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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 'Writers and Writing' Category

Tue, March 8th, 2011
Green Alert: Ted Danson and Oceana
Posted by: Donna Seaman

Ted Danson spoke about his ocean activism at ALA’s Midwinter conference in San Diego, and now he’s making the media rounds to talk about his smart and beautifully produced book about the state of the oceans, Oceana, reviewed in Booklist‘s Spotlight on the Environment in the March 1 issue. This is no passing moment of […]


Thu, February 17th, 2011
Robert Lipsyte, The Contender, and the Cutting Room Floor
Posted by: Bill Ott

I’ve written thousands of reviews for Booklist over the last 30-plus years, but I don’t think I’ve ever written one where there wasn’t something left unsaid. When your reviews rarely exceed 200 words, the cutting-room floor is always well carpeted with points that might have been made, phrases that might have been turned. Perhaps most […]


Wed, February 9th, 2011
Brian Jacques, R.I.P.
Posted by: Ilene Cooper

Before the Harry Potter books—and after them, too—there was the Redwall series (The Sable Quean, 2010), over 20 books set in different eras and different parts of the Mossflower woods and featuring the robust cast of characters who inhabited them. Jacques’ death on February 5th (“Brian Jacques, Writer of Redwall Series, Dies at 71,” by […]


Fri, January 14th, 2011
Today Show: Snooki Trumps Newbery, Caldecott
Posted by: Courtney Jones

In case you need more proof that Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi is a monster and must be stopped, she’s written a book. She wanted to surprise everyone by writing fiction.  Don’t get too excited, A Shore Thing is basically a novelization of her life, with plenty of GTL* for everyone. To add insult to injury, the Today […]


Wed, January 5th, 2011
A New Short Story from Craig Johnson
Posted by: Keir Graff

Craig Johnson, author of the top-notch Wyoming mystery series starring Sheriff Walt Longmire, has a great holiday tradition. Every year, he e-mails his fans a brand-new, unpublished short story. This year, he cut it a little bit closer to Christmas Eve than usual, and so I was away on vacation by the time it arrived. Now […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


Fri, October 29th, 2010
Weeklings: The Novel’s Dream of Itself, E-books on Campus, Google’s Poetry Translations, Prolific Authors, Prison Books, and Sterling’s Gold
Posted by: Keir Graff

There sure are a lot of pieces about the relationship between books and paper, which makes sense. We need a lot of thinking to make sense of this changing media environment. Much as I had a hard time working up the energy to read yet one more take, I was glad I read Tom Chatfield’s “Do […]





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