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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 January, 2009

Thu, January 29th, 2009
There Is Also a Good Deal of Fiction in His Fiction
Posted by: Keir Graff

As Larry Rohrter reports in the New York Times, “A Chilean Writer’s Fictions Might Include His Own Colorful Past“: At the same time, some of Mr. Bolaño’s friends in Mexico, where he lived for nearly a decade before finally settling down near Barcelona, Spain, are questioning another aspect of the life story he constructed for […]


Thu, January 29th, 2009
Barry Barely Wins the Costa
Posted by: Courtney Jones

The Costa awards judges finally chose a winner, although it seems they had some reservations about their choice. Sebastian Barry’s The Secret Scripture earned the title of “Book of the Year” and earned the author a 25,000 pound reward. But Matthew Parris, chair of the judges, had this to say: Indeed, almost all the judges agreed Barry’s […]


Wed, January 28th, 2009
Personally, I’m Publishing My Memoir as a Screenplay of a Novel
Posted by: Keir Graff

Your Herman Rosenblat update, courtesy of Arts Beat: An independent publisher said it had completed an agreement to publish a novel tentatively titled “The Apple,” based on a movie screenplay that was, in turn, adapted from Herman Rosenblat’s falsified Holocaust memoir, “Angel at the Fence.” Got that? Personally, I’m waiting for the video game, which […]


Tue, January 27th, 2009
Elizabeth Alexander Tells Stephen Colbert about the Truth
Posted by: Keir Graff

I feel like one of those news anchors who follows a bus crash story with a humorous segment on a waterskiing squirrel, but–in case you missed Stephen Colbert telling Elizabeth Alexander that he literally has a mountain in his pants:


Tue, January 27th, 2009
John Updike, R.I.P.
Posted by: Keir Graff

Donna Seaman just came by my office to tell me that John Updike has died. From an e-mail sent by Nicholas Latimer, VP, Director of Publicity at Knopf: It is with great sadness that I report that John Updike died this morning at the age of 76, after a battle with lung cancer. He was […]


Mon, January 26th, 2009
National Book Critics Circle Finalists Announced
Posted by: Courtney Jones

Oh yeah, the National Book Critics Circle has awards to give out too: Fiction Finalists 2666, by Roberto Bolaño (Farrar) Home, by Marilynne Robinson (Farrar) The Lazarus Project, Aleksandar Hemon (Riverhead) The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart, by M. Glenn Taylor (West Virginia University) Olive Kitteridge, by Elizabeth Strout (Random) Poetry Finalists Sleeping It Off in Rapid City, […]


Mon, January 26th, 2009
And the Awards Go To…
Posted by: Courtney Jones

In case you aren’t in Denver or missed the live webcast this morning, the winners of some of ALA’s most prestigious awards have been announced. And the awards go to: Newbery Medal The Graveyard Book, written by Neil Gaiman & illustrated by Dave McKean (HarperCollins) Caldecott Medal The House in the Night, written by Susan Marie Swanson & […]


Fri, January 23rd, 2009
Curl Up with a Pair of Bookends
Posted by: Keir Graff

I’ve been too busy getting ready for ALA’s Midwinter Meeting to post, but I would be unforgivably remiss if I didn’t draw your attention to our BRAND-NEW BLOG, Bookends. So consider your attention drawn, and give it a read, already–I’m off to the convention center. More details about this exciting new development be coming soon.


Wed, January 21st, 2009
Anderson Wins the Scott O’Dell Award
Posted by: Courtney Jones

After much praise, a spot on our 2008 Editors’ Choice List, and a National Book Award nomination, Laurie Halse Anderson’s Chains won the Scott O’Dell award. She gets $5,000 in addition to bragging rights. Founder Scott O’Dell, best known as author of Island of the Blue Dolphins, wanted to give an award for young adult […]


Tue, January 20th, 2009
A Chapbook Is Preferrable to Chapped Lips
Posted by: Keir Graff

Barack Obama: the forty-fourth president of the United States of America. Elizabeth Alexander: the fourth poet to read at a U.S. president’s inauguration. Graywolf Press will be releasing Alexander’s poem, “Praise Song for the Day,” as a chapbook on February 6. Which is good, because, in this humble scribe’s opinion, the poem works better on the […]





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