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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 December, 2009

Wed, December 30th, 2009
Craig Johnson’s Sheriff Catches a Firebug
Posted by: Keir Graff

It’s been a quiet week here at Likely Stories, a perfect time to sneak a few minutes of reading for pleasure, not work. As he did last year, Craig Johnson (The Dark Horse) e-mailed his fans a short story for Christmas–this one came so late on Christmas Eve that it likely crossed paths with the jolly old […]


Mon, December 28th, 2009
Blurbs: A Topic That Just Keeps on Giving
Posted by: Keir Graff

In “What’s the Point of Blurbs?” Daniel Kalder provides a nice entry in the Guardian‘s continuing coverage of blurbs, building on the work of Chris Power (“How to Judge a Book by Its Cover,” which mentions Irvine Welsh, as Kalder does) and William Leith (“Blurb Your Enthusiasm,” which mentions Nick Hornby, as Kalder does)–but couldn’t he have just blurbed […]


Fri, December 18th, 2009
“His skin is blue and there is no breathing” – Merry Christmas from Barry Gifford!
Posted by: Keir Graff

If you like Christmas, but you’re not so fond of jollity, then here’s a stocking stuffer for you: “The Starving Dogs of Little Croatia,” a heretofore unpublished story by Barry Gifford (The Stars above Veracruz, 2006). ALA’s very own Rob Christopher, who brought the story to Chicagoist, sets the scene: Picture, if you will, a vanished […]


Thu, December 17th, 2009
Book Trailer Thursday: YALSA Book Trailer Contest
Posted by: Daniel Kraus

I know, I know: every time I post about some amazing new trailer, it seems nigh impossible to compete. But take heart! People–even teens–make their own book trailers every day. All it takes is a little ingenuity (and some fake fangs if it’s a Twilight trailer, which, let’s face it, it probably is). Now it’s […]


Tue, December 15th, 2009
YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction Finalists Announced
Posted by: Courtney Jones

The brand-spanking-new YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction now has  five inaugural finalists: Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream, by Tanya Lee Stone Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith, by Deborah Heiligman Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, by Phillip Hoose The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous and Stupendous Life of Showman […]


Fri, December 11th, 2009
Weeklings: Kirkus Will Review No More
Posted by: Keir Graff

And then there were three. Prepublication book-review journals, that is. After 82 or so years of opinionated, often caustic, looks at books, Kirkus Reviews is shutting up shop. (“Editor & Publisher and Kirkus Reviews Close,” by Richard Perez-Pena, New York Times–keep reading, the Kirkus bit is at the bottom.) I didn’t always like what they […]


Tue, December 8th, 2009
Green Alert
Posted by: Donna Seaman

News reports claim that most Americans are not worried about or even interested in hearing about climate change. It ranks last on the list of  things that keep us up at night, long after job fears and money woes. But the truth is, everything is connected. Answers to financial crises are found in new green industries and […]


Fri, December 4th, 2009
Weeklings: E-Readers, Outmoded Technology, and Bad Sex
Posted by: Keir Graff

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, this is a week-and-a-half’s worth of weeklings. On Monday, I weighed in on e-readers: And, yes, my preference is paper. Why? Because I spend one-third of my waking life staring at screens. I have screen fatigue. I have gadget fatigue, too, and key, button, mouse, and scroll-wheel fatigue. When I […]


Fri, December 4th, 2009
Gappah wins 2009 Guardian First Book Award
Posted by: Courtney Jones

An Elegy for Easterly, a collection of short stories, won Petina Gappah the 2009 Guardian First Book award. In a brief interview following last night’s ceremony, the author said she was happy to win, but nervous because “all eyes are on [her] now.” Still, she has no intention of quitting her day job as a […]


Thu, December 3rd, 2009
William C. Morris Finalists Announced
Posted by: Courtney Jones

Today, five debut YA authors found themselves William C. Morris finalists: Ash, by Malinda Lo Beautiful Creatures, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl The Everafter, by Amy Huntley Flash Burnout, by L. K. Madigan Hold Still, by Nina LaCour The winner will be revealed at the Youth Media Awards during ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in Boston on Monday, January 18th.





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