Ratebeer Readers discussion

Your five star books

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message 1: by grantonio (last edited Jan 25, 2008 12:26PM) (new)

grantonio | 24 comments Simple enough:

Don Quixote - Miguel de Cervantes
The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoevsky
Ceremony - Leslie Marmon Silko
Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage - Alfred Lansing
A River Runs Through It - Norman McLean
Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
Essays of E.B. White - E.B. White
Infinite Jest - David Foster Wallace
Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water - Marc Reisner
East of Eden - John Steinbeck
Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

A motley crew there, for sure. Not all are "literary," of course, and those are rated on a hedonistic scale a la ratebeer.

message 2: by Frank (new)

Frank Hays (logicalfrank) | 40 comments I have trouble rating these on a five star scale. I kind of tend to think in terms more like love/like/dislike and that's about it. Right now, nearly half of my "Read" shelf is rated five stars.

message 3: by Muzzlehatch (new)

Muzzlehatch | 168 comments I kinda feel the same way Frank does. I have LOTS of 5-star-rated stuff. I also think that ratings for books really don't work -- beer is complex enough that rating it has value, but simple enough as an experience that quantification isn't dumbing it down too much -- if that makes sense. To me, if someone whose taste I know well says, "that beer's a 3.9" I have an idea what he means.

I wouldn't if he said "that book's a 3.9" I think the experience of reading, particularly something really complex, is harder (for me at least) to quantify, especially on a simple 1 to 5 scale. I'm using the scale here (because it exists), but not thinking about it too much.

I'll post a list of favorite SF/fantasy books soon, since that's the genre I know best, but all of my ***** rated stuff is probably at least 200 books.

message 4: by grantonio (last edited Jan 25, 2008 02:53PM) (new)

grantonio | 24 comments No, I do agree with you both; in fact I sort of posted the topic with that in mind. I can get enough experience with a beer to rate it in a few minutes, whereas with a book it could take anywhere from 2-50 hours to just read it, not to mention think about it. And I've only read two of the books on there more than once, so my opinion now might be different. "Re-rating" isn't very plausible for books, especially ones you didn't love to begin with.

The books I've rated 5 are definitely some of my favorites though. But some of the ones I rated 4 or even 3 are just as good at different times. As with my beer ratings I try to save the top ratings for a small minority of my favorites, even if I do enjoy the others quite a bit. I would say anything 3 or higher I liked; 2 means it has some merit, but I didn't like it as much. One star is everything else. I think that with books the reviews are more important than the ratings - even moreso than with beer. I'm going to try to write a review for everything I read this year, but it's hard. I haven't written anything other than forum posts, e-mails and technical literature for a long time.

I do think that rating the books is nowhere near the best feature of the site.

message 5: by Claude S (new)

Claude S | 200 comments I should probably do better ratings. I hand out five stars liberally. If I loved it, I give it five, if I liked it, I give it four.

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