We scour the most important outlets of literary journalism in America each day and assign their book reviews a letter grade. When a book is reviewed at least three times, those reviews are averaged into a result at Book Marks.
in 1943, in a small Louisiana town where poverty, bigotry, and fear impact the lives of everyone, the people await the midnight execution of Willie Jones, a young black man convicted of raping a white girl. Grace wasn't raped, she was Willie's lover, but her father and his Klansmen friends think otherwise. The tension builds as various people grapple with an execution only hours away. Young prison trusty Lane, who with the heavy-drinking Captian Seward, has the dreadful task of delivering the traveling electric chair to the court house. He's nauseous thinking about the man who will soon die in the chair. The prosecutor hates himself for his part in the verdict, Willie's father desperately tries to deliver his son's headstone, but finds his mule too old to finish the journey, and Father Hannigan consoles Willie but knows that God doesn't stand a chance in this part of Louisana. The most powerful story is Willie's. He finds no comfort in religion, instead dreaming only of Grace. A remarkable work with a stunning unexpected conclusion, not to be missed. Donna
by Emily St. John Mandel
Publication Date: 2015-06-02
A sci-fi story that spans across both sides of a major plague that wipes out 99.9% of humanity. Part of the story follows the "ripples in the pond" effect of the actor Arthur Leander's life on many people with whom he had contact.
After the plague wipes out a huge portion of humanity, a woman who had been a young girl in the last play that Arthur Leander performed in is an actress in a post-apocalyptic Shakespeare troupe with a travelling orchestra. The other part of the story follows her adventures in the new world, avoiding bloodthirsty prophets, vagabonds, and other shenanigans. Recommended by Andy.
A MUST read for all of us who on some days like dogs better than people!! She just "gets it!!"
by George R. R. Martin (Editor); Gardner Dozois (Editor); Gillian Flynn (Contribution by); Neil Gaiman (Contribution by); Patrick Rothfuss (Contribution by)
Publication Date: 2014-06-17
I'm currently reading the short story compilation Rogues, assembled by George R.R. Martin and featuring one of his own short stories as well. While it's an overall solid and engaging tribute to the shadier side of characters in the fantasy genre, I'd say that the best piece in the mix would have to be "How the Marquis Got His Coat Back" by Neil Gaiman; it's a quirky and slightly unconventional tale full of twists and turns, and it's certainly held up to the high standards of Mr. Gaiman's other more well-known works. Recommended by Rachel D.