Thank you to everybody who rendered an opinion on my rating system question. Here's what I'm going to do:
1. I will give a rating to all books written by national or out-of-the-area authors.
2. I will not give a rating to books written by local authors.
3. I will rate all books that I post on Amazon or Goodreads (as Janice said, you have to do that).
4. I will give all books a rating on my January 1 year-end post.
As several of you said, there's always the risk of hurting an author's feelings. If it's somebody I don't know, then I don't have to face them. But if it's someone local, then I will run across them at various times. What if I give a local author a 3.5 on one book and then a 2.5 or 3 on the next? It makes sense that one book might be better than another (at least in my eyes), but how will that make the author feel?
I recently read Anna Quindlen's latest book. I gave it a 2.5. And, yet, I really liked her others. Anna, I imagine, couldn't care less about what I think of her books, but maybe that's not the case with a Bay Area author. So, that's it. I will still review every book honestly, local author or not. But there's no compelling reason to put a rating on it. I know that it's easier for my readers to go straight to the rating and not always have to read the whole review. In fact, I do that myself quite a bit. But in the interests of making sure that I'm not hurting feelings, I will adopt this new system immediately. I hope this works for all of you.