Hahaha: Seven Deadly Words of Book Reviewing (worth reading the comments thread too: "nuanced" also makes me want to claw my eyes out, Brian.)

The seven "deadly" words are: poignant; compelling; intriguing; eschew; craft; muse; lyrical. I have to admit, I do cleave to compelling. I'd already noted that when I'm stuck for an adjective, especially in my short, capsule reviews for The Book Depository, I do lazily and regularly reach for "compelling". Shall consider myself admonished!

Readers Comments

  1. "Accessible" should be another.

  2. "readable"

  3. The one from the comments that made me laugh most was:

    "Mr Harris has done it again"

  4. Steve says I'm not allowed to say "cleave" either!

    Also: "in my opinion" -- of course its your opinion! FFS!

  5. I suppose I could have read the actual post and noticed "readable" offered in the comments right away...

    But Mark's ref. to "in my opinion" reminds me of one usage that irritates me, though not necessarily in book reviews: when a writer begins a sentence with "True, " . There's something glib about that "True" that rankles, as if the writer is condescending to admit to some inconvenient fact before moving on.

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