Do you read a lot of non-fiction? I do not. In the last year, I have only read 14 non-fiction books (out of 132 total books). And they fall into these categories:
– Memoir: 5
– Self Help: 6
– Business: 1
– Other: 2
I realized lately that I am a little more lenient when rating non-fiction books. I think it’s because I don’t expect those books to be as entertaining. Usually, for fiction, my rating is broken down into three elements: how much did I enjoy the book, would I recommend it to others, and is the book going to stick with me.
For non-fiction books, I think I give them a pass on that first attribute. I don’t really read about parenting expecting to be entertained. It’s a bonus if I am, but I think my rating tends to fall more to whether or not the information is the book is useful (if it’s self help or business) or inspiring (if it’s a memoir). The exception here would be for celebrity memoirs – then I would expect them to be humorous and entertaining.
Some of the books that got me thinking lately were…
I Will Always Write Back – I gave this book 5 stars because, unlike most memoirs, it tells a complete story. It read almost like fiction because the narrative was so complete. Also, it’s a really good story.
All Joy and No Fun – This book was very interesting. I rated it 4 stars for all of the insights it provided and my genuine listening pleasure. I was very fascinated by the sociology that Jennifer Senior shares in her book. That surprised me.
But even though I enjoyed both of these books, I don’t really like they’re on par with the fiction books that I have given similar ratings. Does that make sense?
How do you rate non-fiction? Is it different than how you rate fiction? Do you have a similar discrepancy in your ratings?
On the blog last year…