Hey, readers! I don’t know about you, but I am 100% done with November. It was a terrible month. An angry Cheeto was elected to office. Neo-Nazis decided this is a great time to come out of the closet. I spent the better part of two weeks battling a horrible staph infection. I’ve been so depressed about the election and beat down by the infection that I barely read anything. On the bright side, I bought a new DSLR camera, which means more/better bookish photos. I also discovered a couple of amazing TV shows (see below) that kept me somewhat distracted from the political milieu. Still, November sucked, and I am SO glad that Christmas is almost here to cheer me up. Here’s what I’ve been up to lately…
- To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin (Unsolicited Review Copy)
- Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History by Kate Schatz & Miriam Klein Stahl (Review Copies)
- Victoria: A Novel of a Young Queen by Daisy Goodwin (ARC)
- Nikon D5500 for Dummies by Julie Adair King (Purchased)
- The River at Night by Erica Ferencik (ARC)
- Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady’s Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners by Therese Oneill (Review Copy)
- More Than Enchanting: Breaking Through Barriers to Influence Your World by Jo Saxton (Unsolicited Review Copy)
- Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (Purchased)
- North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (Lianne‘s Birthday Giveaway)
- KinderGuides On the Road by Jack Kerouac, Melissa Medina, & Fredrik Colting (Review Copy)
- KinderGuides Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote & Fredrik Colting (Review Copy)
November in Review
Books + Audiobooks
- The Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown (audiobook): A mediocre and cliched tale of a woman trapped in a loveless marriage in the 1990s and her grandmother who seeks to break the mold of traditional feminine virtue in Paris in the early 20th century. Reminiscent of The Dollhouse.
- Victoria by Daisy Goodwin: An interesting but slap-dash exploration of the early reign of Queen Victoria. See my full review here.
- Finding God in the Waves by Mike McHargue: A faith memoir that is compelling and maddeningly feeble in turns. The author is a self-declared nine on the Enneagram, which I find quite funny because it’s the nineishness of this book that frustrates me so much.
- Unmentionable by Therese Oneill: A hilarious and unapologetically unromantic tour of the private lives of Victorian women. You will never think about Victorian period dramas the same way again.
Movies + Television
- Star Trek Beyond – I’m usually skeptical about movie franchises once they hit their third installment. They always seem to peter out so quickly. Not so with Star Trek. Every film has been amazing and though I have a few minor qualms with some characterization gaps in the villain, I can easily overlook them since the aforementioned villain is played by the brilliant and amazing Idris Elba.
- The Legend of Tarzan – Tarzan was as disappointing as Star Trek was amazing. Not even Christoph Waltz playing Hans Landa playing Leon Rom (couldn’t they come up with something a little more original?) could save this train wreck.
- Central Intelligence – I’m not a big fan of Kevin Hart, but I will watch almost anything (except for those terrible B action movies) that Dwayne Johnson is in. This action comedy wasn’t amazing, but it did elicit quite a few belly laughs.
- X-Men: Apocalypse – I have been a devoted fan of the X-Men franchise for as long as I can remember, so I will probably always welcome another installment. That said, they’re getting incrementally weaker as time goes on.
- Ghostbusters – I was really looking forward to this all-female remake. Just the idea of a movie starring a bunch of women who aren’t constantly catfighting and backstabbing each other is an instant sell for me. That said, I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t amazing. As much as I love the ladies of SNL, there’s something missing here.
- Stranger Things, Season 1 – HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS UNTIL NOW?! Stranger Things is the best thing to happen since indoor plumbing.
- Outlander, Season 2 – I love Outlander with all my heart and soul and this season blew me away. Especially the first half, which is set in Paris. THE COSTUMES. THE COLORS. THOSE RIDICULOUS ACCENTS. So much to love here.
- Fresh Off the Boat, Season 3 – I rarely watch half-hour comedy shows religiously, but I don’t think I’ve missed an episode of Fresh Off the Boat in its entire 2+ season run. It makes me laugh and I like the fact that it’s about a family that actually loves each other.
- Mistresses, Season 4 – This wins the prize for the trashiest show I watch. Historically I watched it because it airs in the summer when not much else is on, but I don’t really have that excuse this year. It’s kind of like a daytime soap opera, but slightly (and I do mean slightly) classier. Not great, but strangely addictive.
- Murder in the First, Seasons 1-3 – I discovered this show on Hulu and binge-watched it over the course of two weeks. It’s a procedural, but what really hooked me is how the plot is formatted. Instead of a new case every week or the long drawn out soap opera format, it follows two or three plotlines at a time over the course of a few episodes or a single season. The stories are long enough to explore each character fully and build some momentum, but they neatly wrap up within a reasonable amount of time.
News from the Book World
- The winners of the 2016 National Book Award were announced in November. Colson Whitehead took home the fiction prize for his summer release, The Underground Railroad, which was also an Oprah’s Book Club pick earlier this year.
- Literary feminist icon Margaret Atwood found herself embroiled in controversy after she signed a letter defending a creative writing professor accused of sexual assault. Critics argue that the letter sends a clear message that “we protect our own, not students/victims.”
- Zadie Smith is adapting her latest novel, Swing Time, for television. The show will be made by the same production company that was behind Philomena.
- The editors of the ESV Bible recently announced a controversial change to their translation of Genesis 3:16, the verse in which God curses Eve after the fall. Most Bible translations have something along the lines of, “your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you.” The new ESV version will read, “your desire will be contrary to your husband.” Critics say this new interpretation makes it easier for the verse to be used to support complementarianism, a theological position that requires women to assume subordinate roles to men.
- Bookish celebrity Emma Watson, founder of the Our Shared Shelf online book club, made news recently when she began hiding feminist books on the London underground for commuters to find. The London underground is now 1000% more awesome.
Best of the Bookosphere
- The 15 Most Beautiful College Libraries in America – Thrillist
- The Literary Glamour of Madness – The Times Literary Supplement
- 40 New Feminist Classics You Should Read – Lit Hub
- The 24 Best Fiction Books of 2016 – BuzzFeed
- Queen Victoria’s Rule and the ‘Likeability’ of Women in Power – Signature Reads
- 14 Great Novels of Wildness & Wilderness – Electric Lit
- 21 Movies for Book Lovers Who Need a Break from Their TBR Pile – Bustle
- You Can’t Judge a Book by Its Cover–If You’re a Robot – The Guardian
- 7 Homes for Rent That Belong in a Harry Potter Movie – Trulia
- 12 Good Books That Get Us Through Hard Times – Off the Shelf
Book news, links, + more in The Inkwell: Volume 2, Issue 11 >>Click To Tweet
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- Show Me a Mountain by Kerry Young
- The Boy Who Escaped Paradise by J.M. Lee
- Moshi Moshi by Banana Yoshimoto
- Tense Bees and Shell-Shocked Crabs: Are Animals Conscious? by Michael Tye
- What Falls from the Sky: How I disconnected from the Internet and Reconnected with the God Who Made the Clouds by Esther Emery
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What is the best book you read in November?