I have a new challenge for myself, and this one is a little dangerous. Dangerous in the sense that there is a large potential to be unenjoyable. As such, I’m setting it as a long-term challenge. I don’t have a lot of reading time right now (because of university). So, I’m reluctant to donate any of it to read that I won’t enjoy. Despite that, I still want to try this. (You never know, I might love each of these books, after all.)
What is this? Reading the books on my Goodreads shelves with zero reviews. I was inspired to check this by someone I saw over on Tiktok (that I can’t seem to find again, so I can’t give credit to). But they said that sometimes when they have trouble deciding what to read, they order their books by review numbers and read the book with the fewest. This way, they can give a small-time or new author some attention.
I liked the idea and was somewhat surprised by how many books I have with no reviews. Then I thought about it a little more and was no longer surprised. This is for the same reason that this challenge has the potential to be either a lot of fun or none at all.
You see, I collect signed books. And one of my absolute favorite ways to find them is at charity shops. I always feel like I’m rescuing a book when I buy one from Goodwill or Savers. And sometimes I buy them because they are signed, not because they look good. (Though I try to fight my impulses on this habit.) The problem is that a lot of times, they are actually quite old—from back when self-publishing was still considered vanity publishing, and editing was often iffier than it is today.
Obviously, this isn’t the case for all of them. I am a magpie when it comes to collecting books. They come from everywhere. But the same kind of gotta-collect-them-all mindset accounts for a lot of them. So, while I love owning them, reading them is a real crap shoot. Some have been great, others every bad vanity press stereotype you can imagine. But I alway want to give them a try.
In terms challenge of logistics, I’m going by Goodreads review numbers. So, some of these might have Amazon or other reviews (though I doubt it). I’m not going to take the time to look. Similarly, I suspect some might be re-publications of older books that, if I looked hard enough, I might find history for. But, again, I’m not going to do that work. If it has no reviews on Goodreads and I own it, It qualifies for the challenge.
I’m not going to count anything that is brand new and can, therefore, be expected to garner reviews in the near future. I’m really going to focus on anything older than a year with no current reviews. And I’ll make decisions on books that are later books in a series on a book-by-book basis. The same will go for some of the odd non-fiction (don’t judge).
A lot of these are physical books that have befallen the all too common fate of books in my house. They got put on a shelf, which puts them out of sight and, therefore, out of mind. So, clearing some shelf space is a nice little bonus to the challenge too. But I’ll warn you now, being slotted in, spine out is a blessing for some of these books. There are some bad covers in the lot!
The goal is to list them below, and as I read them (no doubt slowly), I’ll come back and link to the reviews. Wish me luck. I very well might need it.
The Coming of the Light & Piercing the Darkness, by J.W. Baccaro
The Clubhouse, by Frederic W. Baue
The Bones Dance the Foxtrot, by Donan Berg
Good as You, by B.A. Braxton
Feast of Darkness, Part II, by Christian A. Brown
The Queer Magician in Europe, by Brand Doubell
Paracord Knife Handle Wraps, by Jan Dox
Unwilling Bride, by M.J. Drakkon
Lost Faith, by Maia Dylan
Unmarked Trails, by Jane Flink
Cursed, by Athena Floras
Dust of a Moth’s Wing, by R. Ramey Guerrero
Star Crossed, by Eden Hudson
By Light of Phoenix, by Shade Jalo
Tom and Me, by Robert Lowe
Ankle to the Soul, by Shelly McDuffie
The Wisdom Seeker, by Amy Peterson
Corporeal, by Danielle Powers
The Companions, by Michael Rader
Dragon of the Hesperides, by Dean Reavey
Gloaming, by Addison Taylor Rich
Sex, Intimacy, Love, and Romance in Elderly and Alzheimer’s Patients, by Sandy Sanbar & Judy Rector
For the People I Love and Can’t Forget, by Maria Szapszewicz
Gotta Be Down!, by Booker T.
Blood Revenge, by Robert F. Thompson
To Ocean’s End, by S.M. Welles
Reckless Dreams, by J.R. White
Defiled, by Elskidor Xell
So, there you have it. Those are the 29 books I own that Goodreads says have no reviews, the oldest being Tom and Me from 2016. (How can it have no reviews?) I’m fairly sure at least two of the authors have passed, one of which was a local-to-me author. Several are parts of series, the rest of the series’ books have few reviews too. And, honestly, none of them light me on fire with excitement. But that’s part of what makes this a challenge.
As always, you’re welcome to join in. Let me know how it goes.