Ever finished a mediocre novel, and wished you’d been warned to steer clear of it? To save your time, literary news website Literary Hub created a new criticism aggregator called Book Marks, Real Simple reports. That way you'll know which books have officially been deemed worth reading (by reviewers, anyway).
The site bills itself as “Rotten Tomatoes for books." Just like the popular movie and television rankings site, Book Marks combines professional book critics’ assessments from more than 70 online publications (The Guardian, The Washington Post, The New York Times Book Review, and NPR, to name a few). Then, it averages them into a letter grade. Readers can also express their own opinions in a comments section.
Some people have criticized Book Marks because it doesn’t include the reviews of online book reviewers and blogs. Not to mention that, like all art, literature is largely subjective and open to interpretation. Some readers might think it's reductive to label complex works with simple grades, but the creators believe the site will promote public conversation about books—and that's a positive thing for everyone, including authors. “We understand it is difficult to summarize the nuance and complexity of a review into a letter grade,” Lit Hub editor-in-chief Jonny Diamond said in a statement [PDF]. “But we believe that Book Marks will lead more readers to reviews, and amplify critics’ voices in a way that benefits readers and writers alike.”
The site is live now. Peruse it at your leisure—but to avoid any confusion, Flavorwire notes, keep in mind that Book Marks is not affiliated with the similarly titled Bookmarks, the bimonthly magazine that publishes condensed book reviews, reader recommendations, and “best-of” lists. Happy reading (and reviewing), everyone!
[h/t Real Simple]