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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 the 'Book Lists' Category

Mon, July 9th, 2007
Booklist vs. the Tribune
Posted by: Keir Graff

The Chicago Tribune’s Julia Keller offers this year’s thoughts on the Great American Novel (“The Great American Novel was written by:“). And chooses American Psycho, by Bret Easton Ellis. I’m thinking she was swayed by the fact that the word American is in the title. Last year, Bill Ott asked us to vote for the […]


Mon, June 18th, 2007
Fathers Discover Fatherhood Again
Posted by: Keir Graff

Ever since men first discovered fatherhood (when was that, the Sixties?), they keep on discovering it. Now “cool guys” have discovered it: Alternadad, by Neal Pollack (Pantheon) Punk Rock Dad: No Rules, Just Real Life, by Jim Lindberg (Collins) “No Rules, Just Real Life”? Hey, this parenting manual has attitude — just like me! Awesome! […]


Fri, May 25th, 2007
Titlistan
Posted by: Keir Graff

My favorite trend in titling continues: Blogistan, by A. Srebeny and G. Khiabany (Holtzbrinck) Richistan, by Robert Frank (Crown) Londonstani, by Gautam Malkani (Penguin) Prisoner of Trebekistan, by Bob Harris (Crown) Dispatches from Blogistan, by Suzanne Stefanac (New Riders) Londonistan, by Melanie Phillips (Encounter) Absurdistan, by Gary Shteyngart (Random) Absurdistan, by R. Lee Wright (Cocolalla) […]


Tue, March 13th, 2007
Children’s Books Not Necessarily Kid Stuff
Posted by: Keir Graff

Reading Read Roger this morning, I found a link to a helpful list of controversial children’s books in The New Yorker (“Inappropriate,” by Paul Rudnick). For example: "The Pretty Little Bunny" Melissa, the pretty little bunny, woke up one morning in May and said, "I think I’ll hop-hop-hop over to the carrot patch. I’m so pretty that all […]


Tue, November 14th, 2006
Misspent Adulthoods
Posted by: Keir Graff

My recent post about McGoorty Day made me think about my other favorite books about pool and billiards. I’ll save the how-to books for another list, but this mix of narrative nonfiction, biography, and fiction should satisfy anyone who wants to steep in the seedy milieu of poolrooms. The Bank Shot and Other Great Robberies, by Minnesota […]


Fri, October 27th, 2006
Trying Not to Be Part of the Problem
Posted by: Keir Graff

I’ve been lamenting the rise of the celebrity-authored picture book often and loudly enough to have finally realized that I’m part of the problem. Even if I’m only mentioning these books only in order to criticize them, I’m still contributing in a small way–very, very small–to the media hype. Jessmonster was the first to answer […]


Thu, August 24th, 2006
World War, Three
Posted by: Keir Graff

George Eberhart, a senior editor at American Libraries (and an author himself), e-mailed a contribution to the war books project before I went on vacation and, sluggard that I am, I let it sit in my in-box until now. A few of the titles stray from my “wars with American involvement” criterion, but rules were made to […]


Fri, August 4th, 2006
Back to War
Posted by: Keir Graff

A little while ago, while reading Jarhead, I started a list of books that “say something about the experience of war and its aftermath.” It’s not a subject area in which I’m well read, but I received some helpful suggestions both in the comments to that post and via e-mail. Brad Hooper, who studied history […]


Wed, July 12th, 2006
The Experience of War
Posted by: Keir Graff

I’m nearing the end of Jarhead. Operation Desert Storm has finally started but the men are still waiting to go into combat. The waiting reminds me, in a way, of the waiting in trench warfare, like All Quiet on the Western Front, except that, in today’s wars, the enemy is not waiting just a few […]


Tue, July 11th, 2006
Jarheads and Junkies
Posted by: Keir Graff

I stayed up far too late last night reading Jarhead. I think part of the reason I’m so absorbed in it is that I’m not reviewing it. When I’m reviewing a book, I rarely surrender entirely to the writing – there’s always a part of me that stands back, taking notes and thinking about how […]





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