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.
'Once Upon A River' begins with a mysterious girl who is pulled from the river, thought dead, but who comes back to life. The story follows the impact of this event from the perspective of several characters and then follows the story up-river to three tributaries, each with their own missing girl that might be the one found. The book has a fairy tale feel to it but is based off a real river and some real people. I listened to the audiobook version and the narrator, Juliet Stevenson, does an amazing job with the voices and the pace.
Recommended by Blair.
I'd like to recommend The Shape of Water by Guillermo del Toro. (It's a novelization now!) It takes an already-compelling movie and gives even further insight into the minds of the characters. Beyond the fishy romance it's popularized for, it's a beautifully gripping story of people on the fringes of society, the horrors of the system that oppresses them, and the triumph of defying societal expectations. 10/10, I would read it again. Rachel D.
I listened to this on audio (overdrive) and it was totally amazing. It's refreshing to have a story of such heroics told from a young person's point of view, not to mention the insane level of voice acting in this, German, British, AND Irish accents! Totally captivating. Recommended by Madison.
by Tommy Orange
Publication Date: 2018-06-05
There There by Native author Tommy Orange, follows several Native people living in Oakland. Each character is a vehicle the author uses to highlight the many different plights that Native peoples are dealing with in modern society. He brilliantly makes readers aware of issues like poverty, racism, fetal alcohol syndrome, drug addiction, and also the struggle to maintain cultural ties to the past and hopes for the future.
The prologue to the novel is very powerful. I feel like the prologue should be carved in stone and placed on the Washington Mall in D.C. for everyone to read and learn from. I would recommend this book to people who are interested in American history, Native American history and people who are passionate about civil liberties and clever story-telling. Joe
The Third Gate
by Lincoln Child; Johnathan McClain (Read by)
Publication Date: 2012-06-12
I'm currently listening to The Third Gate by Lincoln Child. It's not a new book, but I'm really enjoying it. It's a fun adventure/treasure hunting mystery with a little bit of the paranormal thrown in. An archaeological dig with an ancient Egyptian curse, it's a fantastic read. Recommended by Ruth.
I listened to the audio of Drama Free Discipline and it was probably one of the best parenting books I've ever read (listened to). It takes a whole-brain approach to parenting and emphasizes discipline not as consequences or punishment, but as teaching in order to change undesirable behavior like tantrums and to foster a growth mindset. I absolutely LOVED it. Recommended by Ruth.
Lies, Love, and Breakfast at Tiffany's
by Julie Wright
Publication Date: 2018-11-06
This was one of my favorite reads so far this year. I loved all the movie references and play between characters with movie lines. I haven't watched any of these movies mentioned so I have a new list to watch and request from!
This was a well crafted story, wonderful characters & no foul language but still contemporary.
If you like a "proper" romance you may like this title. Recommended by Giselle.
If you're anything like me, you want to read the book(s) before watching the TV or movie adaption. That's why, when I saw a commercial for A Discovery of Witches on AMC, I knew I needed to read the book. The novel, A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, follows Diana Bishop, the last witch in the Bishop line (much to her ire). Ever since her parents died when she was 7, Diana has refused to practice magic. Now a professor of history at Yale, Diana is visiting Oxford University in London to study ancient Alchemy manuscripts. While there, she discovers a manuscript that witches, daemons, and vampires alike have been searching for for centuries. Suddenly drawn into a world she had no desire to be a part of, Diana not only discovers her magic, but also love. A forbidden love, in fact, to a mysterious vampire.
To be honest, what drew me into this book was that a lot of the book was set in a library. Obviously, I love libraries or I wouldn't be working in one! Aside from that, what I enjoyed most about this book was that I could relate to the characters, whether they were magical or not. The setting of the series also wasn't so far fetched that I couldn't see myself interacting with these people in day to day life. Although the book started slow--Diana spends a good portion of the first chapters talking about her research--I found myself unable to put the book down. I highly recommend it, and I am excited to see how the book and the TV show compare! Bethany