Last year, I began to blog about the books I read. I am glad I made that decision, and I am thankful to the friend who shared their blog post of them tracking their reading because it really got me motivated to read. I am going to try and continue that this year! In addition, I am also starting my own Booktube channel, Josh’s Bookish Voyage. I am loving it! Editing was a little scary at first, but it is a process I enjoy doing. Although I still worry that I might not have the time to do all I’d like to do.
Hopefully, I can do both, but my time may end up monopolized by one sometimes. I’m already finding myself behind on my blogs (still 4 or 5 more to write, and I just finished 4!). I am loving making videos though, so it is worth it! I’ve set a limit and sort of a goal of 2 videos per week. This won’t always be feasible, but I know the more excited I get, the more likely I am to spend too much time on this. I am really excited for the channel. I want to point out, my channel name is an homage to Carl Sagan’s Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. He began the series with a moving quote,
We are going to explore the cosmos in a ship of the imagination.Carl Sagan, Cosmos
I can’t think of a better way to encapsulate what reading means to me. I will continue my monthly updates, and I’ll keep those linked below. This is also where I will keep my complete list of books I’ve read (below). You can also follow me on Goodreads and see my 2020 progress there too! I’ve also added a breakdown of my new approach to rating each book I read.
Ratings in 2020
If you read my 2019 stats post, you’ll know I wanted to change how I approach rating the books I read because I felt like I was too generous. My average rating was 4 or 4.5, and the fact is not every book is amazing. It is true that I enjoyed most of what I read. Nevertheless, I wanted to develop a more objective approach, so I broke it down into the factors I consider most important to me in a book.
- Writing style
- Desire to reread
These can be expanded for fiction/nonfiction which I have slightly different expectations for:
This may seem like a very convoluted way of thinking about these, but for me, rating a book isn’t about any one aspect of it. There are books that aren’t the most enjoyable that I feel like are still a positive experience. Sure, some of these matter more. The idea is, I can appreciate certain aspects of a book, and breaking it down is a way of thinking about each one then tying it together. This is still very much a measure of what I like in a book.
I’ve weighted each characteristic based on how important it is to me (see below). That means the rating I give one trait, say enjoyment, will matter more than say the writing style. Comprehension matters because I want to leave the book feeling like I understood what I read, but sometimes, confusion doesn’t ruin the book. Now, each of these will often effect my rating of the other; if I don’t find a book engaging, I probably won’t enjoy it. However, I think there are a lot of eccentricities that go into how we judge a book such that breaking it down feels like the best approach for me.
I mentioned “special” because it gets to the core of that special feeling a book can make you feel. I can read a book that I find enjoyable, engaging, and everything else seem perfect about it, but that doesn’t mean it will necessarily be a profound book to me. I think that should matter. Another trait is my desire to reread a book. Now, together these two are only worth a quarter of a star out of five stars. However, you might see how that can just barely shift a book into lower category. On that note, I am moving away from .25 ratings and rounding to the nearest half; on Goodreads I will round up or down based on if my final number is above or below .5.
This is a breakdown of each aspect of a book that matters to me with a weight to indicate how important it is in the calculation of the final number.
- Miracle Creek by Angie Kim ½
- Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald
- The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
- Robin by Dave Itzkoff ½
- Scythe by Neal Shusterman
- Tehanu by Ursula K. Le Guin ½
- Underland by Robert Macfarlane
- How We Know What Isn’t So by Thomas Gilovich
- If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won’t) by Betty White ½
- Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman
- The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen Jay Gould
- The Road by Cormac McCarthy
- Strange Exit by Parker Peevyhouse ½
- Yes Please by Amy Poehler
- Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi ½
- The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin
- In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire ½
- The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
- Wilder Girls by Rory Power
- Something Deeply Hidden by Sean Carroll
- The Girl from Nowhere by Eliska Tanszer ½
Provided by NetGalley and/or publisher for a fair and honest review.