The highs and lows of my Goodreads #TBR

I visit the Goodreads site every day – sometimes more than once a day. It is there that I keep track of my TBR.  How many review commitments I have, deadlines, etc. As many of you know, you can add personal notes and check ratings etc. 

As an experiment, I thought I’d sort my TBR (1,541 titles as of today) to see which of these books rated the highest and lowest.

I was surprised by the result.

(Note: to see which book actually rated the highest you have to pick the books with the highest Goodreads ratings and then also factor in the amount of people who rated the title to get an accurate picture.) FOR EXAMPLE some of the titles on my list had higher average ratings, but had fewer people rating them.

After doing this for both the highest rated and lowest rated titles, I thought I’d share them with you.

My TBR title with the highest rating

My TBR title with the lowest rating


Why haven’t we heard more hype about “Tall Chimneys”?

I’m keeping “Her” on my TBR because it was recommended to me by a long-time personal friend.

Have YOU read either of these titles?

I wonder – what are YOUR highest rated and lowest rated titles?
(don’t forget to first sort your list by rating and then factor in which has the largest number of people rating it.)

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
This entry was posted in Anticipated titles, Goodreads, ramblings & miscellanea and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to The highs and lows of my Goodreads #TBR

  1. Pingback: “Her” by Harriet Lane – Book Review | Fictionophile

  2. Sheree @ Keeping Up With The Penguins says:

    Ooooooh interesting! Mine was equally surprising to me: lowest was Karen Joy Fowler’s The Jane Austen Book Club with 3.08 (doesn’t matter to me, I loved We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves and I’ve already bought a copy so it stays), and the highest was The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (okay, not so surprising, that one’s been super-popular, but surprising that it didn’t get trolled I guess?). Great experiment, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. BookBarmy says:

    I really like Harriet Lane and have read and reviewed both her books. I preferred “Alys Always” but “Her” was very good. Ms. Lane is a minimalist author and lets readers use their imagination. Her thrillers have wonderfully complex characters in untenable situations. More at


    • You are the fourth person to praise the novel “Her”. Considering 8,853 people rated it and gave it an average rating of 2.84 I have to wonder… 56.8% positive is a very poor score in my opinion. I read your great review. It would seem that the majority of readers do not appreciate a ‘slow burn’ and repetition in the narrative.


      • BookBarmy says:

        That’s one reason I started my own book blog. I really don’t like rating systems. I’m a tough ranker, I can really enjoy a book, like the writing and talk about it – but will only give it a 3 rating. Also, ever since Goodreads was bought by Amazon the ratings are not as “true” as they used to be. Goodreads authors tend to get many more 4 & 5 start ratings versus non Goodreads authors. ‘Her’ is good but not as good as ‘Alys Always’ – recommend you read that next.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Tall Chimneys was recommended to me by someone, so it’s been on my TBR for awhile. I think I broke down and bought the Kindle edition recently.

    Looks like my highest is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (I’ve only read the first two). My lowest is The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow Myndi! “Emeperor’s Children” has over 18,000 ratings! Interesting that with that many people obviously anxious to read it, that it still only has a rating of 2.94
      Harry Potter is no surprise. LOL


  5. I’ve also not heard of Tall Chimneys although I did read Her and really enjoyed this psychological story. I have to admit when I joined Goodreads there seemed to be a certain amount of ‘game-playing’ going on so I haven’t really trusted them since – so I thought I’d check out the ratings on Amazon UK – Her has 230 reviews with an average rating of 3 stars whereas Tall Chimneys has a rating of 4.6 from 155 reviews so pretty much in line with the results on Goodreads!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good to know Cleo. I never thought of checking Amazon to see if the results concur. As far as the ‘game-playing’ on Goodreads goes, it is true that I find anything with less than a thousand ratings quite suspicious. After that, I think that the trustworthiness increases.


  6. I almost didn’t recognize “Her” because, although I read it about a year ago, my cover was completely different. For the record, I though it was just okay. I’m not surprised to see a low rating.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Karen says:

    I haven’t come across Tall Chimneys but I read Her some years ago and really enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. carhicks says:

    I have not heard of either of these books. I agree, why have I never heard of Tall Chimneys? I am going to add it and see if I can find it. Great post Lynne.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Laura says:

    Her is fantastic. I’ve seen the rating on Goodreads and I think it’s because people want it to be a psychological thriller. It’s not a psychological thriller (though the misunderstanding is partly the fault of the marketing…)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Laura says:

      PS Just checked mine – lowest rating, with numbers of ratings factored in, is Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton and highest is Ghosts of the Tsunami by Richard Lloyd Parry. TBR, I find high Goodreads ratings pretty suspicious so they put me off more than a lower rating!


      • I only find them suspect if there are only a few people rating them. If there are over a thousand ratings I’m more likely to trust them. Your lowest title has over five thousand ratings so I would trust that. You highest title has almost two thousand ratings so I would trust that as well. Thanks for sharing your titles with me Laura. ♥

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Laura. ♥ It was recommended to me by a friend with similar tastes to mine, so I will definitely still read it. You are right in that the marketing of a book can be completely misleading sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Sandra says:

    I have Tall Chimneys on my kindle. It seems like a book which needs time to be fully appreciated, not one I can romp through. It’s waiting for the right time 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. How fascinating! I haven’t heard of either of these titles any you still going to read them?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. heleenkist says:

    I haven’t read either but I do wonder how so many people kept buying “Her” when it must have had pathetic ratings for very long. I guess they don’t check Goodreads!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s