KoeiNL t1_jduqoc5 wrote

For authors just look if they have published peer-reviewed papers and how often they are cited, or what their experience is (for example a journalist that was based in a foreign country for 2 decades could write just as well about an event as a historian might, but from a different point of view).

And for books I'd look at Wikipedia. For most popular books there is usually a Wikipedia page with a section that aggregates the book's reception by scholars with sources. For example:




KoeiNL t1_jdde71b wrote

  1. Loved it, still think about it months or years later. I never read books a second time, so for me that's not a qualifier for 5 stars.

  2. Just an excellent book, but with minor flaws. Usually related to pacing.

  3. Just decent, was worth my time.

  4. Obvious issues with the plot, writing, characters etc. For example if your characters are cardboard cutouts you end up here.

  5. Never rated a book a 1. I don't rate DNFs, and apart from that I'm pretty strict in my book selection.


KoeiNL t1_j9xzo4f wrote

I only read books in English and I keep my phone nearby to lookup words if I don't know their meaning and they seem important to the story (most aren't though). 95% of books I get through without looking up a word. But I also want to mention that some writers or books are just harder to read because of they way they are written. There is nothing you can do about that, and if it stops you from enjoying the book then just don't read it. There is nothing wrong with that.