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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 December, 2008

Tue, December 16th, 2008
The Statistics about Lying Do Not Lie
Posted by: Keir Graff

This just in: men and women lie about they read. (Men, naturally, are twice as likely to do so.) But there’s a perfectly good reason for it: reading the right stuff helps you succeed with the opposite sex. (Which is why men . . . never mind.) A survey conducted by England’s National Year of Reading […]


Tue, December 16th, 2008
That’s One Way to Mark the Burns Sesquibicentennial
Posted by: Keir Graff

The poetry beat ain’t always pretty. From the Guardian (“Two new Burns poems discovered,” by Alison Flood): His love might have been like a red red rose, but it turns out that Robert Burns may also have been suffering from a rather nasty STD, according to a collection of explicit writing apparently by Scotland’s national […]


Tue, December 16th, 2008
Breaking the Silence
Posted by: Keir Graff

It’s been quiet here, I know. Part of the reason: REaD ALERT!


Tue, December 9th, 2008
Thought for the Day
Posted by: Keir Graff

Nobel laureate Jean-Marie Gustave le Clézio, speaking at the Swedish Academy (Le Clézio uses Nobel lecture to attack information poverty,” by Richard Lea, The Guardian): “To provide nearly everyone on the planet with a liquid crystal display is utopian,” he said. “Are we not, therefore, in the process of creating a new elite, of drawing […]


Tue, December 9th, 2008
The Tyranny of the To-Read Pile
Posted by: Keir Graff

It’s fun following the threads of a blog conversation through cyberspace, even when I have to do it backward. In the Wall Street Journal (“Still on the Shelf“), Book Lover Cynthia Crossen gave herself the following challenge: “to save money by reading a book that I own but have never read.” Sounds easy, doesn’t it? As I […]


Tue, December 9th, 2008
Long Odds and Sports Books
Posted by: Keir Graff

It was a sad day for Cubs fans yesterday, as the geniuses on the Veterans Committee of the Baseball Hall of Fame failed once again to elect Ron Santo into their ranks. Not only did they not elect him, they didn’t elect anybody–and they haven’t for eight years. A hall of fame should be an exclusive club, […]


Mon, December 8th, 2008
Book-Group Battleground
Posted by: Keir Graff

Usually I leave the book-group beat to Book Group Buzz, but since I also patrol the feudin’ and fussin’ beat, I’m going to poach this story. Sorry, I mean, share this story–I’d love to read some of their front-line observations on the topic. But Joanne Kaufman’s New York Times article, “Fought Over Any Good Books […]


Fri, December 5th, 2008
Even Academics Count Their Bullets
Posted by: Keir Graff

It goes without saying that you shouldn’t write in library books. But when you’re reading a library book, isn’t it always interesting to see what the scofflaws have written? Here’s a photo of a piece of marginalia, from a book believed to be The Plunder Squad, by Richard Stark (aka Donald E. Westlake), that proves […]


Fri, December 5th, 2008
Good-Looking Books a Recipe for Publishing Success?
Posted by: Keir Graff

There’s a nice post by Anne Trubek on the GOOD blog, seconding James Gleick’s NYT Op-Ed (“How to Publish without Perishing,” also linked Monday). Gleick wrote: Forget about cost-cutting and the mass market. Don’t aim for instant blockbuster successes. You won’t win on quick distribution, and you won’t win on price. Cyberspace has that covered. Go […]


Thu, December 4th, 2008
Leonid McGill on Librarians
Posted by: Keir Graff

I just handed in my review of Walter Mosley’s The Long Fall, the first book in a new mystery series set in New York City and starring Leonid McGill, private eye. I liked it better than the Fearless Jones books, but McGill is no Easy Rawlins, either. I couldn’t help but notice the following paragraph (read it with […]





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