About This Blog

This blog started as an extension of a fun school project that I did while working on my MLIS at San Jose State University.     Thanks for stopping by and I hope you’ll find something here to put on your reading list.

The Lima Rating System

The system of international maritime signal flags is a way of representing individual letters of the alphabet in signals to or from ships. It is a component of the International Code of Signals (INTERCO). Incidentally, the “L” flag (pictured above) is called Lima. “Lima” also happens to be the Tagalog word for five.

I am a Navy wife, and my ethnic background is Filipino. Thus, I created my own 5 Flag rating system which breaks down as follows:

Books with 5 Flags are ones that I think everyone should read, regardless of interest and reading preferences.  A 5 Flag book has an excellent story and timeless themes; it is, in the words of Elizabeth Hardwick, “a moral illumination.”  I highly recommend these titles.

Books with 4 Flags are ones that I thoroughly enjoyed and recommend (if, based on my notes, the title appeals to your particular reading tastes). These are also the books that I’ll pipe up about when colleagues need help with reader’s advisory.

Books with 3 Flags are ones that may not speak to me personally but that I believe have an audience.  There’s value in the work, but there are also issues to be sifted through or controversial content that may turn off some readers.  I recommend these books with a bit of reservation.

Books with 2 Flags are ones that I may or may not have finished due to an uninspired plot, poor characterization or some other weakness that inhibited my reading experience.  Maybe they will appeal to a different reader but there are definitely better books than these.

Books with 1 Flag offended me in some way and upset me enough that I would call attention to them by posting a negative review.  I do not recommend these books but I’d be interested to get a different perspective if your experience with the title is different.

Statement of Integrity

Copyright infringement is never intended.  I write my own synopses of each title I review.  If there is a problem with any of the content featured here, please contact me at joannalima911(at)gmail(dot)com.

Don’t plagarize! To cite this blog, use the following formats:


Lima, Joanna.  “Title of individual blog entry.” [Weblog entry]. Joanna Reads. Date posted. (www.joannareads.com).  Date accessed.


Lima, J.  Title of individual blog entry. Retrieved (date) from http://www.joannareads.com.