Yes, yes, yes.

Just read this post over at Shannon Hale's blog.  I totally agree.  This is one of the reasons I don't give star ratings (or use a number system of some kind).  It's just not part of my reading process.

I do what I like here on my own blog.  I don't like being a literary critic, I like reading books and thinking about them and applying them to my own life.  I don't like reviewing books, I like recommending books.  If I read a book I don't want to recommend, I don't usually mention it here.

I especially liked this list of questions from Shannon's post:
Where did the story fail you? Where did it work for you? So, what does that say about you? What were you hoping for? What did you need from the story? If you're a writer, what does that tell you about what kind of a story you want to write? For me, this kind of responding is just about how I think about the book. Instead of thinking, "The author really dropped the ball on the ending," I try thinking, "What did I want out of the ending instead of what I got? Why did I want that?"
If you feel like chattering about questions like these about a book you've just read, and then you email that to me, I might even post your guest review. Just let me know. Email address is in the sidebar.


  1. I understand your dislike of star ratings. I used to not do them, but then I decided I wanted to. I actually kind of like being a critic. Although, most of the books I read, I like so it becomes more of a recommendation.

    What do you do on Goodreads and/or Shelfari? Do you skip the stars and just post a review? Or, do you choose stars for those sites only? Or, do you not even use Goodreads or Shelfari?

  2. Oh, it's not that I dislike them. I just dislike writing them. I find it quite helpful when others do them.

    I'm on Goodreads (and on LibraryThing but not on Shelfari), but I seldom do anything. Mostly I just skim through the update emails, seeing what friends have done recently.

    I find it terribly difficult to give the stars, though I do on Goodreads. "well, i gave that book 4 stars, and I like this one better, so its 5. But what about this third book that I liked even more?" I look back and think, "why did I give that book X stars? "

  3. I passed the Versatile Blogger Award onto you. You can check it out here if you'd like: http://bit.ly/gUOj3d

  4. i read this post (and shannon's) shortly after you published it and have been thinking about it ever since.

    i enjoy thinking about why i loved a book that not very many other people liked, or visa versa. for example, i loved the writing in MOCKINGJAY, yet was so saddened and disturbed by the ending that i didn't even want to talk about the book.

    after months of contemplation, and after reading this post, i realized something. i couldn't stomach the ending because i need to believe that we can recover from traumatic and difficult events completely, even be better because of them. i hate the idea that we walk around wounded and dead inside because of life's experiences, never to recover.

    what does that say about me? now there's a thought to keep me thinking for another few months ;-)

  5. To Rachel-
    THAT is a critique worth publishing more promenently! I saw that coming in the first two books of the series and have simply refused to read mockingjay for that very reason.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...