One-Minute Book Reviews

February 25, 2010

2010 Delete Key Awards Finalist #9 — ‘Going Rogue’ by Sarah Palin

Filed under: Delete Key Awards,News — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 11:24 am
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From Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue: An American Life (Harper):

“But when the boom went bust, the golden goose still ruled the roost.”
Unless the goose was counting its chickens before they hatched instead of the clichés in this one.

Read the full review of Going Rogue.

You can also read about the Delete Key Awards at @janiceharayda on Twitter. The 10 finalists are being announced in random order, beginning with number 10. This is finalist #9 The winner and runners-up will be named on March 15.

© 2010 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.

2010 Delete Key Awards Finalist #10 — ‘The Lost Symbol’ by Dan Brown

Filed under: Delete Key Awards,News — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 10:59 am
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From Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol (Doubleday):

“The only wrinkle was the bloody black-clad heap in the foyer with a screwdriver protruding from his neck.”
Yes, a screwdriver sticking out of your neck is always something of a wrinkle.

“It was no coincidence that Christians were taught that Jesus was crucified at age thirty-three …”
Just as it’s no coincidence that people were taught that Baskin-Robbins has 31 flavors.

“Thankfully, this particular crypt contained no bodies. … The entourage hurried through, without even a glance at the four-pointed marble compass in the center of the floor where the Eternal Flame had once burned.”
As opposed to one of those three-pointed compasses you usually see.

“His hips and abdomen were the archways of mystical power. Hanging beneath the archway [sic], his massive sex organ bore the tattooed symbols of his destiny. In another life, this heavy shaft of flesh had been his source of carnal pleasure. But no longer.”
That “archways of mystical power” helps to make this passage read like a cross between The Secret and recruitment brochure for McDonald’s.

“According to Nola’s spec sheet, the UH-60 had a chassis-mounted, laser-sighted, six-gigahertz magnetron with a fifty-dB-gain horn that yielded a ten-gigawatt pulse.”
Did Tom Clancy send in a play from the sidelines here?

Read the full review of The Lost Symbol and more of Dan Brown’s worst lines. 

You can also read about the Delete Key Awards at @janiceharayda on Twitter. The 10 finalists are being announced in random order beginning with No. 10. The Lost Symbol is finalist #10. The winner and runners-up will be announced on March 15 on One-Minute Book Reviews and on Twitter.

© 2010 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.
www.janiceharayda

Fourth Annual Delete Key Awards Shortlist in 15 Minutes

Filed under: Delete Key Awards,News — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 10:52 am
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One-Minute Book Reviews will begin to announce the finalists for the Fourth Annual Delete Key Awards for bad writing in books in about 15 minutes.

These literary booby prizes do not recognize the year’s “worst books” but give examples of many kinds of bad writing found in books published in hardcover or paperback in 2009: clichés, bad grammar, pomposity, dumbing-down, purple prose and more.

The 10 Delete Key Awards finalists will be announced in random order today, beginning with No. 10, but numbered for convenience.  The winner and runners-up will be announced on March 15 because Julius Caesar was assassinated on the Ides of March, and the winners assassinate the English language.

2010 Delete Key Awards Honorable Mention – ‘Mennonite in a Little Black Dress’ by Rhoda Janzen

Filed under: Delete Key Awards,News — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 1:46 am
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From Rhoda Janzen’s Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home (Holt):

“Al’s enrollment at St. Veronica’s had not been a shoe-in, but Phil and Hannah had decided that Christian guilt was better than bad math.”


“With a pattern of dodgy behavior already established, I was a shoe-in for further scrutiny.”


“Aaron sang close harmonies in a madrigal group, his rich-timbered baritone blending like butter.”

You could argue using “shoe-in” for shoo-in and “timber” for “timbre” ought to have won Janzen an automatic spot on the shortlist. But copyeditors typically catch such mistakes and may have caught similar errors in the books of the other finalists. So Janzen gets only an honorable mention to avoid penalizing her for lapses by an editor.

Read the full review of Mennonite in a Little Black Dress.

You can also read about the 10 Delete Key Awards finalists on Janice Harayda’s page on Twitter (@janiceharayda). The winner and runners-up will be announced on March 15 on One-Minute Book Reviews and Twitter.

© 2010 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.

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