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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 January, 2009

Fri, January 16th, 2009
Happy 200th Birthday, Edgar Allan Poe
Posted by: Keir Graff

. . . hope you don’t have too much wood under your fingernails. In the Wall Street Journal, John J. Miller writes about Edgar Allan Poe in anticipation of bicentennial of Poe’s birth on January 19 (“Poe at 200 — Eerie After All These Years“). Yet there can be no doubt that Poe left a […]


Fri, January 16th, 2009
Catalog Socials at the Chicago Underground Library
Posted by: Keir Graff

If you’re in or around Chicago, be advised that the Chicago Underground Library has, ahem, gone . . . overground (“Library of obcure Chicago literature opens,” by Robert K. Elder, Chicago Tribune): Underground Library co-founder and director Nell Taylor describes some of the collection’s more esoteric items: Poetry: Gwendolyn Brooks chapbooks ? “It’s a group of […]


Fri, January 16th, 2009
Quickly: One Obamanovella, Two Passings, and Three Comic Characters Find Their Sexuality Under Siege
Posted by: Keir Graff

Just the other day, in response to the news that Laura Bush had a deal for her memoir, I mentioned Curtis Sittenfeld’s American Wife, the fictionalized story of a president’s wife very much like Laura Bush. Now Sittenfeld is writing a serialized novella, “All Along, This Was What Was Supposed to Happen,” about the inauguration of Barack Obama for Slate (“The Story […]


Fri, January 16th, 2009
Buying Reviews and Undropping F-Bombs
Posted by: Keir Graff

An update on David Carnoy’s Knife Music: just before New Year’s, I noticed a review of the book in Kirkus Discoveries. The review praises the pacing and prose, and sums up by calling it a ”gripping thriller debut that is just what the doctor ordered.” A review almost any writer would kill for–and which any writer can apply […]


Wed, January 14th, 2009
Quickly: Presidential Authors, Holocaust Memoirs, Literary Prizes, Prophet Centers
Posted by: Keir Graff

Not to be outdone, Dick Cheney is writing a book, too (Galleycat): In an interview with Sean Hannity, he explained that he had “a few scores to settle,” and hoped the book could top off his legacy. But the consensus seems to be that the best writer to occupy the White House in modern times–well, […]


Tue, January 13th, 2009
Quickly: Penguin Memoir, Obama Bucks, Abusive Blurbs, All Work and No Play
Posted by: Keir Graff

Tom Tomorrow tackles the memory crisis (“This Modern World,” Salon). A bunch of publishing types speculate on how much money Barack Obama will earn for his memoirs (“How Much Will Obama Get for His Memoirs?” New York). Funny, funny, funny: Larry Kirshbaum, agent and former CEO, Time Warner Books: “With Dow 9,000 as a base, […]


Tue, January 13th, 2009
Of Wovels and P-Books
Posted by: Keir Graff

On NPR, Rick Kleffel talks to Victoria Blake of Underland Press about a new form of fiction: the “wovel” (“The Wovel: Literary Alternative to Browsing Blogs“). Basically, it’s a serial novel with a Choose Your Own Adventure twist at the end of each installment–the readers vote on what should happen next. Voting is open from Monday […]


Tue, January 13th, 2009
How Novels are Written and Published
Posted by: Keir Graff

Everything you need to know about the publishing industry, you can learn on YouTube. Which reminds me, you can also learn how to write the Great American Novel:


Tue, January 13th, 2009
Hadfield Wins The TS Eliot
Posted by: Courtney Jones

…not literally. But Jen Hadfield did receive a $22,227 check for her second book of poetry, Nigh-No-Place. Read more in the Guardian (Jen Hadfield wins TS Eliot prize for poetry).


Mon, January 12th, 2009
Crime Novel Gone Missing?
Posted by: Keir Graff

On Flavorwire, Caroline Stanley complains that it can be hard to find a copy of Richard Price’s New York City-set Lush Life in New York City. “Why has Lush Life gained so much steam in recent months?” she asks. Well, Booklist‘s mother raised it to be modest, but I have to point out that a spot […]





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