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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 August, 2008

Tue, August 19th, 2008
Point Taken, but the Timing Is Unfortunate
Posted by: Keir Graff

Sir Salman “Scruffy” Rushdie (sorry, I just can’t help myself, it’s too cute), whose name is frequently evoked in the Jewel of Medina affair (note to the Ian Fleming estate: great title for a Bond film), has weighed in (“Rushdie condemns cancellation of Muhammad novel,” by Hillel Italie, AP) “I am very disappointed to hear […]


Tue, August 19th, 2008
Also, The Story of Civilization Has a Terrible Plot
Posted by: Keir Graff

Defending her role in the unpublishing of Sherry Jones’ The Jewel of Medina, Denise Spellberg writes “I do not espouse censorship” in The Wall Street Journal (“I Didn’t Kill ‘The Jewel of Medina’“). Nevertheless: . . . I felt it my duty to warn the press of the novel’s potential to provoke anger among some […]


Tue, August 19th, 2008
The writing contest was hilarious, like a . . . really funny thing.
Posted by: Keir Graff

The winner of the 2008 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest has been announced. Garrison Spik is guilty of writing the following opening sentence to a nonexistent novel: Theirs was a New York love, a checkered taxi ride burning rubber, and like the city their passion was open 24/7, steam rising from their bodies like slick streets exhaling […]


Tue, August 19th, 2008
I’m Back!
Posted by: Keir Graff

Warm thanks and a big round of applause to Kaite Mediatore Stover for keeping my chair warm while I was on vacation. Actually, let me rephrase that–”keeping my chair warm” has unfortunate overtones of bench warmer, and anyone who knows Kaite knows that she starts for the varsity team. Not only that, the chair is […]


Mon, August 18th, 2008
Dog Days of Reading
Posted by: Kaite

I’m entering my yearly literary petulant phase. Nothing sounds good, nothing is compelling. I’m judging all my reading matter by its covers and everything is wanting. Even traffic signs, menus, and pay checks. Especially pay checks. I was grumbling over my predicament with my pal over at the Kansas City Star, John Mark. He’s having the same […]


Thu, August 14th, 2008
Speed Reading Demon
Posted by: Kaite

I get notions every once in a while. I acquire biblio-obsessions and bore friends and family with trivia, history and other assorted minutiae on my topic du jour. I’ve been transfixed by Jane Austen, fascinated by waiters and now I’m working a NASCAR compulsion. Yes, you heard right. NASCAR. Can’t blame me, though. I was […]


Tue, August 12th, 2008
Better Living Through Audio
Posted by: Kaite

Last year while Keir was away fighting forest fires in the wilds of Montana, I was battling a faulty compact disc player. You may recall that I won the scuffle with the CD player when I introduced it to my hammer. But I lost the war. I bought an iPod that same day. My fellow […]


Sat, August 9th, 2008
Book Par-tay!
Posted by: Kaite

Today is National Book Lovers’ Day. The actual date is questionable. Most folks celebrate on August 9. A few others claim the first Saturday in November for the biblio-holiday. How does one celebrate this inconspicuous day of import? Simple. Choose a book. Match with comfy seating. Pair with beverage of your choice. Commence to reading […]


Fri, August 8th, 2008
I’m Taking Books and a Fire Extinguisher
Posted by: Keir Graff

I’ll be visiting family in Montana until Tuesday, August 19. While I’m gone, the inestimable Kaite Mediatore Stover, Booklist‘s She Reads columnist and a Book Group Buzz blogger (those are only two of her many, many endeavors), has agreed to post a few times. Try not to have too much fun without me, willya? I’m hoping that my […]


Fri, August 8th, 2008
Radio on Writing
Posted by: Keir Graff

My brother, Sean, sent me a link to some videos of Ira Glass talking about storytelling. Glass is primarily addressing would-be broadcasters, but there’s some nourishing food for thought for writers, too, particularly in chunklets #2 (where he talks about the importance of spending a lot of time coming up with the story, not just producing it) and […]





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