In the spirit of the “15 Books” meme on Facebook, I decided to look at my bookcase and figure out exactly what books would receive a 5 under the Book Rating System.
As a reminder, here’s what a rating of 5 out of 5 stands for:
Outstanding book. If nonfiction, the book made me learn understand something substantial. If fiction, the book is engrossing enough to bring up in casual conversation. When asked, I would make a general recommendation. There aren’t very many at this level, so I feature these on my bookcases. Sometimes I buy them as gifts.
When I say “there aren’t very many”, I mean it. Looking over my bookshelf, there are only eleven books that would receive a 5. Also, I can’t remember any books I don’t own that would get that rating, since I would try to buy such a book, and now I have enough money to do that.
To make it even more fun, I’m going to list them in reverse order. That makes me just like Casey Kasem, I guess. I thought about adding comments, but instead decided to let the list stand on its own.
- 11. The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
- 10. Bowling Alone, Robert Putnam.
- 9. Gang Leader for a Day, Sudhir Venkatesh.
- 8. The Sunflower, Simon Wiesenthal.
- 7. The Chronicles of Narnia, C. S. Lewis.
- 6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee.
- 5. The Complete Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Watterson.
- 4. The Four Loves, C. S. Lewis.
- 3. The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien.
- 2. Obedience to Authority, Stanley Milgram.
- 1. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury.
When books get added to this list, I’ll make a note here.