As 2014 is rapidly coming to a close, I thought I’d check on my Goodreads list of books I’ve read so far this year, with the intent of coming up with a ‘best of 2014’ list.
I know you love a good list. Don’t we all?
I saw that I had read 19 books, and that 12 of them had a 5-star review (there are a few in the ‘currently reading’ list as well). I tweeted this.
I’ve read 19 books so far this year, 12 of which were 5-star reviews. That’s a pretty good average
— dakegra (@dakegra) December 9, 2014
My friend Matt jumped into the discussion with this.
@dakegra your scoring system is clearly wrong. — Matthew Davison (@davbison) December 9, 2014
Hmm. Wrong, eh? Matt added:
@dakegra What if you read another book next week that’s much better than all the ones you reviewed as 5 stars. You’ll need to go up to 6!
— Matthew Davison (@davbison) December 9, 2014
Ok. That’s an interesting point. I went back and looked at the books which I’d given five stars. Some were definitely a five. Some were perhaps more of a 4.5. But Goodreads limits you to whole stars, so which way to go? Do I mark down a book which isn’t *quite* a five? But what if it’s better than a four?
And what happens if, as Matt says, I come across a book which is *better* than the other five-star books? Just give it another 5 stars?
I have another friend who insists that there’s no such thing as a five-star, 10/10 book or movie. Just doesn’t exist. Most you can hope for is a nine, and that’d be high praise indeed.
I guess that’s where the reviews come in. I want to get better at writing reviews and more importantly, better at posting them up, either here or on Goodreads/Amazon. It’ll allow me to explain *why* I’ve given it the star rating I have! I can get giddily enthusiastic about books I really really love – if you follow me on twitter you’ll probably know this already. And if you’re an author of one of those books, you’ll be backing away quietly, nodding.
COME BACK I LOVE YOU REALLY NOW WRITE MORE BOOKS OK?
Ahem. Sorry about that (but do write more books).
Book reviewers – what do you think? How do you handle five star reviews? Is there such a thing?
3 thoughts on “keeping score”
Yes absolutely there’s such a thing! I guess I see it from a teacher’s perspective – when I give an A or a Level 8, it doesn’t mean the work is perfect, but it’s as good as it can get. I see a 5 star review similarly (although it does drive me potty that Goodreads only do full stars – I’ve read a few books recently that would be 4.5). I’d only give 5 stars to a book I totally loved – I think Song Of Achilles has been the last to completely blow me away.
Thanks Janet. I think that me writing up better reviews will help (though not with goodreads!)
Not heard of Song of Achilles, will have to check that out. 🙂