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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 August, 2010

Tue, August 31st, 2010
Minority Report: Witnessing the Backlash
Posted by: Vanessa Bush

If I hadn’t read Will Bunch’s The Backlash: Right-Wing Radicals, High-Def Hucksters and Paranoid Politics in the Age of Obama, I might have been more mystified by several recent developments. Monday, NBC’s Brian Williams, in an exclusive interview with President Barack Obama, asked for a response to charges that the president is not a native-born […]


Thu, August 26th, 2010
Reading the Screen: Christianna Brand
Posted by: David Pitt

Nanny McPhee Returns, the sequel to 2005′s Nanny McPhee, is in theaters. Emma Thompson, wearing some truly arresting makeup, stars as a sort of offbeat, uglified, funhouse-mirror-image of Mary Poppins who’s hired to care for a widower’s small army children. You might not know this — it wasn’t widely advertised — but Nanny McPhee was loosely based […]


Sat, August 21st, 2010
Reading the Screen: The Day of the Jackal
Posted by: David Pitt

I know how busy you are, so I bit the bullet and watched The Jackal, the 1997 movie based on Frederick Forsyth’s 1973 novel The Day of the Jackal. Now you don’t have to. The Day of the Jackal is an excellent thriller. The story, set in 1963, revolves around an assassin’s scheme to murder the […]


Fri, August 20th, 2010
Awards Round Up
Posted by: Courtney Jones

Things have really been heating up on the literary awards circuit. Here’s the latest in finalists news: Ladies and Gentlemen, start placing your bets. Right now the odds are in favor of  David Mitchell’s The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet to take the The Man Booker on Oct. 12. Get good look at Mitchell’s long list competitors on the Man […]


Fri, August 20th, 2010
Weeklings: E-books, E-books, E-books . . . Aieeee!
Posted by: Keir Graff

It’s a headline that will hearten the e-evangelists and terrify the p-book lovers: “Mass Paperback Publisher Goes All-Digital” (Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, Wall Street Journal). In response to declining sales, struggling Dorchester Publishing announced that it will print books on electrons, not paper. Publishers Weekly (“Dorchester Drops Mass Market Publishing for E-Book/POD Model,” by Jim Milliot) added […]


Thu, August 19th, 2010
Book Trailer Thursday: Freedom
Posted by: Daniel Kraus

Count me in as one of the legions of Franzenites. I’ve been a enthusiastic fan since The Twenty-seventh City (1988) and I still count Strong Motion (1992) as one of my faves. The guy can write! But can he make videos? No! He cannot! But Franzen’s a wily one. He begins this little–well, I’m not […]


Wed, August 18th, 2010
Overlooked Books: The Ascent of Rum Doodle
Posted by: David Pitt

We had so much fun talking about overlooked books for Mystery Month, we thought we’d keep the discussion going. The rules are simple: the book can be in any genre, and it has to be relatively unknown, but also relatively easy to hunt down. W.E. Bowman’s The Ascent of Rum Doodle, an hysterical parody of mountaineering memoirs, fits the […]


Mon, August 16th, 2010
Reading the Screen: The Forever War
Posted by: David Pitt

You might have heard that Ridley Scott is getting together with his Blade Runner writer, David Peoples, to make a movie out of Joe Haldeman’s 1974 science fiction novel The Forever War. Scott is the right guy for the movie, I think. The kind of realism he brought to Blade Runner and Alien — scarred and […]


Thu, August 12th, 2010
Book Trailer Thursday: The Clock without a Face
Posted by: Daniel Kraus

One of the oddest books to receive a Booklist star this year is Gus Twintig’s The Clock without a Face, a picture-book (kind of) mystery (kind of) that’s a head-scratcher on more levels than you have fingers to scratch. To boil it waaaaaaay down, the Emerald Khroniker, a clock of incalculable value, has been stolen, […]


Wed, August 11th, 2010
Reading the Screen: Ken Bruen’s London Boulevard
Posted by: David Pitt

William Monahan, writer of such films as The Departed and Body of Lies, has written and directed London Boulevard, based on Ken Bruen’s 2001 novel of the same name. In the book, a clever riff on the classic movie Sunset Boulevard, Mitchell, an ex-con recently sprung from prison, gets entangled with an aging actress and is […]





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