I have noticed that when I write up a book review the main drivers of whether I recommend the book or not are: 1. how difficult it is to read and 2. how enjoyable it is.
There are more good books that exist in this world than any of us will have time to read, so I think it is valuable to understand if a book is worth the investment of time that it takes to read it.
From now on I will try to quanitify both difficulty and enjoyability in all book reviews. I will rate both aspects on a 1:10 scale, and I would think you would want at least a 1:1 ratio for a book to be worth your time.
For example, I recently read “The Road”. It was very short and a very simple read, so I’ll rate it a 3. I thought the book was pretty sweet. I’ll give it an 8. A pretty powerful 8:3 ratio. Probably worth everybody here’s time.
As far as “The Power of One” goes – I can’t say I wildly recommend it. Basically it tackles themes of death/racism/religion/the usuals through the eyes of a very likable and innocent young boy growing up in South Africa during World War II. There are a lot of childhood adventures, kind of Tom Sawyer like, with a lot of well described characters and settings. Definetly a well written book. For me, the problem is that the author makes the main character too good at everything. He is like a super athlete and genious, and everything comes annoyingly easy to him. His adventures become repetative and boring because by about the 2nd or 3rd time through it becomes clear that all will end well.
It definetly was an enjoyable read though. I’ll give it a 5. (by the way, I am rating on a sliding scale from 1 to 10, where 5 is actually a true average. Not like that ice skating bullshit where 9.4 out of 10 isn’t necessarily a good score. 6 means above average in my world, not 6 like 60% F you fail.) (Also, I am an expert book selector, and very rarely read a shitty book. So a 5 to me is the average book that I have read, comming from a population of exceptional books, so I guess you might have to weight my scores to align with your own poor book selection. This is likely a 7 or an 8 in your world)
This book was pretty long. It wasn’t real hard to read, but it wasn’t necesarrily a quick read either. I will give it 7 in difficulty.
The ratio comes in at 5:7. Don’t read this one. “The Road” though… man, that book ruled. Read it.