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Book Blog - Likely Stories, by Keir Graff - Booklist Online

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, 2010

Tue, November 30th, 2010
Rowan Somerville Has Bad Sex in Hand
Posted by: Keir Graff

In London last night, the Bad Sex in Fiction Award was presented to Rowan Somerville for a passage in his novel, The Shape of Her. Guess what he’s describing when he writes of the “nose of the loveliest nocturnal animal, sniffing in the night”? If you guessed “nipple,” you’re right–and maybe you should nominate yourself […]


Mon, November 29th, 2010
A Family Affair
Posted by: Donna Seaman

The next year will bring a torrent of arresting literary memoirs, memoirs by writers about literary parents or husbands or near-relatives. Joyce Carol Oates remembers her late editor husband, Raymond Smith, in A Widow’s Story. Anne Roiphe chronicles her stint as muse to her unstable first husband in a forthcoming memoir. Gail Godwin sheds light […]


Sat, November 27th, 2010
Reading the Screen: World War Z
Posted by: David Pitt

Unless you’ve been dead the last few months, you probably know that Max Brooks’ rather brilliant novel World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War (2006) is being made into a movie. Directed by Marc Forster (Finding Neverland, Stranger than Fiction, and the unfairly maligned Quantum of Solace), the movie stars Brad Pitt […]


Wed, November 24th, 2010
Weeklings: Literary Elephantiasis, Stefhaufmannchen, Forbidden Books, Bad Sex, and Tintin as You’ve Never Seen Him Before
Posted by: Keir Graff

A quick roundup of the last week and a half before I don my camouflage coverall, smear my face with dirt, and go hunting for wild turkeys with my bare hands. Just kidding–who am I, Ted Nugent? Good old cranky Robert McCrum–why, he even scowls in his headshot! Last week, took books to task for ballooning […]


Tue, November 23rd, 2010
Don’t Be Messin’ with My Hardy Boys
Posted by: Bill Ott

I really don’t have anything against mash-ups. I loved Classic Comics as a kid, and only a few years ago I saw a version of King Lear at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre that was set in an unnamed Balkan country. Lear, played by Stacey Keach, was portrayed as a Slobodan Milosevic-like dictator ready to retire and […]


Tue, November 23rd, 2010
Reading the Screen: Novelizations
Posted by: David Pitt

Morning Glory, the new movie starring Rachel McAdams as a television producer, is getting solid reviews. There is, rather predictably, a tie-in novelization, but here’s the surprise: it’s a good book. “Novelization” is a sort of literary dirty word, used to describe books written from screenplays. As a general rule they’re badly written, with paper-thin […]


Fri, November 19th, 2010
Reading the Screen: London Boulevard Approaches
Posted by: David Pitt

A while back I alerted you to the impending movie adaptation of Ken Bruen’s excellent novel London Boulevard. The trailer is online, and it looks really good, appropriately stylish and violent. Check it out:


Thu, November 18th, 2010
National Book Award Winners Announced
Posted by: Courtney Jones

The National Book Awards ceremony was full of surprises, with Jaimy Gordon’s win the foremost. She was met with shocked silence from most of the audience, which mirrored her own reaction. In her speech she stated ”I am totally unprepared and I am totally surprised…” So, prepare yourselves, for the winners are: Fiction Lord of Misrule, by Jaimy Gordon […]


Wed, November 17th, 2010
Say It Ain’t So, Jane
Posted by: Mary Ellen Quinn

Was Jane Austen a sloppy writer? That’s the claim made by Oxford professor Kathryn Sutherland, and she’s posted more than 1,000 pages of Austen manuscripts online that she says prove her point. In fact, Sutherland has concluded that Austen’s celebrated style is really the work of an unknown editor. The claim has generated  publicity and even controversy; in an NPR […]


Wed, November 17th, 2010
More about Harlan Coben Than Is Strictly Necessary
Posted by: Keir Graff

Three years ago, I made a public vow (well, it appeared on this blog, anyway) to read a book by Harlan Coben. I had read a profile of him in the Atlantic (“Paperback Writer,” by Eric Konigsberg) that, while not damning him as some have damned James Patterson, did portray Coben as being a guy who cared as […]





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