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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 'Books and Reviewing' Category

Wed, February 1st, 2012
Ten Commandments of Book Reviewing and a Guide to Hatchet Jobs
Posted by: Keir Graff

As a book reviewer—not, I hasten to point out, a book critic—I always enjoy seeing other reviewers’ rules or guidelines for doing the job. Last year, Robert Pinsky did an admirable job of reducing the rules to three; I added one of my own but, in retrospect, I might amend it. I recently received a […]


Wed, January 11th, 2012
Good Prize for Bad Review
Posted by: Keir Graff

As reported by Jill Lawless (Lucy, your long-lost sister is a reporter!) in the Associated Press, the brand-new Hatchet Job of the Year Award will celebrate “the angriest, funniest, most trenchant” book review of 2011. The winner will receive a year’s supply of something called potted shrimp (courtesy of the Fish Society)—so you know the […]


Fri, December 2nd, 2011
Secrets from My Shelves: Madonna’s Sex
Posted by: Daniel Kraus

(Has anyone ever gone over to your bookshelf, picked up a book, and said, “What is this doing here?” This series of blog posts explains some of the more curious findings on one Booklister’s home shelves.) Way over on my lowest, leftmost shelves (right next to the cookbooks, for some unsanitary reason), rests Sex, the […]


Tue, November 22nd, 2011
What Happens When You Invite a Booklist Editor to Your Book Launch
Posted by: Daniel Kraus

Being celebrated by the literati as the most venerable of critics, we editors are inevitably invited to stand before the assembled gala crowd, looking smashing in our tuxes and holding our martinis, to give our opinion of the about-to-be-published book. Sometimes this goes well. Other times it goes really, really, really badly. To give you […]


Fri, September 23rd, 2011
Getting Excited
Posted by: Ilene Cooper

I’ve always said it will be time to quit this job when I don’t feel at least a tingle as a new season’s books starting arriving. Spring 2012, a trickle of books  a few weeks ago, has turned into a steady stream, and everywhere I turn, there’s something new I can’t wait to read. Meg Rosoff is […]


Tue, September 20th, 2011
More Book Crimes
Posted by: Ian Chipman

Earlier this year, my esteemed colleague Dan Kraus wrote a manifesto (My 2011 YA Wishlist) outlining the seven things we need to see less of in teen fiction. Well, in the spirit of making this a regular feature around here, here’s another report from what we’ll be calling the Booklist Book Crimes division. Think of it […]


Wed, August 17th, 2011
What It’s Like to Work at Booklist
Posted by: Daniel Kraus

Decided last night to watch The Best of Everything (1959), a Valley of the Dolls-style movie about three young secretaries slaving away at a New York City publishing house and trying to work their way up to the vaunted position of “EDITOR.”  I was dumbstruck by the movie’s unfaltering realism. Why, this is exactly how […]


Fri, July 22nd, 2011
The Three (or Possibly Four) Rules of Book Reviewing
Posted by: Keir Graff

Robert Pinsky had a great piece in Slate yesterday about a literary hatchet job . . . from 1818. The lessons we can take from it, however, are timeless. In “How Not to Write a Book Review,” Pinksy enumerates the three rules of book reviewing: 1. The review must tell what the book is about. […]


Thu, June 16th, 2011
Sanctuary Re-Released!
Posted by: Daniel Kraus

Readers who followed along to “Desperately Seeking DeSario,” my article about tracking down the forgotten author of one of my all-time favorite novels, take note: Joseph P. DeSario’s Sanctuary is now available in a brand-new e-book edition. Random House has a collection of links where you can buy it from a variety of retailers, including […]


Mon, May 2nd, 2011
The Case of the Missing Author: Solved!
Posted by: Daniel Kraus

If you haven’t read the Mystery Showcase feature “Desperately Seeking DeSario,” read it right this instant. Don’t do it for me; do it for Joseph P. DeSario, the author of Sanctuary–I novel I fell in love with when I was 15 and read repeatedly until three months ago when I tracked down DeSario and discovered […]





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