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.

Janie Chodosh has written a marvelous story of The Elephant Doctor of India.  She is a former elementary-and-middle-school educator and environmental scientist at Santa Fe Community College.


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

The other day, I found The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles.  She is an award-winning author, and she divides her time between Montana and Paris.


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

One of my earliest discoveries of British Women writers was Anita Brookner.  Her novels are mostly short—under 200 pages—and she had a knack for delicate and detailed portraits of her characters.  She wrote twenty novels including her 1988 Booker Prize novel Hotel du Lac.  This was the first of hers I read and my earliest Booker Prize novel.  Anita died in 2016, and I have decided to resurrect some of her finest novels beginning with The Debut.

  

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

Every-once-in-a-while I come across a novel by Emily St. John Mandel.  I skimmed some titles, but nothing caught my attention.  When her fifth novel appeared—The Glass Hotel—the dust jacket intrigued me.  She was a finalist for a National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award.

  

Likely Stories : The Four Winds, by Kristin Hannah

Apr 15, 2021

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.

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.

Eley Williams is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.  She is the author of Attrib. and Other Stories.  Her work has appeared in The Penguin book of Contemporary British Short StoriesThe Liar’s Dictionary is her first novel.  She lives in London.

 


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.


Likely Stories : The Book of Delights, by Ross Gay

Feb 25, 2021

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

Ross Gay is a poet and the winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award among several other prizes.  The Book of Delights is funny, thought-provoking, and worthy of slow reading to catch all the minor—and major—attempts at strange and peculiar essays. 

  

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.  

  

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