Jim McKeown

Host, Likely Stories

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.  

Ways to Connect

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

Kristin Hannah’s latest novel, The Four Winds, is a heartrending story—a worthy companion to The Grapes of Wrath.

 


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

Richard Powers is the author of twelve novels.  He is the recipient of a MacArthrur Fellowship and the National Book Award, and he has a Pulitzer Prize and is a four-time National Book Critics Circle Award finalist.  His latest book is, The Overstory.

 


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

When I was in about seventh grade, I came upon a book which aroused my interest in Egyptology.  The book was Gods, Graves, and Scholars.  I read at least the Egyptian part of that book numerous times a year.  I have many shelves stuffed with my collection of books on ancient Egypt.  Then, my wife suggested I might like to read a novel by Jodi Picoult, The Book of Two Ways.  My interest in Egypt exploded anew.

 

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

Susan Minot grew up in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts.  Her superb novels include Monkeys, Evening, Folly, Lust & Other Stories.  Poems 4 A.M.  is her first volume of poetry.  She currently lives on North Haven Island in Maine.  

 


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

Margaret Atwood is one of the premier writers in English these days.  She has, to her credit, fifteen collections of poetry, seventeen novels, eight pieces of short fiction, ten non-fiction works, as well as seven works for children, and three graphic novels.  Dearly: New Poems is her latest work.

 


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

My favorite surprise gift in 2020 was from my bride:  The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery.  This book turned out to be a fascinating look into the world below the oceans.  “Sy is a naturalist, and author of twenty acclaimed books of non-fiction for adults and children.”  She lives in New Hampshire with her husband, a border collie, and flocks of chickens.


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

Susan Minot is a tremendously gifted writer who reminds me of two of my favorite writers—Henry James and Iris Murdoch.  To me, they recall the fluid language, thoughtful introspection, and voices with memorable prose.  Susan is the author of Monkeys, Lust & Other Stories, and Folly.  A mesmerizing experience is how I describe Evening by Susan Minot.  


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

According to the jacket, Gina Wilkinson is, “an award-winning journalist, author, foreign correspondent, and documentarian.  While in Iraq, she was under tight surveillance.  Gina now works in international development, supporting efforts to end poverty in the developing world.  When the Apricots Bloom is her first novel.

  

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

Over the last few years, I have devoured the works of Fredrik Backman.  He hails from Sweden, and he has written seven superbly funny, interesting, and moving novels.  His latest book is Anxious People.  Two-thirds of the book are full of humor and outright laughter, while the last third is a wonderfully described set of characters who supply all the fun for these characters.  

  

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

The Falling Woman, Richard Farrell’s debut novel, is interesting, exciting, and guaranteed to keep you reading with no brakes!  Richard is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a former pilot.  He has a number of works to his credit.  He holds an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.  He currently lives in San Diego, with his wife and two children.

 


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

Many of my prized novels are centered around bookshops and libraries.  I thought I had a wealth of these titles, but I always seem to find other examples.  The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs invited itself into my collection. 


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

I stumbled on Crossings by Alex Landragin in a local book store in Waco.  For some reason, I was looking for something to pique my imagination.  I was about to leave the store that day, but I decided on a whim to try it out, with a careful eye on my “Rule of Fifty.”  When I got home, I began to read, and before I knew it, I was closing in on 100 pages.  What kept me going was the bizarre changes the characters underwent.  I am now glad I took it all the way to the end.  That end is what I needed to keep me in suspense.

 


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

Peter Heller has penned four outstanding suspense novels.  His first was The Dog Stars, followed with The Painter, then The River, and now his latest is Celine, the story of a women who has a hobby of finding lost people.  She carries a Glock 26 and is not afraid to use it.

 


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

Lisa See has written a number of fun and interesting stories of Asian women.  The latest such story I read is China Dolls.  It describes the control young men have over their sisters from 1938 to 1988.


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

I once attended an American Library Association Convention, and I found myself in line for an inscribed copy of Lust by Susan Minot.  Unlike many authors that day, she had a comfortable demeanor as though we were longtime friends.  She signed my book, “Thanks for being the first in line that day.”  I recently got a copy of her latest book, a collection of short stories, Why I Don’t Write.  Her prose is fluid, captivating, and downright funny. 


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