During the time I disappeared, I … did read some books?
But since this is a book blog, we’re going to talk about them, but with the twist of tier ranking them!
If you all have (somewhat) kept up with the book internet (mostly book twitter and BookTube), you know that tier ranking is a massive trend. And since I too love
following the crowd ranking things, I’ve always wanted to make a tier ranking post at some point in the blog and to see how that would translate in blog form.
So after I saw Ellias’s video where he tier ranked all the books he recently read, I thought it would be a fun idea for me to do the same thing, especially since I’ve been finding the format of my previous wrap ups stifling, and need to try something new.
During quarantine (from March to May), I’ve read 14 books, and while I have read significantly less especially compared to previous years, I’ve been able to enjoy the books I do read more.
We’re going to go month by month, and then finish with the final graphic!
For everyone who wants the SparkNotes edition of this post.
EXPLAINING THE TIERS
Before we get into the meat of the post, I wanted to quickly explain the tiers that I’m going to rank each book by.
God tier: We all know what this is. Probably reserved for favourite books of the year, still have a love for the book a few months down the road. These books can step on me and I’d ask them to do it again.
Demigod tier: These are for the books that I loved but was missing that extra push to get into the god tier. Many of them could be bumped up into god tier in the long run.
The Good Place: This tier basically translates into my default ‘I enjoyed this’ reaction. It wasn’t amazing for me personally, but I did like it for what it was or it had some glaring fault that rendered me unable to bump this up a tier or two.
Sure?: I had no idea what to call this, but it’s like the take it or leave it tier. I likely enjoyed my time reading it but probably will not be able to answer questions on it.
Okay, Karen: While I didn’t use this for any books in this post (yay!), this essentially translates to books I generally did not like but probably had one or two minor things I enjoy. I didn’t put a trash tier because I rarely have books that go there.
Anna K: A Love Story by Jenny Lee: This was so perfect in so many ways, and was just so enjoyable on so many levels? I loved the depth of the issues explored as well as how entangled and connected everything was, and I loved the characters and their development so much. The end absolutely devastated me, and it made me want to read the original – and I hate classics. While I did love it, it just missed going onto god tier, so it’s going on demigod tier for now (I might change my mind though!).
Death and the King’s Horseman by Wole Soyinka: This is one of the plays I have to study for school, and while this was such an alienating experience at first, I gradually came to enjoy it and really appreciated examining tragedy and gender roles (in this case, Yoruba tragedy) through a variety of lenses. And you know, it was refreshing to read and discuss a colonialist work from a Yoruba author, rather than another old white dead man, ya know? ✌️ Overall, this is going in the Good Place Tier – a solid piece of required reading, but I’m not absolutely in love with it.
Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed: Y’all, I’m actually really sad about this? This sounded like it was gonna be everything. While it was cute and has some very timely messages, the messages were extremely in your face and less nuanced than I’d hope it’d be, and some of the stuff the characters did kinda had me feeling uncomfortable? I don’t know whether it reads too young for me or what, but something just failed to click. Also, the behaviour of one side character in particular literally annoyed me so much, so this is going into the sure? tier.
All My Sons by Arthur Miller: This easily goes into the Good Place tier. While I did read this last year in preparation for studying it at school, I ‘reread’ it while learning it in class … so I thought I’d add it to my Goodreads challenge? I don’t know what it is about Arthur Miller, but there’s just something about his writing and his craftsmanship that I absolutely adore. This was so well-developed and nuanced in so many respects, and I loved talking about this in class.
The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams: I read this as compulsory term break reading since we’re studying this this term, but I can’t lie, I did not click with it the first time I read it? While I am appreciating this a lot more during lesson time, I found the use of plastic theatre jarring and unenjoyable to read about,
can you tell I love realist literature? I think Williams is a great writer and his craftsmanship of characters is intriguing. I’m going to stick it in the sure? tier for now, but I might bump it up after rereading it. Who knows?
A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams: I can’t lie to you, I primarily read this out of practicality (a teacher passed me a copy and I was bored in a flight) and to stretch myself intellectually (since I wanted to read some of Williams’ other works), but I … do not love this as much as the whole world does? This is definitely well-written and a fascinating exploration of a brutal, post-war America, but I found it hard to read, both in terms of clunky formatting and the subject matter. It also didn’t help that I found it difficult to connect with the book (though I will say I found it easier to connect with upon watching a production of it for class), so this lands solidly in the sure? tier. But at least I can say I’ve read this!
Know My Name by Chanel Miller: This. Book. Is everything to me. This nearly made me sob on several occasions, and was so pivotal in me coming to a realisation about certain personal experiences of mine. Miller is such a powerful and brilliant writer, and I seriously have so much admiration and respect for her. I also wrote a whole post about her on the other blog I blog for, so if that tells you anything … obvious god tier.
All Your Twisted Secrets by Diana Urban: Unfortunately, this was really another case of the concept sounds better on paper than it does when executed. While this was incredibly addicting, the characters all felt one-dimensional and a representation of their so-called ‘stereotypes’, and I just did not like the plot twist. It belongs solidly on the sure? tier.
Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore: I reread this on a whim, and this was just so much fun. This is a book that I love so much (unpopular opinion, I know), and I just find the different outcomes so well-developed and the tangle of characters so interesting. I also love the nods to Rebecca (which I am loving but I need to finish soon!), so this is an automatic demigod tier!
Time of Our Lives by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka: This was seriously meant to be everything – I love Wibbroka works and since I’m in junior year, I thought the college tour aspect would wow me. While I did love that aspect, I was really uncomfortable with the gray-area cheating and the extremely abrupt end, both of which bumped this book down to the sure? tier.
The King of Crows by Libba Bray: Three months later, I finally ended up reading this! This series was definitely a ride for me and while I did enjoy my time with this book, I don’t think it’s my favourite in the series? It was definitely a solid ending though, so we’re putting it in the Good Place tier. Also, stan the characters in this series. Please.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng: I will say that this is objectively really great, but I just didn’t love it? The end did take a while to build up and some of the things that certain characters did just annoyed me so much. I’m going to put it on the Good Place tier for now because I loved some of the characters and that last line hit hard.
The Poppy War by R.F Kuang: If you followed my Goodreads and Twitter, you will know how I feel about this book. I read this because it was Asian-Pacific Heritage Month, rave reviews and from May @ Forever and Everly’s recommendation! I love this book and the world with my entire heart. This book can step on me and I will say thank you. 10000000% god tier material!!
Almost American Girl by Robin Ha: This was a super quick read (I finished it like 1.5 hours??) and I had fun delving into it. I loved the art and the nuances of being Asian-American in a place that is not friendly to Asians. I do think it read a bit young for me, though I did enjoy it, so it makes it into The Good Place tier.
THE FINAL TIER RANKING:
How was the last few months for you? Any favourite things you watched, listened to or found? Bloggers, what were some of your favourite posts this month? Feel free to share.
I would love to know.
I hope you all are safe and doing well in quarantine 💖