Book Blog – Likely Stories, from Booklist Online
Booklist Online

Booklist Online: More than 130,000 book reviews for librarians, book groups, and book lovers - from the trusted experts at the American Library Association

| | | | | | | | | | |
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

Thursday, May 8, 2014 4:34 pm
Booklist Seeks Interns for Fall 2014
Posted by: Keir Graff

Booklist - May 1, 2014Gain valuable publishing experience by becoming an intern for Booklist Publications in Chicago! We will be accepting applications until May 31 for two positions starting in September.

For over a century, Booklist has helped more readers find more titles than any other publication. Published by the American Library Association, Booklist delivers more than 8,000 recommended-only reviews of books, audiobooks, reference sources, videos, and DVDs each year. Spotlight issues provide coverage of popular genres, topics, and themes such as biography, YA, multicultural literature, graphic novels, romance, sports, and much more. Reviews are supplemented by interviews, essays, and columns. Booklist‘s electronic presence, anchored by Booklist Online, includes e-newsletters, blogs, webinars, and social media.

Whether you are pursuing an MLS, an MFA, or simply want a taste of magazine and web publishing, this unpaid internship offers an excellent overview of the publishing industry and an opportunity to sample the wide-ranging work of an editorial assistant. Specific tasks include opening the mail (consisting primarily of soon-to-be-published books), logging books into the review database, updating web pages, and light editing/proofreading. Each intern will also have the opportunity to write a review for Booklist and to discuss career options with a Booklist editor.

All candidates should be available a minimum of 12 hours per week. Fall internships begin in September and end in early December. Please send your cover letter and resume to: Keir Graff, editor of Booklist Online, at

Thursday, May 8, 2014 10:25 am
Book Trailer Thursday: Bellweather Rhapsody
Posted by: Annie Bostrom

Mystery Month Michael Cart calls “Encore, encore” for today’s MM BTT, an adult mystery with YA-crossover appeal. In Kate Racculia’s Bellweather Rhapsody (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), twelve-year-old Minnie Graves witnesses a murder-suicide and, fifteen years later, returns to the scene of the crime–the Bellweather Hotel–for a music conference. From there, I’m told that “the book is in the spirit of Agatha Christie, The Shining, and… Glee.” See for yourself in the Tarot cards!

If you need another reason to visit the Booklist booth at ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas, please allow me: Kaite Mediatore Stover, celebrated readers’ advisor and author of Booklist’s popular She Reads column, has another trick up her sleeve—reading Tarot! Stop by the booth to see if the cards hold 50% off a new Booklist subscription for you! See you there on Saturday, June 28, from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at the Booklist booth (#617).

Tuesday, May 6, 2014 1:09 pm
From the Archive: Charles Willeford
Posted by: Keir Graff

Mystery Month

Walking down a sunny Chicago sidewalk moments ago, I found myself confronted yet again by smiling chuggers. If you don’t know what a chugger is, you probably don’t live in either a big city or a college town—the term is a shortening of “charity mugger.” These seemingly ubiquitous, clipboard-toting young people smile at you, compliment your clothing, or just plain guilt-trip you, hoping to prey upon your better nature as they urge you to stop what you’re doing, listen to their charity pitch, and then fork over your credit-card number on the spot.

Maybe it’s just Mystery Month, but today I found myself thinking that a good mystery might start with someone discovering the body of a chugger who’s been murdered and dragged into a back alley. No, I’m not contemplating such a heinous deed—at least, not quite yet—but you have to admit it has possibilities. A world-weary detective, an idealistic victim, a crime committed in broad daylight, a policeman who looked the other way, etc.

Writers and Readers: Stalking Charles Willeford's Elusive GrimhavenThen it occurred to me that, actually, it’s sort of been done: Charles Willeford’s Miami Blues starts with Hoke Moseley’s investigation into the murder of a Hare Krishna in the Miami airport. If you’re willing to accept the notion that chuggers have replaced Hare Krishnas as a new generation’s amiable pests, there you have it. (Hoke and his partner, by the way, are more amused than mortified by the, um, occupation of the deceased; in my parallel plotline, I promise to treat the subject with more gravitas. Probably.)

Thoughts of Charles Willeford naturally reminded me of one of my all-time favorite Booklist mystery features, Frank Sennett’s “Stalking Charles Willeford’s Elusive Grimhaven.” If you’re intrigued by the idea of a book with only one copy, give it a read.

#mysterymonthAnd if you’re interested in Willeford, try an author search on Booklist Online. The cult-favorite author may have died in 1988, years before our website launched, but we’ve still got enough reviews of his work to get you started.

Monday, May 5, 2014 3:09 pm
2013 Agatha Awards
Posted by: Biz Hyzy

At their annual Washington, D. C. convention this past weekend, Malice Domestic announced the Agatha Award winners for books published in 2013. The Agatha Awards celebrate “traditional mysteries” written in the style of Agatha Christie, meaning they contain no explicit gore, sex, or violence. The winning titles are linked to Booklist reviews when available.


The Wrong Girl, by Hank Phillippi Ryan


A Question of Honor, by Charles Todd


Death Al Dente, by Leslie Budewitz


“The Care and Feeding of House Plants” —Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, by Art Taylor


The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln before the Civil War, by Daniel Stashower


Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, by Chris Grabenstein


Friday, May 2, 2014 1:07 pm
2014 Edgar Award Winners
Posted by: Biz Hyzy

Mystery MonthYesterday, the Mystery Writers of America announced the winners of their 2014 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best mystery fiction and non-fiction produced in 2013. Booklist reviews of the winning titles are included where available.


Ordinary Grace, by William Kent Krueger


Red Sparrow, by Jason Matthews


The Wicked Girls, by Alex Marwood


The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War, by Daniel Stashower


America is Elsewhere: The Noir Tradition in the Age of Consumer Culture, by Erik Dussere


“The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository” – Bibliomysteries, by John Connolly


One Came Home, by Amy Timberlake


Ketchup Clouds, by Annabel Pitcher


Cover of Snow, by Jenny Milchman


Thursday, May 1, 2014 1:59 pm
Book Trailer Thursday: The Abomination
Posted by: Annie Bostrom

Mystery Month Mystery Month at Booklist has officially begun, and BTT is never one to sit out a dance. Jonathan Holt’s The Abomination, one of the Best Debut titles from Booklist Editor and Publisher Bill Ott’s list of the Year’s Best Crime Novels, is but the first BTT of a five-Thursday Mystery Month. Prepare to be creeped out.

And with 30.5 days to go, don’t miss a minute of Mystery Month! On Twitter, follow @Booklist_Keir, @ALA_Booklist, and the hashtag #mysterymonth.

The Abomination Trailer from Holst Digital on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 1, 2014 9:00 am
Mystery Month: Don’t Miss It
Posted by: Keir Graff

Mystery MonthLet’s just pretend three ne’er-do-well buddies from high school—you, the brains of the outfit; Deke, the brawn; and Moe, the mouth-breather—somehow managed to pull off, if not the crime of the century, then, at least, the crime of the last six years, robbing the cardboard-box factory at gunpoint, in broad daylight, on payroll-and-annual-bonus day. For the sake of argument, you’ve been hiding out ever since, in the swamp, in a house on stilts, playing card game after card game until all three of you know the creases and smudges on your single deck of cards better than you know each other’s ugly, unshaven faces. Your plan to hide out until the heat cooled down has hit a little snag, however, because Moe can’t remember where he buried the money.

Now, a situation like that is a perfectly good excuse for not knowing about Booklist‘s Mystery Month—but that’s the only excuse I’ll accept. As everyone in the law-abiding world knows, May is the time when we celebrate the publication of Booklist‘s annual Mystery Showcase issue with a happening we like to call Mystery Month. We kicked things off on Tuesday with a webinar, “Mysteries and Thrillers: Pulse-Pounding Picks for Your Patrons,” and, as of yesterday morning, our May 1 print issue is now live on Booklist Online.

May 1, 2014 Booklist coverCrime-fiction fans, get ready to dive into the loot. Today’s issue of REaD ALERT offers generous highlights from the May 1 issue, and magazine subscribers who have set up an online profile will enjoy free and unfettered access to over 200 reviews and a dozen awesome features, including “The Year’s Best Crime Novels,” “A Hard-Boiled Gazetteer to Border Noir,” “Top 10 Crime Fiction for Youth,” and much, much more. Register now for our second webinar, “The Future of Mystery Fiction,” on May 20.

There’s even more loot to be found on Booklist Online, where we’ll be sharing a dozen irreverent and entertaining lists, such as “They Wrote the Crime, They Did the Time: Five Mystery Authors Who’ve Seen the Inside of a Cell,” throughout the month. We’ve also been publishing extra mystery reviews online, which we’ll round up in an issue of Booklist Online Exclusives mailing May 9 . And we’ll share the best of everything on May 30 in a special “Best of Mystery Month” issue of REaD ALERT.

#mysterymonthOur blogs will be chock-full of crime-fiction posts, too, and we’ll be sharing gems from our mystery vault on Twitter and Facebook. Speaking of Twitter, we’ll be tweeting each and every one of our 41 starred mystery reviews before the end of the month. If you want to make sure you don’t miss a thing, follow me at @Booklist_Keir, and Booklist at @ALA_Booklist, and keep an eye on the hashtag #mysterymonth. I hope you’ll spread the word—and join the conversation.

Thursday, April 24, 2014 1:55 pm
Book Trailer Thursday: Going Over
Posted by: Annie Bostrom

Starred, as well as a Top Ten Historical Fiction for Youth title, Beth Kephart’s Going Over (Chronicle) tells the story of starcrossed teen lovers in early 1980s, divided Berlin. Teens are sure to devour rebel Ada’s intricate tale, set in a not too distant, but complex and seldom written about, time in the world’s history.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 1:00 pm
PLA Book Buzz
Posted by: Joyce Saricks

PLA 2014 IndianapolisThanks to the brave souls who, as I requested in my column,  stopped by the Booklist booth at PLA in Indianapolis and shared what they were reading, listening to, and viewing. As you can see, there’s an eclectic mix of adult fiction to choose from, as well as a taste of nonfiction for adults, and some fiction and nonfiction for youth as well. (To those of you who were hoping to see this sooner, thanks for your patience!)

Adult Fiction

The Absolutist, by John Boyne

The Best of All Possible Worlds, by Karen Lord

Death Comes to the Village, by Catherine Lloyd

Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt (audio read by David Pittu)

 A Hundred Summers, by Beatriz Williams

Ilium, by Dan Simmons

Lexicon, by Max Barry

Love Minus Eighty, by Will McIntosh

Midwinterblood, by Marcus Sedwick

Old Filth, by Jane Gardam

A Star for Mrs. Blake, by April Smith

The Theory of Opposites, by Allison Winn Scotch

While Beauty Slept, by Elizabeth Blackwell

Adult Nonfiction

Life Itself, by Rogert Ebert

Fiction for Youth

The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, by Kathi Appelt (audio read by Lyle Lovett)

Nonfiction for Youth

Gravity, by Jason Chin

And on TV . . . 

NCIS, Intelligence, Nikita, Perception, Justified, NCIS-LA

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 9:00 am
2014 Ezra Jack Keats Award Ceremony
Posted by: Biz Hyzy

Earlier this year, the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation announced the New Writer and New Illustrator Award Winners for books published in 2013. The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation partnered with the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection to recognize new voices and artists in children’s literature. On April 10, they celebrated the winners and honorees during the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival at The University of Southern Mississippi. Below are pictures from the event.

Ame Dyckman, winner of the New Writer Award for Tea Party Rules, with Christian Robinson, winner of the New Illustrator Award for Rain! (Photo: Kelly Dunn, Southern Miss Photo Services)

Ame Dyckman, winner of the New Writer Award for Tea Party Rules, with Christian Robinson, winner of the New Illustrator Award for Rain! (Photo: Kelly Dunn, Southern Miss Photo Services)


Winners and Honorees: Linda Davick, Pat Zietlow Miller, Ame Dyckman, Christian Robinson, and K. G. Campbell (Photo: Kelly Dunn, Southern Miss Photo Services)

Winners and Honorees: Linda Davick, Pat Zietlow Miller, Ame Dyckman, Christian Robinson, and K. G. Campbell (Photo: Kelly Dunn, Southern Miss Photo Services)


© 2014 Booklist Online. Powered by WordPress.
Quoted material should be attributed to:
Keir Graff, Likely Stories (Booklist Online).

American Library Association