offer some praise for the outed fiction writer, he doesn’t shy away from pointing out shortcomings in the […]


Tue, May 20th, 2008
Try the Veal
Posted by: Keir Graff

We’ve been busy lately, formatting old feature articles and adding some missing ones to the Booklist Online archive. It’s always fun to see the stuff from before my tenure at Booklist. I chuckled several times at the quotes in Bill Ott’s Back Page column, “Finding the Good Parts” (first published March 1, 1997). Take this one liner–please: I […]


Mon, May 19th, 2008
And who can’t use a laugh on Monday morning?
Posted by: Keir Graff

This really should have been a Friday post, but I hadn’t seen it yet. In a tender, candid reminiscence, an aging Atticus Finch writes, “Honestly, if this book had been written at almost any other time, it would have been pretty damn boring.” From The Onion (“I Would Say ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ Captured The Most Interesting […]


Fri, May 16th, 2008
REaD ALERT!
Posted by: Keir Graff

(I speculate that you’ll like this fantasy fiction.)





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