Discussion Challenge Post 1

January 4, 2015 Blog, Challenges 10

  • 2015-Discussion-Challenge3Every month, we’ll update this 2015 Book Blog Challenge Page with the links to that month’s Challenge linky – so you’ll always know where to find the latest link-up!
  • Share it! The more people we get to participate in this, the more awesome discussions we can all be a part of and the more fun it will be! So, invite your friends to join us!
  • This challenge is to help get us discussing books and book blogging, so talk about whatever you want as long as it’s relevant to book blogging. Discussions can be book related or book blogging related (or generally blogging related – no discussions about things that are completely off-topic like travel or fashion, etc). Discussions can also be about you personally if it’s a get-to-know-you type post.

I’m going to strive to post one discussion a week! Let’s get talking!!

This week: Reading in 2014! What’s going to be different in 2015?

Already it is weird typing in 2015! It’ll take me about three whole months to get used to it! Happens every year.

Last year Goodreads says I read 230 books. Not too shabby! As you can see below I am pretty nice with my reviews. I think in 2015 I really need to be a bit more critical of my reads. Looking at my 5 star list I know quite a few of these were 4.5 or above but really I don’t think some of them really earned that rating after I had some time to think. There are only a very few that I would re-read and in my mind that is one of the qualities of that coveted 5 star rating.

Goodreads 2014

At the bottom there are a few that are not even starred. I really hate to give below 3 stars on Goodreads and Amazon. I’ll do it on the blog but for some reason I do not like to do that on public sites where it can bring an author’s rating down. I know that is what the rating is there for but I would hate to get below 3 stars so…

Do you think NOT adding a rating has more repercussions than just adding the rating no matter what it is?

So… my criteria for 2014 was that if I connected with a book’s characters, storyline, and writing then I would give it a 5. Now I’m thinking first and foremost if I will not re-read a book then it should not get a 5. Re-readability should be a factor. So in my 10 Things that Help Me in 2012 I posted these criteria:

  1. Plot movement!
  2. Good entertainment factor?
  3. How strong was the plot? (I am thinking 1 and 3 can easily be combined to one question. Plot movement and how strong was that plot).
  4. What did you think of the characters? I honestly think characters can make or break a storyline. So, what do you do when you hate a character so much that you want to put the book down but you are loving the storyline!? Another issue for me.
  5. Does it have a character arc and is it believable? I love character arcs. I really think that characters have to show some kind of growth or effort to help the plot move along. This might not always be the case but I really think it makes the book more enjoyable.
  6. How was the writing style?
  7. How was the attention to detail? Again, I’m thinking 6 & 7 can be combined. Or this could be added into the plot formation.
  8. How does it close the loose ends?This is another difficult criteria. Firstly, a book can end on a cliff hanger and make me want to kill the author, however if I’m rushing to buy the next in the series then obviously the author did their job. But if the ending is THE END and there are many questions, that just annoys me!
  9. Thought provoking?

Ok… so here I have 9 but I think I’m going to narrow this down to:

  1. Plot movement / strength
  2. Entertainment
  3. Characters & character growth
  4. Writing Style & Detail
  5. Ending finality
  6. Thought Provoking
  7. Re-readability
  8. ** Did I finish **
  9. How did I feel when I finished

My brother-in-law has a funny way of tipping. He starts at the normal 15% rate when he sits at a table. He has various criteria from the beginning, did the server come over soon after sitting, did all of his meal come out at once, was his glass filled promptly, was the server courteous, etc… I feel that this is a pretty good way of rating something. Starting at a 3 means that this book has the ability to reach out and grab me or flop! Obviously if I enjoyed one portion but not another then it may not venture far away from that 3 rating!

How do you rate? Do you have certain criteria you look at or do you go by feelings?



10 Responses to “Discussion Challenge Post 1”

  1. anna (herding cats & burning soup)

    Whew, yeah. I’m way harder on my reads and as you know believe in rating no matter what it is especially on Amazon and Goodreads and other retail sites since I think it’s important to have a full picture. Not all authors are going to be writing 4-5 star quality and I think it’s okay to let that be known.

    I kind of do like your brother. I start with an average rating and slide up or down as I’m going. But they all start neutral for me. I end up with a lot of 3.5 to 4s and usually just a handful of 5s. Those really have to be something spectacular for me and ones that were dang near perfect or brought out some serious emotional reaction. Thankfully the lower ratings aren’t too many and I enjoy most of what I read 🙂

    Hope your new system works out for you this year!
    anna (herding cats & burning soup) recently posted…Quote-tastic/Review– Some of my favorite people…Nothing Between Us by Roni Loren + bonus storyMy Profile

    • Christina

      So far it is! The book I’m currently reading went from a 3 to a 4 (ish) back to a 3! I cannot wait for the character arc because the main character hasn’t learned CRAP and it’s starting to get boring. I actually thought of dnf’ing this one but I’m sticking it out because I actually like the story but the main character is just so ugh! I’m keeping more notes too. That helps me remember the good AND the bad 😀

  2. Terri M., the Director

    On my blog, I do a simple thumbs up/thumbs down (fits my movie/theatre theme). And when I post over on GoodReads, Amazon and Barnes and Noble, I take into serious consideration the little pop up tags that show up when you over over the stars.

    Since this was my first year blogging, I waited until January 1 to rate all my books from 2014 on GoodReads. I hovered over the number of stars and figured out which little tag fit the book best compared to ALL the books I read in the last year. It was kind of fun to look back and review!

    Terri M., the Director
    Second Run Reviews
    Terri M., the Director recently posted…Book Review 60: First Sun by Tara TollyMy Profile

    • Christina

      That is really interesting! I bet looking back also gave you a different perspective. I almost always change how I originally feel about a book. Sometimes better, sometimes not!

    • Christina

      I do too! Isn’t that interesting how time can change our perspective? Something to think on!

        • Christina

          I don’t think I could do that for an entire year. I think my OCDness would get in the way. It’s a great thought though and I might have to do that for the month!

  3. Nicole Hewitt

    I don’t really have specific criteria – I feel like I go more by feeling. But I agree that when I look back at my 2014 ratings, I think I have too many 5 star books (a lot of them are 4.5 stars really, but still …) I often wish I could go back later and update my ratings, but I don’t really want to do that.
    Nicole Hewitt recently posted…Review – Jackaby by William RitterMy Profile

    • Christina

      I don’t want to either but I’m in the same boat. SO many 4.5’s and 5’s! I think my criteria of starting with three and adding or subtracting is working though. 😀 So far, so good!