One Sentence Reviews: My 4th Quarter 2018 Reads

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If you want to be a writer, you have to be a reader. Here are the fiction and nonfiction books I’ve read this quarter with one-sentence reviews.

Seriously, have you ever tried to keep a book review to one sentence? It’s hard! I also think it’s a good writing exercise in conveying information with brevity, especially if you don’t cheat by writing a long sentence made up of a bunch of independent clauses strung together with and’s and but’s.

If you want to be a writer, you have to be a reader.

Manage Your Day-to-Day by 99U. Written for solopreneurs and creatives, this aesthetically pleasing book gives practical advice to make working time more productive.

The Garden of Blue Roses by Michael Barsa. With a voice reminiscent of Poe (yeah, that Poe), Barsa delves into madness and murder in this rich, meaty, Gothic, psychological horror.

Smashwords Book Marketing Guide by Coker. Even unpublished authors can pick up some tips.

The Garden of Blue Roses and She Who Comes Forth: Literary horror at its finest.

She Who Comes Forth by Audrey Driscoll. This literary, paranormal novel is a deliciously dense, intelligently written, American-abroad-in-Egypt story with a slow burn that builds to a scorching climax.

Fatal Agreements by Ashley Fontainne. Fontainne pens a Southern, family drama with strong, female characters and suspense out the wazoo.

Peril in Silver Nightshade by Lakota Grace. I adore Grace’s heroine, Pegasus, who solves a murder, or maybe two, in a lovely, small town in the Arizona desert.

Writing Scary Scenes by Rayne Hall. Reading this book is like taking a class on how to improve your scenes dealing with anything from suspense to all-out horror.

The 5 Day Novel by Scott King. Keep a diary on how you prepared for and competed in a crazy, punishing, 100-mile ultra-Marathon, but as an author writing a novel in 120 hours instead.

Fiction by Ryan Lieske. Lieske’s debut novel features freakish goons brought to life by a novelist (every writer’s nightmare).

White Fang by Jack London. This meandering, disjointed classic is so full of cruelty and blood that it could be considered horror.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. It’s a life-changing, 250-page, secular and accessible explanation of the wisdom of the Serenity Prayer.

The Revenant by Punke. Even though the story-telling style is not my cup of tea, it’s a well-researched, historic novel about Hugh Glass that would make a great movie.:-)

Gas Station of the Dead by Anthony Renfro (a novella, actually). A really nice guy survives the zombie apocalypse and executes a plan to provide gas for other survivors.

When The Devil Calls by Anthony Renfro. When Christian literature meshes with horror, you get a fun plot like the devil messing with a ghost hunter dad.

The Malleville Conspiracy by H.L. Roethle. In this debut, New Adult, mystery novel, Roethle introduces readers to the Shadow Agents of Great Britain.

Sick Bastards by Matt Shaw. Do NOT buy this crazy, wiseass, sick, compelling, enthralling, zombie apocalypse book without reading the sample first page.

Lost and Stranded by Timothy Sprinkle. This surprisingly engaging, nonfiction, wilderness-survival book should be required reading for anyone planning a camping trip.

Stein on Writing by Sol Stein. With efficacious examples from students’ and published authors’ works, Stein shows the good of good prose and the bad of bad prose (and how to improve the latter).

Bring Her Back by Jeff Strand. Matt Shaw fans would like Strand’s irreverent authorial voice as he describes how a less-than-ordinary man seeks violent, bloody revenge on thugs who done him wrong.

If the Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss. With lyricism and fresh analogies, grit and realistic dialogue, Weiss tells a story about an impoverished town in circa 1970 Appalachia that wraps its loving arms around one of its own, sweet Sadie Blue.

Have a happy 2019 everyone!

30 thoughts on “One Sentence Reviews: My 4th Quarter 2018 Reads

  1. Nicely done! My sister does one sentence reviews sometimes. I admire anyone who can keep a review to one sentence. I try but I always cave and add to it. LOL


  2. oh wow these are fantastic recs Pri! I was looking for a couple more non-fiction inspirational books to keep me motivated in 2019 so I’m checking out “Manage Your Day-to-Day by 99U”! And i ADORE Poe and gothic horror so I’ll have to read The Garden of Blue Roses!!! AND… DRUM ROLL!!! Congrats! You are the winner of my “Bookish Planning Retreat” trivia question. I DO definitely use color pens to color code my projects. Please email (or DM me in GR, Twitter or Instagram) what prize you’d like. Happy New Year Pri!


    1. Oh wow, I’m stoked, thank you!

      I was just thinking today what was my FAVORITE book this year. There were SO many good ones. I think I’d have to pick The Garden of Blue Roses. I can’t get it out of my head; that’s a sign for sure!

      Happy New Year, Daniela!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree that a one-sentence review would be really hard to write. The only book from this list that I have read is White Fang and honestly, it has merged with Call of the Wild in my mind over the years. I have read Jeff Strand before and hope to read more from him.


  4. Matt Shaw and Jeff Strand are heavily featured on my ereaders! I loved Draculas and The Haunted Forest Tour by Strand so hopefully I’ll get reading some Matt Shaw this year too!


  5. I’ll have to try some one-sentence reviews. I’m thinking the trick is to make it a review rather than just a paraphrase of the plot. You’ve definitely done that in some of these. And thanks for including SWCF!

    Liked by 1 person

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