Alchemical Thoughts

Words to avoid when writing a book review

Posted on: March 26, 2008

I am going to let you in on a little secret. I don't read literary book reviews very much. Sure, I scan items in places like The Times Literary Supplement and the New York Review of Books, but for the most part I find them pretentious and overdone. Part of the reason is that those reviewers often use words clearly meant to inflate their text. Bob Harris, of the New York Times blog Paper Cuts, wrote a piece on "Seven Deadly Words of Book Reviewing" that nicely summarizes a lot of why I tend to skip literary book reviews. Then again, since I am more of a popular book reader anyways, that might be another reason. Anyhow, the post is worth reading as well as some of the comments where people add their own words to the list.

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