One-Minute Book Reviews

March 14, 2009

Delete Key Award Winners to Be Announced Monday

Filed under: Delete Key Awards,News — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 5:23 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

One-Minute Book Reviews will announce the winners of the Third Annual Delete Key Awards for the year’s worst writing in books of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry on Monday, March 16, beginning at 10 a.m. Eastern Time. The finalists for the prizes were announced on February 26. The three winners will be announced on One-Minute Book Reviews (with the the full citations) and on Twitter (with the winner’s name only) in this order: second runner-up, first runner-up, grand prize winner.

(c) 2009 Janice Harayda.

March 11, 2009

James Frey writes like this should he get a Delete Key Award on Monday Terry McMillan wrote like this too but she was only a finalist has Frey surpassed her?

There’s usually at least one Delete Key Awards finalist that reads like an entry in a Bad Hemingway Parody contest. This year that spot on the shortlist goes to this passage from James Frey’s Los Angeles novel, Bright Shiny Morning:

“He said she would have a better life the sun shining every day more free time less stress she said she would feel like she had wasted a decade trying to get to the major leagues only to demote herself once she got into them.”

Should Frey’s effort be among the winners named on Monday?

Consider this: Terry McMillan made the 2007 shortlist for the passage below. But she didnt win, because the competition from Mitch Albom and Danielle Steel was just too tough even for this jawbreaker from her The Interruption of Everything:

“We tried you on your cell but you didn’t pick up so we got a little worried since we didn’t know where your appointment was and we tried calling Leon at work but his assistant said he left early to pick up his son at the airport and against our better judgment we tried your house and Hail Mary Full of Grace answered and after she deposed us, I asked if she knew your doctor’s number and she said she had to think for a few minutes and while she was thinking I started thinking who else we could call and that’s when I remembered your GYN’s name was a hotel: Hilton!”

Should Frey win — even though McMillan didn’t — given that Bright Shiny Morning isn’t up against a novel written third-grade reading level (Albom’s For One More Day) or brimming with stereotypes of Jews (Steel’s Toxic Bachelors)? If you would like to try to tamper with the jury, you have until Saturday.

© 2009 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.

March 10, 2009

Should Stephenie Meyer or Jodi Picoult Win a Delete Key Award for Bad Dialogue When the Results Are Announced on March 16?

Filed under: Delete Key Awards,News — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 2:52 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

You think it’s easy choosing the worst writing in books published in the U.S. in 2008? Consider the following lines by Delete Key Awards finalists Jodi Picoult and Stephenie Meyer, both from the Department of Bad Dialogue.

From Stephenie Meyer’s novel The Host:

“ ‘Well, for Pete’s sake!’ Jeb exclaimed. ‘Can’t nobody keep a secret around this place for more’n 24 hours? Gol’ durn, this burns me up!’”

From Jodi Picoult’s novel Change of Heart:

“Not that Jesus wasn’t a really cool guy – great teacher, excellent speaker, yadda yadda yadda. But … Son of God? Where’s the proof?”


“You don’t think it’s possible that Mr. Smythe was … well … resurrected?”

Should Meyer or Picout win a Delete Key Award for the year’s worst writing on books on Monday? Or should one of the other finalists get an award? (You can read all the shortlisted passages in 10 posts, one for each finalist, that appeared on One-Minute Book Reviews on Feb. 26 and that explain why the lines were selected.) If you would like to try to tamper with the jury for the Delete Key Awards, you have until Saturday to weigh in for Meyer or Picoult. The winners will be named starting at 10 a.m. Eastern Time on Monday.

(c) 2009 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.

February 20, 2009

Vote for Denis Leary’s Worst Line – Which One Should be a Finalist for a Delete Key Award for the Year’s Worst Writing in Books?

Filed under: Delete Key Awards — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 1:19 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

One or two lines usually stand out in books that are frontrunners for the Delete Key Awards for bad writing, the shortlist for which will be announced on Feb. 26. Then there’s Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid. (Viking, 240 pp., $26.95) by the comedian and Rescue Me star Denis Leary. You could practically tape pages from this one to a wall, throw darts, and come up with a winner.

Can you help to select the worst line from among the many worthies in the book? Some of the candidates appear below. (In entry No. 4, asterisks replace words likely get this post blocked by library filters.)

1 “I’ll take five Anna Nicole Smiths for every Martin Luther King.”

2 “I don’t know a living man on this planet who DOESN’T have attention deficit disorder or spends [sic] at least twelve hours of each day thinking about his penis.”

3 “The women [at the gym]? Paired off on adjacent treadmills or elliptical trainers – yak yakkety yick yak yic, yic yickety, yawbeddy jawbeddy – jic jak yick. Yicketty yacketty blah blah blah.”

4 “Which is why I walk around now just wishing I could grab every other mouthy, misbehaved, spoiled and rotten little urchin I come across in airports and restaurants and just when I’m walking down the street – kids who are throwing snit fits in public as their disinterested or seemingly powerless parents stand off to the side and let the rest of us listen to the whining – I just once wanna grab them HARD by the flesh on their twiggy upper arms, that soft flesh that really hurts – and I mean grab them bruise-inducing, five-finger-indentation-left-behind hard – and whisper Clint Eastwood–style in their dirty little ear: Listen up and listen fast, punk, ’cause I’m only saying this one ****** time: yer gonna shut the **** up right now and start doing what yer dumb*** mom and dad say from here on in or a special van is gonna pull up one day and just pluck you right off the ****** street and drop your *** on a plane to Iraq where you will be dropped out of the sky with nuthin’ but a parachute and a bag of white rice – no cash, no toys, no more SpongeBob Square***– ya follow?”

I’d hoped to do this post as a poll, using the new WordPress polling tool PollDaddy, so you could vote anonymously. But after signing up for the required PollDaddy account, requesting help on the Forums, and contacting an unresponsive WordPress Support, I still can’t get the poll to work. Are you a blogger who has used PollDaddy? If so, I’d love advice. (None of the suggestions on the Forums works for me.) I’d like to poll visitors about another author early next week. Thank you!

The Feb. 24, 2008, post has questions and answers about the annual Delete Key Awards.

© 2009 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: