My name is Janise, and I run BestBooks.net. Let me tell you quickly about me, before I go into how the ratings system works here to determine what best books I list. As there is more to it than just my personal favourites!
I also do work over at a new website called Book Notification. I helped them get the site off the ground as I used to use FictFact so much and still miss it to this day! Happy to say this is a great replacement website.
I’ve been reading since I was a little kid. Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Enid Blyton and so much more. I both read and listen to books, and usually go through at least one book per day. That may seem crazy but I have a lot of time on my hands, reading is actually my job, and also can read pretty fast!
I’ve been working with libraries and bookstores my whole life. I do a lot of miscellaneous work for both but these days I work primarily online for them, doing book recommendations for their clientele, as well as managing book recommendation newsletters and sections of websites.
I currently manage the recommendation section for 32 different libraries, and for 15 different bookstores. It sounds silly to say – but it makes me kind of an expert in the field. I get lots of feedback from readers etc which I keep in a spreadsheet to help me with my recommedations.
Which is why if you tell me you’re a Jack Reacher fan I’ll immediately recommend the Peter Ash series by Nick Petrie to you for example – as I’ve recommended that one and received hundreds of positive feedback in regard to that recommendation.
I’ve not read every book imaginable of course, so when I create my book lists on here or on those websites as a reference guide, I often use an algorithm to give me a list to work with. This includes compiling weighted review scores from the likes of Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Chapters & Indigo and various other online websites. I also often send out reader surveys at the websites I work with to help with that.
This will then provide me with a list of the best books within a particular genre or by a particular author.
I then use my own personal judgement for the final arrangement of the books within the lists here. Most of the books I HAVE read – but the ones that haven’t, I will go through and read them all.
Just as one example – my Best Horror Books in 2020 article. It lists 10 books. My curated list provided 50 books that could e considered the “best horror book in 2020”. I had already read 27 of them, but I went through and read the other 23 to decide whether they should make the list or not.
So there is a lot of science and actual data behind these lists. The top 5 best books by an author are usually always based on the aggregated reviews. That’s quite simply because the mass opinion is usually similar to mine and because I would rather provide a listing that suits the majority of readers.