Category Archives: Books

The 5 Star Book– How Do You Rate Your Reads?

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There is nothing more disappointing than reading the last line of a book and thinking, “Well, that was a waste of time.”

When I think about my life in quantities of time, there’s really too little of it. I spend so much time doing things I have to do, that when I do something I want to do, I don’t want to feel like my time is wasted.

Wasted on soft plots. Wasted on unredemptive characters. Wasted on authors who clearly need to be psycho-analyzed. Wasted on filth for the sake of shock value or lack of creativity on the author’s part.

I don’t like to waste time on anything, especially on a bad story. Especially on a bad story that everyone else loves and it’s an international bestseller but when I read it I feel jipped—jipped of a good story and of the hours of my life I’ve wasted on a stinker of a book.

Maybe it’s me, but there are very few bestsellers that I’d give a stellar, 5 star review.

Goodreads is the greatest website ever invented. Period. It tracks the books I’ve read, the ones I want to read, and the ones I’m reading—without that site I would forget about so many wonderful books I want to spend time on. And I love that I can rate the books and leave reviews when I’m done reading.

What did we do before Goodreads? I mean, really? 🙂 I haven’t been able to add all of the books I’ve ever read to it, well, because I don’t remember them all, but if you’re interested in connecting with me on the site, look me up or click on the Goodreads link on the bottom right of this page.

A good review helps authors, so I’m always willing to leave a positive, honest review. I’m not afraid to leave a not-so-hot review, either, when I feel it is necessary, but I don’t leave “this was horrible” reviews just to be mean. If I really disliked a book, I usually won’t leave a review at all. That whole “if you don’t have something nice to say” thing…

Some authors get a little touchy about a review that isn’t a 5-star, but I rarely leave a 5-star review. An honest review rarely calls for 5 stars, and a 4-star review, even a 3-star, can be very, very positive. I can love a book and not give it 5 stars.

When you read a book, how do you rate it? What’s your rating scale? How do you distinguish a five star book from a four? A two from a one?

Here’s my book-rating scale:

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One Star—I didn’t like it at all. I probably didn’t finish reading it, most likely because the story was too disjointed (or just boring) or the filth was over-the-top.

Two Stars—I couldn’t connect. I didn’t love it and I probably won’t read any of the author’s other books. It was a struggle to finish the book, but I did finish.

Three Stars—I liked it. It held my interest with a decent plot and interesting characters and maybe even intrigued me a time or two. I will probably read the author’s other books and look forward to doing so.

Four Stars—I really enjoyed it. It was a good story with compelling characters, intriguing plot, and well-written prose. It gripped me and kept me turning pages. It kept me involved long after the story was over. I want to support this author by reading his or her other books.

Five Stars—I loved it. Something about the story or the characters moved me enough to add this book to my “read it again” list. This book sticks with me and I can’t let the story go. I will definitely read the author’s other books and will sing this book’s praises from the mountaintops.

So to make my 5 Star list, I have to want to read the book again. Maybe a couple more times. And I don’t always need a happy ending!

Writing, like any form of art, is subjective. You are going to dislike a book I love, and visa versa.

A good story connects us with humanity in the most basic way—a need to engage emotionally. Anger, fear, love, hatred, happiness, satisfaction…the mark of a good story is an emotion that is evoked; an emotion that sticks with you long after you’ve read the last line. [Click to tweet]


Share with me:What is your book rating scale? What does a book need to have to earn 5 stars from you? How about one star?

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Vlog Book Review of Grave Consequences by Lisa Bergren & A Travel Memory

 

Grave Consequences (Book 2 of The Grand Tour Series) by Lisa T. Bergren — 5 stars. Loved it.

Romance, history, travel, mystery– this book has it all. I wish I had written this series. It is perfection!

Book 1 of the series is called Glamorous Illusions. Also 5 stars.

Lisa Bergren is at the top of my list of beloved authors. She should be at the top of yours, too.

Watch the vlog to hear me tell of one of my craziest memories from a trip to Europe.

Share with me: What’s a favorite memory you have from a vacation or trip?

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New To You- A February Giveaway!

books and glasses___

I love books. Like you didn’t know that, right?

Well, I do. I love reading, I love stories, and I love creating my own stories.

I especially love telling people about a book when I discover a gem.

I saw this photo on Pinterest and I thought, now there’s a cool idea.

UK Book exchange

In some areas of the UK they’ve turned the iconic red phone booths into book stands– take a book, leave a book. It’s all about sharing words and ideas. I really, really love this!

I love to collect books, too. I have books on my shelves that I have had since I was in high school– years worth of books that have inspired me.

But as I was looking over my collection the other day, I realized that I have plenty of books that I don’t need to keep. They are all wonderful, and for that reason, I want to share them!

So I’ve decided that once a month I’m going to offer a “New to You” Giveaway on the blog!

That’s right, I’m giving away books from my personal collection. Not all my books, mind you, but one a month that I want to share with the world.

Not all of these books are new releases. Most of them are several years old, which means you might not have read them. You might have missed some of these amazing authors.

So, don’t miss out on your chance to win a book absolutely FREE!

This month’s book is by one of the authors who really pulled me into reading Christian fiction many, many years ago.

For February 2013, I’m giving away a copy of Bamboo & Lace by Lori Wick!

Bamboo & Lace Lori Wick

About the book:

Can their love survive two very different cultures?

Lily Walsh has never imagined anything like America. From supermarkets and swimsuits to the way women look men directly in the eye, she’s baffled by this strange new land. Raised in a remote Asian village by her disciplinarian father, 24-year-old Lily is thrilled to visit her brother Jeff in Hawaii–until Jeff is called away on urgent business.

Left in the care of Jeff’s best friend, Gabe Kapaia, and his family, Lily discovers the paradise of Oahu’s north side at the Kapaia Resort. But she walks a fine line between two worlds. Can she embrace her new experiences without breaking her promise not to shame her missionary father? When Lily finds herself falling for Gabe, her heart is torn. Will her upbringing force her to make the difficult choice between true love and family honor?

Book Giveaway How to Win

Contest rules

The winner will be announced on Thursday, February 14th!

GOOD LUCK!!! 🙂

Share with me: Where is your favorite spot to read and what’s your favorite reading treat or snack?

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