Apr 4, 2014

The trouble with rating media

You may have noticed that I don't really include ratings on book. I tend to shy away from the practice as I often ffind it hard to know how to rate things like movies, books and TV shows.  You know things that will be compiled and make recommendations for future suggestions.  I find it hard to know where the break points should be.  First I should say I am very stingy on giving out 5 stars, as I think that only perfection deserves 5 stars.  Gatsby and Breaking Bad fit this category, but perfection is hard to reach. 

From there you go to 4 stars.  This is where I tend to put things I really like and enjoyed and that are well done.  But even a 4 star rating can be hard for me to give out, because it has to be near perfection.

1 and 2 stars are a bit easier, actually, I wish there was a zero star for things I just hated.  But these are things I really don't like and it is easy for me to know when it just isn't for me.

And that leaves the 3 star ratings.  These are the hardest for me because there are 2 types of books, movies and TV shows that I partake in.  And a 3 star classic novel would be vastly different than a 3 star YA book.  Not to mention how do I reckon a bad story by Fitzgerald or Asten to a good fluff book.  When I rate Fitzgerald or Austen it is usually to their other work, but just because I liked it less than something else they have written dosen't mean it should resided in the realm of Divergent.  Divergent is a good YA novel.  I didn't hate it, so I wouldn't give it a 1 or 2, it is a 3 star book for me.  But when I place it next to A Farewell to Arms by Hemingway, it just seems wrong that they should even be rated the same.

I need  2 prong rating system. One for more serious works and one for fluff.  Does anyone else have this problem?  How do you deal with this?

Apr 2, 2014

Book 24: After Dachau- Daniel Quinn

Can I just start out by saying how much I enjoyed this book.  I picked it up for my Reader and knew it was an alternate history type story where Germany won WWII and that was all.

And wow- it is so much more than that.  There is a whole thing about reincarnation that sucked me in right at the beginning, and then I was hit by the twist.

I have been so frustrated with books that are being recommended for me.  It seems like the only books that are suggested are YA books, and ones that are poorly written.  And I really want something more hearty, and well how can I put this....well written.  This book satisfied that.

My one criticism of the book is, that after it is revealed that they are 2000 years in the future, the story hits a slump.  Well, I shouldn't even say slump, because I think I was pushing through my fatigue to keep reading and glanced over some important info. So in hindsight that is my fault, not the authors.

Ok I have one other criticism, and it really isn't about the book, but what the author wrote postscript.  He needed to make sure that the readers knew he was Christian and did not believe in the whole idea of reincarnation.  Its not that he doesn't believe in the premise of the book, I just found it odd that he needed to include this, in the book.  Yes, in interviews make it clear your views, but it seemed to take away something from the story, like some of the magic was tarnished.  I hate to say it, but because of his insistence to include that blurb, I am very leery to read any of his other books, as I am afraid they will come off preachy, especially when it is titled The Holy.

But with all that said- I really loved this book and highly recommend it.

Update:  Ok So I decided to do a bit of research on Daniel Quinn to see if his books would come off preachy and very Christian.  It looks like I may be wrong about my reaction to his postscript.  But you know what that happens.  I made a knee jerk reaction.  In fact from my cursory search into the man, I am finding that the opposite may be true. I am amending my statement of being leery on his other works.  I think I would like to add Ishmael to my list of books to read.

Update:  After sitting with book for about a month, I have to say how much it has effected me.  I keep thinking about it and really want other to read it so I can talk to them about it.