I participated (via chat) in my friend Suey’s live book discussion about 5-star reads on Sunday. She and her daughter Tori talked about why they rate books with 5 stars. It was really interesting.

In the chat, I said I reserve 5 stars for books I consider my favorites. Suey, Tori, and other chat members then said they don’t necessarily rate their favorite books with 5 stars. Because of that comment, I feel like I need to go into more detail by what I mean by a book being my favorite. My favorite books are books:

  • I want to reread every few years,
  • I couldn’t put down,
  • I wanted to last forever,
  • I wish I could read again for the first time, and
  • I’ll rush out and buy (and may have more that one edition in my library).

All other books I read get another rating. This includes books I love but something doesn’t resonate with me in some way. I have recently started giving half-star ratings to some books because I couldn’t decide where the book fit. Here’s the breakdown of my ratings:

In the chat, I also mentioned that I’ve ranked my 5-star reads and people were a bit surprised by that information. Am I the only one who does this? I’m really curious, lol. If you’d like to see what my favorites books are and how I rank them, click here.

What about you? What kinds of books get 5-star ratings from you?

I love lists. It’s one of the reasons I participate in Top Ten Tuesday most weeks. One of my favorite lists was BBC’s The Big Read Top 100. Every few years I’d take stock and post the list highlighting the books I had read since the last time I posted it. It was a lot of fun and I miss doing it.

Anyway, back in May, Goodreads posted a similar list. This list is a collection of the 100 most popular books since 1922 and is sorted by publication year. You can click the link to see how Goodreads determined each year’s book.

I didn’t see the original post back in May. I did see Susan’s post on Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books. Because I love lists so much, I decided to join the fun. I’ll put a next to the ones I’ve read, a next to the ones on my TBR, and an next to the ones I’ve attempted and haven’t finished. Without further ado, here’s Goodreads’ list:

  1. Ulysses by James Joyce
  2. The Prophet by Khalil Gibran
  3. We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
  4. The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
  5. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  6. To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  7. The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall
  8. Passing by Nella Larsen
  9. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  10. The Joy of Cooking by Irma S Rombauer
  11. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  12. In Praise of Shadows by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki
  13. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  14. Gaudy Night by Dorothy L Sayers
  15. Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
  16. Their Eyes were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  17. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  18. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  19. Native Son by Richard Wright
  20. The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges
  21. The Stranger by Albert Camus
  22. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  23. Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges
  24. The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
  25. The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers
  26. No Exit by Jean Paul-Sartre
  27. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
  28. 1984 by George Orwell
  29. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis
  30. Foundation by Isaac Asimov
  31. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  32. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  33. The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien
  34. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  35. Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
  36. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
  37. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  38. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
  39. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  40. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  41. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
  42. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  43. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  44. Dune by Frank Herbert
  45. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard
  46. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
  47. Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion
  48. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  49. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  50. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson
  51. Ways of Seeing by John Berger
  52. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  53. Carrie by Stephen King
  54. Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
  55. The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston
  56. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  57. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
  58. Kindred by Octavia E Butler
  59. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
  60. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
  61. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  62. The Queen’s Gambit by Walter Tevis
  63. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
  64. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  65. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
  66. Watchmen by Alan Moore
  67. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  68. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  69. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
  70. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  71. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
  72. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
  73. The Wind Up Bird Chronicles by Haruki Murakami
  74. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
  75. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
  76. Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
  77. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  78. Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
  79. House of Leaves by Mark Z Danielwski
  80. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
  81. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
  82. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
  83. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  84. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  85. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  86. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  87. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
  88. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
  89. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  90. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
  91. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  92. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  93. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
  94. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  95. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
  96. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  97. Educated by Tara Westover
  98. Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
  99. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  100. Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This is a very interesting list, isn’t it? I’m surprised that none of the Harry Potter books or Twilight Saga are on it. Harry Potter probably didn’t make the cut because of the controversy with JKR, which is a real shame. I imagine that Twilight wasn’t included because of the polarization the series causes. Are there any books you expected to be on the list that aren’t?

I learned in DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) that life is full of dialectics, or two opposing truths. In this case, the two opposing truths are: 1) I don’t agree with JKR’s stance regarding trans people, and 2) I still love Harry Potter.

If my count is correct, I’ve read 14 of the 100 and I have 27 on my TBR. What about you? How many have you read? How many are on your TBR?

I understand why some Harry Potter fans are distancing themselves from the fandom. It saddens me because I Harry Potter so much.

I learned in DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) that life is full of dialectics, or two opposing truths. In this case, the two opposing truths are: 1) I don’t agree with JKR’s stance regarding trans people, and 2) I still love Harry Potter.

I’ve said the following many times. I’ve posted it on Instagram and previous iterations of my blog. It’s very rare I don’t think about Harry Potter around July 31.  I don’t always say anything, except maybe in passing, but usually I think about the books that changed my life. I normally say Stephenie Meyer’s TWILIGHT got me reading and that’s true only to a point. TWILIGHT got me reading voraciously; I wouldn’t have read TWILIGHT if Harry Potter hadn’t opened my mind to the possibility that reading could be fun. Harry Potter paved the way.

It’s because of Harry Potter I joined the Twilight Lexicon and met an awesome group of friends, some of whom I’ll be friends with my entire life. It’s because of Harry Potter I have this blog and I’ve met all my blogger friends. It’s because of Harry Potter I’m part of my IRL book club. It’s because of Harry Potter I’m friends with some of my favorite people. It’s because of Harry Potter I’ve met some of the most awesome authors around the world. And, it’s because of Harry Potter I can pick up a book and immerse myself in its story.

Happy birthday tomorrow, Harry!

What book or series catapulted your love of reading?

P.S. I know some may not agree with my viewpoint. I’m sorry if my posts about Harry Potter trigger you. It’s not my intention AND if you prefer to stop following my blog, I understand.

It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.

Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
The Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag was created by two vloggers: Read Like Wildfire (no link because I can’t find the vlog) and Earl Grey Books back in 2012.

I first saw this over on Lindsey Reads and then I started seeing it on more blogs. I decided I wanted to participate; it was just a matter of timing.

Best Book I’ve Read So Far in 2022

This is easy. My favorite book so far this year is THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY by Matt Haig. I had a very transformative reading experience with this book.

Best Sequel I’ve Read So Far in 2022

The only series I’ve read so far this year is THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA by CS Lewis as part of the Narniathon. My favorite sequel in that series is THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER. I loved reading the adventures of Caspian, Edmund, Lucy, Reepicheep, and Eustace. I think all the adventures they have on all the different islands are interesting.

New Release in 2022 I Haven’t Read Yet and Still Want to

I really want to read DAUGHTER OF THE MOON GODDESS by Sue Lynn Tan. I love Southeast Asian folklore. I’m most familiar with Japanese folklore. However, Korean and Chinese folklore are very similar to Japanese folklore so I really look forward to reading this book.

Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of 2022

I’m so excited for A FIRE ENDLESS by Rebecca Ross. It’s the second and final book in her ELEMENTS OF CADENCE duology. I adored A RIVER ENCHANTED and the ending gutted me. I need to see how everything plays out in the end.

Biggest Disappointment So Far in 2022

The biggest disappointment for me so far is TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE by Jenny Han. I was so looking forward to it and I had heard such great things. I hated the love triangle as it’s my least favorite trope, and I hated the non-ending. I like the movie much better.

Biggest Surprise So Far in 2022

The biggest surprise for so far is ANXIOUS PEOPLE by Fredrik Backman. I normally am not a fan of literary fiction. This book was so charming that I couldn’t help loving it. It was my favorite read of 2022 until I read THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY.

Favorite New Author So Far in 2022 (Debut or New-to-Me)

This is such a hard one to answer because I’ve read and loved a lot of new-to-me authors this year so far. However, for the sake of choosing an author, I’m going to choose Rebecca Ross. A RIVER ENCHANTED made me want to read other books written by Ross.

Newest Fictional Crush

I’d have to say Thomas Cresswell from STALKING JACK THE RIPPER by Kerri Maniscalco. He’s tall, dark, handsome, and British. He’s also funny and I loved his banter with Audrey Rose.

Newest Favorite Character

My newest favorite character is Simon Spier from SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA by Becky Albertalli. I related with him, I felt for him, and I just loved his personality.

Book that Made Me Cry

The story of THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY is so poignant and profound. I cried so much while reading it. I felt seen and like this book was written for me.

Book that Made Me Happy

THE LOVE HYPOTHESIS by Ali Hazelwood made me feel so happy while reading it that I felt giddy. Hazelwood is a master as writing banter and sexual tension.

Favorite Book-to-Film Adaptation I’ve Seen So Far in 2022

The adaptation for TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE is, by far, my favorite adaptation I’ve watched this year. It fixed everything I disliked about the book. I also loved the actors they chose for the roles of the characters.

Favorite Review I’ve Written So Far in 2022

I think my favorite review I’ve written so far in 2022 is the one I wrote for STALKING JACK THE RIPPER. I managed to write the review spoiler-free which was really hard to do.

Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought (or Received) So Far in 2022

I’d say THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY. Matt Haig has a beautiful way of telling such a poignant story. The words he chooses and the imagery of what’s happening were vividly in my mind.

Which Books Do I Need to Read by the End of 2022

I don’t know if I need to read any book by the end of 2022. However, I want to read many. I’d like to reread HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE and HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS to finish my rereading of the series. I want to read A FIRE ENDLESS and THE GOOD SISTER by Sally Hepworth. Everything else is just kind of whatever I’m in the mood for.

What about you? If you were to answer any of these prompts, which books would you choose? Do we have any in common?

I learned in DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) that life is full of dialectics, or two opposing truths. In this case, the two opposing truths are: 1) I don’t agree with JKR’s stance regarding trans people, and 2) I still love Harry Potter.

I first heard about Six in Six over on Jessica’s blog (The Bookworm Chronicles). I thought it sounded like fun so I decided to join in.

Six in Six is hosted by Jo (The Book Jotter). She’s been doing this since 2012, making this year the 10th anniversary of her first post. Six in Six is about sharing the books we’ve read during the first half of the year, between January and June. In fact, we share 6 books in 6 categories. I’ve decided on the following categories:

  • six books I’ve enjoyed the most,
  • six new authors I’ve discovered in 2022,
  • six favorite places to read,
  • six covers I love,
  • six physical books I’ve read, and
  • six books set in a country other than the US.

As I mentioned in my 2022 Reading Goals Check-In post, I read 23 books by the end of June. My ratings distribution is:

  • 3 books with
  • 2 books with
  • 10 books with
  • 5 books with
  • 3 books with

I’ll mostly be sharing books with at least a four-star rating in this post. You can click each of the covers to go to my review if you’re interested in reading it.

Six Books I’ve Enjoyed the Most
Six New Authors I’ve Discovered in 2022
  • Matt Haig
  • Fredrik Backman
  • Lia Louis
  • Ali Hazelwood
  • Rebecca Ross
  • Fiona Davis
Six Favorite Places to Read
  • Lounging in my armchair in my library
  • In bed
  • On my sailboat
  • In the bathtub
  • With my friends during a readathon
  • At school
Six Covers I Love
Six Physical Books I’ve Read
Six Books Set in a Country Other than the US

What about you? What are some books, authors, or places that would be on your lists?