I giggle to think that I’m going to hold myself to a system, but at least I can try to explain why I typically rank books the way that I do. At the end of the day, it’s a gut feel though. So good luck!
These are game-changing books. These are books that pop into my mind instantly when I’m asked, “Have you read a good book lately.”
- A new idea or topic or viewpoint that I haven’t seen before (if it’s interesting enough, I may forgive a few issues with the presentation)
- A book that inspires me to learn more
- A book that makes me look at the world around me differently
- A book that I just can’t get out of my head
- A book I can’t put down
- A book that I have to put down because it’s so intense
These are very good books. I may recommend these to people, but I’m not going to gush. It’ll be along the lines of, “You may enjoy this one…” It’s a fine line between 4- and 5-stars.
- The topic or story is interesting, but something about the writing or presentation throws it off
- A book that I’m happy to pick up at any opportunity
- A book that makes me think
- A book that teaches me or shows me something new
- A book that is well-written but not “special”
- A book that I’ll remember
These are enjoyable books. If I think something like, “It’s good for what it was,” then it’s likely a 3-star book.
- A book that I’m happy to have read
- A book that’s entertaining
- A book that I don’t have to talk myself into picking back up
- A guilty pleasure
These are books with serious challenges. With this book, I’m likely to counsel, “I didn’t love that one.”
- A book that struggled to hold my interest
- A book I finished because I didn’t want to write off the time I spent reading it
- A book that didn’t have anything wrong with it, but didn’t really have anything right
- A book that made me think, “Meh”
These are books that I hated. There will be very few of these because I respect the art of writing and hate to hate any book. But it happens, and you’ll know about it when it comes around.
- A book I couldn’t make myself finish
- A book I finished simply so it wouldn’t beat me
- A book that makes question editors and publishers everywhere
- A book that makes me question our friendship if you like it even a little bit
- Anna Karenina