Likely Stories

Thursday 7:45am and 4:45pm. Saturday 8:35am. Sunday 9:35am

So many books, so little time!  Jim McKeown hosts this weekly review of fiction, poetry, non-fiction and biographies.  Jim is a lifelong voracious reader who learned to read by the “rule of 50.”  If he’s not engaged in the characters, the prose, or the plot by page 50, he puts in a book mark and returns it to the shelf.   Likely Stories  is a three and a half minute module that we think you’ll give “FIVE STARS!” 

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.

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.

It has been a while, but, at last I received the latest collection of poetry by Billy Collins.  Whale Day is another magnificent collection by this talented poet.  My only problem is trying to narrow down the selections for this wonderful introduction.


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

Fiona Davis is a best-selling author of several novels.  She lives in New York City.  She graduated from the College of William and Mary and Columbia Journalism School.   The Chelsea Girls is her fourth novel.


Hi, I’m Jim McKeown, welcome to Likely Stories, a weekly review of fiction, Non-Fiction, and Poetry.

With hundreds of books in my TBR pile, sometimes it takes years to get to a particular book.  I am not sure how I came across this one, The Restaurant of Love Regained, by Ito Ogawa.  This interesting and absorbing book was released in 2008.  It is a splendid story of love, loss, and Japanese cooking.  Ito was born in 1973 and she authored several children’s books.  She also runs a popular website about cooking, where she supplies daily recipes of Japanese cuisine.


If you're an avid reader, or have one you plan to buy a gift for, take a look at this list from Jim McKeown, host of our weekly book review, Likely Stories.  Happy reading!  And, happy holidays.

As we approach the holiday season and the end of 2020, I've found some interesting titles for readers who, like me, are still self-quarantined due to COVID19.  I know I have wracked up a mighty list for getting us through to next year.  Enjoy! 

Hi, I’m Jim McKeown, welcome to Likely Stories, a weekly review of fiction, Non-Fiction, and Poetry.

Graham Swift won the Booker Prize for his novel Last Orders, and I had hopes for another win, but not for this year!  His latest novel is Here We Are.  This story is set in 1959 Brighton-by-the-Sea.  According to the dust jacket, there are three main characters: Ronni is a brilliant young magician, Evie, his dazzling assistant, and Jack, who is a born entertainer.  The language is wonderfully comic, but it requires some patience. 


I’m Jim McKeown, welcome to Likely Stories, a weekly review of fiction, Non-Fiction, and Poetry.

Diane Cook lives in Brooklyn, New York.  She has had a number of short stories to her credit.  Her second novel, The New Wilderness, is a gripping tale.  This story is about a group of people who were moved off of the “City” and forced into a large uninhabited area of wilderness.


I’m Jim McKeown, welcome to Likely Stories, a weekly review of fiction, Non-Fiction, and Poetry.

As a child of the Olde sod, I am a fan of several Irish writers, including James Joyce, W. B. Yeats, and my latest obsession, Roddy Doyle.  Love is Doyle’s seventeenth novel.


I’m Jim McKeown, welcome to Likely Stories, a weekly review of fiction, Non-Fiction, and Poetry.

Louise Elisabeth Glück was born April 22, 1943 in New York City.  She is a poet, essayist, and a professor.  She has numerous awards including a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, and the 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature.  Her poetry inspired me during my MFA in poetry and short fiction.


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