Book Chat,  Reading Life

January Book Chat + What I’ve Been Reading

*I’ve been doing these quick lit posts for a few months now and I’ve gotten pretty bored with them. If we are honest with ourselves, do we really need another list of books? No, no we don’t. So this month I’m changing it up a bit.

Let's talk about books and the perks of being a reader! Current reads + my favorite book subscription boxes.

Welcome to the January 2019 book chat.

So let’s change this up a bit. The past few months I’ve just been making a list of the books I had read recently and a little blurb about each. I’d like to try something new and list the last book I loved, my current read, and then we will chat about books and the reading life.

The Book I Loved

The last book I loved was The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. There’s an antihero, what can I say? If you hang around for a bit you’ll discover that I’m a huge sucker for antiheroes. Especially if they have super broken pasts and they are just trying to do the best they can. Bonus if the main character falls in love with them. Gah, the feels.

My Current Reads

My current reads are Switch on Your Brain and The Cursed Child. Switch on Your Brain is an excellent book about mental health and it dispels the myths and mystery surrounding it.

I am giving The Cursed Child a shot. I know it’s gotten a ton of bad reviews (which I don’t read). I’m excited to read it even though it’s a screen play. I would rather just have another real book, but I can deal with it. It will, if anything, be quick reading.

Book Chat Time

Lately I’ve really been paying attention to the way I rate my books. I never thought it was important to go through the process of reviewing and rating books. But now that my reading life is much more important to me than it ever has been, I’ve found this to be a great addition.

I know a lot of readers are very stingy with their star ratings. I’m not. I can’t be. I love a lot of books and I can’t let a really strict rating system skew how I feel about my books. Almost all of the books I read are high 3 stars and up. If I get attached to a character the chances of it being a 4 or 5 star read skyrockets.

I think one of the great things about reviewing books is that you can really dig into the story and find out why it did or didn’t work for you.

I was first introduced to a great rating system by G from @book_roast. I’ll leave the link to her original Youtube video here. Check it out, it’s really good. After using her system for a while I’ve realized that it’s way too strict and books I love weren’t getting the ratings I felt they deserved. So, I’ve altered it a bit but all credit goes to G for coming up with this in the first place!

The Cozy Shelf Book Rating Method:

Unlike G, I don’t have a great acronym for my method but it’s ok with me. I kept most of the same categories she uses. I changed just one word because it made more sense to me. The most change you’ll see is in the 0-10 scale and the star rating scale.

The Categories:

Enjoyment:
– Did I love it? Was it just ok? Or did I not finish it?

Intrigue:
– Could I not stop reading it? Or did I have to force myself to finish it or to at least get through some parts of it?

Writing Style:
– Did I like the author’s voice or the way it was written? Did I like whose perspective it was written from? Is the writing unique? Or does the writing take away from the story or just confuse me?

Plot:
-Do I like the way the story played out? Was it too easy to guess? Or did it surprise me?

Logic:
– Is the book confusing? Does the storyline make sense? Are unfamiliar terms explained well enough or at all?

World:
– Do I know enough about the world for the book to make sense? Are things unique to the world explained well enough? Can I imagine what it might be like to live in that world? Do I want to live there?

Character:
– Do I like them? Is there someone I can root for? Are they fighting for the best thing? Or does every thing they do irritate me?

My feelings about each category:

As I go through each of these categories I give them a rating from 0-10. Here’s the scale:

*0-3: Very Poor:
– 0: I hated it.
– 3: Could have been a lot better. I am pretty disappointed.

*4-6: Just Ok:
– 4: I really didn’t care about it.
– 6: Okay. Could have been better but I’ll deal with it.

*7-9: The Best:
– 7: Good! I really enjoyed it.
– 9: Am I still breathing?

*10: I’m dead.
– What is this world? What do I mean? Who is me? What do I do with my life now? (Flails at pieces of self.)

How the books get a star rating:

After I rate them from 0-10 I add up each category and then divide by 7. I take that number and assign it a star rating according to the scale below.

  • 0 – 1: no stars
  • 1 – 2: ★
  • 2 – 3: ★★
  • 4 – 6: ★★★
  • 7 – 8.9: ★★★★
  • 9 – 10: ★★★★★

It’s pretty straightforward, but if you watch G’s video it will give you a little more insight than this post.

Conclusion:

I was going to chat about some of my favorite book merch, but this post has gotten a little long. I’ll save it for another time. I am trying to come up with a PDF of my book rating system so that you can print it off and tuck it in your own book journal.

Thanks so much for hanging out with me today! This was fun!

Happy reading,

Alicen

P.S. You can also check out my January 2019 TBR here. I’ve already knocked two books off the list! What have you been reading? Let me know in the comments!

P.P.S. Oh, and don’t forget about The Cozy Shelf Reading Challenge! You can still join us! Get all the info here.