Cleaning up my Closet: One-paragraph Book Reviews

Posted by Marie on Sunday, January 17, 2010 in , , , , , , , ,
I procrastinated long enough. I need the box to put some of my to-be-read and to-be-given away books (via Bookmooch, if you’re still not into the hottest thing to hit the book swapping world). Hence I need file away my to-be-reviewed ones. I’ll be short and snappy – if I can’t deliver my reviews at a minute reading time, then I won’t deliver it at all.

Hey now, I think I like this new reviewing format! Do you agree with me? Or should I go back to the longer ones, the one book per review posts?

The Case of the Left Handed Lady: An Enola Holmes Mystery – Nancy Springer
Fiction, YA, Mystery, Adventure; ISBN 978-0-399-24517-6; Philomel Books, 2007

I like Enola Holmes, not just because she’s the sister of the celebrated Sherlock Holmes (of which I am a most devoted fan). She is one of the rare YA female protagonist that I like at all levels – she is resourceful, brave, intelligent and rational, yet have a tinge of vulnerability and loneliness – so much so that she reminds me of Katniss of The Hunger Games. Though the story itself is weak (both shaky in terms of logic & believability), the characters makes up for this shortcoming. You must also remember that this is just the second book of what seems to be a long and promising YA series. I suggest you read this one instead of watching that dreadful Sherlock Holmes movie. 4 out of 5 stars.

ShrinkLits: Seventy of the world’s towering classics cut down to size – Maurice Sagoff
Reference, Poetry; ISBN 0-89480-079-5; Workman Publishing, 1980

There are a lot of books out there that do this kind of thing: cutting up books into perhaps a paragraph or two of the bare essentials. What I like about this one is that it pushes the envelope further – Maurice Sagoff trims down them hefty classics into bite-size rhyming poems. How exact to the original text are these concise poetry? Not so much. How high is the enjoyment factor? Very high indeed. 5 out of 5 stars. A warning though: if you are a literary purist, don’t read this book.

Jane Austen: A Life - Carol Shields
Non-fiction, Biography; ISBN 0-14-303516-9; Penguin Books, 2001

Carol Shields is an Austenite and it shows. Warmth, empathy and frankness permeate in her short discourse of Austen and her work that you can’t help but agree with the novelist’s (Austen, I mean) exclamation, “If a book is well written, I always find it too short”. I quite agree. 5 out of 5 stars. One of the best biographies I ever read. If you can help it, I suggest reading the main six works before reading this one.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – Seth Grahame-Smith (even if it says so on the cover, I refuse to add Jane Austen as an author to this mockery of a novel!)
Fiction, Horror; ISBN 978-1-59474-334-4; Quirk Books, 2009

Wow, this chick Jane Austen is so in nowadays. Look at these, all her sh- being relabeled as the original “chick-lit” novels, didn't know these chicklit sh- are *that* old. Too bad there’s a lot of boring stuff in here, like balls and parties and people making funny looks at each other. Bleeaach! Now, here’s an idea! Since this chick Jane Austen is a hot item commodity, why not sell our own version but one with zombies and killer ninjas and shaolin masters and pentagrams of death… * six weeks later* Dude, this writing thing sucks! So maybe I’ll just make an exact copy of this chick’s book then cut out all the crappy boring stuff then insert the cool stuff! Yeah, that’s the thing! They’ll be making a movie out of this sh-, I’m sure. I’m going to be famous and filthy rich! Yeah! Ride on!
Do I need to put stars on this one?



maybe i should do 1-page reviews too! para matapos na!

anyway i keep seeing that jane austen & zombies book cover everywhere. wondering if i should try it out. maybe i will, JUST because you didn't put any stars on it :) what fun!

PS add you na :) thanks marie for adding mois!

Medyo bitin nga lang ang short reviews. Kasi there's a lot of things I had to leave out, especially about the books I liked. Plus, these kind of reviews sound so abrupt and cold. Maybe I'll just finish all my pending to-review books from last year then start with the one-book-per-post again for the books from this year.

As for the Jane Austen & Zombies book... wee-lll, it's fascinating I guess, the sort of fascination one will have for those empty, big-budgeted movies. But if you have a copy already, sure, do read it for yourself.

You're welcome, aloi! :)

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