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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 August, 2008

Wed, August 27th, 2008
Now That I Think of It, He Was Rather Well Groomed
Posted by: Keir Graff

Sir Salman Rushdie has received an apology from Ronald Evans, author of On Her Majesty’s Service (“Rushdie Shoots Down Book’s False Claims,” by Mary Jordan, Washington Post). (It’s not immediately evident whether the nickname “Scruffy” was one of Evan’s 11 falsehoods.) Said Rushdie: “Instead of going for the megabucks, you simply go to court for […]


Wed, August 27th, 2008
Video That Makes You Want to Read
Posted by: Keir Graff

There are a lot of crap book trailers out there, but this one works really well. Yes, I may be partial because it’s set in Chicago, but no, I don’t know the author, even though I’ve just discovered that I’ll be reading with him at the Book Cellar on Wednesday, September 17. I had mixed […]


Wed, August 27th, 2008
So Much Money, He Can Swim in It
Posted by: Keir Graff

I know it looks as though I’ve taken the week off, but I haven’t. We’re having some esoteric technical problem (although really, aren’t they all?) where, even though users outside the building can see Likely Stories and Book Group Buzz, much of the time we can’t access them at all. And while I could post […]


Thu, August 21st, 2008
Perhaps I Could Have Used Advice from an Editor
Posted by: Keir Graff

I linked to the obituary of L. Rust Hills even though I didn’t have anything interesting to say about it. But I’ve always been interested in the relationship between author and editor, and now that so few authors get meaningful editing, I guess I was moved by the departure of one of the greats. Editors are all […]


Wed, August 20th, 2008
“An idea whose greatness will grip readers and refuse to let them go!”
Posted by: Keir Graff

You know those ecstatic, generally untrustworthy quotes on the back of books–no, not the ones from respected journals like Booklist, but the ones from authors whose connection to the praised author is usually unclear but worth Googling? Well, Blurbings LLC is about to put a price on the process, even if the value to the author is […]


Wed, August 20th, 2008
Literary Virgins and Lost Innocence
Posted by: Keir Graff

Two good pieces from the Guardian‘s theblogbooks. John Sutherland offers a list of the “Top 10 literary virgins“: Why cannot we accept that there is sexless greatness as well as hyper-sexual greatness? Jane Austen was a plain Jane. If she’d looked like Kate Winslet, and had as much glorious sex as Jordan, we would not […]


Wed, August 20th, 2008
L. Rust Hills, R.I.P.
Posted by: Keir Graff

Still catching up. Oh, for the days when there was a “red-hot center” of American literary life. Former Esquire fiction editor L. Rust Hills remembered (“L. Rust Hills, Fiction Editor at Esquire, Dies at 83,” by Bruce Weber, New York Times): A shrewd reader with a keen ear for an original voice and a sure […]


Tue, August 19th, 2008
The United Kingdom’s Jonathan Franzen, Sort Of
Posted by: Keir Graff

In a scenario that will sound familiar to U.S. readers, Scottish novelist Andrew O’Hagan has said that popular English TV hosts Richard and Judy treat their book club followers as if they were “stupid” (“Richard and Judy ‘treat their readers as stupid,’” by Senay Boztas, The Observer): ‘We have an industry where we have a Richard […]


Tue, August 19th, 2008
Chabon Wins the Hugo
Posted by: Keir Graff

Well, a bunch of other people won stuff, but in the same way that some people are only interested in how many medals Michael Phelps can win at the Olympics, some of us are wondering how much hardware The Yiddish Policeman’s Union can bring home for Michael Chabon. (For example, the Nebula.) The full list: Best […]


Tue, August 19th, 2008
Good Question
Posted by: Keir Graff

“Should Mein Kampf Be Un-Banned?” (by Ursula Sautter, Time): It’s long-winded and badly written, a tirade against all things non-German that would have disappeared if its author had never managed to turn many of his vile words into action. Adolf Hitler’s notorious Mein Kampf (My Struggle), a manifesto posing as autobiography, has long been banned […]





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