What are the last three five-star books you’ve read?

This question is mainly intended for people who use some system like Goodreads or Amazon to rate their books, but I suppose you can still participate by answering the following question: what are the most recent three books you’ve read that you absolutely loved?

I use Goodreads, but I’m not crazy about their rating system. I would like to give five stars to only mind-blowingly awesome books, but those come along so rarely. Every once in a while I just break down and give a five-star rating while I’m riding the high from a book that was merely pretty good. So, without further ado:

The Oracle Year by Charles Soule. This is about a man who knows 108 specific things that will happen in the future. How he doles them out, what the effects are, etc. is a fun story and would make for a great movie. I had a blast reading it, but at the same time, I think the idea could have had more potential with a writer willing to dig deeper into it.

Arm of the Sphinx, second in the Books of Babel series by Josiah Bancroft. This series is a steampunk adventure about a schoolteacher who loses his wife while on their honeymoon trip to the mysterious Tower of Babel. I’m kicking myself right now for not giving five stars to the first book, Senlin Ascends. I must have been feeling stingy that day. This series might actually be mind-blowingly great; I’m loving it so far.

And an unapologetic five stars to The Empty Grave by Jonathan Stroud. It’s the last book of his Lockwood and Company series, about a group of young ghost hunters. This YA series was everything I wanted it to be, right up there with the works of the late great John Bellairs.

HMS Surprise, The Mauritius Command, and Desolation Island, all by Patrick O’Brian.

Ooh, those sound like fun books! Well, except for the Jonathan Stroud one, since I tried reading the first book in that series and didn’t like it.

How did they wind up all by the same author? Did you discover him recently and start chain-reading his books? Or is it just that no one else can write as well as he can, so he’s the only one that deserves five star ratings?

The Big Short, by Michael Lewis. Funny exploration of some of the people who suspected the subprime mortgage bubble was going to take the entire economy with it when it burst. I loved the movie, too.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, by Jacqueline Kelly. Exceptional children’s book about a young girl finding her way through science.

Rapture Practice: A True Story About Growing Up Gay in an Evangelical Family, by Aaron Hartzler. A coming-of-age memoir that is honest and still loving.

Have you read any other books by Michael Lewis? If so, which ones were your favorites? I’ve heard good things about this author; the only book I’ve read by him was the one about Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahnman, I forget the name of it. I’ve been meaning to read Moneyball for a while since I love books on statistics, but I keep hesitating because I know it’s also a book about baseball and I’m not a big fan of baseball.

I haven’t yet, but I have had Moneyball on my list for a while. It also made a good movie. If he can make credit default swaps interesting for me, I’m betting he can make baseball interesting for anyone! I love baseball, so I have an added impetus.

Leaving Time - Jodi Picoult
Sycamore Row - John Grisham
One Summer - David Baldacci

No, it’s the last three books I’ve read in the Aubrey Maturin series (named after the main characters). It’s probably the closest the 20th Century came to Dickens, or Twain, or other so-called “classic literature”.

There are a lot of fans here on the Dope, that’s how I first came to hear about the series. So far I’m really enjoying it and I think it deserves 5 stars. Really top-notch prose, character development, humanity and history. There are 20 books in the series so I can’t say if the rest holds up, but the first five (the ones I named are 3-5 in the series) are absolutely fantastic.

The whole series gets 4.8 stars on goodreads.com, so I figured it qualifies. Thanks for the tip, by the way, I’d never heard of that site before today, if you can believe it.

Are all those books as depressing as they look like they are, based on their synopses?

Have fun with it! Some people don’t really see the point, since you don’t actually buy books on the website. But I find it a great way to keep track of my books: not just what I’ve read and what I’ve read, but I also use the bookshelf feature to further categorize them by things like historical fiction, fantasy, psychology, true crime, workout books, etc. And once you find reviewers with similar tastes to you, you can follow their reviews and it becomes a good way to find new books to read.

Goodreads is the cozy blankie of websites for me.

I didn’t find them depressing. Just really good stories.

:: checks on Amazon ::

Let’s see… that would be David McCullough’s history of the design and building of the Brooklyn Bridge, The Great Bridge; Robert Parker’s early Spenser detective novel, Mortal Stakes, about a pro baseball pitcher being blackmailed; and Susanna Clarke’s magic-returns-to-England alternative-history novel, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. All different; all excellent.

Never noticed the ratings. I’ve read plenty of 4 stars but very few 5 stars.

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Scientific Questions by Randall Munroe
Terrier (Bekka Cooper #1) and Mastif (Bekka Cooper #3) by Tamora Pierce, Apparently #2 was not up to snuff.
Tuf Voyaging by George RR Martin
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Two of these are 4 and a half stars because Goodreads-ers are harsh critics and I didn’t want to go waaaay back in time to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows for the next 5 star. There are two “Complete works of” that I also didn’t count because those aren’t single books. But mostly I’m a 4 star reader according to Goodreads.

A closer look at GoodReads and I see that NONE of those books were rated 5 stars. The highest rated book on my read list is Harry Potter at 4.63

So, I can’t read anything at all and my comprehension is for shit. That’s the reason for all these posts in a row. O.K., here are the THREE highest rated books on my GoodReads already read list (not including my special interests).

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, JK Rowling
The Hunger Games Trilogy, Suzanne Collins
The Art of Racing in the Rain, Garth Stein

I think you may be misunderstanding the point of the thread. IIUC, it’s asking for the last three books that you, personally, rated 5 stars.

(It’s mathematically impossible for a book to have an average rating of 5 stars unless everyone who rates it gives it 5 stars. Which is more when only one or two people have read and rated a book.)

Well then, I am a very large doofus. Ignore all of my posts except the first and remove the last two books.

Haha ok, you do get the distinction for being the very first person to list a book that’s currently on my to-read list! I’ve had my eye on What If?, so with your glowing recommendation I might nudge it up a bit in the queue!