keeping score

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.

books of 2014

My friend Matt jumped into the discussion with this.

Hmm. Wrong, eh? Matt added:

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.


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?

Author: dave

Book reviewer, occasional writer, photographer, coffee-lover, cyclist, spoon carver and stationery geek.

3 thoughts on “keeping score”

  1. 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.

    1. 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. 🙂

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