Last month I quipped that I should call this section “Notes from the Resistance” because I haven’t been able to shut up about politics since the election. Since then I’ve actually given serious thought to the idea of creating a new blog series in which I would recommend books on a particular political or social issue and provide tips on specific action you can take to promote change. I’m not ready to commit to the idea just yet but I would love to hear your ideas on what I should call this series if I decide to go ahead with it. (“Notes from the Resistance” is a little too militant and ambiguous for my taste.) I would love to steal “Politics and Prose” from the D.C. bookstore but I would hate to be so unoriginal. Maybe “Politics in Action” or “Activist Reads”? Let me know if you’re interested in a series like this or would like to participate in some way and leave your suggestions in the comments section below!
Things on the reading front have been MUCH better this month. I finally pulled out of my epic winter reading slump and am finally starting to work my way through the mountain of review copies that have accumulated since last October. For every book I read though it seems like two more turn up in my mailbox. Here are all the books I bought and received in February…
- The Bull from the Sea by Mary Renault (Review Copy)
- The King Must Die by Mary Renault (Review Copy)
- Ulysses by James Joyce (Review Copy)
- Is the Bible Good for Women? by Wendy Alsup (ARC)
- Wild Nights: How Taming Sleep Created Our Restless World by Benjamin Reiss (Review Copy)
- The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (Purchased)
- The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning (Review Copy)
- Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape by Peggy Orenstein (Purchased)
- The Mother of All Questions by Rebecca Solnit (Review Copy)
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (Purchased)
- The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel (Review Copy)
- Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Review Copy)
February in Review
I pulled out of my reading slump about midway through February, so my total number of books read wasn’t as high as it could have been–but it was certainly an improvement over January!
Books + Audiobooks
- Girls & Sex by Peggy Orenstein: An insightful look at how prevailing cultural norms, laws, and education affect the sexual health and development of teenage girls and college-age women. Read my full review here.
- Romeo and Juliet: A Novel by David Hewson (audiobook): A beautifully written and performed modernization of Shakespeare’s classic tragic romance. I listened to most of this last year but needed to finish up. It was one of My Top 8 Favorite Audiobooks of 2016.
- The River at Night by Erica Ferencik: An intriguing thriller set in the Maine wilderness. A slow starter but entertaining. Read my full review here.
- Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: A wonderful little book on how to raise a feminist daughter. Adichie has a real gift for communicating complex ideas in bite-sized paragraphs. Look for a post with my favorite quotes next week!
- The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston: The true story of a 21st-century expedition into one of the last untouched rainforests to unearth the remnants of a lost culture. Full of fascinating facts, thrilling escapades, engrossing historical sidebars, and foreboding inferences on the future of human civilization.
Movies + Television
- Snowden (2016) – A biopic of the famed whistleblower. Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s portrayal is compelling and memorable.
- Denial (2016) – The true story of acclaimed writer and historian Deborah Lipstadt who won a historic court battle after a notorious Holocaust denier accused her of libel. It’s an amazing story and Rachel Weisz is outstanding in the lead role.
- Arrival (2016) – The story of a linguistics professor who is called upon to translate when aliens touch down on Earth. This film is a thoughtful alternative to the multitude of recent flash-bang alien invasion flicks. The aesthetic and soundtrack are striking and Amy Adams is perfection in the lead role. The ending is a bit too existential for my taste but it has its virtues.
- Finding Dory (2016) – This sequel to Pixar’s Finding Nemo follows Dory, Marlin, and Nemo as they search for Dory’s lost family. It’s a bit less toothy than Nemo and I mean that in the best way possible. (No more sharks, please–animated or otherwise.) Ellen DeGeneres is as captivating a voice actress as always.
- Hacksaw Ridge (2016) – The true story of conscientious objector Desmond Doss who carried seventy-five men to safety at the Battle of Okinawa without even carrying a rifle. As much as I loathe Mel Gibson, I have to admit that the man makes a damn good film. The battle scenes are hyper-real (and very difficult to watch, but I think in this case that’s a positive thing) and Andrew Garfield was clearly the perfect choice for the lead role.
- Cooked (2016) – A four-part documentary miniseries based on Michael Pollan’s 2013 book. I am a huge Pollan fan and I love virtually everything he does. This docu-series is no exception. It’s a wonderful look at how humans have learned to transform food to suit our needs. Entertaining, educational, and visually stunning.
- A Series of Unfortunate Events, Season 1 (2017) – I have mixed feelings about Netflix’s recent adaptation of Daniel Handler’s bestselling children’s series. I’ve written a full review, which I will post on Monday.
I also finished my seven-season Buffy rewatch and I experimented with a new CW show that just wrapped up its first and final season. The show is No Tomorrow, a romantic comedy about a woman who falls for a man who believes the apocalypse is nigh. I mainly watched it because Joshua Sasse stars and I ADORED him in Galavant. (I adored everything about Galavant.) The concept of the show is cute but it just didn’t hold my interest.Netflix's 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' + More in The Inkwell: Vol. 3, Iss. 2Click To Tweet
News from the World of Books
- Tom Hanks, America’s Dad, is releasing his first book this fall. It is a collection of seventeen short stories inspired by Hanks’ collection of over one hundred vintage typewriters.
- Hillary Clinton will release two books this fall. The first is a children’s version of her 1996 book, It Takes a Village, and the second is an essay collection. Both books will be published by Simon & Schuster.
- Alt-Right looney bag Milo What’s-His-Name lost his $250k Simon & Schuster book deal after videos emerged which showed him defending pedophilia during a radio interview with comedian and martial artist Joe Rogan. To the joy of every sane person in the Western world, Milo was then fired from his gig as a speaker at the upcoming CPAC conference and promptly resigned from his position as senior editor of Breitbart News.
- In this week’s episode of Why the Internet Is So Great, Big Green Bookshop in north London is tweeting Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone line by line @PiersMorgan after the Good Morning Britain host got into a Twitter tiff with J.K. Rowling. In case you’re wondering, that’s 32,567 tweets.
- After sales of 1984 spiked following Trump’s inauguration, George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel will soon take Broadway by storm. A stage adaptation based on a previous London production will open on June 22.
Best of the Bookosphere
- We Went to the “Beauty and the Beast” Blue Carpet and Asked the Cast About Their Favorite Books – BuzzFeed
- Book Storage Ideas for Apartments and Small Living Spaces – Book Riot
- 34 Books by Women of Color to Read This Year – Electric Lit
- Bigger Than Watergate? 10 Essential Books About Our Future Past – Lit Hub
- 9 Books About Badass Women You Didn’t Learn About in History Class – Bustle
- 10 Gorgeous Libraries with Gardens – Flavorwire
- 36 Romantic Book-to-Movie Adaptations – Goodreads
- The Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2017 – Publisher’s Weekly
- 26 Fantastic Authors of Muslim Descent to Read Right Now – Entertainment Weekly
- 17 Classically Gorgeous Home Libraries – BookBub
The Most Popular Posts This Month
WINTER IS COMING…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.
I like big books and I cannot lie…but there are certain big books I continue to subconsciously avoid because putting in the time and mental energy it takes to read them always seems too daunting. Once in a while (i.e. every couple of years or so), I work up enough determination to tackle one really long book and it feels amazing.
I’ve never been a big fan of the way romance is portrayed in pop culture. It’s usually far too formulaic and mawkishly sentimental. After a while, all of the “super couples” and so-called OTPs run together like wet paint. BUT, there are exceptions–fictional couples who stand out for their depth and unconventional dynamics. From the sweet and sappy to the seriously screwed-up, here are my top ten favorite fictional couples from books, film, and television.
6 Books to Watch for in March6 New Books to Get Excited About in March + More in The Inkwell: Vol. 3, Iss. 2Click To Tweet
- Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
- The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti
- The Wanderers by Meg Howrey
- Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- The Mother of All Questions by Rebecca Solnit
- Born Both: An Intersex Life by Hida Viloria
What did you read in February?