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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 September, 2010

Wed, September 29th, 2010
IC-SPAN: Reading Obama’s Wars on the iPad
Posted by: Ilene Cooper

In reviewing Bob Woodward’s new book, Obama’s Wars, I made my first foray into the world of e-books. First times are never all that pleasurable, are they? Getting the book online was a no-brainer. Obama’s Wars was embargoed and it would be faster to get it Monday morning first thing than wait for the stores to […]

Mon, September 27th, 2010
Minority Report: Disintegrating into Third World America
Posted by: Vanessa Bush

The term third world is generally applied to underdeveloped nations, which unfortunately are mostly populated by people with brown skin. So even though Arianna Huffington’s book Third World America: How Our Politicians are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream is about the US economy in general, some readers might not be able […]

Sun, September 26th, 2010
Overlooked Books: Samuel Holt
Posted by: David Pitt

In 1986 a new mystery writer, Samuel Holt, appeared on the scene. His first novel, One of Us is Wrong, starred a fictionalized version of the author, an actor called Sam Holt, who went from playing a criminology professor on a hit TV series to solving crimes in real life. You might not have heard of Samuel […]

Fri, September 24th, 2010
Weeklings: Author-Critic Creatures, Milton in the Headlines, a Supposed Stigma, the Present Tense, and Too-Easy Reading
Posted by: Keir Graff

On the Guardian‘s Books Blog, Lesley McDowell writes about writers who are reviewers, and reviewers who are writers–and, honestly, I would have no idea what one of those looks like: It’s a strange hybrid, this author-critic creature. I can’t think of another art form where the “practitioner” and the critic overlap like this. Where are […]

Fri, September 24th, 2010
Achebe wins Gish Prize
Posted by: Courtney Jones

Chinua Achebe won the $300,000 Dorothy and Lillian Gish prize, which is awarded to  “a man or woman who has made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind’s enjoyment and understanding of life.” The Nigerian author’s most celebrated work, Things Fall Apart (1958), has sold more than 10 million copies. […]

Thu, September 23rd, 2010
Book Trailer Thursday: The Empire Strikes Back vs. Ruth by Lake and Prairie
Posted by: Daniel Kraus

Two books that could not be more different: one, a glossy, behind-the-scenes story of one of the biggest sci-fi films ever made; the other, a small-publisher effort on a topic of local interest. But both use the same trailer strategy, positing their author as a hard worker deserving of your attention. Which one reigns supreme? […]

Wed, September 22nd, 2010
Awards Round Up
Posted by: Courtney Jones

Here are some highlights from the literary awards season so far: Ron Rash took home the £35,000 Frank O’Connor award for his short story collection Burning Bright. The PEN USA Literary Awards now includes a “graphic literature” category. Matt Fraction won the inaugural prize for his outstanding body of work. Here are a few of the […]

Wed, September 22nd, 2010
Reading the Screen: Jeffery Deaver
Posted by: David Pitt

The Devil’s Teardrop, Jeffery Deaver’s 1999 novel about a twisted — but exceedingly clever — killer who threatens to commit mayhem unless he’s paid twenty million bucks, has been made into a TV movie starring Tom Everett Scott as document analyst Parker Kincaid and Natasha Henstridge as FBI agent Margaret Lukas. I haven’t seen the […]

Tue, September 21st, 2010
New Books Offer a Midterm Look at Obama and Biden
Posted by: Keir Graff

The recession may be over (did you notice?), but the man in the White House is still taking it on the chin–and not just from FOX News, either. Some of the latest criticism comes from liberals. In The Mendacity of Hope: Barack Obama and the Betrayal of American Liberalism, Roger Hodge compares Obama’s lofty rhetoric with the […]

Sat, September 18th, 2010
Reading the Screen: The Ice Man
Posted by: David Pitt

According to this story at, Mickey Rourke has been cast to  play Richard Kuklinski, a brutal killer-for-hire who, in the seventies and eighties, was the main go-to guy for organized-crime types who needed someone rubbed out. Rourke is, I think, perfect for the part. If you’re not familar with the Kuklinski story, you should check […]

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