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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 'Chicago' Category

Thu, March 20th, 2008
A Free Lunch–and You’re Buying
Posted by: Keir Graff

Tax Increment Financing sounds like a guaranteed sleep aid–but once most taxpayers learn what it is, they’re likely to be awake all night, burning with rage at both ends. (It’s a particularly contentious topic here in Chicago.) In an interview on Fresh Air, Free Lunch author David Cay Johnson explains “How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense […]


Mon, March 17th, 2008
Love It
Posted by: Keir Graff

Say hello to The Long Goodbye, Chicago (“Crime thriller ‘The Long Goodbye’ selected for ‘One Book, One Chicago,’ by Deanese Williams-Harris, Chicago Tribune): “The Long Goodbye” by crime-genre master Raymond Chandler is the 14th and latest book selected for the Chicago Public Library’s “One Book, One Chicago” program. Twice a year, in the spring and […]


Thu, February 14th, 2008
Book It!
Posted by: Keir Graff

The radio show of Booklist‘s own Donna Seaman, Open Books, is now airing on Chicago’s NPR affiliate, WBEZ, on select Sunday nights. Be sure to tune in this Sunday, February 17, at 9 p.m. (Central) as she talks with author Nancy Goldstein about her book Jackie Ormes: The First African American Woman Cartoonist–just reviewed in […]


Fri, February 1st, 2008
Dirty Book, Crowded Bus
Posted by: Keir Graff

When we read in public, we give passersby a glimpse into our souls. (Knowing that, of course, many among us choose their public reading accordingly–don’t tell me you’re enduring the wrist strain of reading Russian classics on the 144 bus because you never read anything lighter.) But for those of us who don’t always choose […]


Thu, January 24th, 2008
A Terrific Game of Critic Kong
Posted by: Keir Graff

Check out the critical conversation in the new Time Out Chicago (“Critical Condition,” by Kris Vire), featuring Booklist‘s very own “books critic,” Donna Seaman (the accidental title makes it seem as if we also have food, TV, and automotive critics). An excerpt: Kris Vire: Is passion more important than education? Donna Seaman: Initially, but passion […]


Mon, December 10th, 2007
Biographer of Roosevelt and Nixon Sentenced to Prison
Posted by: Keir Graff

Conrad Black (aka Lord Black of Crossharbour, aka “The Robber Baron”), author of Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom (2003) and Richard M. Nixon: A Life in Full (2007), has been sentenced to 78 months in prison (“Judge cuts Conrad Black a break,” by Abdon M. Pallasch, Chicago Sun-Times). He doesn’t look happy. If he […]


Thu, December 6th, 2007
Sun-Times Won’t Be Outdone by the Tribune
Posted by: Keir Graff

Now the bad news. The Chicago Sun-Times is taking the axe to its book section. From Critical Mass: Just when it seemed the cutbacks in newspaper book sections had struck bone, they’ve gone deeper yet this month. Starting on December 30th the Chicago Sun-Times’ book section – formerly run by Cheryl L. Reed, now by […]


Mon, November 26th, 2007
That’s Funny, There Was a Mountain in My Backyard, Too
Posted by: Keir Graff

The Chicago Sun-Times profiles a small-town boy with big-city ideas (“Small-town boy, big-city ideas,” by Mark Eleveld): Uptown takes a lot of its character from its bars, buildings and the different crowds — the occasional transient looks like he popped out of a dime store novel, and the bouncers are straight out of Raymond Chandler […]


Mon, October 29th, 2007
They Don’t Write Novels Like They Used To, Apparently
Posted by: Keir Graff

Apparently the last half century has been a time of drought in Chicago letters. In its November issue, Chicago Magazine (“Tough Love: Great Chicago Novels“) offers its list of the “ten essential Chicago novels.” But while inclusion doesn’t necessarily hinge on a novel’s status as classic, the results skew that way, with only one post-1953 book–Sandra Cisnero’s The House on Mango Street […]





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