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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 November, 2009

Mon, November 30th, 2009
Other Public Figures Palin Comparison
Posted by: Ilene Cooper

Just when it seemed Palinfest 2009 had run its course, comes the news, via a thought-provoking press release, that Sarah Palin has “achieved something else few public figures have: heroine status in a children’s book.” Really? Never seen a book on Eleanor Roosevelt? Sacajawea? Harriet Tubman? Amelia Earhart? Golda Meir? Hillary Clinton? Sandra Day O’Connor? […]


Fri, November 20th, 2009
Weeklings: Blyton, Palin, F-Bombs, and Bad Sex
Posted by: Keir Graff

In regard to last week’s query, yes, I did forget something. I forgot flarf. So Enid Blyton, author of those fabulous Famous Five books I so adored as a callow youth, wasn’t much of a mum (“Why Enid Blyton’s greatest creation was herself,” by Garry Jenkins (Telegraph): The drama reveals how Enid exploited even her own […]


Thu, November 19th, 2009
McCann, Stiles, Hoose, and Waldrop win National Book Award
Posted by: Courtney Jones

The NBAs managed to avoid major controversy in the Young People’s Lit category, choosing  Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, by Phillip Hoose as the winner over David Small’s Stitches. Awards were presented last night at a black tie dinner. The other winners were: Fiction Let the Great World Spin, by Colum McCann  Nonfiction The First […]


Wed, November 18th, 2009
Melina Marchetta’s 2009 Printz Speech
Posted by: Daniel Kraus

Mysterious, complicated, and running on at least two parallel narrative tracks, Jellicoe Road, to say the least, is not for everyone. That’s the main reason why the announcement of the book as the winner of the 2009 Michael L. Printz Award (administered by ALA Young Adult Library Services Association and sponsored by Booklist) was such […]


Fri, November 13th, 2009
Weeklings: Chelsea, Commas, and Cormac
Posted by: Keir Graff

If a third instance makes a trend, then here’s a new trend: book titles that read like the T-shirts sold in spring-break hot-spots. Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea, by Chelsea Handler (2008) I Drink for a Reason, by David Cross (2009) You Can’t Drink All Day if You Don’t Start in the Morning, […]


Thu, November 12th, 2009
Book Trailer Thursday: Under the Dome
Posted by: Daniel Kraus

Watching TV last night, I was flabbergasted to see a book trailer. A book trailer! On TV! It was a 30-second spot for Stephen King’s Under the Dome, and though it hints at elements of martial law and mass casualties, there’s not much to grab hold of. Notable for its placement on network TV, but […]


Thu, November 12th, 2009
Donald Harington, R.I.P.
Posted by: Keir Graff

Donald Harington has died. If you’re asking yourself “Who was Donald Harington?” you’re not alone–the man the New York Times calls the “Ozark Surrealist” never found a very wide readership during his long career (“Donald Harington, Ozark Surrealist, 73,” by William Grimes). But the readers he did have found him a wonderful writer. “Don Harington is not an underappreciated […]


Wed, November 11th, 2009
MacIntyer Wins Giller; “Funny” Winners Announced
Posted by: Courtney Jones

The Bishop’s Man won Linden MacIntyre the $50,000 Giller prize. The other short-listed nominees were: Fall, by Colin McAdam The Disappeared, by Kim Echlin The Winter Vault, by Anne Michaels In other news, the 2009 Roald Dahl Funny Prize went to Grubtown Tales: Stinking Rich and Just Plain Stinky, by Philip Ardagh and Mr. Pusskins […]


Mon, November 9th, 2009
Margo Lanagan’s 2009 Printz Speech
Posted by: Ian Chipman

  Given some of the more intense scenes and themes in Margo Lanagan’s dark, boundary-pushing, and extravagantly written Tender Morsels, it wasn’t outrageous to expect something a little scandalous in her acceptance speech at the 2009 Michael L. Printz Awards (administered by ALA Young Adult Services Association and sponsored by Booklist). Instead, Lanagan went for the reverse shocker and […]


Thu, November 5th, 2009
Book Trailer Thursday: Nubs
Posted by: Daniel Kraus

I’m gonna go ahead and tell you. Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine, & a Miracle holds the distinction of being the only book I’ve ever reviewed that made me cry. Now, I’m not talking the kind of cataclysmic sobbing that makes coworkers edge away, nor am I talking about the ever-disturbing […]





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