Book Review

Reviews by The Nerdy Gourmet

When reading a book, I review the writing itself, the book’s food and the audiobook. 

Below is my personal rating system. This is how I rank books immediately after reading them.  I try to go into each book with a clean slate so as not to compare but to appreciate each on it’s own merit.  My reviews reflect my own thoughts and opinions about a book. The most beautiful thing about reading is that each book speaks to all of us differently. Not everyone loves the same things and differences in opinions can spark meaningful conversations. 

Book Ratings

***** 5 stars    GO GET THIS BOOK
I WANT more. I NEED a sequel, a movie, an explanation, or better yet an ongoing television series. I can’t stop thinking about this book. I love it and I recommend it to almost everyone. I will reread this book and research the author. 

**** 4 stars    I REALLY ENJOYED THIS BOOK
 I didn’t want to stop reading this book in between life. I felt at one with the story and it kept my attention the whole way through.  It was well researched and full of fascinating points. I could be friends with the author. I like their writing style and will be checking out their other works.  This book didn’t change my life or view points on any issues, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it and will definitely recommend. 

*** 3 stars   THIS BOOK IS GOOD
A 3 star book is still a good book. I liked it. Satisfactory. I was intrigued by a character or a culture. The pace of this book dragged a little. I wasn’t compelled to read it at every possible moment. I may have had unanswered questions or disliked the character(s). This doesn’t mean I didn’t like the book as a whole! I just didn’t “love” love it- but you might!

** 2 stars  MEH
This book did not meet my expectations. The grammar was bad, there was little character development. The story line doesn’t make a lot of sense or there are large plot holes. The story was overcomplicated or the writing was immature.  I read it just to be reading but didn’t really enjoy the book. I would not recommend this book.

* 1 star  NOPE
I disliked this book. There was nothing I enjoyed while reading it. It was riddled with mistakes or inaccuracies.  I only finished out of a sense of duty – possibly for a book club or work. Or worse yet, I finished it only because my optimism duped me into hoping for a better ending. 

DNF– DID NOT FINISH
I will not rate a book I did not read entirely. Maybe I will save it for a different time in life or maybe it gets donated. 


Book Food Ratings
I have noticed a correlation between novels rich in descriptive food and novels that I have absolutely loved. That may just say a lot about me- ha! Seriously, I am a bookie but I am a foodie first. So here are my ratings of a book based on the food content. 

*****5 stars
Emotionally evoking descriptions of food. Not only enhances the story but also connects the reader to a place, time or culture. 

****4 stars
Food is an integral part of the story, meaningful to the plot or character development. 

***3 stars
Food description ignites a craving or reminds me to eat.

**2 stars
Some passing mention of food. Non descriptive. 

*1 star
There is no mention of food. I had to create recipes based on the mood of the book.

Audio Performance Ratings
Spending an average of 8 hours with one terrible narrator reading to you can ruin a book. I found this out the hard way when I decided to tackle the classics this summer. Some of those readings were…..zzzzzzz.  The Grapes of Wrath? Yep. Half way through when I found out I could speed up the pace of the book- you’d have thought I won the lottery, I was so excited!! At other times, it was the narrator who got me through the book (thank you Tom Hanks, The Dutch House). A narrator can make or break the book experience. Make sure the person in your ear is talented. 


*****5 stars   WORTH EVERY DOLLAR
Let’s face it- audiobooks are expen$ive! But a 5 star book is a must listen even if you have the option of physically reading the book. The narrator is extremely talented and adds so much to the story. Accents and timing are perfect. The whole book was filled with emotion and enjoyable character definition (when a narrator successfully differentiates characters by voice changes, accents, etc).

****4 stars    FUN & ENJOYABLE LISTEN
 Definitely listen to this book. I would rate a book a 4 if the only reason I finished it was because of the narrator. He or she has a natural gift for bringing a book to life. The whole book was filled with emotion and  great character definition; great accents or change of inflection. 

***3 stars     GOOD COMPANY
The narration is slow in some spots, maybe droning; questionable timing and accents are indistinguishable but overall still better than listening to yourself sing while walking.  Character definition is debatable. 

**2 stars     I COULD NARRATE THIS BETTER
The performance was monotonous or stilted. I find myself easily distracted and rewinding sections over and over again. The reading was slow and I had to increase the tempo by 2x. Character definition is shaky at best. 

*1 star    NOPE
I stopped listening to the book and physically read it instead.  The recording itself is hallow, echoing. The performance was unintelligible or excruciatingly irritating. 

The Nerdy Gourmet
The Nerdy Gourmet

Hi friends!! I’m Jenni, The Nerdy Gourmet. I love books and I love food. Combining the two with a splash of travel has become my passion. I am a self taught cook/baker and I believe that everyone can cook from scratch! I’m here with recipes and Nerdy Tips to help along the way.  
I review books, mostly ‘read’ via audio, and I create recipes inspired by the story lines. Sometimes if I am deeply moved by a story, I will travel and try my best to experience the book- and bring you along via my blog! I provide all the photographs and content for the Nerdy Gourmet (unless otherwise noted). 

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