Track Your Reading: Goodreads or Story Graph? #LetsTalkBookish #LetsDiscuss2022

May 27, 2022

How Do You Track Your Reading?
Or Do You Track Your Reading?

How Do You Track Your Reading (white text over a young woman holding a towering stack of books)

Image Source: Canva

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

This post is inspired by the Let’s Talk Bookish topic hosted by Aria @ Book Nook Bits. This post is also an entry for the 2022 Discussion Challenge hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight. Finally, Bec @ Bec&Books has also inspired me to share my experiment and thoughts about Goodreads and Story Graph.

Let's Talk Bookish graphic

2022 Discussion Challenge (meme)

In my opinion, tracking your reading is a satisfying part of the reading life. Why?

  • Tracking allows you to notice how your tastes and habits change over time
  • Tracking encourages you to balance your reading life (fiction vs nonfiction, diverse reads, etc.)
  • Tracking holds you accountable (in the very best ways)
  • Tracking appeals to readers who love stats and lists
  • Tracking encourages reflection

How do you track your reading?

  • Some readers track their reading by creating a unique hashtag on Instagram for their pictures
  • Some readers use a commercial Reading Journal (like this one for example)

Book Journal Sample Page

  • Some readers make their own reading journals using a blank notebook like this one  (Bullet Journal approach)
  • Some readers use an app such as Goodreads
  • Some readers use an Excel spreadsheet
  • Some readers take screenshots and save them in their camera rolls
  • Some readers simply make a list somewhere

There is not one preferred method for tracking. It’s whatever works for you. I use Goodreads, Story Graph, and an Excel Spreadsheet. Overkill?!?!

Tracking Apps: GoodReads Vs. Story Graph

For years, I have used Goodreads (GR). Other book tracking platforms have attracted my attention from time to time, but I was never tempted until Story Graph (SG).

Story Graph seems to be gaining a great deal of traction in the book community, so I devoted last year to using BOTH Goodreads and Story Graph to compare and contrast.

Pros and Cons of GR and SG:

(more…)

To Annotate or Not to Annotate [Discussion] #LetsTalkBookish #LetsDiscuss2022

April 20, 2022

Do You Annotate?

Pros and Cons

To Annotate or not to Annotate (white text over the background of a stack of hardback books)

Image Source: Canva

Some readers annotate and some do not.

What is annotating?
What is the purpose of a
nnotating?
How do you annotate?
Why annotate?

I love discussion posts, and many of my favorite bloggers participate in Let’s Talk Bookish and the Discussion Challenge. Do you love discussion posts?

As I reflect, think about your experience. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

This post is inspired by the Let’s Talk Bookish topic hosted by Aria @ Book Nook Bits. This post is also an entry for the 2022 Discussion Challenge hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight.

Let's Talk Bookish graphic

2022 Discussion Challenge (meme)

What is Annotation?

Annotation is simply interacting with the text to find meaning as you read.

What is the difference between Annotation, Highlighting, and Note-Taking?

All three are forms of interacting with the text for the purpose of increasing comprehension and constructing meaning. All three facilitate communication between the author and the reader.

Annotation occurs right on the page and involves a system of symbols. Love something? Put an exclamation point in the margin. Confused? Add a question mark in the margin. Don’t know a word? Circle it.  Love a thought. Add a heart to the margin. Want to remember a quote? Underline and put a star in the margin. Disagree? Place a sad face in the margin. Do you see steps or a list of reasons? Number them. Do you notice a potential theme developing? Mark it with a “T.” Etc. In the days when I was reading physical books, I always read with a pencil in hand (except for library books of course!). You can make up your own set of symbols for annotating.

a poster of annotation symbols

Highlighting: Use a highlighter or different color highlighters to highlight certain sections, words, phrases, and concepts. The danger of this is that you might not remember why you highlighted a certain part. Or you might be a 5th grader who loves to use a highlighter and indescriminately highlight an entire page or pages! (Come on! I know you remember doing that!) If you are reading on a kindle, you can use the highlighting tool (and actually export these highlights!). As an alternative to a highlighter you could use book darts to mark a line or a post-it to mark a page or write a note. If you are an audio book listener, you can bookmark a certain location (or write the location in a note on your phone) and put it in physical note form later.

Note-Taking: When I take notes, I like to divide my paper into sections for characters, setting, themes, quotes, etc. Downsides to taking notes: it’s more laborious than other methods and they can be misplaced! So I recommend a spiral you can use as a book journal for note taking. In theory, it’s more difficult to lose an entire journal than a scap of paper.

Do I Annotate?

Absolutely!
Well, this needs a clarification. When I used to buy physical books, I annotated them all. Now I read digital books and need to rely on highlighting or note-taking. However, of all the methods I love annotating the most. I love picking up a book I’ve read and seeing all the annotations! Have you ever bought a used book filled with annotations?

Why Do I Annotate?

The main reason I annotate is to promote comprehension and construct meaning. In other words: to retain, question, react, or respond. When I taught 5th grade, I required my students to annotate. I loved that we had “consumable” social studies textbooks so that I could teach them to use an annotation system of special marks. There are charts of marks you can access or simply make up your own! Annotation is a form of communication with the author and the best comprehension tool. Related: When I was a student, I always took extensive notes and often I came home and rewrote my notes. The act of physically moving the pencil on paper builds comprehension and meaning. Have you found that to be true in your life? This same principle applies here!

Reviewing Tip

For writing reviews, it is imperative that I use one of these three methods for interacting with the story. My notes, annotations, and/or highlights jog my memory of the reading experience, jump start my review, and give me examples to site or quotes to highlight.

The Cons of Annotating

Well, the obvious con is that you don’t want to write on the pristine pages of your book! I promise it’s ok to mark up your book! Permission granted! Annotating will make your reading experience more meaningful and increase the sentimental value of your book. Another con might be the investment of time. However, if time spent results in a more satisfying reading experience, isn’t it worth it? Honestly, I can’t think of another con. Can you? If you don’t annotate, can you share why?

TL;DR

Interacting with the text in whatever way possible adds meaning to your reading experience.
Highly recommended!

QOTD: Do You Annotate, Highlight, or Take Notes?



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© ReadingLadies.com

Have You Lost Your Heart in a Book? 10 Books Too Good To Review Properly #TopTenTuesday #LetsDiscuss2022

February 15, 2022

Have You Lost Your Heart in a Book?
What Makes a Book too Good to Review Properly?

10 Books Too Good to Review Properly" (white text over a background of a tall stack of hardback books)

 

I’m linking up with That Artsy Reader Girl: Top Ten Books Too Good To Review Properly. This post is also an entry for the 2022 Discussion Challenge hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight.

 

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)2022 Discussion Challenge (meme)

Have you lost your heart in a book?
Have you been at a loss for words?

lose your heart in a book (white text above and below an open book with the center pages forming a heart...all on a lilac pink background)

Quite often when I attempt to write a review for a book I’ve really REALLY loved, I have a difficult time finding the right words to convey my thoughts. I’m lost for words! Whether you are writing a review or telling your best friend about a book, can you relate to my feelings? Which reviews are the most difficult for you? Which reviews are the easiest?

Why do I find it difficult to write reviews for books I’ve loved? It seems that writing a review for a book I loved should be the easiest to write. This is my reasoning for why it isn’t: I form an emotional connection with books I really really love. I leave a piece of my heart between the pages. A connection we make with a book is personal and when your heart is involved, it makes expressing thoughts coherently in a review more difficult. I fear you won’t feel the same connection or understand it.

The following list is a sample of the types of books I find it difficult to review because I’m lost for words. They are all 4.5-5 Star reads and are on my lifetime favs list and highly recommended. (reviews are linked)

What is one book you feel is too good to review?
Join the discussion in comments.

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

(in no particular order)

1

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza (cover)

…difficult to review because…
all the poignant themes that gripped my heart….and that last father/son section…all the tissues

2

The Stranger in the Lifeboat by Mitch Albom

The Stranger in the Lifeboat by Mitch Albom (cover) text on a dark background...vignette of a rowboat on the water

…difficult to review because…
uniquely personal and affects every reader differently

3

The Day the World Came to Town by Jim Defede

The Day the World Came to Town

…difficult to review because…
the amount of kindness, sacrifice, and generosity is too much to list…also because it could have been any one of us on one of those planes that day…how many of you have received kind help from a stranger?

4

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (cover) Image:

…difficult to review because…
poignant end of life reflections

5

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (cover)

…difficult to review because…
all the love for brave Eleanor and you have to experience the ending for yourself (IYKYK)

6

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell (cover) Image: head shot of a young boy wearing a felt hat and a large feather lies horizontally across his eyes

…difficult to review because…
so very emotional!

7

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir (cover) Image: an astronaut floats in space tethered to a gold and black object

…difficult to review because…
can’t give away the sacrificial friendship aspect…and BOOM (!) I’ve already said too much! (IYKYK)…
(trust me, you want the audio format for this one!)

8

And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman

And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer

…difficult to review because…
Backman and the heartfelt and emotional content

9

The Choice: Embrace the Possible by Dr. Edith Eva Eger
Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family by Mitch Albom

…difficult to review because…
memoirs (how do you review someone’s life experience?)

10

Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott

Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott (cover)

…difficult to review because…
(representative of all the incredibly difficult and emotional WW11 fiction I’ve read)
memorable characters, poignant themes



QOTD:

Have you read or reviewed any of these?
What’s one book you have found difficult to review?



Happy Reading Book Worms

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price. This money will be used to offset the costs of running a blog and to sponsor giveaways, etc.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photo are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© WWW.ReadingLadies.com

 

Are You a Rereader? What Makes You Reread A Book? #EleanorOliphantIsCompletelyFine [Book Review] #LetsTalkBookish #LetsDiscuss2022

February 2, 2022

Are you a rereader?

What makes you reread a book?

Are You a Rereader? Rereading Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (white text over a background of a stack of hardback books)

 

Image Source: Canva

Some avid readers are rereaders and some are not. Which are you?

How do you decide what to reread? What makes you want to reread? Are you a frequent rereader or an occassional rereader? Maybe you’ve never reread a book and can tell us why.

I’m reviewing Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (a reread) in today’s blog post.

I was going to clean the house, but then I realised.l..this book isn't going to read itself (Image: a young woman sits on the floor leaning against a cabinet reading a book)

I love discussion posts, and many of my favorite bloggers participate in Let’s Talk Bookish and the Discussion Challenge. Do you love discussion posts?

As I answer the questions, think about how you would answer them for yourself. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

This post is inspired by the Let’s Talk Bookish topic hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. This post is also an entry for the 2022 Discussion Challenge (this is also my sign up post), hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight.

2022 Discussion Challenge (meme)

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Am I a Rereader?

Not really. I seldom reread. So many books, so little time! The few books I have reread are on my lifetime favorites list. I can’t envision rereading a book I didn’t absolutely love. Are you a rereader?

What Motivates Me to Reread?

Upon reading the last page of a book I really really loved, I put it on my lifetime favorites list. These are the books that I choose from if I’m going to reread.

I realize that rereading can have a different purpose from the first read. Maybe in a reread I can pay closer attention to the author’s writing and style; maybe I’m looking for clues that I missed or evidence for why the author chose a certain ending; maybe I’m looking for evidence for a conclusion I drew from the author’s open ending; maybe its to revisit certain themes or beloved characters; or maybe the book was just so beautiful that I want to immerse myself in that world again. I’m a fairly fast reader, so rereading helps me focus on other elements (besides a pageturning plot).

What motivated me to reread the book I’m reviewing today?

  • I LOVED it!
  • The jaw dropping ending had me immediately contemplating a reread some day so that I could appreciate the way the author constructed the story and developed the characters.
  • A few members of my online book club chose to read this book in January and I thought it would be fun to reread and discuss it with others.
  • I read it before blogging and have never written a formal review (which you’ll receive today!).

My Biggest Drawbacks in Rereading:

  1. Because I only reread books from my lifetime favorites list, I’m always afraid that I won’t love it as much as the first time.
  2. So many books, so little time.
  3. I suffer from FOMO and I’m distracted by the new and shiny, so the pleasure of rereading gets pushed to the back burner.

Can you relate to any of my drawbacks?

What Books Have I Reread?

See? It’s not many! There are so many books and so little time that I seldom feel I have the time to invest in a reread. The reason I reread the last three MG books is that I’m in a MG book club and I wanted to reread the selections before I made the recommendations. How many books have you reread?

What Books Would I Like to Reread Next?

  1. A Place For Us
  2. Anxious People
  3. The Hiding Place

Do you have a reread planned?

Today’s Review and My Recent Reread:
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (cover)

My Summary:

Eleanor has a carefully constructed life and daily routine, avoids close relationships, and says exactly what she thinks. Her weekends involve frozen pizza and vodka. Every Wednesday she talks with Mummy. The day she meets easy going and big-hearted Raymond, the IT guy, things begin to change as she opens her heart to friendship.

My Thoughts:

(I think this is a story best read without reading reviews first, so proceed with caution as I might reveal more than you want to know.)

Common Misconception: I frequently hear Eleanor Oliphant described as humorous and quirky. My opinion differs. Yes, Eleanor is outspoken and her observations and comments are candid and at times snarky. Many times, her behaviors and observations brought a smile to my face. However, there’s obviously so much more going on that I wouldn’t describe it as humorous or quirky. I think of it more as a story of trauma and survival.

The Hero: Raymond is the hero in the story. He’s kind, nonjudgemental, accepting, encouraging, consistent, persistent, understanding, thoughtful, and patient. A true friend. A “foil” to all the unkind people at work. I hope that you have a Raymond in your life and you are a Raymond to others. #ChooseKindness

I LOVE brave Eleanor. I admire Eleanor and her ability to carve out the life she does in spite of her past trauma which is alluded to throughout the story. She is a survivor. I love that Raymond is her friend (and I hope much more!).

“I felt the heat where his hand had been; it was only a moment, but it left a warm imprint, almost as though it might be visible. A human hand was exactly the right weight, exactly the right temperature for touching another person, I realized. I’d shaken hands a fair bit over the year–more so recently–but I hadn’t been touched in a lifetime.”

Guaranteed UNFORGETTABLE. This is a difficulty story to review because it’s best “to discover for yourself.” After I read the last page, I KNEW that this story would demand a reread. I was engaged as much on the reread as I was the first time even though I knew the big reveal. The way Gail Honeyman constructs the story and develops the character is masterful!

Compelling Themes: loneliness, bravery, honesty, survival, unconditional love, healing, acceptance, friendship, and restoration.

***contains spoilers***
Content Considerations: past spousal abuse and domestic violence, past childhood neglect and violence, suicide attempt, alcholism, workplace harassment (bullying)

Highly Recommended: I realize that this might not be a book for everyone, but Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is on my lifetime favorites list and I highly encourage you to give this unique story a try. Recommended for readers who appreciate complex personalities and complicated lives. I’ve heard Eleanor Oliphant compared to other “quirky” reads and characters, but for me she is in a category all her own and can not be compared. Have you read it?

My Star Rating: 5 Stars

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (cover)

Eleanor Oliphant Information Here.

Meet the Author, Gail Honeyman

Gail HoneymanGail was born and raised in Stirling, Scotland. Her mother was as a civil servant and her father a scientist. Gail was an avid reader in her childhood, visiting the library “a ridiculous number of times a week” due to her passion for books.

She studied French language and literature at the Glasgow University and continued her education at the University of Oxford, starting a postgraduate course in French poetry. However, Gail realised that an academic career was not for her and she started a string of “backroom jobs”. She worked at first as a civil servant in economic development and then as an administrator at Glasgow University.

While working at Glasgow University, Gail enrolled in a Faber Academy writing course, writing the first three chapters of what would become Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. Cambridge’s Lucy Cavendish College was running a competition for unpublished fiction by female writers and it was just what she was looking for to fulfill her lifelong passion for reading, so she submitted her work and the rest is history. The novel was published in 2017 and earned numerous awards, sold millions of copies, and received wide critical acclaim.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine won the 2017 Costa First Novel Award.

 



QOTD:

What makes you reread or not reread? What is the last book you reread?

Have you read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine?

If you are a rereader, what has been your favorite reread?



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© ReadingLadies.com

Do Hype, Book Buzz, and High Expectations Affect Your Reading Experience? #WhatsOnYourBookShelfChallenge #LetsDiscuss2021

September 17, 2021

 Do Hype, Book Buzz, and High Expectations Affect Your Reading Experience?

Do Hype, Book Buzz, and High Expectations Affect Your Reading Experience? (white text over a background picture of a tall stack hardback books on a blue painted table"

Background Image Source: Canva

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

I’m linking up today with Deb @ Deb’s World and SueDonna, and Jo for the September installment of #WhatsOnYourBookShelfChallenge ….

…and with the 2021 Discussion Challenge.

2021 discussion challenge graphic (a blue bird and red fox and wall clock and stack of books graphic)


My answer to this question is absolutely YES!

If you love reading, you’re likely to approach your next read with certain expectations. Or perhaps you try to minimize your expectations and go in “cold.” Some readers don’t like to read reviews or blurbs before they read. This post is written with the assumption that you might have some expectations about your current or next read.

I have learned through experience to approach highly buzzed and popular books with caution because high expectations have definitely affected my reading experience. Do you find this true in your reading life? Two recent books that did meet my high expectations were the audio version of Project Hail Mary (The audio was absolutely as good as I expected) and Hamnet.

Currently, I have the highest expectations for Fredrik Backman’s new release (Beartown #3) in 2022.

Sometimes publishers hype a book through social media campaigns and blog tours and the hype doesn’t develop organically from reviewers. At times I’ve read hyped books and thought “Really?” Then later, more authentic and honest reviews start rolling in and the hype is not sustainable.

I need to confess that I have a high level of FOMO (fear of missing out), so I am highly susceptible to buzzed and hyped and popular books. This doesn’t always serve me well. For example, I SHOULD have a review ready for you on the blog today! Truthfully, I need to report that I have been underwhelmed with a few highly anticipated books lately which has negatively affected my scheduled reviews and my reading mojo. This situation has caused me to think about the predicament of high expectations, so I’m opening it up for discussion today.

An author’s blurb (cover endorsement) can cause you to have high expectations for a book. That happened to me last year. I accepted an ARC for a book that was endorsed by one of my favorite authors and I ended up disliking it. So… proceed with caution (curb impulse buying!) when it comes to cover blurbs and check some reviews!

I realize that I may be guilty of raising your expectations for certain books I love and then they fall flat for you. If this has been your experience, I’m truly sorry. It simply shows that no two readers read the same book and that the reading experience is a personal one.

Do HYPE and book BUZZ and HIGH EXPECTATIONS affect YOUR reading experience or reading choices?

Do high expectations (book buzz and hype) work for you or against you in your reading life?

How many times have you turned the last page and thought “I wanted to love it more”?

There are a few courses of action a reader can take when your highly anticipated book disappoints you:

  1. throw that book across the room
  2. take the author off your auto buy list
  3. delete it from your Goodreads shelf and pretend you’ve never read it or wanted to read it
  4. write a negative review
  5. accept it as a lesson learned (once burned…) and vet the next book very carefully
  6. Give the author another chance
  7. no drama needed….not every book is for every reader….move on
  8. donate/give the book away
  9. set it aside to pick up again at a later date (maybe it wasn’t the right time)
  10. spiral into a reading slump
  11. stop buying or borrowing or requesting hyped books
  12. only read from a back list and avoid popular books
  13. throw it in the trash
  14. what have you done with a book you didn’t like?????

My history with disappointing reads: I read on a kindle so throwing it across the room is not a wise option….although I have been known to return digital books to Amazon! I don’t think I would discount a favorite author, but I’m certainly going to read many reviews and refrain from a publishing day purchase. I would probably throw away a book I disliked before I would donate it. If I felt it was just me and others might appreciate it, I would donate it. I rarely set a book aside to read at a later date. I know my reading tastes well and they are not likely to change that much over time. I have been known to delete books from my Goodreads shelf and pretend I haven’t read them. Most of the time, though, I just move them to my DNF shelf. Honestly, I don’t enjoy writing negative reviews and have written very few (usually I leave a one or two star rating and keep my opinions to myself).  Actually, most of the time my reaction is “it was not for me but it might be perfect for another reader” and move on. Life is too short to read bad books or books that don’t match my reading tastes. These days, I’m quick to abandon a book without much guilt. I think I’ve become pickier over the years and embrace the quote from Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society; “Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”

A highly anticipated book that didn’t work out: One book which I set the highest expectations for was Bridge of Clay by Marcus Zusak, author of The Book Thief. Readers have waited thirteen years for a new book by this author and the anticipation was at a high level. Although others have loved it, I was underwhelmed and disappointed (mainly because it didn’t match my reading tastes). Although I don’t write many negative reviews, you can read my goodreads review here. I will certainly take a close look at his next book before jumping in.

A highly anticipated book that did work out after an initial scare: A recent book that made me nervous in the beginning was Anxious People by Fredrik Backman. It started out slow and I panicked and thought “Oh no! What if this isn’t a great reading experience for me?!” Then I remembered the author and decided to relax into the read and trust him; to acknowledge that he can take his time to build a story (Beartown); and to know that his message/themes are worth an investment of time. It ended up being a 4.5-5 Star read for me and you can see my review of Anxious People here.

If You’re Curious: Here’s a list of a few recent buzzed and hyped books that I highly anticipated and that underwhelmed me (for a variety of reasons). These are NOT bad books (others have loved them); they are just not to my taste. Brood, Braiding Sweet Grass, The Madness of Crowds, The Road Trip, Olympus Texas, Crying in H Mart. (of these, I abandoned Braiding Sweet Grass and Road Trip…I finished the others but they received 3 stars) The lesson here is that exploring and knowing your reading tastes will help you avoid disappointments. I knew that Crying in H Mart might not be the right read for me (too sad) but I’ve seen it on soooo many lists and I fell under the FOMO spell.

Move On: I think it’s important to realize that every book won’t match your reading tastes and that’s it’s absolutely OK to set it aside or mark it as DNF. In other words, just move on! I think that the more we read and the more we reflect on our reading experiences our knowledge will help us choose the next right book for an enjoyable reading experience!

Don’t feel bad if you’re an outlier. Often in my reviews, I need to confess that I’m an outlier (in the minority) with my opinions. I’m comfortable with that and I encourage you to also embrace this concept as a possible reaction to a book.

Not every book is for every reader: For every book that I do not enjoy, I read many raving reviews from others. Reading is a personal experience and not every book is for every reader. We each bring unique experiences and thoughts and triggers to the reading experience. Embrace what you enjoy and know that other readers will enjoy the books that are not right for you. I think one of the worst things to do is to force yourself to finish a book that doesn’t match your tastes.

I honestly believe that Hype, Book Buzz, and High Expectations do affect your reading experience. I’m not sure of the best way to avoid that except to read many reviews and to get to know your reading tastes. Often, I read the 2 Star reviews just to see what some major objections might be. If I notice themes or certain triggers, I know it’s a book I might want to skip. Deciding not to read a popular book is difficult, though, isn’t it? For example, I decided not to read a popular new release, The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah, because I knew I didn’t want to read something that depressing and sad (she has made me ugly cry before and I didn’t like it). But every time I see it on a list, I feel a twinge of regret and then I have to remind myself of why I made the decision.

If I’ve listed a book here that you’ve loved, I’m sorry. I usually avoid talking about books in a negative way. I think the topic of high expectations is worth exploring and it’s always helpful to provide examples. Your examples would be completely different from mine! Please leave your thoughts in comments.

Do you agree or disagree that high expectations can affect a reading experience?



QOTD:

Do you think your own high expectations has ever affected your reading experiences? Can you give an example?



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© ReadingLadies.com

Wondering Wednesday: 6 Tips For Writing Book Reviews

June 30, 2021

Do you have tips for writing a great book review?

6 Tips For Writing Blog Reviews (white and bright pink lettering over an open laptop/cup of coffee/pot of pink flowers background

Wondering Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jessica Baker @ A Bakers Perspective. I came across this meme for the first time on Davida’s blog, so I think I’ll give it a try and join in with bookish topics! I’m also linking up this post with #LetsDiscuss2021 challenge.

Wondering Wednesdays meme (white cursive lettering on a blue background)

2021 discussion challenge graphic (a blue bird and red fox and wall clock and stack of books graphic)

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

6 Elements I Look For in a Book Review

Most of the tips I’ve accumulated about writing a book review have come from studying other book reviews. I try to emulate what I love. Whether you love a short one paragraph review or a long form thorough analysis, I hope you’ll join our conversation and perhaps find something useful! When I read a review here are six elements I look for:

1.

I look For a Brief Summary

Challenge yourself to write the briefest summary possible. Ideally, no more than a few sentences. I’m aware that some reviewers do not include a summary at all; however, it’s my opinion that a few sentences provide context for a review. If you send visitors off to find the summary on some other site like Goodreads or Amazon, you run the risk of not getting them back. Of course, it’s important to avoid spoilers in your summary. As an example, here’s my four sentence summary for The Kitchen Front. One of my pet peeves is to read a review that is all summary with a couple of reflection sentences tacked onto the end…..this is NOT a review (IMHO)! In addition, if the summary is too long, it will most likely contain spoilers. Reviewers that substitute summaries for reviews won’t find me hanging around for long.

2.

I Look for How You FEEL About Your Reading Experience…How Do You Connect With the Story?

Rather than a long summary, I want to know if you love the story. How did you connect? How was your reading experience? Describe your reading experience. Was it page-turning? Engaging? Unputdownable? Thought-provoking? Informative? Entertaining? If it was meh, give some examples of what didn’t work for you. I find that the more I love a book, the more difficult it is to find the right words for a review! Sometimes I resort to a list like in this post of Project Hail Mary. Sometimes it’s helpful to me when you compare the book you’re reviewing to another well-known book or movie. I love reviews where I can hear the reviewer’s “voice” and feel the reviewer’s emotion and enthusiasm because that will entice me to pick up the book more than a bland summary.

3.

I Look For Thoughtful Themes and TWs

Please mention themes! Certain themes always attract my attention: forgiveness, reconciliation, redemption, complicated family drama, hope, friendship, women supporting women, and second chances are all winners in my experience! I also appreciate trigger warnings…..although these often contain spoilers and you need to warn readers before you include a TW. I wrote a post on TWs here. If you don’t believe in including trigger warnings, I understand. But I (and many others) do appreciate them because they help me choose books I know will fit my reading tastes and help prevent an unexpected and unpleasant reading experience. Knowing is power.

4.

I Look For Honesty (and Kindness)

There are kind ways of reviewing books truthfully. I don’t mind the sandwich method: your honest opinion (what didn’t work for you) can be “sandwiched” between a couple of positives. If the book wasn’t to your taste, who do you think would enjoy reading the book? I think it’s kind to acknowledge what another reader might find enjoyable. No two people ever read the same book. Also, when I’m reading a negative review, I look for specific examples not rants. For instance, knowing that the characters are stereotypical or not well developed is more helpful than expressing a general statement of hatred for the characters. When you tell me in your review that the characters are stereotypical, I can interpret that as negative but it is stated kindly. I like to study and learn from reviewers who can make negative comments in kind ways. (And, please note, reviewing etiquette requires that authors are never tagged in negative reviews). As a side note, I only post 3, 4, and 5 star reviews on my blog, so you are not likely to find a 1 or 2 star review on the blog. For all my reviews and DNFs visit me on Goodreads which is where I rate it all.

5.

I Look For Readability

Don’t want me to read your review? If you don’t want me to read your review, post ONE LONG BLOCK of text with no breaks or subheadings. But wait….isn’t “content king”? I do appreciate great content and I will slog through reading your review if I’m especially curious about the book you’re reviewing; however, if I have to make myself read it, you’ve probably lost many other visitors. I’ve even read reviews where the summary runs together with the review in one long block. Honestly it takes very little effort to hit the enter/return key to start a new paragraph! Separating your thoughts into paragraphs and adding a bold word or two or a subheading for each paragraph greatly enhances readability!

Need more convincing? If you’ve heard about SEO and think you might want to start “somewhere,” heading and subheadings are basic components of best SEO strategies. SEO enhances readability.

6.

I Look For a Star Rating

I realize that some reviewers no longer give star ratings in blog reviews, but I still look for them and appreciate the time and effort it takes to analyze and nail that down.

twinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-startwinkle-twinkle-little-star

 *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Related: How I Write a Fiction Book Review; 10 Elements of a 5 Star Read; Do I Write Honest Reviews?

What is the most important element of a book review for you?



QOTD: Let’s Discuss

What do you look for in a review?



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© ReadingLadies.com

More Books Like These Please! #TopTenTuesday #LetsDiscuss2021

June 8, 2021

More Books Like These 5 Star Reads Please!

More Books Like These Please (a tall stack of hardback books)

Image Source: Canva

Which books or tropes do you wish there were more of?
Do we share any favorites?
Which book would top your own list?

Top Ten Tuesday (meme)

2021 discussion challenge graphic (a blue bird and red fox and wall clock and stack of books graphic)

I’m linking up today with That Artsy Reader Girl for Top Ten Tuesday: More Books Like These. and the 2021 Discussion Challenge hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight.

 

For this post, I had to go with my first 10 or I could be here listing books forever! The following titles are representative of books that give me book hangovers and I think about for years to come! All of them are 5 Star reads! (in no particular order) Which book of yours would top your own list?



More like these please:



Smart, thoughtful, beautifully crafted, and complex contemporary fiction…

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman (cover) Image: a man and woman stand against a railing with backs to the camera


Poignant, relatable, and memorable complicated family drama

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza (cover)


Unputdownable Histfic With Compelling Issues and Memorable Characters

Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

invention of wings


Honoring brave girls around the world

The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Daré

The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Dare (cover)


Complicated Marriages and Friendships

Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall

Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall (cover)

(more…)

What Makes You Pick Up A Book? #LetsTalkBookish #LetsDiscuss2021

April 16, 2021

What makes you pick up a book?

What Makes You Pick Up A Book (white text over a background of a tall stack of hardbback books)

Image Source: Canva

One of the most pressing questions in the reading life is “What Should I Read Next?”

How do you decide what to read next? What makes you pick up a book?

I was going to clean the house, but then I realised.l..this book isn't going to read itself (Image: a young woman sits on the floor leaning against a cabinet reading a book)

I love discussion posts, and many of my favorite bloggers participate in Let’s Talk Bookish and the Discussion Challenge. One of my blogging goals in 2021 is to participate in more discussion link-ups. Do you enjoy discussion posts?

As I answer the questions, think about how you would answer them for yourself. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

This post is inspired by the Let’s Talk Bookish topic hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. This post is also an entry for the 2021 Discussion Challenge, hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight.

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

What makes me pick up a certain book?

  • Reviews (I have a few reviewers I trust and who I consider my book twins!)
  • Known Author
  • Genre (hitfic FTW!)
  • Diverse Voices
  • Catchy Title

***Tip: I like to have a few books already in my queue so that I am not left adrift after finishing a book. It’s helpful in preventing decision fatigue to have something to hop right into. I enjoy a seamless reading experience. What makes you pick up a certain book?

Is a pretty cover enough?

Absolutely not! I’m actually most tempted by a catchy title or an author or review. I admit to liking bright covers….especially bright floral designs! I confess that I am growing weary of the women on histfic covers who are walking or looking away and all we see are their backs. Also, I usually prefer the original cover to the movie adaptation cover. It’s always interesting to notice different covers on the UK versions of books. Because I read on kindle, I hardly ever notice the covers until I start writing my review! Do you like a pretty cover?

Do I check for good reviews?

I stalk all reviews! The good reviews and the bad reviews. If I’m going to invest hours in reading a book, I want to make sure it’s a good fit for me. I don’t like to go in “cold.” Because I don’t usually read thriller or suspense, I’m not that worried about coming across spoilers. I’m trusting that most reviewers will avoid spoilers or have them clearly labeled. When I read reviews, I’m also looking for trigger or content warnings. I know that I don’t want to read books about child predators, serial killers, or witchcraft. I find it’s helpful to check the 2-star reviews. I know every book isn’t for every reader but I like to see if the shortcomings are something I can live with. For instance, if the reviewer indicates that excessive profanity is an issue, I will probably steer clear of that book. I know that I often quit on books with a great deal of profanity. If the reviewer indicates that the story is heavily character-driven with minimal plot, I will think carefully about that book and read more reviews. Many times when I pick up a book it’s because #BookstagramMadeMeDoIt (many thanks to my bookstagram buddies!) Do you read reviews or do you like to go in “cold”?

Do I depend on recommendations from friends, librarians, or booksellers?

pulling a shelf of library books

Maybe you have a group of bookish friends or family members who always recommend books? Perhaps you ask your librarian or bookseller for a rec? If we were friends in real life, I would always have a recommendation for you (maybe a cart full)! My hairstylist is not a fast reader but she appreciates having a good story on hand for when she wants to read. I began the tradition of buying her a book for Christmas one year. It took her an entire year to read it but she loved it and was ready for the next one the following Christmas! I guess she would say that she doesn’t worry about what to read next because she reads what her customer brings her! I think getting a recommendation from a friend is great because your BFF really knows you and your reading tastes. I have one friend that I love to get a rec from because we tend to enjoy the same books. Have you found your book twin?

Is the synopsis important?

The synopsis isn’t as important as reviews in my opinion. A synopsis is a sales pitch and it can be misleading or contain spoilers. I find that most reviewers are more careful about spoilers. The Sea Wife is sold as a thriller and I thought it was more of a family drama with a little mystery (how did the husband die?). I know several readers who were disappointed in the read because they were expecting a more thrilling story based on the synopsis. It was actually fine with me because I don’t like thrillers! Two years ago, I read an installment of No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency and while I was writing my review I checked the official synopsis and a couple of events that were mentioned in the synopsis NEVER happened in the story! Sometimes, it’s painfully obvious that the writer of the synopsis has not read the book! Is the synopsis important to you?

Do I look for diversity or #ownvoices?

Yes, I purposely look for diverse reads and #OwnVoices authors. I track my yearly stats in a spreadsheet and I always include this category! In my monthly reading wrapups, I like to see a nice variety of voices and perspectives. Do you purposely look for diversity in your reading life?

Does my last read influence my next read?

Definitely, yes. I recently read a very heavy WW11 histfic book, and I immediately picked up a sweet middle grade read. I do like to balance my genres a bit. Sometimes that fluffy chick-lit book is exactly the palate cleanser I need. Even though my followers must think I read nothing but histfic, that’s not the case. Sometimes I don’t write full blog reviews for my in between reads….but I do note them all on Goodreads. Often, a series will influence what I read next. I can’t pick up book #4 in a series and enjoy it without reading the three previous installments! I’m a binge reader when it comes to a good series. In fact, when I am immersed in a series, it’s the perfect antidote to worrying about what I’ll read next. Are you influenced by your last read?

Do l Iook for any checkboxes?

Absolutely! My biggest checkbox is probably histfic. That genre always intrigues me and deserves a look! I also love complicated family drama, found family, and friendship themes and enemies to lovers or friends to lovers tropes. What are your most important checkboxes?

Do I have autobuy authors?

For sure! Fredrick Backman, Kate Quinn, Louise Penny (although I’ve decided not to read the one she’s coauthoring with Hillary Clinton), and Stephanie Dray (especially coauthoring with Laura Kamoie) are four definite auto-buy authors. For chick-lit, I’m always curious about Katherine Center’s new releases. I love Sara Ackerman’s Pearl Harbor/Hawaii stories. I could go on and on listing authors whose work I’m always checking out! Do you have an auto-buy author?

Do I reread?

Usually I don’t reread. I keep a list of lifetime favorites and I’d be happy to read anything on that list should the mood arise. I suffer from FOMO and I’m distracted by the new and shiny, so the pleasure of rereading gets pushed to the back burner. I did reread The Guernsey and Literary Potato Peel Pie Society before the movie came out. And I impulsively reread The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry last summer. Honestly, I’m always fearful that I won’t love a book as much as the first time I read it. I’m addicted to the “Wow” experience in reading and second or third reads don’t offer the same thrill.  However, there are different reasons to reread a book including appreciating the prose and revisiting a poignant theme or memorable characters. I remember the time I read The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman two times in a row. The first time, I was gripped by the plot. As soon as I read the last word, I immediately started on page one to reread more carefully and appreciate the writing, character development, and themes. Fortunately, this is a short story that is easily read in an hour! What is the last book you reread?

Am I influenced by hype?

Yes and no. As I mentioned earlier, I have FOMO so I’m always influenced by hype…Except if the book doesn’t check my boxes. When that happens, I feel awful! I don’t like being out of the loop for new reads. But it happens and I live with it. My most recent experience involves The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah. I am familiar with her work (The Great Alone, The Nightingale, and The Winter Garden), but I know that she can make me ugly cry (especially her earlier titles). When I heard how sad The Four Winds was, I just knew I wasn’t in the right headspace. I’ve also read a review that gave me pause. I’ve decided not to read it, but I have to live with the hype! Are you influenced by hype?

Outside forces often dictate which book I read next.

At times my review calendar decides my next read for me. I have made commitments to publishers and blog tours that must be honored. Other times, library due dates dictate which book I read next! Occasionally, I pause my hold (easy to do if reading digitally on Overdrive or Libby!), but it’s always looming and I rarely totally give up my place on the holds list and start over. Instagram Buddy Reads and IRL Book Club also affect which book I read next. I need to be accountable to the group and ready for discussion! Do library holds or book club commitments influence what you read next?



I think that knowing yourself as a reader leads to a satisfactory and enriching reading life. (see this post about Your Reading Style)

QOTD: What makes you pick up a certain book?



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© ReadingLadies.com

What is a Good Ending? #LetsTalkBookish #LetsDiscuss2021

January 30, 2021

What is a Good Ending?

What is a Good Ending? (text over a background of a stack of hardback books)

When my daughter took piano lessons and I nagged her about practicing, she told me, “If you practice the beginning of the song and the end of the song and know the beginning and the end really well, she (the teacher) will still give you a sticker!” Silly me to think that she would need to master the entire song!

Girl playing the piano

I feel this way about beginnings and endings to books! The author has about 50 pages to engage me, and she or he better nail the ending! I often change my star rating in the event of an extremely satisfactory ending or a beginning that immerses me immediately into the story.

I love discussion posts, and many of my favorite bloggers participate in Let’s Talk Bookish and the Discussion Challenge. One of my blogging goals in 2021 is to participate in discussion link-ups. Do you enjoy discussion posts?

This post is inspired by the Let’s Talk Bookish topic hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. This post is also my 1st entry for the 2021 Discussion Challenge, hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight.

***This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

If endings are important, what is a good ending?

Some endings are revealed in the first chapter of the book and the story unravels the events that precede it. For example, Little Fires Everywhere starts with the fire, and Everything I Never Told You starts with a death. Do you enjoy endings that are revealed at the beginning of the story?

Reading is a personal experience, and I think the type of ending you prefer is also personal. There are no right or wrong answers here…..just exploration!

Do you have a preference for a certain type of ending? Some different types of endings include:

1.

HEA (happily ever after)

We can expect HEA endings in the Romance or RomCom genres. No matter how much tension or conflict the middle of the story contains, we can be assured of the HEA. Although predictable, this leads to an enjoyable reading experience for many readers. In 2020, my pandemic reading brain seemed to crave these endings!

2.

Hopeful

Middle-Grade stories are known for their themes of hope, and a hopeful ending is an upspoken rule in middle-grade fiction. This is why I turn to MG when I feel myself going into a reading slump or need a break from more intense reads. Of course, adult fiction can also have hopeful endings. I enjoy a hopeful ending immensely! In adult literature, I think a hopeful ending pairs nicely with a second chances trope. Also, endings that involve reconciliation or redemption fall into the hopeful endings category for me. These are some of my favorite endings and Ask Again, Yes and All the Devils Are Here are two examples of endings I love because of reconciliation themes.

3.

Cliffhanger or Open-Ended

A book in a series will sometimes end with a cliffhanger. Even though I might enjoy the series, I don’t enjoy a cliffhanger ending. First, I don’t want to wait a year or more for the next installment. In addition, I think that even books in a series should be able to be read as stand alones. If you’ve just read a fabulous review for All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny and are excited to read it, do you really want to read the prior 15 installments first? Probably not. Fortunately, all of Louise Penny’s books can be read as stand alones because each case is self-contained in one book….although I don’t recommend it because of the character development and overarching themes that develop from book to book. In this series, reading the books in order create a richer reading experience for the reader. In each book. Louise creates a satisfactory ending. We may be curious about what happens next in the family, or to the friends, or in the village, but all conflict and problems are resolved. This is a very long response to say that while I don’t mind a cliffhanger at the end of a chapter, I don’t enjoy cliffhangers as story endings! In addition, I don’t honestly enjoy open-ended endings. After I’ve invested hours reading the book, I need some sort of conclusion!

4.

Satisfactory

I don’t necessarily need HEA endings, but I do enjoy a satisfactory ending. A Place For Us doesn’t exactly have a happy ending and it left me wondering what would happen next for the family relationships, but the ending was satisfactory in many ways (mainly because it was realistic). Several readers have complained about the ending in Little Fires Everywhere, but it was satisfactory for me because enough subtle hints were given for me to imagine what their future might be. In fact, I reread the last few pages several times to glean all the clues! I rate it satisfactory where many readers didn’t feel this way. News of the World by Paulette Jiles has an ending (epilogue) that I felt was extremely satisfying and I truly loved it because it addressed a thought-provoking theme of “doing things right or doing the right thing.”

5.

Sad

Confession: I didn’t read #3 in the Divergent Trilogy because I read in reviews that favorite characters die. If a character you love dies in the end, that’s a sad ending. I feel that some authors manipulate you to “ugly cry” and I don’t like those stories or endings. Sometimes, though, an ending is sad because the story follows the character to the end of his or her life. Stories that have these types of endings include The Book Thief, A Man Called Ove, Castle of Water, The Story of Arthur Truluv, and The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett. I think of these endings as bittersweet rather than sad.

6.

Plot Twist

I can think of one book I vehemently disliked because of the plot twist at the end: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon I didn’t see it coming and I felt “punked” by the author. It ruined the entire story for me and I wanted to throw the book across the room! Others loved the story but the ending ruined it for me. Other stories like Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman have a plot twist that really works! In reading Eleanor, I was surprised but not in a negative way….more in an ahhh haaaa way that caused me to want to reread the book from a new perspective

7.

Epilogue

Some stories include an epilogue. I usually enjoy epilogues because they help us understand what the future holds for our beloved characters. There are a few books that I feel needed an epilogue including Eleanor & Park (what were those three words?!)The Girl With the Louding Voice and Little Fires Everywhere. Epilogues are like a serving of dessert after a great meal!

8.

Ambiguous, Unresolved, Confusing, Falls Flat, Rushed, Abrupt

Ugh! These are my least favorite endings. After all the time I’ve invested, I don’t appreciate an ending that falls short: flat, ambiguous, unresolved, rushed, abrupt, or confusing. Authors, please give me a satisfactory ending! A few endings I have felt conflicted about include The Scent Keeper by Erica Braumiester (great story, beautifully written, but the ending fell flat for me) and The Mothers by Brit Bennett (engaging story and interesting characters, but I felt the ending fizzled). For the most part, The Great Alone is a story with a tense, slow build up….then BAM….the ending is rushed and frantically paced. I realize these opinions fall under personal preference!

9.

Bittersweet

In the historical fiction genre, I encounter this type of ending quite often. These realistic endings usually leave me with a book hangover!

10.

Explicit

In this type of ending, there are no lingering doubts or questions. Every character is revisited and has a thoroughly described ending. I recall that William Kent Kruegar in This Tender Land carefully follows through with what happens to the four children. Some readers prefer that an ending is left more to the imagination or inference, but I don’t mind well-explained endings! I prefer explicit to open-ended every time.

QOTD: Which ending do you prefer?



Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text



Let’s Get Social!

Thank you for visiting and reading today! I’d be honored and thrilled if you choose to enjoy and follow along (see subscribe or follow option), promote, and/or share my blog. Every share helps us grow.

Find me at:
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads
Pinterest



***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© ReadingLadies.com