One-Minute Book Reviews

January 29, 2009

Fed Up With the Low Writing Levels in High-Priced Books? The Delete Key Awards Finalists Will Be Announced on Feb. 26, 2009

Filed under: Delete Key Awards,News,Uncategorized — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 1:01 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

“Just before the ax fell, lightning struck and my life changed, never to be the same again.”
From Barbara Walters’s Audition

Clichés, bad grammar and psychobabble in self-help books. Inanity in memoirs by athletes, politicians and movie stars. Dumbing-down in bestselling novels written at a third- or fourth-grade reading level.

These are bad enough when the nation is economically healthy. They may sting more painfully when, in a recession, many books are overpriced.

Had enough? You can nominate offenders for a 2009 Delete Key Award for bad writing by leaving a comment on this or any other post related to the awards. One-Minute Book Reviews will announce the finalists on Feb. 26 and the winners on March 15. (Remember that I need time to verify quotes you submit or to check out candidates you suggest.) A list of possible finalists appeared in the Oct. 8, 2008, post, “Which Is Worse, the Stock Market or the Writing in This Year’s Books?” For more on the awards, click on the red tag at the top of this post that says “Delete Key Awards” or on “Delete Key Awards” under “Categories” at right.

Thank you for visiting One-Minute Book Reviews, a site for people who like to read but dislike hype and review inflation.

Editor’s note: I review books for children and teenagers on Saturdays and occasionally at other times (as earlier this week after the American Library Association named the winners of its annual Newbery and Caldecott medals). So a lot of students visit this site. Can you explain to the kids what’s wrong with the Barbara Walters quote above?

© 2009 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.


  1. Hey Janice. I guess I’m guilty of not really looking around to find this out, should these nominated novels supposed to have been published in 2008 or can we give quotes from books published earlier than last year? Thanks so much!
    -R. Prince

    Comment by rprincess — January 29, 2009 @ 2:28 pm | Reply

    • Thanks for your quick reply. I’m doing only 2008 books but they do not have to have come out first in that year. For example, I will do books published before 2008 if they came out in a new or paperback edition last year (which opens up the field quite a bit because, for example, a lot of movie tie-in editions come out years after the book first appeared in hardcover).

      Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — January 29, 2009 @ 2:36 pm | Reply

  2. lol, guess I’m worthy of a delete key. I meant to say should these nominated novels be novels only published in 2008?
    -R. Prince

    Comment by rprincess — January 29, 2009 @ 2:32 pm | Reply

  3. Thanks again and great! I have “The Reader” in mind and will post a quote later.
    -R. Prince

    Comment by rprincess — January 29, 2009 @ 2:49 pm | Reply

    • Excellent! The Reader is exactly the sort of book that I would consider even though it didn’t come out for the first time in 2008, because it has gained a second life through the movie and its tie-ins.

      Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — January 29, 2009 @ 3:40 pm | Reply

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