One-Sentence Book Reviews


I haven’t done as much reading lately as I had hoped I might, and I have a ton of excuses! Here we go:

1. Though my birthday was at the end of February, I’ve still been busy celebrating as recently as this Friday when a friend took me to dinner at David Burke Kitchen (though sadly it has gone downhill since I wrote this review in 2014).

2. I’ve been training for the 40-mile TD Five Boro Bike Tour in May. On Saturday I went for a ride with Todd, Dad, and my brother—and we did 25 miles! The last five miles were killer and I took them slow, but it wasn’t as bad as I’d imagined it might be. In two weeks we’re going to try for a 30- to 35-mile ride.

3. With only five months to go, we’re starting to get in the thick of wedding planning. We ordered nearly 50 invitations, narrowed the options down to five, and think that maybe we’ve settled on one that fits our style. Next up? Figuring out favors, the guest list, hotel blocks, and food options.

But despite all that, I think I’m still on track to meet my goal of reading at least 50 books this year. Today I started Paper Towns by John Green; I’ve heard a lot about it, but it’s still too soon to share my thoughts. In the meantime, here’s the scoop on some of my most recent reads:

Worth It…

Room by Emma Donoghue: This gut-wrenching yet heartwarming novel is told from the eyes of a boy kept prisoner with his mom in a one-room shed—until now, when he must attempt an escape.

The Singer’s Gun by Emily St. John Mandel: This novel—thrilling, passionate, lyrical—slowly reveals the riveting story of a man haunted by his criminal past.

Harriet Wolf’s Seventh Book of Wonders by Julianna Baggott: Three generations of women—reclusive author Harriet Woolf, whose final manuscript might be lost forever; her daughter Eleanor, worn out and overprotective; and Eleanor’s two daughters—remember what it means to be a family in this ambitious novel.


Don’t Bother…

First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen: Though I’m a devotee of the author, this latest chapter in the Waverly family saga lacks the charms, quirks, or originality of the author’s previous works.

Dark Eden by Chris Beckett: Aside from some linguistic flourishes, this depiction of human life on an alien planet is one-dimensional and uninspiring.

The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks: The book’s premise—a young elf must journey with the seed of a sacred tree to save her people from being overrun by demons—has promise, but the writing is too long-winded and dull; stick with the MTV show based on this series instead.

4 thoughts on “One-Sentence Book Reviews

  1. Congratulations on getting to the 25 mile mark, you are doing well.
    I have to admire you efforts to read 50 books a year. I just did a reading poll last week, with the following results: 40% read more than 24 books a year, and 18% read less than two books a year. While, twenty-one percent read more than 12 books a year and another 21% read 2 to 6 books a year. Of course, it was very unscientific, but it was a poll from a blog that encourages people to read.

    • Thank you! Hopefully I’ll be able to do 30 or 35 miles next week. I can’t believe that 18% of people read fewer than 2 books per year. I love reading; I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have a book to immerse myself in! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      • Chris, you are a educated, successful, professional in a literary field, so naturally you are a reader.

        I joined the Army at 17, so that says a lot about my background. I’ve tried to aim my posts for those like me who wanted a bit more out of life than what fate offered, so I get more than my share of none readers, but I’ve been fortunate enough to pick up some serious thinkers along the way.

        Your bike riding is really impressive, especially since this has not been the kindest weather for bike riding. We had a local ride that was cancel last weekend due to the weather, which I suspect in much like your weather.

        • Thank you! Yes, it was a bit chilly when we went out last time (I was wearing a hoodie, scarf, and gloves!), but I’m hoping by May 1 (the date of the Bike Tour) it will be warm enough to wear just a light sweater. Hope all is well with you!

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