So you went googling for some good books to read, right?? Well, here at trBCQ we read. We read. We READ READ READ! And we love to share our book thoughts with other readers.
Over the past 10+ years we have created, practiced, tweaked, and practiced our rating system again. It's really important you take a minute to read each CROWNSTAR description from 1 through 5. Then, you need to decide what YOU personally consider a 5-star book. Here are some examples from our book club members:
"I think of a 5 book as one I want to share with other readers, talk about, and that has taught me something as it pertains to my own life whether that be new information I didn’t know before, a new way of thinking, a change in my opinion on something, etc."
"For me a 5 star book is one that I would read over and over. Something I want to share and would recommend to almost anyone. Something I never want to put down and would pick back up and read anytime."
"For me, a five star book is one that I remember for a while. I like to gasp while reading or want to remember certain bits. I have to enjoy the way in which it is written too."
"A five star for me has to emotionally move me in a way that others don't quite do. It has to have a certain beauty. That doesn't mean it has to make me feel happy, but I basically want to feel the earth move under my feet."
Once you've thought through your personal description of a 5-star rating, you can compare it to our description. This will help you understand how to read our book lists.
Also, since we are therealBookClubQueens, we have to tell you how to relate this to your book club! This is a fun activity to do together when you first form. Have each member prepare and share their personal 5-star rating. Then, as you move forward and rate books each month, you'll understand how and why a specific member came to the rating they did. And remember -- you won't always agree and that's okay!
Okay, we've put together standing lists for each level of CROWNSTAR rating, 1-5. They are certainly not exhaustive, as it would be impossible for us to cover all the books in the world. We will add to these as time passes, and you can always get in touch if you don't see a title you are wondering about. There's a good chance we've read it, too!
5-star Book List
Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
Dry by Neil & Jarrod Shusterman
One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall
The House at Riverton by Kate Morton
4-star Book List
Home for Erring and Outcast Girls by Julie Kibler
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reed
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano
The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
The House Between Tides by Sarah Maine
3-star Book List
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
One Day in December by Josie Silver
The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister
The Glass Ocean by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig & Karen White
The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Joyce
2-star Book List
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
1-star Book List
The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix
Want by Lynn Steger Strong
Be familiar with our CROWNSTAR Rating System below --
1-star is a book you super struggled through, and may not even have finished. There isn't a scenario in which you can see yourself recommending it to anyone; rather you keep it filed away to remind yourself NOT to do so.
2-star is a book you finished, but it left you feeling unsatisfied, dissatisfied, or wondering over the author's intent. It's possible you may recommend it to someone, but only with the forewarning that you aren't sure how you felt about it, and you mostly want to discuss opinions with another reader.
3-star is a book you enjoyed reading, felt satisfied with the ending, and potentially feel the need to discuss it with other readers. You would recommend to the right person, and are glad to have read it.
4-star is a book you loved and would recommend to almost any type of reader. You were changed in some way by it's content whether that be a life lesson, new knowledge, a different way of looking at something, etc. You also definitely want to discuss it with other readers.
5-star is the category of "best books I've ever read" and this is because you are desperate to share and talk about it with other readers; it has taught you something as it pertains to your own life whether that be new information you didn’t know before, a new way of thinking, or a major change in your opinion; you might even consider reading it again. The fine line between a 4-star and a 5-star rating is that to award a book with a 5, it has to have moved you in such a way that you will never forget it, even as time goes by and you don't remember every last detail; it holds a little piece of your readers' heart.
a .5 star can be added to any of your 1 - 5 ratings as needed. Generally, you do this when you are right on the edge of bumping a book up or down. You might also use this to rate a book post-discussion. For example, a book you gave a 3 to for being an average story, may turn into a 3.5 if you have a great discussion over it!
Food for thought...
We don't only suggest 5 star books here. Why? You may ask. Well, because sometimes a book that earns a 3 or 3.5 CROWNSTAR spurs the BEST book club discussion! Sometimes, books that people really, truly hate create the most passionate book club discussions!
So, look at our rating scale. HOW we rate each book always follows this formula; but keep in mind, less than a 4 or 5 doesn't mean it's not worth reading!