Friday Morning Bookclub

April 25, 2010

How Do You Rate A Book???

Filed under: Literary Tidbits — susanbright @ 9:01 pm

I have been doing a lot of thinking about how I actually rate a book lately. What makes a 5 star, or in our case a 5 omelet book? The other day I finished the book Beatrice and Virgil. This book affected me. It was very disturbing and at the same time thought provoking. I could not put it down, yet I cannot say that I enjoyed reading it. The end was powerful and I wanted to talk about it to someone. I  immediately called my friend Esther, another member of The Friday Bookclub and an avid reader. I told her she had to read this book because I needed to talk to someone about it and I knew I could depend on her to finish reading it in record time.  I then went on Goodreads and gave it 5 stars. Why? Because it had an impact on me. I compared it to a piece of  contemporary art work, which is not necessarily beautiful, however it has a message to tell and makes you think.  Esther called me as soon as she finished reading Beatrice and Virgil and wanted to know why I made her read this book!  She  found the book strange and disturbing, which it was, however she also could not put it down.  We both agreed that it was an excellent discussion book yet not a pleasant read. Esther gave it 1 star. On second thought maybe I should have given it 3 stars? How do you rate a book?  Maybe we need to have some rating guidelines. Any suggestions?

Esther’s Response

When Susan first told me about “Beatrice and Virgil”, my curiosity was aroused.  She had been so affected by that book and I couldn’t imagine what type of a book would have that kind of an impact on someone.  Upon picking up the novel, I was indeed engrossed from the very first page.   Yet, it was rather like a train wreck – it wasn’t enjoyable, but I had to keep reading – I had to see what happened next.  It was definitely different from any other book I had ever read.  When it came time to rate it, I looked at the definitions next to the stars.  1 star was “I didn’t like the book”.  2 stars was “It was okay”.  3 stars was “I liked it”.  Well, I felt that this book deserved a more definitive rating than “it was okay”.  Yet, I certainly couldn’t say that I liked it.  Did the book keep my interest?  Yes.  Did it make me think?  Absolutely.  Did it generate discussion?  Most definitely.  But did I like it?  No.  I would encourage others to read this novel.  Let’s get a good conversation going.  Read it!  You don’t have to like it.



  1. OK…ladies you have me really intrigued here… am going to have to put this one in to my reading schedule. I have finished “The Memory Thief” and so have some time before the next book. I decided to read ‘incendiary” by Chis Cleave, the author of “Little Bee”. I am about 30 pages into it and totally hooked. He is certainly a very creative writer… comes at things from an angle you would not expect.

    Comment by janinefrier — April 28, 2010 @ 8:02 am | Reply

  2. I think this copy of Beatrice and Virgil, is going to make its rounds. I passed it on to Esther and I know she will be more than happy to pass it on to you. Who is next?

    Comment by susanbright — April 28, 2010 @ 9:09 am | Reply

  3. I’d certainly love someone else to read this book – get some more conversation going! Janine, I’ll bring it to next week’s meeting!

    Comment by Esther — April 29, 2010 @ 9:33 pm | Reply

  4. Thanks Esther, I look forward to reading it.

    Comment by alumparentblogger — April 29, 2010 @ 10:02 pm | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

We love hearing from you! Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: