I have set myself up as a critic of the very books I love and certainly you want my qualifications. Simply speaking, I have none (unless you count a few literature classes in college, which I don’t). Not in the academic sense of credentials. My only qualification is that I really love books, and I’ve read enough to know what I like. Much critique is subjective according to tastes. Take Ernest Hemingway, for example. Mr. Hemingway has been lauded as one of the greatest writers to ever live, yet when I read Hemingway I find flat characters, horrible dialogue, and short obnoxious sentences. I have friends who call Hemingway a genius when I call him a hack. My book taste is always evolving and often I will reread something I found wonderful a few years ago, only to give it a resounding “Meh” the second time around. Then, there are books which I don’t find terribly well written, but I love nonetheless because a certain character or plot device captures my attention and resonates with me. ireadlotsofbooks.com will simply cover elements of what makes a book good to me.
Back when I was in college (yawn) I took an Irish Lit class where we discussed what makes a book Literature as opposed to just literature. You see the upper case/lower case difference? After enduring an opinion-based discussion (which was quite the contrast from my Political Science classes where no one would have dreamed of starting a sentence “I feel like…”) I walked away with the idea that Literature is something that causes an individual to take pause and change, while literature does not. This does not suggest that literature is a bad thing, there just needs to be a better rating system to separate books that are life changing, from the type you would read on a beach because they don’t require much thought. I have devised the following grading system which I will be utilizing for your reading pleasure.
A+ This book challenged me and changed my life
A Highly recommended to book lovers and people of discerning tastes
A- This book is to literature what chocolate is to dessert
B+ I will probably read this one again, soon
B I don’t regret reading this book, but I am relieved I got it on sale
B- Bubble gum beach reading material
C Double meh
C- Triple meh
D+ Highly underwhelming
D I feel sorry for all who took part in the creation of this book
D- Just that combination of weak story and poor writing that I don’t enjoy
F+ I have read junior high journal entries that did more for me
F The hours spent reading this book I will never get back, and I consider that a waste
F- I would not be opposed to attending ritual bonfires where this book is burned.
Z This book should be struck from the face of the earth. It is that bad.