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Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: One-Word Wonders


Today's TTT topic is an interesting one: Top Ten Books That Are Too Good To Review Properly (I Have No Words!). Usually, I have the opposite problem—too many words. The reviews I tend to choke on are for classic books that have been critiqued so many times there's literally nothing new to say about them. Since I don't read that kind very often, I'm going to have to spin the prompt today. 

How about a game? Let's see if it's even possible for me to be succinct when writing about books. You up for it? Okay, here's how it's going to go. I'm going to describe the last ten books I've read in just one word. Stop laughing! I can do this. I think. To make it even more challenging, I will try to avoid the adjectives I tend to most overuse in my reviews: engrossing, fascinating, compelling, heart-warming, enjoyable, tense, fun, depressing, entertaining, and taut (my husband always makes fun of me when I describe books as "taut psychological thrillers"). I'm not even going to include a plot summary, although I will link the titles to Goodreads. Will I emerge victorious? Let's see... 

But first, be sure to hop over to That Artsy Reader Girl and give our hostess some love. If you're feeling listy today, join in the TTT fun!

The Last Ten Books I Read Reviewed In Just One Word
(from most recent to least)


1. I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys

Powerful

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2. Tips for Magicians by Celesta Rimington

Triumphant

---

3. Madam by Phoebe Wynne

Disturbing

---

4. Drawn by the Current by Jocelyn Green

Haunting

---

5. A Murder for the Books by Victoria Gilbert

Predictable

---

6. Scribbles, Sorrows, and Russet Leather Boots by Liz Rosenberg

Heart-wrenching 

(Is a hyphenated word cheating??)

---

7. The Cure For What Ales You by Ellie Alexander

Melodramatic

---

8. The Ice House by Monica Sherwood

Underwhelming

---

9. Endurance by Alfred Lansing

Awe-inspiring

---

10. Hot and Sour Suspects by Vivien Chien

Amusing

---

Phew! That wasn't actually as hard as I thought it would be, but it wasn't easy either. I think I'll stick with my usual style from now on. Have you read any of these books? How would YOU describe them in one word? What books have you read that are too good to review? I'd truly love to know. Leave me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog.

Happy TTT!

60 comments:

  1. This is fun. I've been wanting to try Madam since I've been enjoying dark academia type books lately, so now you have my interest piqued!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's...interesting. I'll probably review it at some point because it's not quite what I expected. It's also difficult to talk about without spoiling anything.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Greg!

      Delete
    2. I find that dark academia can go weird places, so I don't know whether to chance it or not!

      Delete
    3. Ha! For real. I'm sure there are weirder and darker books than this one. One odd thing about it is that it's pretty much a PG read until about 3/4 of the way through. Then, the Big Reveal (which isn't all that surprising) happens and suddenly, there are a couple of brief but graphic scenes (one of which made me feel physically sick) that turn the book into an R. It was a strange swerve for me and that abruptness really soured the book for me. I'm a bit of a prude, so I don't know that these bits would bother anyone else, but they did me. So...I don't know what to tell you. If you do read it, definitely let me know what you think!

      Delete
  2. Love your take of the topic, Susan! That had to be challenging. I'm intrigued by the one you described as disturbing... yikes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Disturbing" should probably be on my list of adjectives I overuse in my reviews, but I'm not sure how else to describe this book! "Unsettling" would also work. It's interesting that one word is enough to pique your interest :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Tanya!

      Delete
  3. Fun idea! I'm jealous that you've already read I Must Betray You.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was surprised by how fast the line for I MUST BETRAY YOU moved. The library must have bought lots of copies. It's a really impactful read—not surprising with Sepetys! I hope you enjoy it when you get to read it.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Kami!

      Delete
  4. This was so fun! I love what you did with this topic. I think you need to submit it to TTT for everyone to do.

    Also, is it weird that describing a book with only the word "disturbing" made me curious and wanting to check it out?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Everyone seems to like the one-word reviews, so submitting it is a good idea. I've never submitted a TTT idea before. How exciting!

      "Disturbing" is an intriguing adjective. I get why you find it enticing :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Deanna!

      Delete
  5. Ha ha, I liked this spin on it. I enjoy reading your long reviews but sometimes shorter is just as good, or better. Yes, hyphenated counts as one word. I haven't read any of these but the cover of the Louisa May Alcott bio is so beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you do enjoy the longer ones. A few years ago, a relative told me she didn't read my reviews because I gave too much of the story away. Ever since then, I've been really trying to write succinct summaries that are enticing but not too revealing. It's tough sometimes!

      Thanks for popping in, Mia!

      Delete
  6. This is a brilliant post, Susan!! I agree, you should submit this as a topic for everyone!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alright, I'm going to do it! Someone said the same thing when I posted my list of real people I wanted to read more about. I'll go ahead and submit both those ideas. Thanks for the encouragement :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Leslie!

      Delete
  7. What a great spin to use! I love the idea, and you've definitely gotten me to add a few of these to my TBR.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It turned out to be a fun spin and easier than I thought it would be. I can write short and sweet reviews. Who knew??

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Leah!

      Delete
  8. Love this post! I still really need to get my hands on more Ruta Sepetys...I read The Fountains Of Silence last year for Carnegie and loved it so definitely need to read more of her books! I've just searched for Ruta Sepetys on your blog and there seem to be a wealth of posts that talk about her books so I'm just going to go and bury myself in them now!

    Z (zbestbooks.blogspot.com)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha. Yes, there are! I love Sepetys. I've read all of her books and each one has been eye-opening and moving. My favorite, I think is SALT TO THE SEA. I hope you enjoy the ones you read.

      Thanks for stopping in, Z!

      Delete
  9. I haven't read any of these specific books, but I definitely agree with "amusing" for the Noodle Shop Mysteries that I *have* read!

    My TTT: https://bookwyrmknits.com/2022/02/15/top-ten-tuesday-books-too-hard-to-review-properly/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? Chien never fails to make me smile :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Nicole!

      Delete
  10. I love this! I have not read any but Jocelyn's is on my TBR. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've enjoyed all three books in her Windy City saga, but this third one was my favorite. It's centered on a tragedy I'd never heard of, so I found it illuminating in lots of ways. I hope you enjoy her books when you read them!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Cindy!

      Delete
  11. I love this! This is such a fun take on the prompt. I also like the words you chose. They're very impactful and tell us exactly how you felt about the book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, good! It's REALLY hard to describe a book well with only one word. On the other hand, I think you're right - sometimes one good word is all you need.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Jenni!

      Delete
  12. I love this! I am going to steal this idea some time that I don't want to do the TTT topic! Thanks for visiting my blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha. Go right ahead! A few commenters above you have suggested I submit it as a TTT topic for everyone to do, so I'm going to do that. It would be fun to read everyone's one-word reviews.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Anne!

      Delete
  13. Well done, Susan! I wish I was better at finding just the right adjective to describe a book, but I find myself always using the same ones over and over. I should work on that. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My reviews are usually full of long strings of adjectives in an attempt to really capture a book's essence. As I've learned when creating this list, sometimes one really good one is all you need!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lark!

      Delete
  14. No, hyphenating is not cheating. These are great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, good, because I did it twice! LOL.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Sam!

      Delete
  15. What a terrific spin!!! I just finished I Must Betray You and yes it is POWERFUL!!! How do I express that in a full length review?! Sometimes that ONE word is the best review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Powerful" is the first word that came to mind for I MUST BETRAY YOU and I guess it really does convey the essence of the book. I could have also chosen "eye-opening," "riveting," "impactful," and a bunch of others. It's just a great book! Glad I'm not the only one who feels that way about it :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Carol!

      Delete
  16. I love this! This is kind of how I want to do my reviews on Goodreads, though I do go with at least a sentence. Maybe I'll try a few one word ones just to see how it goes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's really hard for me to be brief, so I don't know if I could do a sentence or less! Sometimes that really is all you need, though. You need to check out this blog, if you haven't before: https://outofthebestbooks.blogspot.com/ She never writes more than a few sentences for her reviews.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Suey!

      Delete
  17. Replies
    1. Thank you! I had fun with this spin on the topic.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Suzanne!

      Delete
  18. I knew you'd come up with a great twist. And no, I don't think hyphenated words are cheating. Think German, we always put those words together, so they would definitely be one here. LOL

    Thanks for visiting my quiet/silent TTT this week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad German backs me up! LOL. I actually tend to use a lot of hyphenated words in my reviews: thought-provoking, eye-opening, gut-wrenching, etc.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commneting, Marianne!

      Delete
    2. Well, at least German is good for something. LOL

      Delete
  19. Great job Susan. I have not read any of these, but have 4 on my TBR.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice! I hope you enjoy them all :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Carla!

      Delete
  20. Ooh glad to see that you found I Must Betray You powerful. It's not out in the UK till August sadly, I'm so excited to read it!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2022/02/15/top-ten-tuesday-355/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bummer! At least it's a book that's worth the wait - not all of them are, ha ha.

      Thanks for popping in!

      Delete
  21. "Powerful" is a word I use a lot in my (long) reviews. My hold on the ebook of I Must Betray You came in last week but I had so many other things going on, I deferred it. I'm also debating whether I want to yield to the inevitable and buy my own copy. I feel sure it's going to be a keeper, especially since you used a word so near and dear to my heart to describe it.

    Fun list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sepetys' books are always buy-worthy, in my opinion, just because they're so well done. Since we're moving soon, I'm trying not to buy anything unnecessary, so I've been using the library as much as I can. Luckily, the library line moved really fast on this one!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Jen!

      Delete
  22. I love it that you were able to review all of these using only one word! Fantastic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was easier than I thought it would be but still not easy! I feel like I still have a lot to say about these books, so I'll review them properly at some point. This was a fun change, though.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Deb!

      Delete
  23. What a great idea. One word a book - I don’t know if I could.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In most of these cases, one word isn't enough to really capture the book's essence. I'll review them all properly eventually.

      Thanks for stopping in, Emma!

      Delete
  24. I am intrigued by both Tips For Magicians and Scribbles, Sorrows, and Russet Leather Boots - they may have to be added to my TBR. And I love your wee one-word reviews!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. TIPS FOR MAGICIANS is a fast, sweet read. SCRIBBLES is just sad. Alcott's life was unstable and grim in so many ways. I'd never really read much about her before and I was saddened by how bleak it was.

      Thanks for popping by, Nyx!

      Delete
  25. Yay! You did it! I am so looking forward to Sepetys' new book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a good one. Very atmospheric and thought-provoking. I hope you enjoy it!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Helen!

      Delete
  26. I love your take on this and great job! I say hyphenated words definitely count.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Phew! I love hypenated words and actually use them ALL the time in my reviews.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Katherine!

      Delete
  27. Nice twist! I love quick reviews, especially when it's just a few words. It really takes some serious thinking sometimes. :) I've only read Endurance from your list, but it was definitely awe-inspiring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True. In some ways, writing a one word review is harder than writing a lengthy, in-depth one. I feel like one word just doesn't do a book justice, but I guess if it's the right word...it does!

      Thanks for popping in, Dedra!

      Delete
  28. A cool twist to the theme indeed!! And if I have to use one word for your post, it would be 'creative!' I have Endurance on my TBR thanks to an earlier post on your blog and now adding a few others from today's top ten as well.. (and yes, hyphenated words count - I know I have used hyphens when I need to get my word count down;-)) My TTT: Books That Are Too Good to Review Properly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, good, I'm glad you're going to read ENDURANCE. It's super interesting. I was amazed at all that those men went through. So crazy.

      Thanks for popping in!

      Delete
  29. OK, this was really fun, and I'm super pumped that it's going to be an official TTT topic (did I immediately go practice on my existing list? yes). I thought "3 words to describe this book" prompts were challenging enough, but the 1-word responses are extra tantalizing! (Like, I immediately had to go look up "Madam" with that cover/word combo. Although your comment to Greg on that subject gives me serious pause.)

    And I haven't read this particular one, but "powerful" is a good word for multiple Septys books, I think.

    ReplyDelete

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