Hey, readers! Well, the fall book surge has officially begun and the stack of unread review copies I keep on the floor under my window has grown so high I can see it from the street. If I don’t learn how to speed read fast, I’m afraid I’ll soon block out the sun! I’m desperately trying to keep up and having a lot of fun in the process.
Note: This post contains affiliate links. Many of the books mentioned here are complimentary copies provided by publishers.
- The Story of Sex: A Graphic History Through the Ages by Philippe Brenot, Illustrated by Laetitia Coryn (Review Copy)
- Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker (Book of the Month)
- Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (Book of the Month)
- Sourdough by Robin Sloan (Book of the Month)
- Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward (Book of the Month)
- Lies She Told by Cate Holahan (Book of the Month)
- Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King & Owen King (Review Copy)
- The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz (Review Copy)
- An Echo of Murder by Anne Perry (Unsolicited Review Copy)
- The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne (Review Copy)
- One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps by Andrea Pitzer (Review Copy)
- Queens of the Conquest: England’s Medieval Queens, Book One by Alison Weir (Unsolicited Review Copy)
- Believe Me: My Battle with the Invisible Disability of Lyme Disease by Yolanda Hadid (Review Copy)
- The Power by Naomi Alderman (Review Copy)
- What We See in the Stars: An Illustrated Tour of the Night Sky by Kelsey Oseid (Unsolicited Review Copy)
- The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin (Review Copy)
- Fibromyalgia Relief: A Science-Based Approach to Healing Body, Mind, and Spirit by Lars Clausen (Purchased)
- Sweet Potatoes: Roasted, Loaded, Fried, and Made into Pie by Mary-Frances Heck (Review Copy)
- The Sacred Enneagram: Finding Your Unique Path to Spiritual Growth by Christopher L. Heuertz (Review Copy)
- The Anti-Anxiety Food Solution: How the Foods You Eat Can Help You Calm Your Anxious Mind, Improve Your Mood, and End Cravings by Trudy Scott, CN (Purchased)
- Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith by Benjamin L. Corey (Unsolicited Review Copy)
- The Exodus: How It Happened and Why It Matters by Richard Elliott Friedman (Review Copy)
Film + Television
The Dinner (2017) – Based on the 2013 novel by Herman Koch, The Dinner is about two couples who meet for dinner at a high-class restaurant. Both couples have fifteen-year-old sons who committed a horrific crime together. The story takes place over the course of the meal as civility between the two families collapses and they show just how far each is willing to go to protect the people they love. I didn’t read the book but the movie is awful. It’s poorly paced with oddly filmed flashbacks and a lacking script. It’s also horribly depressing. 1/5 stars.
My Cousin Rachel (2017) – Based on the 1951 novel by Daphne du Maurier, My Cousin Rachel is about a young English man named Philip who was raised by his older cousin, Ambrose. When Ambrose dies in Rome, he leaves behind feverish letters hinting that his new Italian Bride, Rachel, may have been the cause of his demise. Then Rachel shows up at Philip’s newly-inherited estate and Philip struggles to discern the truth. I will watch Rachel Weisz in anything. She can do no wrong as far as I’m concerned. The clever plot and Weisz’s amazing acting make this a must-see film. 4/5 stars.
Gifted (2017) – This film is about an intellectually gifted seven-year-old who becomes the subject of a custody battle between her loving but troubled uncle and her ambitious grandmother. The acting is great. Chris Evans and child actor McKenna Grace have a great dynamic that works well onscreen. It’s a touching film that speaks to the importance of balancing academic performance with letting kids be kids. 4/5 stars.
Their Finest (2017) – Based on the 2009 novel, Their Finest is about a young female copywriter who is drafted into the British Ministry of Information during World War II to help write women characters for propaganda films. I enjoyed it but I don’t find it particularly memorable. The acting, script, and filmography are good, but it didn’t really “get” me. 3/5 stars.
Baywatch (2017) – I know, I know. This isn’t my usual movie fare but I was bored and desperate and it was the only thing at Redbox. What is there to say? Dwayne Johnson is the only thing that makes it halfway worth watching. It’s corny, loud, and full of dick jokes, DDs, and ridiculously sculpted butts. But at least there’s The Rock! 2/5 stars.
Wonder Woman (2017) – I have been dying to watch this all year and my expectations were ridiculously high. For the most part, it met them. Gal Gadot and the whole Amazon cast is amazing. I want to be Robin Wright when I grow up. Chris Pine is perfect. You get the idea. My only complaints are that some of the CGI sequences are a bit overdone and (SPOILER) David Thewlis, much as I adore him, is absolutely riddikulus (har har har) as Ares, the God of War. Seriously, who thought that was a good idea? (END SPOILER) Overall though, an enjoyable and empowering film. 4/5 stars.Wonder Woman, My Cousin Rachel, Baywatch, The Dinner + More in The Inkwell: Vol. 3, Iss. 9Click To Tweet
News from the World of Books
The Man Booker Prize shortlist was announced earlier this month. It’s no surprise that Exit West and Lincoln in the Bardo made the list; however, it did surprise many that Colson Whitehead’s fantastical historical epic The Underground Railroad and Arundhati Roy’s sweeping The Ministry of Utmost Happiness didn’t make the cut. See who else made the list and read my analysis here.
Book adaptations won big at the 69th Emmy Awards. The Handmaid’s Tale and Big Little Lies raked in five Emmys each. Elizabeth Moss won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Offred and Nicole Kidman won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her role as Celeste Wright.
Despite calls by conservatives to stop rehashing the events surrounding the 2016 election and hundreds of spam one-star reviews on Amazon, Hillary Clinton’s new memoir, What Happened, broke sales records when it debuted earlier this month. It has sold more than 300,000 copies across all formats so far and the opening hardcover sales alone were enough to make it the bestselling nonfiction release in five years. Sans spam reviews, it currently averages five stars on Amazon.
The National Book Awards longlist was released earlier this month and it’s full of fresh new authors and indie press titles. In fact, “a full 40 percent of the semifinalists are first-time authors published by either independent or university presses.” Some notable titles on the list are Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing, Jennnifer Egan’s Manhattan Beach, Lisa Ko’s The Leavers.
Len Wein, the comic book writer who co-created the characters of Wolverine and Swamp Thing, passed away on Sunday, September 10th. He suffered from various health problems during the last few years. Two days before he died, he had surgery for an abscess on one of his heel bones. Wein was sixty-nine.
Best of the Bookosphere
- 13 Literary Takes on the Lives of Animals – Electric Lit
- We Can’t Ignore H.P. Lovecraft’s White Supremacy – Literary Hub
- 18 Weird Things You Can Borrow from Your Local Library – Book Riot
- The Most Controversial Books Published in the last Decade – BookBub
- 5 Books About the Opioid Epidemic to Help You Understand This Health Crisis – Bustle
- 21 Books Goodreads Users Are Damn Excited to Read This Fall – BuzzFeed
- Do Celebrity Book Blurbs ‘Blackmail’ Readers? – The Guardian
- Why Reading the History Behind Historical Fiction Is a Must – Off the Shelf
- The 8 Hardest Books We’ve Ever Read (That Were Actually Worth It) – PureWow
- 28 New Fiction Books to Add to Your Must-Read List This Fall – Huffington Post
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.
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 This October6 Books to Watch for in October + More in The Inkwell: Vol. 3, Iss. 9Click To Tweet
- We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson
- Where the Past Begins: A Writer’s Memoir by Amy Tan
Which books are you most looking forward to reading in October?