Rating Guide and Index

I rate books on a scale from one to ten. Ratings are, of course, subjective, and mine only reflect my personal experience with the book in question. Please find below a reference guide for my rating system, as well as an index of reviews in each category (alphabetical by author's last name).

1-3 Stars 

These are books I very much did not enjoy reading and did not consider to be successfully executed. I would not recommend other readers pick these up.

Campbell, Joseph: Creative Mythology

Donoghue, Emma: The Wonder

Eggers, Dave: The Circle

Farley, Christina: Gilded

Goldman, William: Boys And Girls Together

Healey, Sarah: The Sisters Chase

Horn, Stacy: Unbelievable

Jacobson, Howard: Shylock Is My Name

McKenzie, Catherine: Hidden

Potzsch, Oliver: The Hangman's Daughter

Schwartz, John Burnham: Reservation Road

Semple, Maria: Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

Stone, Michel: Border Child

Updike, John: The Witches of Eastwick

Waller, Douglas: Wild Bill Donovan

Winters, Cat: Yesternight

Wolfe, Tom: The Bonfire of the Vanities

4-6 Stars

These books are just okay. They're successful in some aspects, unsuccessful in others. These are the books I tend to forget the most, because I don't have strong feelings about them. I don't usually take a stance on recommendations for these books, because they're not good enough to affirmatively recommend and not bad enough that I think they're a waste of time.

Abbott, Megan: Die A Little

Alderman, Naomi: The Power

Augustine, Saint: The Confessions of Saint Augustine

Bennett, Claire-Louise: Pond

Bissinger, H.G.: Friday Night Lights

Bohjalian, Chris: The Guest Room

Bolick, Kate: Spinster

Bray, Libba: A Great And Terrible Beauty

Brotherton, Rob: Suspicious Minds

Buck, Pearl: The Good Earth

Buckley, Christopher: The Relic Master

Buntin, Julie: Marlena

Cain, James: Mildred Pierce

Campbell, Joseph: Occidental Mythology, Oriental Mythology, Primitive Mythology

Cather, Willa: My Antonia

Chance, Megan: Inamorata

Charnock, Anne: A Calculated Life

Cluchey, Dan: The Life Of The World To Come

Cocks, Heather and Jessica Morgan: Spoiled

Collins, Max Allan: Supreme Justice

Collins, Paul: Duel With The Devil

DeLillo, Don: Zero K

Eggers. Dave: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Forster, E.M.: A Passage To India

Graysmith, Robert: Zodiac

Gregory, Philippa: The White Queen; The Lady of the Rivers

Grumet, Louis: The Curious Case of Kiryas Joel

Harris, Charlaine: Dead Ever After

Heinlein, Robert: Stranger In A Strange Land

Henderson, Smith: Fourth of July Creek

Herman, Eleanor: Sex With Kings

Holmberg, Charlie: The Paper Magician

Jacobs, A.J.: The Year of Living Biblically

Jones, Rod: The Mothers

Kearney, Paul: The Wolf In The Attic

Kelley, Kitty: The Royals

Kinney, Alison: Hood

Ko, Lisa: The Leavers

Koerner, Brendan: The Skies Belong To Us

Kotlowitz, Alex: The Other Side Of The River

Kwan, Kevin: Crazy Rich Asians

Lashner, William: The Barkeep

Levitt, Stephen: Freakonomics

Libaire, Jardine: White Fur

Lowenthal, Michael: Charity Girl

Lynch, Jim: The Highest Tide

Mailer, Norman: The Executioner's Song

Mayes, Frances: Under The Tuscan Sun

Moran, Michelle: Nefertiti

Nagorski, Andrew: The Nazi Hunters

Ondaatje, Michael: In The Skin Of A Lion

Oyeyemi, Helen: What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours

Pamuk, Orhan: Snow

Poehler, Amy: Yes Please

Proulx, Annie: The Shipping News

Redling, S.G.: Flowertown

Renault, Mary: The King Must Die

Robinson, Marilynne: Housekeeping

Romano-Lax, Andromeda: Behave

Rosenberg, Liz: The Moonlight Palace

Sacks, Oliver: Migraine

Salie, Faith: Approval Junkie

Shepard, Jim: Lights Out In The Reptile House

Shipstead, Maggie: Seating Arrangements

St. James, James: Party Monster

Standage, Tom: A History Of The World In 6 Glasses

Styron, William: Sophie's Choice

Sylvester, Natalia: Chasing The Sun

Toobin, Jeffrey: American Heiress

Tyler, Anne: Vinegar Girl

Vonnegut, Kurt: Player Piano

Vyleta, Dan: Smoke

Wappler, Margaret: Neon Green

Warner, Benjamin: Thirst

Weir, Alison: Innocent Traitor, The Lady Elizabeth

Wilder, Thornton: The Bridge Of San Luis Rey

Winchester, Simon: The Professor And The Madman

Zambreno, Kate: Green Girl

7-8 Stars

These are books I liked, and even really liked. They're well-crafted and interesting, but don't have the something extra that makes them truly great in my eyes. I do recommend reading these books.

Adebayo, Ayobami: Stay With Me

Adiga, Aravind: The White Tiger

Allen, Jonathan and Amie Parnes: Shattered

Amend, Allison: Enchanted Islands

Aslan, Reza: Zealot

Barnes, Julian: The Sense of an Ending

Batuman, Elif: The Idiot

Brown, Dee: Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee

Bugliosi, Vincent: Helter Skelter

Chabon, Michael: Moonglow

Cline, Emma: The Girls

Coll, Steve: Ghost Wars

Cooney, Kara: The Woman Who Would Be King

Corman, Avery: Kramer v. Kramer

Cudmore, Libby: The Big Rewind

Didion, Joan: The Year of Magical Thinking

duMaurier, Daphne: Rebecca

Duyvis, Corinne: On The Edge Of Gone

Ebert, Roger: Life Itself

Eco, Umberto: The Name Of The Rose

Ellison, Ralph: Invisible Man

Fagan, Jenni: The Panopticon

French, Tana: In The Woods

Gaiman, Neil: American Gods

Gay, Roxane: An Untamed State

Gessen, Masha: The Man Without A Face

Gibbs, Nancy: The President's Club

Gideon, Melanie: Valley of the Moon

Gladwell, Malcolm: David And Goliath

Goldblatt, David: The Games

Gonzalez, Rigoberto: Butterfly Boy

Gregory, Philippa: The Red Queen

Heller, Zoe: Notes On A Scandal

Herman, Eleanor: Sex With The Queen

Hunt, Samantha: Mr. Splitfoot

Ile, Jowhor: And After Many Days

Jones, Tayari: An American Marriage

Kanon, Joseph: The Good German

Kerman, Piper: Orange Is The New Black

Kim, Suki: Without You, There Is No Us

Larson, Erik: The Devil In The White City

Levental, Vadim: Masha Regina

Mastromonaco, Alyssa: Who Thought This Was A Good Idea?

Maynard, Joyce: To Die For

McCarthy, Mary: The Group

McCullers, Carson: The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter

Miller, Madeline: The Song Of Achilles

Moriarty, Liane: Big Little Lies

Nafisi, Azar: Reading Lolita In Tehran

Naslund, Sena Jeter: Ahab's Wife

Patchett, Ann: Bel Canto

Petersen, Anne Helen: Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud

Pullman, Philip: La Belle Sauvage

Rio, M.L.: If We Were Villains

Roach, Mary: Spook

Sacks, Oliver: A Leg To Stand On

Samatar, Sofia: The Winged Histories

Saunders, Geroge: Lincoln In The Bardo

Sebald, W.G.: The Emigrants

Sedaris, David: Me Talk Pretty One Day

Smith, Phyllis: I Am Livia

Sorrentino, Christopher: The Fugitives

Steiner, Susie: Missing, Presumed

Susann, Jacqueline: Valley Of The Dolls

Thomas, Angie: The Hate U Give

Toobin, Jeffrey: A Vast Conspiracy

Tulathimutte, Tony: Private Citizens

Wang, Weike: Chemistry

Wayne, Teddy: The Love Song of Jonny Valentine

Weir, Alison: The Wars Of The Roses, Eleanor of Aquitaine, The Children of Henry VIII

Wharton, Edith: The House of Mirth

Whitehead, Colson: The Underground Railroad

Woolf, Virginia: Mrs. Dalloway

Zusak, Markus: The Book Thief

9-10 Stars

These are books I found to be truly wonderful, and loved the experience of reading. I highly recommend reading these books.

Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi: Americanah (my favorite book of my third year of blogging!)

Arden, Katherine: The Bear and the Nightingale; The Girl in the Tower

Atwood, Margaret: The Blind Assassin

Beer, Edith Hahn: The Nazi Officer's Wife

Benioff, David: City of Thieves

Bordo, Susan: The Creation Of Anne Boleyn

Chabon, Michael: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

Chee, Alexander: The Queen Of The Night

Coates, Ta-Nehisi: Between The World And Me

Conroy, Pat: The Lords of Discipline

Deutscher, Guy: Through The Language Glass

Domet, Sarah: The Guineveres

Lahiri, Jhumpa: The Namesake

Larson, Erik: Dead Wake

Mandel, Emily St. John: Station Eleven

McMurtry, Larry: The Last Picture Show

Morrison, Toni: Beloved

Oliva, Alexandra: The Last One

Shriver, Lionel: We Need To Talk About Kevin (my favorite book of my second year of blogging!)

Smith, Betty: A Tree Grows In Brooklyn

Warren, Robert Penn: All The King's Men (my favorite book of my first year of blogging!)

Williams, John: Stoner

Zentner, Jeff: The Serpent King


  1. Good list. This is a 10 star blog.

    1. Why thank you! That's very kind of you to say