Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Likely Stories : Happy Holidays, 2021

I’m Jim McKeown, welcome to Likely Stories, a weekly review of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.

I decided to gather a collection of the best books from 2021.  Some have lagged from earlier memories, and several from new titles ahead.  


I begin with Matrix by Lauren Groff.  This novel is a fantastic story of the power of women, over men. able to do all the fine detailed scritptoria and the strength to take up swords and defend the abbey.  Marie has been castoff and sent to a desolate and miserable, crumbling abbey.  Marie is a very large woman.  She has the strength and knowledge to rebuild the abbey and develop the finest abbey in all of Aquitaine in France.

Matt Haig has a marvelously imaginative story in The Midnight LibraryNora Seed has decided to take her life.  She meets a librarian who opens a world of possibilities.  Speaking of life, Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenidge is a story of a woman who can resurrect the dead.  Libertie is the daughter of a woman with the ability to ply her skills to save runaway slaves.  Kazuo Ishiguro tells a tale of an AI set in the near future of Klara and the Sun

Mary Oliver, a renowned, poet shares her stories in ThirstMary has a wonderful affinity with nature and all the creatures great and small.  Here is a partial sample of her work: “WALKING HOME FROM OAK-HEAD—There is something about the snow-laden sky in winter in the late afternoon that brings to the heart elation and the lovely meaningless of time.  When I get home—whenever—somebody loves me there.”  A new novel by Tracey Garvis Graves, Heard It In a Love Song, is the kind of love to share while reading with a friend.  This warm and witty story is one you will not forget.

Richard Powers was on the short list for the 2021 Booker Prize for BewildermentAn astronomer searches the universe for answers found in the cosmos.  Meanwhile, he cares for his young son. 

Steven Galloway is a talented writer, and his latest story is The Confabulist.  He uses the sudden death of a great magician to create a brilliant tale of love and illusion.

Anthony Doerr is an often-over-looked writer.  His latest book, Cloud Cuckoo Land, is a tale of the fifteenth century, a small town in present day Idaho, and an interstellar space ship, decades from now. 

Finally, Sara Nisha Adams has penned an amusing and fun story, The Reading List.  This novel is sure to be my favorite to begin 2022.  This story is a heartwarming debut about a chance encounter with a list of library books.  Unforgettable!

Happy and healthy holidays to all my new and faithful readers!

Likely Stories is a production of KWBU.  I’m Jim McKeown.  Join me again next time for Likely Stories, and happy reading!

Life-long voracious reader, Jim McKeown, is an English Instructor at McLennan Community College. His "Likely Stories" book review can be heard every Thursday on KWBU-FM! Reviews include fiction, biographies, poetry and non-fiction. Join us for Likely Stories every Thursday featured during Morning Edition and All Things Considered with encore airings Saturday and Sunday during Weekend Edition.