As I mentioned in my introduction, I love to read.
I've been reading regularly for as long as I can remember. It originally started out with The Hardy Boys around 4th or 5th grade, but that all changed with two books. The first was Legend by David Gemmell and the second was Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. They both blew my mind, and I quickly became addicted to anything that involved fantasy or science fiction. While my tastes have significantly expanded over the past decade (mostly out of necessity since it felt like I had read everything), fantasy and sci-fi still lie at the core of my love of reading and any short stories I write or ideas for future novels tend to dwell in those genres.
At this point, I almost always have three of four books going at the same time. Since I'm usually awake before the rest of the family, I read while I'm eating breakfast. I listen to audio books during my transit to work, and I even read in the bathroom (don't judge me). Asking me to go to sleep without reading at least 20 pages first would be just as strange as asking me to sleep on the floor.
When I moved my blog to this platform, I wanted to incorporate more book reviews.
I've done a few in the past, but they were mostly requested by the authors or publishers. While I certainly have no issues doing that, they don't come along all that often. I also believe that identifying what you like and dislike about certain books helps hopeful writers (such as myself) develop their own style and tendencies. Therefore, I wanted to start including more reviews on my site. Obviously, these are only my opinions, and I've been known to be wrong more than once (just ask my wife).
I decided to develop a pseudo-rating system for my reviews.
This is mostly due to the desire to maintain some sort of consistency across books. Plus, I love to rate things. I think my favorite part about NetFlix is being able to go through and rate the different shows in the hope that some algorithm somewhere is going to recommend the perfect movie for me.
1 Star - I Did Not Like It
This is pretty self-explanatory, but it's worth noting that these reviews are my opinion, and therefore are based off my taste in books. It doesn't necessarily mean the book is horrible.
2 Stars - Meh
These books were ok. I finished them, and they didn't make me violently ill.
3 Stars - Readable
Solid, somewhat enjoyable books. Nothing really distinguishes them as great, but they were at least palatable.
4 Stars - Pretty Enjoyable
These are the books that were really good. Maybe I would consider reading them again or writing a letter to the author. If it was part of a series, I've already ordered the next book and am eagerly awaiting its arrival.
5 Stars - Awesome
These are the books that are great. They get their own space on the bookshelf, and if they haven't already been read multiple times, they soon will be. If it was part of a series, I didn't even wait until I was done reading the first one to order the next.
I've decided that there will be two places where my system will deviate from Goodreads'.
The first is the category of Zero Stars. This will be reserved for books that I wasn't able to finish for a variety of reasons.
The second difference is that much like Nigel Tufnel's amp went to 11 for extreme circumstances, I will have 6 Stars for the same reason. This is reserved for those few elite books that change everything. They hang with you long after you've closed the cover. They become the standard of greatness that you compare other books to, and they permanently alter the way you write. For me, examples of this category are books like Cannery Row, I Am Legend, and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Spoiler alert: I created this category because I just finished one such book that I will write up a review for shortly.
With all that in mind, I hope you enjoy some of the reviews and you decide to either read or not read the book accordingly. If you have any recommendations, you can certainly let me know. I can't promise I'll get to it quickly, but I'm always interested in finding new authors and stories, because after all...
I love to read!