One-Minute Book Reviews

February 25, 2010

2010 Delete Key Awards Finalist #6 — ‘The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook’ by Ben Mezrich

Filed under: Delete Key Awards,News — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 2:24 pm
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Update, Feb. 6, 2011: The screenplay for movie The Social Network was adapted from The Accidental Billionaires.

From Ben Mezrich’s The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal (Doubleday)

“His hands roamed under her open white shirt, tracing the soft material of her red bra, his fingers lingering over her perky, round breasts, touching the silky texture of her perfect caramel skin. She gasped, her lips closing against the side of his neck, her tongue leaping out, tasting him. His entire body started to quiver, and he rocked forward, pushing her harder against the stall, feeling her writhe into him. His lips found her ear and she gasped again –”
Has any other author written such purple prose about the Harvard students who put Facebook in the black?

Also from The Accidental Billionaires:

“the end was really a foregone conclusion.”

“Eduardo had spent many evenings in the stacks of Widener – poring through the works of economic theorists such as Adam Smith, John Mills [sic], even Galbraith.”

“Maybe feeding the chicken chicken was a mistake; how was he supposed to know what chickens ate? The thing hadn’t come with a manual. Eduardo had gone to a Jewish prep school in Miami. What the hell did Jews know about chickens, other than the fact that they made good soup?”

Read the full review of The Accidental Billionaires.

The 10 Delete Key Awards finalists are being named in random order, beginning with No. 10, but numbered for convenience. This is finalist No. 6. Janice Harayda also writes about the awards on her Twitter page (@janiceharayda) at www.twitter.com/janiceharayda. The Delete Key Awards winner and runners up will be announced on One-Minute Book Reviews and on Twitter on March 15.

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

2010 Delete Key Awards Finalist #7B ‘Mommywood’ by Tori Spelling with Hilary Liftin

Filed under: Delete Key Awards,News — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 1:05 pm
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From Tori Spelling’s Mommywood (Simon Spotlight), written with Hilary Liftin, in which Spelling writes of a day when her son had an accident at a pool:

“Either you know this already or it’s too much information, but swim diapers aren’t rigged quite the same way as normal diapers are. Swim diapers have a tough job. They have to keep in whatever comes out. Without them, babies would put the ‘poo’ in ‘pool.’ So they don’t have convenient Velcro openings. You can’t just untape, wipe, and be done with it. Instead they’re like little pants. The load is kind of trapped in there. Good news for the other swimmers, but once I had Liam in my arms, I had no idea how to get that swim diaper off while adequately containing its contents. That is to say, I feared the poop. …



“I laid Liam down on his towel. I pulled off the swim diaper. Again, either you know this already or it’s too much information, but when poo is exposed to that environment (pool water, a sopping swim diaper, a hyper child – the trifecta), it loses its structural integrity. There was no … cohesion. Just crumbles of poo everywhere. A horror show. I went in for the kill, but a few swipes later I was out of wipes and still facing an insurmountable mess. I swear, there was actually more there than when I started.”
You’re right, Tori: Way too much information.

Read the full review of Mommywood. Tori’s mother, Candy Spelling, is also a 2010 Delete Key Awards finalist. This is the first time two members of a family have made the shortlist in the same year.

The Delete Key Awards are being named in random order, beginning with No. 10, but numbered for convenience. This is finalist No. 7B, which tied with No. 7A, Tori Spelling’s Mommywood, for this spot. The winner and runners-up will be announced on March 15 on One-Minute Book Reviews and Janice Harayda’s Twitter page (@janiceharayda) at www.twitter.com/janiceharayda.

© 2010 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.

2010 Delete Key Awards Finalist #7A (tie) – ‘Stories From Candyland’ by Candy Spelling

Filed under: Delete Key Awards,News — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 12:16 pm
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Candy Spelling’s Stories From Candyland tied with Tori Spelling’s Mommywood for this spot on the shortlist.

From Candy Spelling’s Stories From Candyland (St. Martin’s), a memoir of her life with Dynasty producer Aaron Spelling:

“There’s a big celebrity culture that you’d have to be here in L.A. to truly understand.”
Unless your supermarket sells the National Enquirer.

“Celebrities get way too much attention and credit, but they certainly sell movies, music, products, and entertainment.”
The way to fix that is by writing a memoir about your famous family and your celebrity friends?

“Being a celebrity, knowing celebrities, working with celebrities, writing about celebrities, feeding celebrities, repairing celebrity cars, and photographing celebrities – these are just some of the elements of our local economy. There is no end to the public’s fascinating with all things (and people) celebrity.”
Enough word-repetition for an early reader called Dick and Jane Go to Hollywood.

Read the full review of Stories From Candyland.

The 10 Delete Key Awards finalists are being named in random order, beginning with No. 10, but numbered for convenience. This is finalist No. 7A, which tied with finalist No. 7B, Tori Spelling’s Mommywood, for this spot. You can also read about the Delete Key Awards on Janice Harayda’s page (@janiceharayda) on Twitter. The grand prize 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.com

 

2010 Delete Key Awards Finalist #8 — ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ by Seth Grahame-Smith

Filed under: Delete Key Awards,News — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 11:48 am
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From Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Quirk):

“‘What can be da meaning of dis?’ howled Charlotte, as soon as he was gone. ‘Mah dear Ewiza, he muss be love you, aw he never wuh have called in dis famiwiar way.’”
Charlotte Lucas turns into a Regency zombie and appears to channel the words of Mammy in Gone With the Wind. Jane Austen weeps.

Read the full review of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. 

You can also read about the Delete Key Awards on Twitter at @janiceharayda. The 10 finalists are being announced in random order, beginning with No. 10, but numbered for convenience. This is finalist No. 8. 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.

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.

February 24, 2010

Finalists for the Delete Key Awards for Bad Writing in Books — Tomorrow Starting at 10 a.m. ET

Filed under: Delete Key Awards,News — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 1:35 pm
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How badly can you write and still get a book published in America? Find out tomorrow when the shortlist for the Fourth Annual Delete Key Awards for bad writing in books is announced on One-Minute Book Reviews starting at 10 a.m. Eastern Time. These literary booby prizes do not honor the year’s worst books but badly written sentences, paragraphs or passages, which will be posted with the shortlist. The awards recognize defects such as clichés, bad grammar, psychobabble, redundancy, pomposity, dumbing-down or overall inanity.

The Delete Key Awards grand-prize winner and runners up will be announced on March 15, and until then, you may vote for or against candidates leaving comments on their nomination on this site. You can also read about the awards at @janiceharayda on Twitter.

February 18, 2010

Delete Key Awards Finalists — A Week From Today

Filed under: Delete Key Awards — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 10:04 pm
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So you think Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol had the worst writing you read in a 2009 novel? Wait until you read the passages nominated for the  Fourth Annual Delete Key Awards for bad writing in books of fiction and nonfiction for adults or children. The finalists will be announced on this site beginning at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 25.

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