Originally Posted by kiwidude
In reality the *only* thing that gets "synced" is:
(1) a goodreads identifier for a book in calibre being associated with particular shelve(s) in your user account
(2) optionally the date read, rating and comments.
There is no "syncing" of any other data about a book (e.g. title, author, series etc) - that is all "metadata download" and in the realm of the Goodreads metadata download plugin only currently (or Import List plugin) - and even then that is one way.
That doesn't seem right: Title and Author DO sync - if I don't have them in Calibre, I can choose "Add to Calibre" and it creates them (with the series) - and of course, if they _do_ exist in Calibre, it tries to match them (though I do have a bug to report about that much, if I can figure out the real problems - I get an "invalid float" error when I try to sync my "books-i-own" shelf, where very few of the books exist in Calibre and I want to create "empty" books).
Anyway, once I get a match between my Goodreads shelves and Calibre I can do a metadata download to get anything else.
I also don't think "date read, rating and comments" are optional - if I omit the first two, I'm unable to sync at all - the shelf doesn't appear in the Sync options.