Helpful Information

When discussing books, it helps if we are all on the same page. This information will help you understand the terms we use here.


We understand that our choice of books may not be everyone else’s choice. We grew up reading and have fairly open minds when it comes to book choices. Our choices may or may not be yours.

If we have links to other blogs, it doesn’t mean we endorse everything you might find there. Please use your good judgement.


Books are divided into two main groups. Fiction books are short stories and novels that describe imaginary people and events. Non-fiction books are factual stories about real events and real people.

These two broad categories are divided into many genres and sub-genres. Here is a list of some you might run across on this blog.


  • Historical fiction: set within a defined time period and drawing context from the cultural understanding of that time
  • Western: on the American frontier, usually includes sharp shooters
  • Romance: romantic relationship is the source of this story’s drama.
  • Adventure: based on survival or life in the outdoors
  • Literary: realistic story with weighty issues; characters change and grow
  • Thriller: built around the fast-paced pursuit of a life-or-death goal
  • Fantasy: includes fantastic aspects, such as magic
  • Crime: focuses on criminal activities
  • Science-Fiction: features scientific aspects: non-existent technology
  • Mystery: solves a mysterious set of circumstances


  • Autobiography: life story written by the person that lived it
  • Biography: life story written by someone who researched a life
  • Memoir: life story about a small part of a life, memories
  • Poetry: written in poem form
  • Self-Help: addresses problems and proposes solutions
  • Travel: about other cultures and lands

A classic is a book that has stood the test of time and still not said all it has to say. It transcends time and culture with a universal appeal. Mark Twain said a classic is something that everybody wants to have read but nobody wants to read.

Star Ratings

⭐ DNF (Did not finish) This book did not suit me at this time. Maybe another time will be the right time to enjoy it

⭐️⭐️ Ok, take it or leave it

⭐⭐⭐ Good

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Really liked it

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Couldn’t put it down

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ A rare gem. I keep coming back to this book – thinking about it and recommending it to others

Usually we will try to rate our enjoyment of the book using these stars.


TBR – To Be Read. Lots of readers have a TBR shelf (literal or written) where their next great book is waiting it’s turn to be read. These are all the books waiting in the wings.

DNF – did not finish

Book Words

Bibliophile: a lover of books

Dog-Eared: book pages that have been folded over in the corners

Marginalia: words written by previous owners in the margins of books

Bookplate: A pasted-in sign of ownership

Worming: small holes resulting from bookworms (larvae of various beetles)

Ex-libris: a Latin phrase meaning from the books

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