One Word Book Reviews


  • Little Bee by Chris Cleave: Disquieting.
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: Sweet.
  • Still Missing by Chevy Stephens: Messy.
  • Dark Places by Gillian Flynn: Sinister.
  • The Wife's Tale by Lori Lansens: Slow.
  • Snowleg by Nicholas Shakespeare: Elegant.
  • A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans: Plucky.
  • Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn: Sinister.
  • Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay: Grievous.
  • AWOL on the Appalachian Trail by David Miller: Virtual.
  • Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed: Vivid.
  • The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian: Creepy.
  • The Lessons by Naomi Alderman: Brooding.
  • This Beautiful Life by Helen Schulman: Germane.
  • The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood: Patriarchal.
  • The Red Tent by Anita Diamant: Revisionist.
  • Trans-Sister Radio by Chris Bohjalian: Humanising.
  • Red Leaves by Paullina Simons: Predictable.
  • The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman: Atmospheric.
  • Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen: Gelastic.
  • Something Blue by Emily Griffin: Fluffy.
  • Paris in Love by Eloisa James: Charming.
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn: Inventive.
  • Faith by Jennifer Haugh: Lamentable.
  • Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce: Scary.
  • What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty: Memorable.
  • The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger: Nuanced.
  • The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown: Winsome.
  • The Extra Man by Jonathan Ames: Quirky.
  • Amy Inspired by Bethany Pierce: Refreshing.
  • Some Assembly Required by Anne Lamott: Honest.
  • Places to Stay the Night by Ann Hood: Scattered.
  • The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta: Disconcerting.
  • All is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost by Lan Samantha Chang: Abstruse.
  • Home by Marilynne Robinson: Emotional.
  • Gramercy Park by Paula Cohen: Slogging.
  • State of Wonder by Ann Patchett: Amazing.
  • Labor Day: A Novel by Joyce Maynard: Coming-of-age.
  • Anthropology of an American Girl by Hilary Thayer Hamann: Overwrought.
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer: Gimmicky.

One Word Book Reviews 2011

The Lonely Polygamist: A Novel by Brady Udall: Tragicomical.

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver: Tedious.

The Marriage Plot: A Novel by Jeffrey Eugenides: Brooding.

Rush Home Road by Lori Lansens: Stellar.

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach: Guileless.

Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk: Macabre.

Digging to America by Anne Tyler: Insightful.

Shakespeare: The World As a Stage by Bill Bryson: Compact.

The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett: Unresolved.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett: Sanguine.

Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger: Quotable.

A Drinking Life by Pete Hamill: Repentant.

Nocturnes by Kazuo Ishiguro: Melancholy.

Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl: Enthralling.

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen: Humorous.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender: Illusory.

The Life of Pi by Yann Patel: Extraordinary.

The Waiting Place by Eileen Button: Hopeful.

Without a Word: How a Boy's Unspoken Love Changed Everything by Jill Kelly: Testimonial.

A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan: Mosaical.

Like Sound Through Water: A Mother's Journey Through Auditory Processing Disorder by Karen Foli: Familiarizing.

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen: Sagacious.

Hiroshima in the Morning by Rahna Reiko Rizuto: Narcissistic.

102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers: Heartbreaking.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows: Cutesy.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens: Exceeded.

Great House by Nicole Krauss: Dull.

Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult: Intriguing.

One Word Book Reviews 2010

Same Kind of Different As me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore: Uplifting.

Second Nature by Alice Hoffman: Surreal.

Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters: Lurid.

The Reader by Bernhard Schlink: Beautiful.

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky: Gripping.

I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb: Exhaustive.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins: Violent.

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri: Exquisite.

The Language of Trees by Ilie Ruby: Lyrical.

The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose: Heartening.

Twilight Sleep by Edith Wharton: Underrated.

Testimony by Anita Shreve: Bewildering.

I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak: Phenomenal.

Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz: Fascinating.

The Amazing Adventure of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon: Lofty.

The Shunning by Beverly Lewis: Poor.

Grace (Eventually) by Anne Lamott: Extreme.

Churched: One Kid's Journey Toward God Despite a Holy Mess by Matthew Paul Turner: Incomplete.

Anagrams by Lorrie Moore: Brilliant.

Stumbling Toward Faith by Renee Altson: Genuine.

Post Office by Charles Bukowski: Demoralizing.

The Magician's Assistant by Ann Patchett: Calm.

The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff: Absorbing.

Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro: Stellar.

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson: Cathartic.

Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wall: Brave.

Where is God? by John Townsend: Encouraging.

The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story by Diane Ackerman: Stirring.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling: Satisfying.

One Word Book Reviews 2009

Icy Sparks by Gwyn Hyman Rubio : Tolerable.

Joe College by Tom Perrotta: Nostalgic.

Don't Make Me Stop Now by Michael Parker: Sleepy.

While Europe Slept by Bruce Bawer: Timely.

All Screwed Up by Steve Fellner: Sordid.

Frankland by James Whorton: Uproarious.

Plenty Enough Suck to Go Around by Cheryl Wagner: Jumpy.

Brothers and Keepers by John Edgar Wideman: Conflicted.

A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore: Intricate.

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters: Suspenseful.

Salvation Blues (poems) by Rodney Jones: Polemical.

Dog Language (poems) by Chase Twichell: Thoughtful.

Honeymoon in Tehran by Azadeh Moaveni: Pretentious.

Super America by Anne Panning: Super.

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins: Addicting.

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult: Heartbreaking.

The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J. Maarten Troost: Hysterical.

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters: Gothic.

City of Light by Lauren Belfer: Buffaloesque.

That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo: Superb.

God's Harvard: A Christian College On a Mission to Save America by Hanna Rosin: Trenchant.

The Worst Thing I've Done by Ursula Hegi: Ridiculous.

The Weight of Heaven by Thrity Umrigar: Bleak.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: Riveting.

North River by Pete Hamill: Cinematic.

Water Ghosts by Shawna Yang Ryan: Eerie.

Possession by A.S. Byatt: Romantic.

The Highflyer by Susan Howatch: Existential.

College Girl by Patricia Weitz: Redundant.

Laura Rider's Masterpiece by Jane Hamilton: Lacking.

She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb: Involving.

It Sucked and Then I Cried by Heather Armstrong: Candid.

Songs Without Words by Ann Packer: Drab.

Watchmen by Alan Moore: Raw.

Songs for the Missing by Stewart O'Nan: Wrenching.

Snow Angels by Stewart O'Nan: Cheerless.

The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb: Excessive.

Serena by Ron Rash: Pitiless.

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham: Charming.

John Lennon: The Life by Philip Norman: Enlightening.

The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar: Vivid.


Heidi said...

Have you read 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher? It is a must read in my opinion. I will be posting my review of it on my blog in the next week or so. Look for it if you want to check it out.

Holly said...

I have not! I look forward to your review:)

Toaster said...

Have you read Wally Lamb's first novel, She's Come Undone? I think that's still my favorite; it's less exhaustive and relentless than the other two. ;)

Holly said...

Yes- definitely my favorite of his.

Anonymous said...

Your blog of book reviews: Succinct.

Love it----I started doing one word book reviews at my goodreads acct awhile back.

Take care,