Actual Paper Book (375), Audiobook (272), 4½ stars (183), How-To (130), History (89), Did Not Finish (88), 5 stars (81), LibraryThing Early Reviewers (76), Technology (60), Politics (53), Career (51), eBook (47), Classics (44), Skimmed (40), Financial and Stock Market (40), Graphic Novels (34), American West (33), Learning Spanish (33), Children's Book (30), Writing and Creativity (29), TV and Movies (29), Spirituality and Meditation (27), SantaThing (27), Gifts from my ex-wife (27), Humanism and Skepticism (26), Time Machine Series (25), Education Policy (23), I should quit fantasy (22), Dark Tower Series (22), Parenting (21), Hiking and Survival (19), Stephen King (18), North Oak Book Club (17), New Mexico (17), Kansas (17), Games and Puzzles (17), Time Travel (14), Peter David (14), Astronomy (14), Time Management (13), U.S. Presidents (12), Star Wars (12), Santa Fe Trail (11), Orson Scott Card (11), Starting a business (9), Harry Potter Series (9), Diet and Nutrition (9), Agatha Christie (8), Athletics and Exercise (8), Ender's Game Series (8), Star Trek (7), Kit Carson (7), Michael Lewis (6), Malcolm Gladwell (6), Kingkiller Chronicle (6), Song of Ice and Fire Series (5), Negotiation (5), Charles Murray (4), Basketball (4), Surviving Infidelity (4), Mary Doria Russell (4), Jonathan Franzen (4), Lord of the Rings Series (4), Freakonomics (3), Juggling (3), Genesis (3), Sierra On-Line (3), Public Speaking (3), Poetry (3), Sam Harris (3), Carl Sagan (2), Architecture and Landscaping (2), Jon Krakauer (2), Oral history (2), San Francisco (2), Cryptocurrency (2), Seth Godin (2), True Crime (1)
Avainsanapilvi, Tekijäpilvi, Avainsanapeili
Jul 13, 2010
Oikea nimi
Daniel Estes
About My Library
I intend this rating to be thoughtfully given and deliberately rare. Good books are a treat but great books are hypnotic and seductive—you can't put them down. As my wife would say, "When I'm reading something this good, I don't want to do anything else." These are the stories of laughter, tears and wonder. These are the books that will change your life.

Furthermore, sometimes a book's brilliance isn't apparent right away. On more than one occasion I've concluded a great read on a frustrating note only to later realize its lasting value after returning to it again and again in my mind. When this happens, I upgrade the rating.

Books given this exceptional rating have moments approaching the sublime, and contain only minor problem areas if any. All in all, their worth outshines any shortcomings, leaving you with an experience that inspires for months and years to come.

This is a nebulous category for the majority of everything I read. It's a ratings equivalent of saying, "I liked it." A good read.

★★★½ or ★★★
Books earning one of these two ratings are usually worth finishing, but often have structural problems such as being somewhat incoherent, disjointed or dreadfully boring. The most common fault in my experience is a serious lack of brevity.

★★½ and less
Sometimes I start a book that just isn't up to quality. Or maybe it doesn't gel with me personally. Author and literary critic Jorge Luis Borges would have said a book such as this was "not written for me." These ratings vary between "good try" to "ho-hum" to "should not have been published." My time on this earth is short and there are too many other good books out there waiting to be discovered.
About Me

I grew up at time when reading was encouraged through all sorts of faux incentives: rewards, prizes, points, etc. Sensing manipulation, however well-intentioned, I sidestepped the expectation whenever possible. I may have been young but I could still recognize deception, even if it was something as innocent as a gold star intended to spur action. It's a shame though because I love to learn. I always have. My teachers meant well, but they made reading feel so... obligatory.

Fortunately all was not lost and I starting reading more for pleasure as a teenager. And after college, once the assigned readings ceased altogether, I adopted reading as a regular daily habit. In a recent interview, author Nick Hornby said this of the cultural expectation that reading is like eating your vegetables: "Every time we pick up a book for a sense of duty and we find that we're struggling to get through it, we're reinforcing the notion that reading is something you should do but TV is something you want to do. It shouldn't be like that. Novels should be like TV. It shouldn't be hard work and we should do ourselves a favor." I agree with this sentiment 100%.

A sample of my recent favorite 5-Star books

A sample of my recent favorite 4½-Star books

Prairie Village, KS
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