I saw that BooksandLala did this video on her channel a while ago, and recently I saw in my feed that Jean Bookishthoughts just posted a video doing this challenge. With that, I was inspired to join in and from November 1st to 8th, I will challenge myself to read the lowest rated books on my “owned and need to read” TBR on Goodreads.
It will be interesting to see if I too feel that these books fall into that rating or if I find a new favourite book/author. It also helps me clear out my TBR stack of books that have been lingering and towards my goal of completing 100 books this year (currently at 86!).
If I enjoyed this little experiment I definitely want to switch it up and read the highest rated books on my TBR or maybe read the oldest books on my TBR.
Guidelines I want to give when choosing these is the books:
- they will need to have at least 500 reviews as I feel like that’s a good amount of ratings from others for the average rating
- I’m going to pick 5 books in case I can’t get into one of these and end up DNFing it (not going to force myself to read something I’m not grooving on!)
- I’m not going to read any of the reviews as that can skew my thoughts and enjoyment
Without further adieu, let’s pull up my Goodreads app and sort this shelf into average rating from low to high.
The lowest rated book at 2.50 is Warp by Lev Grossman.
Twenty-something Hollis Kessler languishes in a hopelessly magician-less world (with the exception of a fleet-footed nymph named Xanthe) not too far from where he graduated college. His friends do, too. They sleep late, read too much, drink too much, talk too much, and work and earn and do way too little. But Hollis does have an obsession: there’s another world going on in his head, a world of excitement and danger and starships and romance, and it’s telling him that it’s time to stop dreaming and get serious. (Synopsis from Goodreads)
First thoughts? This synopsis sounds intriguing to me. It’s only 192 pages so it should be a quick read. It sounds like it has a sci-fi element to it in normal day life. I’m curious about what the “get serious” part will entail when Hollis embraces what’s going on in his head. Why did I pick this up? I was browsing a 3/$10 table at Indigo during a lunch break. The cover and synopsis caught my attention.
The second lowest book is The Imperial Wife by Irina Reyn at 3.33.
The Imperial Wife follows the lives of two women, one in contemporary New York City and the other in eighteenth-century Russia….The Imperial Wife asks what female ambition means, today and in the past, and whether a marriage can withstand an ambitious wife. (Synopsis Snippets from Goodreads)
First thoughts? I’m interested to see how these two women’s lives in different timelines connect and how female ambition is portrayed. I don’t think I’ve read anything with an eighteenth century Russian character (or from any era for that matter) so it will be interesting to see that different culture. I’m also picking up some magical realism vibes that I hope I’m right about. Why did I pick this up? I am guilty of perusing the 3/$10 table… This was picked up during a different Indigo lunch hour outing. Maybe I stress shop?
The third lowest book is The Ring and the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz with 3.45.
Magic is power, and power is magic…
Once they were inseparable, just two little girls playing games in a mighty castle. Now Princess Marie-Victoria, heir to the mightiest empire in the world, and Aelwyn Myrddyn, a bastard mage, face vastly different futures. (Synopsis Snippet from Goodreads)
First Thoughts? This sounds like your typical Young Adult magical/fantasy novel. I think this has been sitting on my TBR for so long is I’ve grown out of the genre. Maybe I’ll love it and maybe I’ll come to terms that these types of books are no longer for me. I unfortunately expect to DNF this. Why did I pick it up? The synopsis intrigued me when going through a massive Book Outlet book buy two years ago. The author’s name also sounds really familiar.
The fourth lowest rated book with a rating of 3.46 is From the Mouth of the Whale by Sjón.
From the Mouth of the Whale is an Icelandic saga for the modern age. The year is 1635. Iceland is a world darkened by superstition, poverty, and cruelty. Men of science marvel over a unicorn’s horn, poor folk worship the Virgin in secret, and both books and men are burned. (Synopsis Snippet from Goodreads)
First thoughts? I’m all about Icelandic sagas so I am excited to finally get to read this. I don’t know why I’ve been putting this one off for so long. I think it might be lower rated because it’s just not well known. Why did I pick it up? Iceland! I’ve travelled there twice and continue to fall in love with the country.
The fifth lowest rated book, and last on in this TBR list is The Trap by Melanie Raabe with a rating of 3.49.
Now plagued by panic attacks, Linda copes with debilitating anxiety by secluding herself in her house, her last safe haven. But the sanctity of this refuge is shattered when her sister’s murderer appears again–this time on her television screen. Empowered with sudden knowledge but hobbled by years of isolation, Linda resolves to use her only means of communication with the outside world–the plot of her next novel–to lay an irresistible trap for the man. (Synopsis Snippet from Goodreads)
First Thoughts? Sold on somebody trying to solve a crime in an unconventional way. My thought is that the plot twist or the turn of the story is easily predictable and underwhelming so it wasn’t rated to highly. Why did I pick this up? If I say the 3/$10 table would you be surprised? I’ve also been really into psychological thrillers lately.
Final Thoughts Before Diving In
I think the video ideas that I saw had much larger To Be Read lists when sorting their lists from lowest average rating to highest because I was expecting to find a lot lower ratings when doing this (the amount of books on my TBR shelf on Goodreads currently is 38 books). Regardless, this will be a quick kick of motivation to get me reading these books over the more popular, well-known ones currently sitting on my “shelf”.
Maybe this will teach me not to pick up books just because they’re 3 for $10!
Stay tuned next week to find out if I was able to complete any of these books and how I feel the average rating compares to how I rated it as well as compare a few of those reviews of the novel to see if I agree or not.
Have you read any of the books I mentioned above? Let me know!