Book Reviews

Crown’s Book Reviews Guide (original tumblr post)

Here’s how I rate books I read and review on the website. It’s not a universal system but it works for me.

When I review books I look for the following: 

  • Author’s stating that their opinions and personal definitions are just that.
  • Author’s actual handle on writing and the editing process. Few to no grammatical errors, misspellings, off wording, or typos
  • Consistency in the material. Hypocrisy will be pointed out at once.
  • Flat-out misinformation or false or revised history.
  • Sourced material. Original material should be noted as well but if something is from elsewhere, it should be sourced or explained.
  • Privileged bullshit
  • Shaming of any sort in any way.
  • -Phobic and ableist language. Homophobic, trans*phobic, and other like phobias.
  • Hate speech, racism, sexism, ageism, and misogyny,
  • Cultural appropriation and fetishism.

I rank 0/5 to 5/5. I have never given a book a 0 or 5. I likely never will. The rankings are as follows.

0/5 – Absolute shit. There is literally nothing about this book that is good. It has every error listed above and issues may have been created for this book. The review likely consists of caps lock screaming and fire. It may have made me physically ill. I quite possibly contacted the Doctor and the TARDIS to get back my time.

1/5 – Crap. While the author may have managed basic writing skills, it still has a whole host of problems it at least provided information of some sort of made a point. You may wish to flip through the book if it was given to you or you find it at the library but don’t pay money or spend a great deal of time on it. I likely only threw the book a few times and set it on fire once.

2/5 – It’s OK. It has its issues but it also has some aspects to that that’s worth reading. Pay a low price for the book or pick it up at the library. Look carefully at the review before reading. I may have thrown the book or resorted to cussing in every language I can speak to verbalize any distaste for the book. If owned, this book levels out tables and chairs because it’s *just* the right size and you won’t really mind if it’s damaged along the way.

3/5 – Meh. This is a decent book. Still has its issues but most of them aren’t going to bother most people. The issues may be few in number and the book’s worth spending a bit of time on. It may not bring out brandy-new ideas, but it has a solid basic understanding on how shit works. Or, it may have a bunch of clever ideas but has some other shady shit going on in it. The book has some worth. While I still wouldn’t pay full price, if I spend a few bucks then I wouldn’t be sad and will have a nice, safe home behind a clutter of random bottles and crystals on a bookshelf where it can be referenced or reread on occasion. This book is to be recommended occasionally for specific topics. You may find yourself thinking “Whatever happened to X book? I think I loaned it to Billy but he never gave it back. Now he’s left for Mars so I guess it’s gone for good. Oh well.”

4/5 – You should be reading this. It may have an issue or two here and there but it likely has so much good shit in it that the few issues can be ignored or put aside. Paying full price wouldn’t bother me. This book sits securely on a clear shelf where I can reference it often and with glee. This book will be commonly recommended and may serve as a pillow in times of emergencies or while passing out during research. The kind of book that you ensure your friends return to you, even to the point where you text them at odd hours to annoy them enough to return it to you.

5/5 – The Preciousssssss. There are absolutely in no way any flaws.This book glows golden in my hands and whispers sweetly to me. Not only would I pay full price but I likely pre-ordered it and maybe even showed up for the midnight launch or signing if that was available. This book is never far from my hand, protected as if made of glass, has is graced only by satin or silk bookmarks. Not only will it be referenced daily, it will never touch a bookshelf but may sit in a special place of prominence, like a book stand or on a particular shelf dedicated to other excellent books. I would fight Gollum for this book and win.

Obviously, all reviews are mine own opinions and should be viewed as such. Furthermore, I write the reviews as I read the books so they tend to be long-winded and can be used as a walkthrough of sorts. If you have a book you want to suggest to me, feel free.


Books I’ve reviewed

101 Curses by Augustus Numley – 4/5

Bewitchments by Edain McCoy – 4/5

Cottage Witchery by Ellen Dugan – 4/5

Easy Instant Astral Projection by Alan Marx – 3/5

A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming: Mastering the Art of Oneironautics by Dylan Tuccillo, Jared Zeizel, & Thomas Peisel – 4/5

The Goddess Is In The Details by Deborah Blake – 3/5

The Inner Temple of Witchcraft by Christopher Penczak – 2/5

Love Spells of Old by Fae Merrie – 5/5

Magical Fashionista by Tess Whitehurst – 4/5

The Magick of Aromatherapy by Gwydion O’Hara – 4/5

The Magick of Cats: A Feline Grimoire by Charles Austin – 1/5

Simple Spells for Success by Barrie Dolnick – 2/5.

The Teen Witch Spell Book – Magick for Young Witches by Jaime Woods – 2/5

When Santa Was A Shaman by Tony Van Renterghem – 4/5

The Witch’s Handbook by Malcolm Bird -4/5

Witchcraft 101 by Seth Cardorra – 1/5

Yule: A Celebration of Light & Warmth by Dorothy Morrison – 4/5