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Review? Haiku! (and giftcard giveaway!)

September 12, 2008

In honor of Book Blogger Appreciation Week, I’ve decided to host a giveaway! We all love reading and writing book reviews, but let’s face it, even the most straight-forward of us gets a little wordy at times. After reading Adventures in Reading’s post on book reviews vs. blurbs, I decided to see if I could hone my conciseness to a point by fitting my reviews into haiku form. This isn’t an idea that’s unique to me; my friend A was reviewing books on LibraryThing in this format for a while, and I know others have done it before her. Still, once I got started, I found it hard to stop! My efforts for recent reads are below:

Throwing Shadows
by E. L. Konigsburg

Five short stories are
well-written but don’t capture
all my attention.

Into the Wild
by Jon Krakauer

Young man dies in North.
Hero or unprepared nut?
Disturbing but good.

The Name of the Wind
by Patrick Rothfuss

Epic fantasy,
well-told and quite absorbing
but hints of pigboy.

Dirt, Undress, and Difference
by Adeline Masquelier

Too academic
for my poor brain. Casual
readers, please beware!

Dies the Fire
by S. M. Stirling

stops working. Then people fight
and try not to die.

The Diamond of Darkhold
by Jeanne DuPrau

Living off the land
kind of sucks. Good series end,
but it lacked some “oomph.”

The Prophet of Yonwood
by Jeanne DuPrau

Prequel to Ember;
who gets to say what God wants?
Good, but could be skipped.

The People of Sparks
by Jeanne DuPrau

Ember folks emerge
but can’t survive above ground.
So, war’s bad, mmkay?

The City of Ember
by Jeanne DuPrau

Underground city,
whose power is failing. Not
for claustrophobics.

The Triumph of Deborah
by Eva Etzioni-Halevy

Biblical story
of women, freedom, and war,
turned into romance.

The Tale of Despereaux
by Kate DiCamillo

Wee mouse isn’t scared!
But can he save the princess?
Lovely, charming book.

The Fiery Cross
by Diana Gabaldon

Book-form comfort food
but really starts to ramble.
I’ll still read the next.

Breaking Dawn
by Stephenie Meyer

Unresolved issues;
Meyer takes easy way out.
I’m glad it’s over.

The Supernaturalist
by Eoin Colfer

Only Cosmo sees
evil life-sucking blue demons.
Good escapist fun.

by Jerry Spinelli

Stargirl is unlike
anyone you’ve ever met.
Sweet little fable.

The Queen of Attolia
by Megan Whalen Turner

Everyone loves it.
It didn’t do much for me.
Sadly underwhelmed.

The Thief
by Megan Whalen Turner

Gen: thief and whiner,
on a quest to find gods’ gem.
Not bad, but not great.

The Big Over Easy
by Jasper Fforde

Humpty Dumpty fell…
or was he pushed? Detective
spoof is quite funny.

I’m happier with some of those than others, but I’m sure you all can do better! And I’m willing to put a $20 giftcard to on the line! (or possibly your local amazon affiliate – does anyone know if I can do this without having to set up a separate account at or whatever?)

Giveaway Rules

1) To enter, leave a comment below with a haiku-review of a book you’ve read. (Proper haiku format is five syllables, seven syllables, five syllables.) Be sure to include the title and author in your post. Feel free to write more than one haiku (they’re addicting!), but it’ll still only count as one entry.

2) You must enter a valid e-mail address on the comment form, so that I know where to send the gift certificate if you win.

3) For a bonus entry, blog about the contest, linking back to this post, and leave a comment here linking to your post.

4) Points will be given for creativity, clearness, and making me laugh. Unfortunately, points won’t actually matter for anything, since I’ll be drawing the winner at random from among the valid entries.

5) You must enter by noon EST on Monday, 22 Sept 2008. I’ll draw and announce the winner that afternoon.

59 Comments leave one →
  1. Rebekah permalink
    September 12, 2008 1:30 pm

    Shoot… I thought I did that right, but I’m one syllable short on the second line. Redo please! LOL

    BOOK: To Catch a Thief
    AUTHOR: Christina Skye

    Crazy Adventure
    Engaging Plot With Strong Cast
    Great Read Two Thumbs Up

    There, I think that’s better. LOL
    littleminx at cox dot net

  2. Becca permalink
    September 12, 2008 3:24 pm

    Benighted by Kit Whitfield

    Werewolves are good but
    Unlikable heroine
    Makes story no fun

  3. September 12, 2008 6:13 pm

    The Big Over Easy, by Jasper Fforde

    Egg dies, and Spratt sighs,
    Mary Mary’s almost wise —
    Love these funny DCIs!

    I’ve got to read this again. Thanks for reminding me of it :)

  4. September 12, 2008 6:17 pm

    ….and I totally boffed the last line, didn’t I?

    Let’s try again:

    Egg dies, Spratt sighs, while
    Mary Mary bats her eyes,
    Ashley files for prize.

  5. Maria permalink
    September 12, 2008 10:00 pm

    Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

    She’s coyote mechanic
    She doesn’t panic
    Werewolf fun ensues

  6. September 13, 2008 7:19 pm

    I just finished a Japanese book, so this is perfect! My post will be up tomorrow, but I’ll put in a mention for your contest and see if I can come up with something creative as well. By the way, my favorite is “So, war’s bad, mmkay” from The People of the Sparks.

  7. September 13, 2008 8:04 pm

    The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

    Four quirky sisters
    One boy with mother problems
    Sweet, fun summer tale.

    Okay, that’s as good as it gets with a sinus headache. :) Fun contest!

  8. September 14, 2008 6:14 am

    “Any Given Doomsday” by Lori Handeland

    A world in trouble
    A woman who can save us
    One fabulous read!

  9. Lori Barnes permalink
    September 14, 2008 9:33 am

    “The Summerhouse” by Jude Deveraux

    Friends not known, house untold
    the adventers await in time
    for 3 lives will unfold

  10. Lori Barnes permalink
    September 14, 2008 9:36 am

    Just wanted to say hi, this is my first time on your site really enjoyed it and will definately be back!! I submitted to your contest and didn’t know if i should leave my email. please enter me in your contest !! thanks : )

  11. September 14, 2008 9:41 am

    These are great, everyone! Keep ’em coming!

    FYI, if you put in a valid e-mail address in the right box of the comment form (or if you’re a wordpress member with a valid e-mail attached to your account), you don’t need to include your e-mail in the text of your comment.

  12. Carol permalink
    September 14, 2008 12:40 pm

    Goodby and Amen by Beth Gutcheon

    All the characters
    Give their version of the truth
    Unique, but it works

  13. Janel permalink
    September 14, 2008 1:11 pm

    I won this book from Katrina at Stone Soup and loved it!

    The Cinderella Pact by Sarah Strohmeyer

    Modern fairy tale.
    Weight lost, confidence gained and
    hot prince found. The end.

  14. September 14, 2008 5:30 pm

    There’s a reason why I got my degree in literature rather than creative writing but here goes. Snow Country by Kawabata

    Passionate affair
    In the Japan Snow Country
    Heartbreak is fated.

    Oh, and like I commented earlier, I’ve made mention of this in my post–now up. Thanks for the fun!!

  15. September 14, 2008 7:57 pm

    Fun times! This is my first time to your blog too (saw the link over at Trish’s) and I love it :) So, here are my two – and I posted them on my blog as well with a link to the contest :)

    The Fire by Katherine Nevile

    life like a chess game
    handsome Russian, a missing mom
    who has the black queen?

    Beastly by Alex Flinn

    snotty pants rich boy
    gets his due and a fur coat
    will Beauty dig deep?

  16. Yan permalink
    September 14, 2008 8:11 pm

    I haven’t done a haiku since grade school so this might a little funky…

    Breaking Dawn

    A surprise baby!?
    Imprints on a month old girl
    Peaceful happy end

  17. September 14, 2008 11:20 pm

    Sailor Girl by Sheree-Lee Olson

    Drinking, cursing, sex
    This girl does it all and more,
    Finds herself aboard.

  18. September 15, 2008 9:03 am

    Oh my, this is too fun! I blogged about your contest here.

    The Island of Dr. Moreau, by H.G. Wells

    whack-job scientist
    creeped me out with his madness
    still, I loved the book

  19. September 15, 2008 9:24 am

    Some of your haikus had me laughing so hard!

    Albert Camus’ Resistance, Rebellion, & Death

    I love you Camus.
    Existential non-fiction.
    The power of man.

  20. September 15, 2008 9:32 am

    I posted about your fun contest. Here is the link:

    Here is my Haiku:

    Tamsin by Peter S. Beagle

    Two romantic cats
    Ghostly girl with a dark past
    Left me wanting more

  21. September 15, 2008 10:25 am

    Here’s my attempt:

    Year of Wonders
    by Geraldine Brooks

    The Bubonic Plague
    Quarantined village, much death
    Ending – confusion

    I will post about the contest on my blog later today. Thanks for the fun and the contest offer.

  22. September 15, 2008 10:35 am

    Anne of Green Gables
    Walk with her through Avonlea
    Kindred spirit, yes?

    And I’ll be posting about the contest at well.

  23. September 15, 2008 10:57 am

    New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

    Liked Twlight but then,
    Heard Bella is annoying,
    Now that’s all I see!

    [dramatic finishing siigh]

  24. Becca permalink
    September 15, 2008 11:37 am

    I know I’m already entered. I’m not trying to scam another entry. I just wanted to write more haiku!

    13 Bullets by David Wellington

    Blood and guts galore
    Vampires as they should be
    Evil killing brutes

    Farworld: Water Keep by J. Scott Savage

    Teamwork is key in
    This exciting adventure
    Can’t wait for book two

  25. September 15, 2008 12:15 pm

    Angry curmudgeon
    chews out flight company for
    two hundred pages

    Dear American Airlines by Jonathan Miles

  26. September 15, 2008 12:19 pm

    I posted it on my blog! Thanks again!

  27. September 15, 2008 7:47 pm

    This is a lot of fun and I’ve not been able to stop thinking about it all day! Here’s my haiku to Charles Robert Maturin, author of Melmoth the Wanderer:

    Reading your novel
    Far worse than the worst torture
    My Inquisition

  28. September 15, 2008 11:22 pm

    Here is my haiku from one of my favorite reads so far this year:

    The Art Of Racing In The Rain by Garth Stein

    Enzo and Denny
    Go faster faster faster
    Please just one more lap

  29. September 16, 2008 2:28 am

    i can’t believe i could come up with something, but i did finally, though nothing like the great one aboves, still i can’t believe i did it!!! :)

    Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor (and really just by looking at the title you’d know that the book exceptional and don’t judge it by my haiku!!it’s a wonderful book)

    Girl. Brave, Young and Wise
    Alone in trailer but with Love around
    Would normal ever come?

  30. September 16, 2008 5:11 am

    OK, not that good but here’s what I came up with:

    powerful story
    father and son trying to
    survive the nightmare

    (The Road – Cormac McCarthy)

    action and romance
    vampires versus slayers
    can’t wait for next book

    (When Twilight Burns – Colleen Gleason)

    I’ve also posted about your contest here.

  31. rhapsodyinbooks permalink
    September 16, 2008 8:29 am

    Rabbit in the Moon by Deborah Shlian

    Quest to prolong life
    Turns people into killers
    But love conquers all

    nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

  32. Lori Barnes permalink
    September 16, 2008 9:01 am

    (I’m trying again I think i got it now)

    Nights in Rodanthe by Nicloas Sparks

    Man on a mission
    Emptiness of a woman
    Roads that lead to truth

    please enter me in contest

  33. September 16, 2008 2:57 pm

    Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore

    Vamps in trendy city
    lurk in darkness for neck bites,
    fashion, sex, and love

  34. September 16, 2008 4:07 pm

    Oh, alright, i just have to try this!

    The Society of S by Susan Hubbard

    Mother left at birth
    Father is not as he seems
    Blood meets brains in this

    lauren51990 at aol dot com

  35. September 17, 2008 12:02 am

    That was so much more fun than I thought it would be. Here’s my haiku review of The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent:

    Beautiful story
    The deptth of a mother’s love
    You should read this one.


  36. September 17, 2008 10:48 am

    My first attempt at haiku is for Such A Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess:

    Girl raped by father
    tries to fight the nightmares
    finally succeeds


  37. September 17, 2008 11:07 am

    I mentioned your contest in this post.

  38. September 17, 2008 12:26 pm

    The Count of Monte Cristo (which I LOVE but man! It is many-paged) by Alexandre Dumas

    Vengeance is tasty
    And worth it; but why does it
    Have to take so long

  39. September 17, 2008 12:38 pm

    Was she raised by apes?
    Who is killing the children?
    Lena’s on the case.

    I can’t say the title and author, because along with posting about your contest, I made a mini-contest out of identifying the book:

  40. theDizzy ;} permalink
    September 17, 2008 2:46 pm

    Tantalize by Cynthia Leitch Smith

    Blood wine, Baby Squirrels
    Vamps Running a Resurtant?
    Count me in, I’m game!


    That’ a Haiku Right? I’ve never made one before?Hope you liked it… I tried.



    etwilight @ yahoo .com


  41. Elizabeth M. permalink
    September 17, 2008 6:51 pm

    Freshwater Road – Denise Nicholas

    Going south to rock the vote
    civil rights will win
    equality, worth the fight.

  42. September 17, 2008 11:14 pm

    that was so fun! I blogged about it here:

  43. September 17, 2008 11:55 pm

    The book is Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy, edited by William Schafer. I did a full review of it on my site recently. My haiku review is:

    Eleven stories,
    Famed authors weave tales of woe.
    How they creeped me out!

    This is a fantastic idea. I included a link to this in my own writing contest post for today.

  44. Lisa C permalink
    September 18, 2008 11:11 am

    Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

    Girl loves vampire
    Avoids bad vampire bite
    Love survives for now

    mistyfuji [at] yahoo [dot] net

  45. September 18, 2008 3:02 pm

    Hopefully this haiku will spare anyone from ever reading this epicly bad book.


    Using dead author’s notes
    But kills off people at end
    Did deadline sneak up?

  46. September 18, 2008 3:56 pm

    This is so much fun!

    Driving Sideways by Jess Riley

    donated liver,
    is Leigh channeling Larry
    to ride the wild side?

    The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent

    Is Mother a witch?
    You must say I am my child
    just to save yourself.


  47. September 18, 2008 4:38 pm

    Love this idea! Found your site via BBAW, featured your blog on my own post today. Will have to ponder longer on my own haiku contribution.

  48. September 18, 2008 4:48 pm

    Melusine, by Sarah Monette

    Magical city,
    Desperate journey mirrored
    Through two pairs of eyes

    Did I get it right?
    In any case: it’s a Dark Fantasy, highly recommend.

  49. Amy permalink
    September 18, 2008 5:48 pm

    When You Are Engulfed By Flames by David Sedaris

    A loved gnome in yard
    Giant boil on buttocks
    Hilarious read!

  50. September 18, 2008 5:57 pm

    Coraline by Neil Gaiman

    Coraline goes through
    door to find other mother
    with buttons for eyes.

    The rats are talking.
    They are singing in the walls.
    She hears them in dreams.

  51. September 18, 2008 6:08 pm

    Also blogged about contest:

  52. callista83 permalink
    September 18, 2008 6:08 pm

    Here’s my haiku for The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult:

    Lots of Truth and Lies
    Family Comes Together
    To Help Girl In Need

    I posted about contest here.

  53. September 18, 2008 10:26 pm

    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer:

    Writer gets letter
    then corresponds with Guernsey
    many lives are changed

  54. September 19, 2008 12:20 pm

    “Silent in the Grave” by Deanna Raybourn

    Danger stalks Lady Jane
    Gypsy detective saves her–
    But will there be love?

    Also, I talked up the contest here: Thanks!

  55. Pam C permalink
    September 21, 2008 10:33 pm

    Sorry if this posts twice… it just ~went away~

    “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” by Lisa See

    Tale of old China
    When girls were less than human
    Shows true human soul


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