Well, it looks like the cold weather is finally receding and spring is just starting to bloom. And it’s a good thing because I read far more when it’s sunny and warm out. (The cold and gloom usually inspire me to huddle in bed with Netflix more than anything else.)
Last month I talked about beginning a new blog series meant to highlight some of the major polictical/cultural/idealogical issues our country is facing today. I am happy to say that I wrote the first installment of “Activist Reads” and will be posting it on April 14th.
I started another new blog series this past month called “Classics Rebound” in which I review new editions of classic books. I was inspired to start the series after my review of the new Bibliotheca Bible kickstarter performed well. In March I reviewed The Folio Society.
Now then, let’s get down to business…
- American Gods by Neil Gaiman (Review Copy)
- The Qur’an in Context: A Christian Exploration by Mark Robert Anderson (Unsolicited Review Copy)
- Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel (Unsolicited Review Copy)
- Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering by Timothy Keller (Purchased)
- Protestants: The Faith That Made the Modern World by Alec Ryrie (Review Copy)
- The Inkblots: Hermann, Rorschach, His Iconic Test, and the Power of Seeing by Damion Searls (Blogging for Books)
- Born Both: An Intersex Life by Hida Viloria (Review Copy)
- Wherever You Go, There They Are: Stories About My Family You Might Relate To by Annabelle Gurwitch (Unsolicited Review Copy)
- I Feel Bad: All Day. Every Day. About Everything. by Orli Auslander (Unsolicited Review Copy)
- Animals of a Bygone Era: An Illustrated Compendium by Maja Säfström (Review Copy)
- Walt Whitman’s Guide to Manly Health and Training by Walt Whitman (Unsolicited Review Copy)
March in Review
March was a slow reading month. I was stuck on the same audiobook for weeks. Between that, the cold weather, and a recent (and pretty unusual) desire to read fanfiction, I didn’t accomplish much in the way of book reading.
Books + Audiobooks
- The Mother of All Questions by Rebecca Solnit: An evocative, thought-provoking collection of feminist essays. Read my full review here.
- Animals of a Bygone Era by Maja Säfström: A charming illustrated compendium of extinct animals. See photos here.
- Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? by Frans de Waal (audiobook): I wanted to love this but the way it was written made a facsinating topic seem really dull. I also think audio may not have been the best format for this book.
- Born Both by Hida Viloria: An illuminating memoir by an intersex activist. It’s not particularly well-written and I think it could have been shorter but it’s an important book on a topic that isn’t talked about enough.
Movies + Television
- Allied (2016) – The first half of this movie feels very rushed. Marianne Cotillard is brilliant as always but I don’t think her chemistry with Brad Pitt is all that believable. Overall, mediocre.
- Deadpool (2016) – I don’t usually go in for crass humor but this is absolutely brilliant and surprisingly feminist. Self-aware, great female characters, and laugh-out-loud hilarious.
- Loving (2016) – The acting in this film is applause-worthy and the real-life story is beautiful and heartbreaking.
- Someone Like You (2001) – A cringe-worthy rom-com that sets out to prove men are not all cheating, slobbering glorified animals (no, REALLY?!). Though, on the bright side, it’s always fun watching old Ashley Judd movies.
- Swordfish (2001) – This film tries to pass itself off as a slick hacking/heist affair but really it’s all about hair–namely, John Travolta’s hair and that barely-there French bikini wax on his face.
- Doctor Strange (2016) – This is a little too mind-bendy for my taste but still a fun ride. Though it should be noted that Benedict Cumberbatch couldn’t pull off a convincing American accent if his life depended on it.
- Passengers (2016) – I know this one received terrible reviews but I actually think it was pretty good. The ending is totally over-romanticized and I understand why some considered it controversial but most of the film is very watchable. The acting is great and the special effects are amazing.
- Taken, Season 1 (2017) – I will admit, I only gave this show a try because I admired Clive Standen’s abs–er, skill as an actor in Vikings. I only made it through the first episode (and that, barely). True fact: only Liam Neeson can play Liam Neeson. Although, I will say that I was surprised at the resemblance between Standon and Neeson in certain shots. Anyway, I dropped this one like a hot potato. It’s not worth it.
- The Americans, Season 5 (2017) – As per usual, I am greatly enjoying this season of The Americans. This show is in my top five every year for a reason. The acting and cinematography is amazing and I still haven’t grown bored with the plot, which is a near miracle with my short attention span.
- Correlli (1995) – This Australian prison drama was Hugh Jackman’s first real acting gig and it’s quite good, though it’s lead actress (and Jackman’s then future wife) Deborra-Lee Furness who really steals the show.
I also rewatched a whole bunch of stuff last month–namely the entire X-Men series (X-Men, X2: X-Men United, X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men: First Class, The Wolverine, and X-Men: Days of Future Past), save for X-Men: Apocalypse since I just saw it for the first time last November. I don’t think I’ve ever rewatched all the X-Men movies at the same time in order and I wanted to do that before seeing Logan.
All of this X-Men goodness also kicked off a little binge-watching marathon in which I explored some of Hugh Jackman’s past work, including the movies/TV show I mentioned above and whatever else I could easily locate on Netflix and Amazon. I rewatched Kate and Leopold (which is almost as bad as Someone Like You, though I didn’t remember that when I decided to rewatch it because it’s been so many years since I first saw it) and Scoop, which I completely adore.Deadpool, Doctor Strange, + More in The Inkwell: Vol. 3, Iss. 3Click To Tweet
News from the World of Books
- Academy Award-winning director Barry Jenkins is currently developing a series for Amazon based on Colson Whitehead’s 2016 book, The Underground Railroad. I have a sneaking suspicion this could end up being better than the book itself.
- Reports say that former president Obama is currently holed up on an island in the South Pacific writing his presidental memoirs. Apparently he’s staying at an eco-friendly resort powered by solar panels and–I kid you not–coconut oil. I mean, damn.
- Simon Pulse is publishing a brand new YA series based on the hit TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The series will pick up where the TV show left off in 2003 and will focus on an original female character–one of the potentials imbued with power in the show’s series finale.
- In a deal that can only be described as pure kismet, Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally acquired the movie rights to George Saunder’s Lincoln in the Bardo. Both actors were part of the massive all-star cast that narrated the audiobook.
- Colin Dexter, author of the Inspector Morse series, passed away on March 21st at the age of eighty-six. His much-beloved work inspired no less than three BBC series–Inspector Morse, Endeavor, and my personal favorite, Inspector Lewis.
- The longlist for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize was announced recently. Samanta Schweblin’s Fever Dream, which I featured in my winter book preview, is one of the nominees.
- Production of a film adaptation of The Girl in the Spider’s Web, the fourth book in the Millenium Trilogy, will begin this September. The reboot will star all-new actors. No word yet on who will play Lisbeth Salander or Mikael Blomkvist.
- What killed Jane Austen? People have long speculated about what caused the demise of the beloved author at the age of forty-one. The New York Times reports that new clues indicate that she may have died of arsenic poisoning.
- Kerry Washington’s production company, Simpson Street, just acquired the rights to the film adaptation of Brit Bennett’s hit 2016 novel, The Mothers. Yay!
Best of the Bookosphere
- A Brief Literary History of Birth Control – Literary Hub
- 9 Books to Pick Up If You’re a First Time Poetry Reader – Bustle
- 100 Must-Read Biographies and Memoirs of Remarkable Women – Book Riot
- White Nationalists and Jane Austen – Flavorwire
- Thirty Years of Cover Designs for ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ – Rebecca Romney
- 32 Women Writers on the Life-Changing Books They Read in Their 20s – Nylon
- 365 Books by Women Authors to Celebrate International Women’s Day – New York Public Library
- The World’s 20 Most Stunning Libraries – Fodor’s Travel
- The Day Jobs of 9 Women Writers – Electric Lit
- What Is Fiction For? – Emerald City Book Review
The Most Popular Posts This Month
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 know it’s hard to believe with all the cold weather going around but springtime is almost here, and with it, a whole bunch of exciting new books! This list originally started with over one hundred books but I narrowed it down to the fifty-three most intriguing and interesting reads slated for release this spring. So pull up the Goodreads app on your phone and buckle up!
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.
6 Books to Watch for in April6 New Books to Get Excited About This April + More in The Inkwell: Vol. 3, Iss. 3Click To Tweet
- Your Brain Is a Time Machine: The Neuroscience and Physics of Time by Dean Buonomano
- Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy by Anne Lamott
- The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For by David McCullough
What did you read in March?