Book Reviews

I have prepared my book reviews for the last two months but I am making a couple of changes to the way I publish them. The first is that I will post each review separately. This allows me to link to a specific book review. It also stops me rushing to finish books at the end of the month.

Also I will no longer stop rate books out of five in my reviews. This is for a number of reasons. First, I found I was rating many good books as 3/5 and some reasonable ones as 2/5 simply so I could reserve the higher ratings for really good books, but it seemed like an insult to what was otherwise a good piece of work. It probably would have been better if my scale was out of 10 rather than 5. Second, my criteria for rating a commentary are different to those for other types of book, which made it look like I recommended reading more commentaries than anything else. Finally, I make a lot of use of other people’s reviews, and what I want to know is what the book contained, what they liked and disliked and why. So my reviews from now on will hopefully give you a better understanding of what I consider to be the strengths and weaknesses. Ratings are only useful if you have exactly the same requirements for a book as the person doing the review.

You can in fact, still see my preferred ranking of commentaries by filtering on a specific book on my commentaries page, and I do intend to still mark those books that would have earned a 5/5 in some special way (perhaps an “outstanding” award).

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