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Member: browner56

CollectionsYour library (905)

Reviews151 reviews

Tagsfiction (604), non-fiction (301), business (70), sports (53), Early Reviewers (45), mystery (43), memoir (37), travel (36), music (36), humor (35) — see all tags

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Recommendations52 recommendations

About my libraryIt is interesting to see the various approaches that people take to cataloging their LT libraries. Some appear to post every book they either own or have come in contact with over the years while others seem to adopt a more parsimonious approach of only recording the books they have read and can remember well enough to rate. I fall into the latter category, meaning that I have read and rated everything in my list.

Based on a very casual survey of other LT members, my rating system seems to be pretty typical. I have adopted the following standards:

5.0 stars: A perfect or near-perfect book; there probably won’t be too many of these in one’s life
4.0-4.5 stars: Above average, possibly bordering on brilliant; a very satisfying reading experience
3.0-3.5 stars: A good, solid book; neither above nor below prior expectations
2.0-2.5 stars: Below to well-below average; critically flawed in some fundamental way
0.5-1.5 stars: An unfortunate waste of everyone’s time and effort

Maybe it is the teacher in me, but I try to keep my overall average rating in the range of 3.5-3.7, which translates into a mean of around 70-75 percent (i.e., the “classic” average test score, at least for the courses I teach).

One challenge has been to apply the same rating scale to books from wildly diverse genres. For instance, I assigned a 4.0-star rating to both Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential and William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying. Clearly, there is really no comparison between these two authors, but those particular books affected me in a similar way, albeit for very different reasons. I’m not sure that this is the right way to go about it, but I can’t think of another way that doesn’t involve making arbitrary judgments about the relative merits of fiction versus non-fiction works.

Groups50-Something Library Thingers, Baseball, What Are You Reading Now?

Favorite authorsMargaret Atwood, Jane Austen, Paul Auster, Roberto Bolaño, Robertson Davies, Don DeLillo, Malcolm Gladwell, Graham Greene, Ernest Hemingway, Kazuo Ishiguro, Michael Lewis, Gabriel García Márquez, Cormac McCarthy, Vladimir Nabokov, Pablo Neruda, Michael Ondaatje, Richard Powers, Thomas Pynchon, Ayn Rand, Richard Russo, José Saramago (Shared favorites)

VenuesFavorites

Favorite bookstores12th Street Books, Atticus Book Store, BookPeople, City Lights Books, Collected Works Bookstore and Coffeehouse, Crescent City Books, El Ateneo - Grand Splendid, Foyles, Half Price Books - North Lamar, Harvard Book Store, Powell's City of Books (Portland), Strand Bookstore, The Hermitage Bookshop, University City Bookstore (Goodwill), Waterstones Covent Garden, Weller Book Works, Wonder Book Frederick

Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Real nameKeith C. Brown

LocationAustin, Texas

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/browner56 (profile)
/catalog/browner56 (library)

Member sinceApr 15, 2008

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