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!” 

Likely Stories : Hamnet, by Maggie O’Farrell

Aug 19, 2021

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

William Shakespeare is surely one of the greatest talents of all time.  His works are witty, explosive, endearing, and charming admired and loved across the globe.  Maggie O’Farrell has written a novel that captures the essence of Shakespeare himself.  Maggie wrote eight novels, including her latest, Hamnet.  She was born in Northern Ireland in 1972, and now lives in Edinburgh. 

 

  

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

I rarely bother with nonfiction, but Here We Are by Aarti Namdev Shahani is a well-written story of her family's move from Casablanca to Pakistan to the USA.  The initial parts of the story detail the hardships the family had escaping from the terrors following the breakup between India and Pakistan. 

  

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

The Last Bookshop in London, by Madeline Martin, is a marvelous story of love, passion, loss, and terrible hardship.  Martin has penned five other novels, two of which will soon be on my TBR pile.


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

Kazuo Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki, Japan in 1954 and moved to Britain at the age of five.  His eight previous works of fiction have earned him many honors around the world, including the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Booker Prize.  Two of my favorite of his novels—The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go--have had acclaimed films.  I feel certain his latest novel, Klara and the Sun, will add to his oeuvre. 


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

Jhumpa Lahiri has released six novels, and her latest, Whereabouts, is an eclectic series of short ruminations anywhere from one to about five pages.  Her stories are lyrical, witty, interesting, with an ability to draw the reader from one story to the next. 

  

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

Katlyn Greenidge is a spectacular young woman just coming out of her first novel, We Love You, Charlie Freeman.  She has won a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, among other awards.  Libertie is her second novel.

Likely Stories : Thirst, by Mary Oliver

Jul 8, 2021

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

According to Wikipedia.  “Mary Jane Oliver passed on January 17, 2019.  She was an American poet who won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.  Her work is inspired by nature, rather than the human world, stemming from her lifelong passion for solitary walks in the wild.  In 2007 she was declared to be the country's best-selling poet.” (Wikipedia) I felt a kinship with her works, and I miss her every day.

  

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

Betcha’ thought I’d run out of novels set in Libraries and bookstores!  Well, here is a story of love and depression.  The Midnight Library by Matt Haig is just what the book reviewer ordered.  Matt is the author of the internationally bestselling memoirs Reason to Stay Alive, along with five novels, including How to Stop Time, as well as several award-winning children’s books.  Somehow, I felt this novel was going to speak to me.


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

Robert Seethaler, a German novelist, has written a transcendent novel of a young man who is wounded when an effort to fix his damaged legs leaves him partially crippled.  As he grows, he rebuilds his body, and enables himself to work harder than most of his coworkers on a snowy mountain.  Robert Seethaler’s A Whole Life is unforgettable.  He was born in Vienna in 1966.  He now lives in Berlin.

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

I have for you today the last of the six dramatic novels by Kent Haruf, The Tie That Bind.  This story warns of potential dreadful results in a completely dysfunctional family.  Kent won numerous awards, including a special citation from the PEN/Hemingway Foundation, a finalist for the National Book Award, the LA Times Book Prize, and the New Yorker Book Award.  He died in 2014.

  

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

Barbra Kingsolver is a widely read novelist.  The Poisonwood Bible is one of her most admired works.  The best parts of the book were those written by the mother, and the four children.  The family is led by a Baptist Missionary determined to live out one year in the Congo.


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

Ever since high school, I have carried a secondary obsession with the ancient Greeks and the myriad gods, goddesses, nymphs, and warriors, like Achilles, Ajax, Hector, Paris, Hellen, and, of course, Odysseus.  Natalie Haynes is a writer and broadcaster.  Her latest book is A Thousand Ships¸ detailing the greatest war ever fought until the 1914.

 


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

Joyce Carol Oates is an incredibly prolific author.  She has published countless stories, novels, poetry, non-fiction, and more than forty short pieces, among which is her latest work, The (Other) You. 

  

 

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

Maaza Mengiste is the author of The Shadow King.  She was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  She is a Fulbright Scholar and professor with an MFA in the Creative Writing & Literary Translation program at Queens College.  The story is based on the early days of the 1935 invasion ordered by Mussolini against Ethiopia.


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.


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