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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

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Friday, February 13, 2009 4:35 pm
Quickly: Banning Books, Speaking Freely, Faking Memoirs, Stealing Books, Feeling Sorry
Posted by: Keir Graff

And what a week it was. All right, fine: weeks. A few miscellaneous links I can’t delete without sharing . . . .

The editorial board of the New York Times makes a good point (“Banning Books in Miami“):

The Miami-Dade School Board’s decision is not only unconstitutional, it is counterproductive. If the board wants to oppose the totalitarianism of the Castro regime, banning books is an odd way to go about it.

The usually opinionated Stephen King gets all coy (“Exclusive: Stephen King on J. K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer,” The Who’s News Blog). Come on, Steve, tell us what you really think!

” . . . The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good.”

Staid Heeb magazine weighs in with its response to the recent spate of fraudulent holocaust memoirs (“Heeb Magazine Fake Holocaust Memoir Competition“).

And thus, we unveil the Heeb Magazine Fake Holocaust Memoir Competition. Simply write a fake Holocaust Memoir recounting your tale of Holocaust survival, get it to us by April 1, and let us do the rest, which, in this case, involves reading your submissions choosing a winner, announcing the winner on Yom Hashoah (April 21) and publishing the winning entry in the subsequent issue of Heeb. You’re reading that correctly. You could be published in Heeb Magazine, and who knows—maybe you could be on Oprah, too?

I don’t know–did they cross the line? Wendy Rosenfield thinks it’s bad for the Jews (“Faking the Holocaust for Fun and Profit,” Drama Queen).

My issue is with Heeb, not with the fake memoirists, because if Jews don’t treat the Holocaust like the untouchable horror it was, then who will?

This sounds like a really great movie and really bad real life. Too bad it’s real life. (“Book world’s silence helps tome raiders,” by Sandra Laville, Guardian.)

Known as the “Tome Raider”, he also goes by the aliases Mr Santoro or David Fletcher. A notorious gentleman thief in the rarefied world of antiquarian books, he has slipped through the hands of the police, is wanted and at large.

Leon Neyfakh asks, “Is There Any Glamour Left in Publishing?” (New York Observer). Of all the hits the book biz has taken in recent months, I think the glamour shortage has me feeling the saddest. (Although we’ll know things are really bad if they start spelling glamour without the u.)


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