Note: This post contains affiliate links. Many of the books mentioned here are complimentary copies provided by publishers.
Hello, all! Well, this has been a crazy month. In the last few weeks I returned home after a long stay in New England, launched a bookstore on my website (more about that in a moment), and am currently engaged in an epic battle with the small cockroach army that has invaded my home.
DIE MOTHERFUCKERS!!!!!!!! (Yelled in my most convincing Samuel L. Jackson voice.)
*Ahem* Anyway, about that bookstore…I mentioned in a previous Inkwell post that I am partnering with Bookwitty to build a bookshop right here on my website. Well, great news–the bookshop is here! You can now shop for books right here on ParchmentGirl.com and go through the checkout process without ever leaving my website. All orders are fulfilled by Bookwitty.
The best part is that you get Bookwitty’s fabulously low prices and FREE international shipping on all orders–no minimum purchase required! To give you an idea of just how great Bookwitty’s pricing is, right now Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, one of my favorite books of 2016, is $12.80 on Amazon and only $12.36 in my Bookwitty shop. Now that’s a great deal!
Ten percent of each sale from the shop goes to helping Parchment Girl stay up and running, so bookmark it and come back when you have the urge to splurge!
- Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (Unsolicited Review Copy)
- The Pre-Raphaelite Tragedy by William Gaunt (Unsolicited Review Copy)
- And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (Review Copy)
- Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land (Unsolicited Review Copy)
- Here and Gone by Haylen Beck (Review Copy)
- To Be Where You Are by Jan Karon (Unsolicited Review Copy)
- Women in Sports: 50 Fearless Athletes Who Played to Win by Rachel Ignotofsky (Review Copy)
- Unlocking Lyme: Myths, Truths, & Practical Solutions for Chronic Lyme Disease by William Rawls, MD (Free Book)
- The Perfect You: A Blueprint for Identity by Dr. Caroline Leaf (Review Copy)
- I’m Supposed to Protect You from All This: A Memoir by Nadja Spiegelman (Unsolicited Review Copy)
- Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God: The Scandalous Truth of the Very Good News by Brian Zahnd (ARC)
- Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond (Review Copy)
- Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett (Unsolicited Review Copy)
- Carve: A Simple Guide to Whittling by Melanie Abrantes (Unsolicited Review Copy)
Film + Television
The Fate of the Furious (2017) – I know these movies are completely ridiculous but I can’t help loving them. The fast cars, the logic-defying stunts, Dwayne Johnson’s corny one-liners, and Vin Diesel’s wayward eyebrow–I can’t get enough and this one definitely delivered. 5/5 stars.
Kong: Skull Island (2017) – I love a good monster movie. Actually, judging by my reaction to that awful 2014 Godzilla remake, I love bad monster movies too. This Kong movie departs from previous versions, focusing on hardcore action and a surprisingly wise conservationist message instead of the usual bestiality-toned damsal in distress routine. Oh, and Kong is waaay bigger in this one, because of course. 4/5 stars.
Alone in Berlin (2017) – Based on the book by Hans Fallada, which is based on a true story, Alone in Berlin documents the courageous resistance of an ordinary middle-aged German couple during Hitler’s reign of terror. After losing their son in the war, Otto and Anna Quangel begin writing anti-Hitler messages on postcards and leaving them in public places. It’s an amazing story and the cast is perfect, but I found the film slow-moving and kind of dull. Also, why is Daniel Brühl always cast as the Nazi villain? 2/5 stars.
Beauty and the Beast (2017) – I’ve never been much of a Beauty and the Beast fan (unless you’re counting Angela Carter’s twisted version), but I had to see this because of the library scene. I think the set design is great all around, library included, though I wish it had been given more screen time. Emma Watson is perfect as Belle (lack of vocal talent aside) and Luke Evans is a perfect fit as Gaston. Still, not as impressive as the 2015 Cinderella remake and, well, the story itself still rubs me the wrong way. 3/5 stars.
The Lost City of Z (2017) – Based on the 2009 book by David Grann, The Lost City of Z tells the true story of the legendary explorer Percy Fawcett, who ventured into the Amazon jungle multiple times in search of a lost civilization rumored to exist deep within the rainforest. I love a good adventure story but I was kind of bored with this one. And honestly, I find Charlie Hunnam, beautiful though he is, profoundly underwhelming as an actor. 2/5 stars.
A Dog’s Purpose (2017) – Based on the 2010 book by W. Bruce Cameron, A Dog’s Purpose chronicles the many lives of Bailey, a loveable pooch who is reincarnated until he finds the meaning of his existence. The storyline is very Hallmark Channel. The script and acting aren’t anything to get excited about either. Still, I am a sucker for uber-cute canine actors, so points for that. 2/5 stars.
Monster’s Ball (2001) – I don’t know how I managed to not see this movie until now, but somehow I missed it. Monster’s Ball is about a screwed-up romance between a woman whose husband has just been executed and one of the prison guards who participated in his execution. Halle Berry won an Academy Award for her performance in this film and she certainly deserved it. Overall though, I feel that it’s lacking in some way. 3/5 stars.
The Circle (2017) – I read the terrible reviews on Rotton Tomatoes before I watched this one, but I had to give it a try anyway. The Circle is based on the 2013 book by Dave Eggers about a young woman who takes a job at a Google-like corporation that is really big on total transparency and connectivity for everyone–except, of course, the people running said corporation. It’s a great premise, but unfortunately, Emma Watson’s acting is pretty wooden and the plot is just terrible. It promises to be thought-provoking and insightful but falls far short of the mark. On the upside, it’s a lot of fun to watch Tom Hanks playing the villain for once. 2/5 stars.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) – I absolutely loved the first Guardians of the Galaxy, so naturally, I thought I would love this one too. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite live up to my expectations. The plot is decent but the script isn’t as funny this time around. On the upside: baby Groot is the most adorable thing since puppies and Yondu, surprisingly, is the most compelling character in the movie–and he has a rad new fin to boot. 3/5 stars.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, The Circle, + More in The Inkwell: Vol. 3, Iss. 8Click To Tweet
News from the World of Books
YA author Lani Sarem made headlines this month when she scammed her way onto the New York Times bestseller list. Despite the fact that her book was not even available at Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble at the time, Sarem’s Handbook for Mortals somehow beat out Angie Thomas’s The Hate You Give for the number one spot. It turns out that Sarem or someone at GeekNation, her publisher, placed numerous bulk orders at verified NYT-reporting bookstores, catapulting her to the #1 spot. The book has since received numerous one-star reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.
Hillary Clinton’s new memoir about the 2016 presidential race will be coming out in just a few days. The former Secretary of State made headlines when she released an excerpt in which she called Donald Trump a “creep,” referring to his behavior at a town hall debate where he seemed to stalk Clinton around the stage.
Donald Trump’s entire committee on the arts and humanities, which included internationally renowned author Jhumpa Lahiri, resigned this month citing the president’s unwillingness to unequivocally condemn white supremacy. The committee was appointed by President Obama and never met during Trump’s presidency, possibly because Trump has made it abundantly clear that he wants nothing to do with the arts and humanities.
In 2014, LeVar Burton launched a Kickstarter campaign that raised $6.5 million to revive Reading Rainbow, one of the most beloved children’s television series of all time. But the reboot still hasn’t been filmed because Burton and public broadcaster WNED, the outfit that owns Reading Rainbow, have been embroiled in lawsuits over licensing agreements since 2011. Earlier this month, WNED filed a new lawsuit against Burton, which means that Reading Rainbow probably won’t be returning anytime soon.
Forbes recently released its list of the highest paid authors of 2017 earlier this month. No big surprises–topping the list are J.K. Rowling and James Patterson, same as always.
Best of the Bookosphere
- 17 Living Writers Currently Immortalized on Stamps – Literary Hub
- 12 Historical Fiction Books About Women Who Changed History – BookBub
- 28 Exciting New Books You Need to Read This Fall – BuzzFeed
- 17 Books on Race Every White Person Needs to Read – Bustle
- Top 10 Books About Tyrants – The Guardian
- 11 of the Worst Marriages in Literature – Electric Lit
- Romance Novels, Generated by Artificial Intelligence – Medium/Towards Data Science
- 8 Campus Novels That Will Make You Want to Go Back to School…or Not! – Sarah’s Bookshelves
- Literary Examples of “But Both Sides!” – Book Riot
- Sheroes: 15 Incredible True Stories of the Coolest Women You’ve Never Heard Of – Off the Shelf
The Most Popular Posts of the Month
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!
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.
2017 has not been the greatest year so far for new books, at least, not for me. Nevertheless, there are quite a few books that stand out to me as being worth the read.
6 Books to Watch for in September6 Books to Watch for + More in The Inkwell: Vol. 3, Iss. 8Click To Tweet
- Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King & Owen King
- Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
- The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz
- Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History by Katy Tur
- Believe Me: My Battle with the Invisible Disability of Lyme Disease by Yolanda Hadid
- One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps by Andrea Pitzer
Which books are you most looking forward to reading in September?