Hey there! I can’t believe November is almost here. Time flies too quickly, but, on the bright side, we’re one month closer to the end of Donald Trump’s presidency. Huzzah! And just think–we could be only a few days away from Democrats taking back some major elected offices. Meanwhile, I am thoroughly enjoying the beautiful fall weather we’re having.
Note: This post contains affiliate links. Many of the books mentioned here are complimentary copies provided by publishers.
- The Book of Psalms (Review Copy)
- The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux (Review Copy)
- The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving (Review Copy)
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (Review Copy)
- The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman (Unsolicited Review Copy)
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (Review Copy)
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (Review Copy)
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (Review Copy)
- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (Review Copy)
- Grimm’s Fairy Tales by The Brothers Grimm (Review Copy)
- The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Review Copy)
- The Illiad and The Odyssey by Homer (Review Copy)
- Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (Review Copy)
- She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth by Helen Castor (Review Copy)
- The Fifth Petal: A Novel of Salem by Brunonia Barry (Review Copy)
- Fragments of the Lost by Megan Miranda (Unsolicited ARC)
- Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brené Brown (Purchased)
- The Last Man in Tehran by Mark Henshaw (Unsolicited ARC)
- Quakeland: On the Road to America’s Next Devastating Earthquake by Kathryn Miles (Goodreads Giveaway Win)
- Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang (Book of the Month)
- Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan (Book of the Month)
- The Power by Naomi Alderman (Book of the Month)
- All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood (Purchased)
Film + Television
First They Killed My Father (2017) – Based on the 2000 memoir by Loung Ung, this film dramatizes her experiences during the Cambodian genocide. I listened to the audiobook earlier this year and I found the film even more compelling than the book, which is saying a lot. It engages the senses and makes the story come alive in a new way. Sarem Srey Moch is absolutely amazing as Loung. 5/5 stars.
Gerald’s Game (2017) – Based on the 1992 book by Stephen King, Gerald’s Game is about a couple who play a kinky sex game in an effort to reconnect while on vacation at a remote lake. Things go very wrong when the husband dies suddenly, leaving his wife handcuffed to the bed. This film is brilliant but way scarier than I bargained for. 3/5 stars.
What Happened to Monday (2017) – This is a dystopian film set in the future when overpopulation has become a critical threat to the human race. The law limits everyone to one child but when a man’s daughter dies giving birth to identical septuplets, he hides them by giving them the identity of a single person and allowing each one out on one day of the week. I enjoyed this movie but it was kind of predictable. 3/5 stars.
Moana (2016) – In ancient Polynesia, the demigod Maui incurs a terrible curse by stealing the powerful heart of an island. Generations later, the curse reaches Moana’s island and she answers the ocean’s call to seek out the demigod and restore the heart to its rightful place and break the curse. I enjoyed this movie but it didn’t wow me. 3/5 stars.
Lady Macbeth (2017) – Based on the classic 1865 novel by Nikolai Leskov, Lady Macbeth follows a young woman as she escapes from her stifling marriage through adultery and murder. The acting and cinematography are completely brilliant but the story is SO DEPRESSING. 3/5 stars.
Butter (2011) – Butter is a dark comedy about an ambitious tightwad of a woman who is married to Iowa’s reigning butter sculpting champion. When he has an affair with a stripper and resigns from butter sculpting, she competes in his place but is challenged by an exceptionally talented eleven-year-old girl. I know this film got terrible reviews but I thought it was hilarious and bizarre in the best way. 4/5 stars.
Chloe (2010) – Chloe is an erotic thriller about a woman who believes her husband is cheating on her. To find out for sure, she hires an escort to seduce him and then things start to spiral out of control. I spent most of the film wondering why it was ever made. I mostly watched it because I like Julianne Moore as an actress. She’s fine in this but I would never watch it again. 2/5 stars.
The White Helmets (2016) – This is a short documentary about the White Helmets of Syria, a group of volunteer civilians who are the first responders after bomb strikes. What these men do out of sheer humanity is breathtaking. Take forty minutes out of your day to watch this. 5/5 stars.
Suite Française (2014) – This film is based on the second half of a book that was written at the beginning of World War II but wasn’t published until 2014. The author, Irène Némirovsky, was Jewish and died in Auschwitz. The story is about a French woman who reluctantly falls in love with a German officer who is billeting in her home. It’s a beautiful story. I found it on Netflix and had never heard of it before. It’s a real hidden gem. 5/5 stars.
Stranger Things, Season 2 (2017) – I rewatched the first season of Stranger Things earlier in the month and then binge-watched the entire second season the night it dropped. I don’t think I’ve ever watched nine hours of television in a single day. It was amazing. It’s going to be tough surviving the next year without new episodes. 5/5 stars.First They Killed My Father, Gerald's Game, Lady Macbeth, + More in The Inkwell: Vol. 3, Iss. 10Click To Tweet
News from the World of Books
Australian high school students are posting abusive messages and memes on social media targeting Ellen van Neerven, an indigenous poet whose poem, Mango, was included in their English exam. The poem is part of her collection, Comfort Food, which was shortlisted for the 2017 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. The level of vitriol is astonishing, with some students making violent threats against the author.
YA author Laura Moriarty’s upcoming novel, American Heart, was recently robbed of its Kirkus starred review after some readers charged it with being a “white savior narrative.” The book is set in a dystopian society in which Muslim-Americans are sent to detainment camps. The story is written from the perspective of an ignorant white girl who befriends a Muslim fugitive and gradually becomes woke. Despite the fact that the book passed through multiple sensitivity readers, one-star reviews (many by people who haven’t even read the book) flooded Goodreads and Kirkus pulled its starred review, which was written by a Muslim woman of color.
The 2016 VIDA count is in and the results show that male writers still dominate book review and critic jobs. Data from dozens of literary journals and periodicals show that men fill about two-thirds of these positions, though some publications are better than others. The New York Times Book Review achieved near parity, with women making up 50% of its reviewers and 44% of its reviewed authors. The London Review of Books had the worst gender disparity, with women representing only 18% of its reviewers and 26% of authors reviewed.
American author George Saunders won the Man Booker Prize for Lincoln in the Bardo, a novel that combines the historical and paranormal in a darkly funny satire. While the book is indisputably brilliant (and the audiobook incomparable), I had a hard time finishing it.
British author Kazuo Ishiguro won the Nobel Prize for Literature earlier this month. The Swedish Academy praised the author “who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world.” Ishiguro’s most recent novel is The Buried Giant.
Best of the Bookosphere
- 7 Scary Nonfiction Books to Titillate and Terrify You – Book Riot
- 6 Famous Writers Injured While Writing – Literary Hub
- The Only Thing Better Than Dostoevsky Is Pumpkin Spice Dostoevsky – Electric Lit
- 13 Romantic Book “Heroes” Who Actually Sexually Harassed the Heroine – Bustle
- How Amazon Review Became the New Battlefield of US Politics – The Guardian
- 9 Book-to-TV Adaptations Coming This Fall – BookBub
- 9 Comics That Are Simply Hilarious If You Love Books – BuzzFeed
- 5 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in November – PureWow
- 24 Books That Won NaNoWriMo – Goodreads
- You’ll Want to Leaf Through the Pages of These 13 Autumnal Books – Off the Shelf
The Most Popular Posts of the Month
And you know what that means. Books. So many books. EPIC books. Gird your Goodreads profile. Here are the 50 most exciting books hitting store shelves this winter.
Fall is book season, the time of year when the publishing gods rain down the hottest books from the greatest authors of our time. This fall will yield a bumper crop of new reading material from literary scions such as Salman Rushdie, John le Carré, Stephen King, James McBride, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Louise Erdrich, just to name a few. So pour yourself a cup of tea, pull up a comfy chair, and take out your credit card. You’re definitely going to want to preorder a few of these babies!
INFJs are an interesting bunch, not least because they are the rarest type on the Myers-Briggs spectrum. INFJs are often dreamers and romantics, social activists and unlikely movement leaders. Despite being feelers, they can appear cold and aloof. A variation of the infamous INTJ death glare often settles over the features of INFJs as well. INFJs are a bit of a mystery–one that is definitely worth investigating.
6 Books to Watch for in November6 Books to Watch for in November + More in The Inkwell: Vol. 3, Iss. 10Click To Tweet
- Radio Free Vermont by Bill McKibben
- Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich
- Artemis by Andy Weir
- Breaking Free: How I Escaped Polygamy, the FLDS Cult, and My Father, Warren Jeffs by Rachel Jeffs
- Counting Backwards: A Doctor’s Notes on Anesthesia by Henry Jay Przybylo, M.D.
- It’s All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World’s Family Tree by A.J. Jacobs
Which books are you most looking forward to reading in November?