An amusing—and a little too close to home—concept is making the rounds among book reviewers today: Book Review Bingo. Michelle Kerns, a literary columnist on Examiner.com, created a list of reviewer clichés, then plugged them into bingo cards. (She writes, “Book reviews that use clichés mean nothing, say nothing, and tell the reader nothing. They’re like eating a cream puff when what you really want is prime rib—they’re unsatisfying and, ultimately, useless.”)
Here’s one of the cards:
What do you say, book bloggers? Is it unforgiveable to use the word “powerful” in a review? Are you guilty of calling a book a “tour de force?” I’ll go ahead and confess to my own guilt; my most recent feature for BookPage would give a Bingo player several checks (come on—it was epic!).
For more on the subject, check out Salon, GalleyCat and The Boston Globe. Even Ron Charles at The Washington Post is tweeting about Book Review Bingo. Do you have any clichés to add to the list? My vote’s for “compulsively” readable.