Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Picking a good one.

I wonder about how easy it is to pick a good book? There is plenty of choice and when I finish a book, I rate it two ways. I award the book between 1 and 5 stars on Good Reads , a book lovers website and a simple note on this computer of Pass or Fail.

I have now given a Pass or Fail declaration to a total of 100 books. So how many books did I declare as a "Pass"? I thought that 69 per cent of those books deserved a Pass.

So, what makes a good book and is it easy to pick a good one? Good writing makes for a good book, writing that inspires the reader. There is no substitute for quality story-telling. It is not easy to pick a good book, it is a bit of a lottery. You can strike lucky but you have an equal chance of being disappointed. Looking at the authors of these 100 books does not provide an answer. A particular author may write a good book but their next is a big disappointment. The gender or nationality of the author makes no difference to your chances of a good read either. All you can do is read the blurb and take a chance. I took a chance and scored 69 per cent. I can't think of a way to improve on this score.

Even when I consider a book a Fail, it is still better than other types of entertainment media like newspapers and television. Newspapers vary tremendously from day to day and are a bad risk. Television is also very hit or miss. I was interested in 2 new television crime thrillers this week. On Sunday started Case Histories on BBC1 television. This sounded good as it comes from the successful author Kate Atkinson . Well, I thought it was rubbish and I will not be watching another episode or buying one of her books. Last night was the start of Injustice on ITV1 television. This sounded good as it comes from Anthony Horowitz , a successful novelist and screenwriter. I thought this was poor, although not as bad as Case Histories. I will not be watching Injustice tonight and I will stay clear of Anthony Horowitz's books.

So, I can't offer advice on picking a good book, it is all a matter of chance. But I am better at choosing books than television programmes!
I read a few of her books I just can't imagine seeing any of her deluded stories on TV glad it hasn't reached Canada yet....

Love your blog
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