Monday, November 10, 2014

Ratings and Crossed-the-Line Books

Have you ever gone to a movie and said, "That was a good movie--except for that one part?" Maybe there was too much violence or a sexual scene that went too far. It doesn't even matter what level your standards are; a line was crossed beyond personal comfort. I keep running into this same problem with books.

I used to listen to the radio more, but I've switched to audio books, especially when I'm working in the kitchen. If I come to a scene that crosses my moral standards, I can fast forward or skip ahead. Lots of skipping ahead means replacing it with another book. The problem with relying on library books is that there comes a point when we exhaust the supply of authors we trust, and need to venture into unknown territory. I hate it when they've hooked me into a story, and then they throw in the undesirable stuff. 

How do I rate these books? Sometimes I omit them from my list of read books, ignoring the fact that I read ninety-something percent of it. But that doesn't help anyone else. I advocate reviewing all new (within first year of publication) books. Those reviews are the most helpful to both author and readers. When I do rate a crossed-the-line book, I make sure to put what bothered me into the comments. 

I'm curious to know if you even look at ratings. Do you go by word-of-mouth, favorite authors, or what? The two just mentioned are my preferences, but when I see a list from a reader I trust, I grab it. Back-cover blurbs can also pique interest. Please put your top ways to choose a book in the blog comments.

Best wishes to those participating in National Novel Writing Month! You can do it! I still haven't participated in NaNoWriMo. My editor gave me three weeks to make any corrections/give feedback to her edits, so that's what I've been working on. I'm ahead of schedule and feeling great! Whatever your project, make it a good week!

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