Reading 1 Star Reviews of My Favourite Books from 2018

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This is such a great concept I couldn’t resist reading out and responding to some one star reviews of my favourite novels that I read in 2018. There are looks and books. Click ‘Show More’ for info and links.

Booktubers who’ve taken this challenge:

Chatting about my top ten books from 2018:

My full reviews of these books:
Women Talking by Miriam Toews
Swan Song by Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
Fire Sermon by Jamie Quatro
Problems by Jade Sharma
Memento Mori by Muriel Spark
Circe by Madeline Miller
Hazards of Time Travel by Joyce Carol Oates
Sight by Jessie Greengrass
Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss


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21 Responses

  1. G Pen says:

    This was fun! I loved Circe and I have Women Talking on order.

  2. Ash RT says:

    You’re reactions and facial expressions made me love this video even more. You were the perfect person for this type of video!

  3. mradcaqbdb says:

    Just looked at the 1 star reviews for my two favorite reads of 2018, The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell and The Many by Wyl Menmuir, and had to laugh. Both of these books had huge impacts on me, whether it was the toe-curling, hearing noises in the house when you’re alone fear of the former or not being able to get the latter out of my head six months on. But then I think of a recent read that really didn’t pull me in and not understanding all the rave reviews it got. I guess as long as they aren’t just trolling, you kind of have to shrug.

    By the way, Ghost Wall was tied for third on my 2018 list. One of those books where you realize you’ve been holding your breath when you get to the end.

  4. Kay says:

    This was tremendous fun to watch! And you are so nice in your responses – I might not have been as generous 🙂

  5. curious hmm says:

    lol…"that's a stance..that's a choice to take"…re the fellow criticizing the plot of circe…thoroughly enjoyed this eric…i went little nuts buying christmas gifts on line and reading so many one star reviews of everything under the sun…from socks to art supplies…

  6. Claire Reads Books says:

    Haha, I love these videos — and you seem like such a kind person, Eric, but it's fun to see these reviews testing your patience! 😉 But your responses are thoughtful (and diplomatic!) as always.

  7. shaheen Ma says:

    I like to read both 1,3 and 5 star reviews before I read a book.It gives one a good idea about the book. Personally ,I tend to beware of overtly gushing reviews of a book..esp if its a hyped one..

    Anyways thats about rating.

    Your video was really great ,Eric.
    It was a very respectful reading of differing opinions.
    I was a bit hesitant to watch this.But thanks a lot for keeping the video free of mocking or condescension or insults and such .The tone of the video was good.
    Really liked it.

  8. Next Page Adventure says:

    I read "Prince of Thorns" by Mark Lawrence last year and it taught me that I can be obsessed with a book about a character I absolutely hate. Haha

  9. Marc Nash says:

    Can't remember the last time I gave a novel 1 star, last year I gave a single 1 star rating and that was for non-fiction because I felt it wasn't about the subject it purported to be. I can't actually picture what a 1 star novel would look like to me

  10. SigurSof says:

    I love how genuinely offended you are by the reviews, great video :)) x

  11. distant_sounds says:

    Those 75 personages that 1 starred Miriam's book need a good talking to. Here's a 1 star review for another of her books, 'Irma Voth' which I read recently and was in my top 3 reads last year.

    "This sounded so good. But no. I couldn't even get past the voice in which it was written. Slow, plodding, dry. No, thank you. Irma is a limp character telling a limp story."

    Having such words for my favourite author! How dare they! This reviewer may find they have a limp after I'm finished with them. I will continually plonk them over the head with the book till they see sense. Slow, plodding, and dry is how they will feel after the thrashing.

  12. Allison Friske says:

    I love watching these videos even though they are a bit masochistic and I don't like seeing people upset over others' opinions. But these reviews were amusing, and I think that's why I like these videos. I added all these books to my wish list lol as I take your opinion more seriously than these reviewers. 🙂

  13. Britta Böhler says:

    Such a great video-idea, I think I'll do one mself. I normally dont care that much if somebody crushes my favorite reads, but I do get angry when the review is really daft or stupid, like the one you read about Women Talking. Oh, and I'm glad that I didn't rate any of your favorites with 1*, LoL, although I have to admit I didnt get on with SwanSong and dnf-ed it but I think it was just not in the right mood because I adore Truman Capote, especially because he was so controversial.

  14. Lezpez1408 says:

    @ that first review: ohhh nooo a book about mennonites involves religion…who would have thought…did they not know who the mennonites are? Did they not somehow figure out as they read the whole book?? I’m not religious either but like. Come on. There’s no shame in not knowing something. There’s a littleee shame in not googling this before writing a review.

  15. Jacqueline McMenamin says:

    That one star review of Women Talking was ridiculously daft.

  16. RecMeBooks&Stuff says:

    This was simultaneously a bit unnerving and highly entertaining. I always make it a point to read 1 and 5 star reviews of the books I feel strongly about. And you're right about the unlikeable characters thing, I see such comments often and I don't get them either. Great video!

  17. Tilly Trout says:

    Very interesting video. I really don’t understand the comment ‘I don’t like the characters’ I realise that all my favourite books have unlikable characters..but never ever wholly unlikable. And that is what is so wonderful about reading, the exploration of character. I am enjoying Otessa Moshfegh right now and her characters are not likeable but they are complex and interesting and are not one dimensional best friend angels.. also I agree about the personal attacks and harshness of some reviews. There are real people behind these books and I doubt such personal attacks would be made face to face.

  18. Bizarre Individual says:

    Super fun video to watch! Excited to watch all your videos in 2019!

  19. Jason Metzker says:

    Eric, such an interesting video. I enjoyed it very much.

  20. Robin Summers says:

    What a fantastic video. I love to see and hear you read. Your facial expressions tell the whole story.

  21. andrew chavez-kline says:

    Oh no! I recommend Circe to everyone! One of the best reads I had last year

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