Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Review copies of some of the books mentioned below were provided for free by publishers in the hopes that I would mention them on my blog.
Hey, readers! I can’t wait to share with you the books, podcasts, and one very special artist I discovered this past month, but first I want to tell you some very exciting news. An all-new Parchment Girl is coming next week! I’ve been working my butt off rebranding and redesigning this blog over the last month or so, and I really think you’re going to love the new look. The site will be down for a few days while I work my magic. Subscribe to receive three FREE literary desktop wallpapers and an email when the new site is live!
I’ve been away for most of the summer and had planned to return home in September, but I ended up having to extend my trip. There was a ton of bookmail waiting for me when I arrived.
- The Vegetarian by Han Kang (Blogging for Books)
- Dear Mr. M by Herman Koch (Blogging for Books)
- The Tea Planter’s Wife by Dinah Jefferies (Blogging for Books)
- Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O’Neill (Blogging for Books)
- Engineering Eden by Jordan Fisher Smith (Blogging for Books)
- Effortless Healing by Dr. Joseph Mercola (Blogging for Books)
- Shylock Is My Name by Howard Jacobson (Blogging for Books)
- Finding God in the Waves by Mike McHargue (Blogging for Books)
- Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (Review Copy)
- The Mothers by Britt Bennett (Review Copy)
- Persuasion by Jane Austen (Review Copy)
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (Review Copy)
- Stasiland by Anna Funder (Review Copy)
- Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood (Review Copy)
- Unclobber by Colby Martin (Review Copy)
- The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron + Suzanne Stabile (Review Copy)
- The Road Back to You Study Guide by Ian Morgan Cron + Suzanne Stabile (Review Copy)
- Very Married by Katherine Willis Pershey (Review Copy)
- What Falls from the Sky by Esther Emery (ARC)
- Home by Marilynne Robinson (Purchased)
- The Immune System Recovery Plan by Susan Blum, M.D. (Purchased)
August in Review
Books + Audiobooks
I didn’t accomplish nearly as much reading as I wanted this month, but I did discover a couple of new favorites.
- The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis (audiobook): A young woman tries to make it in 1950s NYC while living at the Barbizon Hotel for Women. A journalist researches her story in the 21st century while going through a life crisis. An enjoyable listen, but not gripping.
- The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang: A Chinese-American business magnate loses his cosmetics empire and drives cross-country with his family in tow in the hopes of reclaiming his ancestral land in China. This was a total bomb for me. The characters were utterly unlikeable and the writing was hard to follow. Read my full review here.
- Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult (audiobook): A labor and delivery nurse is prohibited from caring for the infant son of white supremacists, then indicted for murder when the baby dies on her watch. A gripping story that thoughtfully explores racism in America.
- The Guiniveres by Sarah Domet: The story of four girls named Guinivere who are sent to live in a convent. When comatose soldiers are sent there to convalesce, the girl see them as their ticket out. A quietly compelling story.
- Dog Songs by Mary Oliver: A book of poems about dogs. Absolutely delightful.
- What Falls from the Sky by Esther Emery: A memoir about the author’s “year without Internet.” Thoughtful and beautifully written.
- Unclobber by Colby Martin: Argument for an Evangelical theology that affirms LGBTQ people. Not comprehensive, but an excellent introduction to the issue.
- The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron + Suzanne Stabile: A Christian approach to using the Enneagram personality framework for personal and spiritual growth. A worthy addition to Enneagram literature.
- Very Married by Katherine Willis Pershey: “Field notes on love and fidelity” by a United Church of Christ pastor. Refreshingly nuanced and inclusive.
Movies + Television
- Captain America: Civil War – I thought I would be sick of The Avengers by now, but I enjoyed this installment just as much as much as those previous.
- The Huntsman: Winter’s War – I’m pretty sure the only reason the studio made this sequel is because they know people like me will pay to watch Charlize Theron get her baddie on, even if the script sucks. You know what? Worth it.
- The Jungle Book – I bought into the hype about this one, but it was actually kind of meh. The acting wasn’t spectacular and the musical element felt out of place.
- Longmire – The new season of Longmire is out on Netflix and IT IS AMAZING. I freakin’ love this show.
- The Durrells in Corfu – A new BBC show about a struggling widow and her kids who move from gloomy old England to the cheerfully sunny Greek island of Corfu in the 1930s. It’s loosely based on a trilogy of memoirs by Gerald Durrell. Only three episodes have aired so far, but I am completely in love with it.
- Blindspot – I dumped a lot of shows this season, but I decided to continue with Blindspot. It’s not Masterpiece Theater, but so far it’s keeping me interested.
- The Mindy Project – This is by far the most mind-numbing show I watch, but I keep coming back for more. I can’t help it. It makes me laugh!
- Elementary – I’m also sticking with Elementary for another season. It’s not hte most exciting show on television, but the characters and amazing acting keep drawing me back.
[tweetthis]The new Jodi Picoult novel, Longmire season 5, + more in The Inkwell: Vol. 2, Iss. 10[/tweetthis]
- The Liturgists – I don’t know how this podcast managed to escape my notice these last two years, but it is SERIOUSLY amazing. Musician Michael Gungor and “Science Mike” host conversations for the “spiritually homeless.” They don’t shy away from the tough questions about Christianity and living a life of faith when you find yourself outside of the traditional Evangelical box. They’ve done episodes on sexism, racism, LGBTQ issues, abortion, and a whole lot more. I highly recommend it.
- The Road Back to You – This is the supplementary podcast to The Road Back to You book (which I talked about above). It features conversations with people of different Enneagram types. I’m enjoying it, but if you want to get into the Enneagram via podcast, I would actually recommend listening to episode 37 of The Liturgists Podcast where Michael and Mike talk to Ian, Suzanne, and a whole bunch of people with various Enneagram types.
- ReWild Yourself – I’ve long been a fan/supporter of the “back to the earth” movement, which consists of homesteaders, organic farmers, and other eco-aware types. Daniel Vitalis, the host of this podcast, has long been a proponent of a modern hunter-gatherer lifestyle. While I tend more toward eco-friendly agriculture (think Joel Salatin-style permaculture) and I certainly don’t agree with all of Vitalis’ conclusions, I really enjoy listening to this podcast and I get A LOT out of it.
I discovered the Spellbinding art of Starla Michelle while shopping for a planner at my favorite notebook store, May Designs. I was lucky enough to snag her limited edition cover, which led me to her website. I haven’t been this excited about an artist since I discovered Claire Basler last year. Starla’s paintings have a vivid dreamlike quality that I love. If I could afford it, I would fill every room in my house with her work.
News from the Book World
- Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, eliciting a wide range of reactions from 😀 to 🤔 and everything in between. (Hey, if the Oxford Dictionary can choose an emoji as word of the year, then I can use them in my news report.)
- Following yet another appalling debate performance by presidential candidate Donald Trump, people took to Twitter to mock him with the hashtag #TrumpBookReport, imagining what he would say about classic works of literature. The results were hilarious.
- A new film adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express is coming soon! Judi Dench, Daisy Ridley, Michelle Pfieffer, Johnny Depp, and John Pena have signed on to the project. Production is set to begin next month.
- In other Agatha Christie news, new Agatha Christie-themed stamps are coming to the UK, making American fans (namely me) incredibly jealous.
- Tolkien fans, rejoice! A previously unpublished love story by The Hobbit author will be published next year. The story centers on a man, Beren, and an elf, Lúthien, who fall in love. Lúthien’s father opposes the union and Beren a near-impossible task to complete before he will consent to them marrying. Sound familiar? The story was referenced in the relationship between Aragorn and Arwen in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings.
Best of the Bookosphere
- Required Reading List for Donald Trump – Book Riot
- 11 of the Most Savage Burns in Literature – BuzzFeed
- 11 of the Greatest Fictional Parties Ever – ElectricLit
- Explore the Jail That Imprisoned Oscar Wilde – Smithsonian
- Adapting ‘Forrest Gump’ Turned a Caustic Satire into a Sentimental Romance – A.V. Club
- Banning Books in Prison Is Not Just Wrong, It’s Counterproductive – Signature Reads
- The World’s Largest Flip Books Are in a New Hampshire Forest – Mental Floss
- Six of Classic Literature’s Uncanniest Moments – Flavorwire
- Chronicles of a Fickle Reader – River City Reading
- Waking from the John Wayne Dream: Columbus and Jackson Are Dead, but America’s War on Indigenous People Lives on – Salon
[tweetthis]Book news, links, + more in The Inkwell: Volume 2, Issue 10[/tweetthis]
The Most Popular Posts This Month
Can you believe summer is almost over? I, for one, am not prepared. Luckily, there’s a boatload of amazing new books coming this fall. Here are 32 new books to add to your TBR list! (#1-19 are fiction; #20-32 are nonfiction.)
If INTJs are the kingmakers, ENTJs are the kings (and queens). Onscreen or off, they ooze power and pretty much dominate life. Okay, so this might be stereotyping just a little, but they can be pretty terrifying when they want to be.
One of my favorite ways to
waste time cope with boredom is browsing the internet for bookish content and adding on to my already jam packed TBR list. Here are 10 of my favorite websites to visit when I need literary internet downtime.
6 Books to Watch for in November
[tweetthis]6 New Books to Get Excited About in November + More in The Inkwell: Vol. 2, Iss. 10[/tweetthis]
- Absolutely on Music by Haruki Murakami + Seiji Ozawa
- Hi, Anxiety by Kat Kinsman
- Our Revolution by Bernie Sanders
What are you reading right now?