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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 October, 2008

Wed, October 8th, 2008
Taking the Page 69 Test
Posted by: Keir Graff

Have you heard of the Page 69 Test? The tireless and wonderfully named Marshal Zeringue, the one-man team behind the Campaign for the American Reader, asked me to apply it to One Nation, Under God. I hope I passed.

Tue, October 7th, 2008
Doyle Wins the Thurber
Posted by: Keir Graff

Larry Doyle has won the Thurber Prize for American Humor for his novel, I Love You, Beth Cooper (2007). Patricia Marx (Him Her Him Again the End of Him, 2007) and Simon Rich (Ant Farm and Other Desperate Situations, 2007) were the runners-up. From the AP (“D’oh! Ex-’Simpsons’ writer wins $5,000 prize“): “Clearly Larry Doyle […]

Tue, October 7th, 2008
From the Department of: You Wish
Posted by: Keir Graff

I received a press release for a book (David Michael Slater’s The Book of Nonsense: Sacred Books, Vol. 1) headlined, “Publisher Expects New Series to Be Banned.” Have we come to the point where publishers and authors want their books to be challenged, in the belief that the resulting attention, positive and negative, will increase sales? (After all, they can’t burn […]

Mon, October 6th, 2008
Toby Young: Tripping over His Own Low Standards
Posted by: Keir Graff

In New York Magazine, Justin Shubow documents some striking similarities between Toby Young’s How to Lose Friends and Alienate People (2002) and John Tierney’s New York Times Magazine story, “Masochism Central” (1996). For example: Tierney: “350 Madison … has been called, among other things, the Palace of Pulchritude; the two men’s stores flanking the entrance, Brooks Brothers and […]

Fri, October 3rd, 2008
Quickly: Writers both Highly Paid and Vomited On–and Much, Much More
Posted by: Keir Graff

Your Friday grab-bag:  Bernard Henri Levy and Michel Houellebecq are tired of being pushed around, darn it. And, like the public men of letters they are, they’re . . . taking it public. The headline to Angelique Chrisafis’ Guardian story says it all: “The cultural whipping boys’ manifesto: France has vomited on us for too […]

Thu, October 2nd, 2008
Posted by: Keir Graff

Reviewing Roberto Bolano’s novel 2666, an anonymous Kirkus scribe sums it up thusly: “Unquestionably the finest novel of the present century–and we may be saying the same thing 92 years from now.” Talk about having the courage of your convictions! (Or would they still say the same thing if it was a signed review?) Personally, I don’t think book reviews […]

Thu, October 2nd, 2008
Likely Stories: The All-Poetry Issue
Posted by: Keir Graff

Hayden Carruth (Scrambled Eggs & Whiskey, 1996), R.I.P. (“Hayden Carruth, Poet and Critic, Dies at 87,” by William Grimes, New York Times): “He had a greater variety of poems than almost anybody,” said the poet Galway Kinnell, a longtime friend. “He was interested — superinterested — in everything and he could write about anything.”  Clive […]

Thu, October 2nd, 2008
Share the Joy of Shared Reading
Posted by: Keir Graff

Book Group Buzz, Likely Stories’ sibling blog, is the official partner blog of the WNBA’s NRGM. That would be National Reading Group Month. And that’s the Women’s National Book Association, not the Women’s National Basketball Association. (And just when I finally got the whole WWF/WWE thing figured out, too.) Writes Mary Ellen Quinn: Book Group […]

Wed, October 1st, 2008
U.S. to Sweden: This Thing Is ON
Posted by: Keir Graff

Oh no he di’n’t: Horace Engdahl, “the top member” of the Nobel Prize jury, dissed American literature, big-time (“Nobel literature head: US too insular to compete,” by Malin Rising and Hillel Italie, AP): Speaking generally about American literature, however, he said U.S. writers are “too sensitive to trends in their own mass culture,” dragging down the […]

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