Book Tag: Goodreads Is Not As Right As Me

I saw this tag on One More who got it from The Suspected Bibliophile who got it from Amanda @Literary Weaponry who had it from Way Too Fantasy (how did I miss it there? I don’t know) – although it originated with Gabs About Books on Booktube. I couldn’t resist. Reading is a very subjective experience of course and other opinions are also availableTM, but Goodreads is so often wrong…

… and I am so often right. Which is why I’ve changed the title. It’s not that Goodreads is wrong. It’s that I’m more right.

I’m also doing the tags like Imyril, because wise men do as bookwyrms do.

What is the highest rated book that you gave a low rating? Plus: Choose two books with an average rating of 4 stars that you gave a lower rating

Sort your books in Goodreads based on Average Rating in descending order

Well, there’s two ways of answering this, depending on whether you want an actual rating, or whether you’re satisfied with a no rating on a book I started reading in 2017 and haven’t touched in three years but haven’t officially declared dead yet. If the latter will do ya, then we’re talking Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind. Maybe some day I’ll give it another go as I’m not sure it was bad so much as doing nothing to interest me at that moment. Maybe another moment would be different?

If you want the actual rating, then I gave a 2 star to Cassandra Clare’s Lord of Shadows. I liked the first book in the trilogy for its big adventure and family vibes, and page turning plot, but Lord of Shadows was put down after a large portion of book offered me little but love triangles, slow events, endless bickering, and nothing to look forwards to.

The two 4 star average ratings that I gave lower ratings to? Well, I’ve got 24 books that would fit, that’s about 1 in 10 of the books I’ve stuck into Goodreads. Let’s pick… Raymond E. Feist’s A Crown Imperiled, which somehow has a 4.06 rating despite getting two characters confused with each other, a massive plot hole, and a general feeling of staleness. I know books deep in a series get good ratings because it’s the hardcore fans but come on now, we’re all better than that. And also, come on up Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Blood of Elves, which just felt wooden to me.

What is the lowest rated book that you gave a high rating?

Sort your books in Goodreads based on Average Ratings in ascending (reverse) order

Well the first one up is Michel Benoît’s The Silence of Gethsemane, a novel speculating about a historical Jesus and the beginnings of Christianity. There’s 17 ratings for it on Goodreads at a 3.29 but I gave it a 4. Of course, it helps that I’m not attached to Christianity unlike some of the people who read it and left 1 star reviews starting “The author claims that the novel is based on research but it is very clear that it has been written with an agenda in mind.” But with so few ratings, it doesn’t feel quite right to stick it there.

So up goes Aliette de Bodard’s The House of Shattered Wings, which is a 5 star in my book but somehow it’s got a 3.39 rating from the philistines there. How? Sure, I get it’s a little abrasive in places so it’s going to be a bit marmite, but it should be higher than that. Browsing through the comments I see people not connecting to the characters which I sort of get, but still, it’s pretty great.

What is the most popular book you disagree with the avg rating?

Sort your books in Goodreads based on number of Ratings in descending order

I gave Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone a 3. Maybe I was a little harsh. But I ain’t giving it a 4.47 either. 3.5 woulda been fair. Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn: The Final Empire got a 3 from me too, but it’s not a high 3, it’s a begrudging 3. And, of course, just above Mistborn for popularity is a book I DNFed in The Name of the Wind…

What is the least popular book you disagree with the avg rating?

Sort your books in Goodreads based on number of Ratings in reverse order, and find the first book you disagree with the avg rating

Hmm. Excluding Nasomi’s Quest – two ratings, mine was a 3, the other was a 5 – and the aforementioned The Silence of Gethesmane – I gave 5 stars to Elizabeth Eyre’s Poison for the Prince and Michael Green’s The Art of Coarse Rugby. They’re both sub-4s according to Goodreads (albeit barely). I also gave 2 stars to Ian Hughes’ Belisarius: The Last Roman General, which is a 3.83. Just spent too much time talking about things un-Belisarius related.

Choose two books with an average rating of 2 stars but you rated higher

I didn’t know books could get 2 star average ratings on Goodreads.

Choose two books with an average rating of 3 stars but you rated higher

John Crowley’s The Deep is a pocket epic that I consider a minor classic but Goodreads considers a 3.48. Strongly recommend it to anyone looking for a War of the Roses-esque Sci-Fantasy-esque romp through treachery and great events.

Let’s see… Benjamin Black’s Christine Falls was a great piece of 50s Irish Noir, full of lovely haunted imagery and dark secrets. Adrian Selby’s Snakewood is a piece of super ambitious history of a group of alchemically enhanced super mercs that is a bit marmite but can really make people happy. And Edward Cox’s The Relic Guild was a great piece of steampunky adventure fantasy with horror elements.

Do you tend to agree or disagree with GR average rating and do you use GR as a guide for books you want to read?

Until this point, I didn’t know much about how my opinion and Goodreads average ratings, and that right there should tell you how much I use Goodreads. Here’s a list of my guides

  1. Recs from book people I know and trust (also some friends and family)
  2. Recs from other book people (also most of my friends and family)
  3. Shiny things in shops
  4. Books I see left out on garden walls/other swap places
  5. Goodreads

I go to Goodreads if I’m curious about what people thought about a book after I read it. But before? Oh hell no. The wisdom of crowds is not my jam. Specific advice? Useful, but I need some some parameters as to the person’s opinion. Everyone’s different. No one’s wrong. But I need to know what scale they’re using and how it matches up with mine for it to be useful.

Because while nobody’s wrong, not everyone’s as right as me.

Anyone who feels like doing this tag, let me know so I can see what you think too!

2 thoughts on “Book Tag: Goodreads Is Not As Right As Me

  1. Lol at shiny things in shops. That’s probably my number 1.
    If I check Goodreads before reading a book, it’s to see what people I trust have said about a book I’m really unsure about.
    That Christina Falls sounds really interesting to me. Might add it to the tbr.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Do! I’d love to hear what you think about it if you read it.

      And yeah, I can see using GR to check in with the people you know – I just ping them with messages/wait for them to mention the book first.


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