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.
Happy Independence Day! I hope you’re having fun, enjoying the sun, and, most importantly, getting your read on! Here’s what I’ve been up to this month…
Here are the books I received in June:
- How the World Breaks: Life in Catastrophe’s Path, from the Caribbean to Siberia by Stan Cox & Paul Cox (Unsolicited Review Copy)
- Broth & Stock from the Nourished Kitchen: Wholesome Master Recipes & Meals to Make with Them by Jennifer McGruther (Review Copy)
- Silence and Beauty: Hidden Faith Born of Suffering by Makoto Fujimura (Review Copy)
- If Eve Only Knew: Freeing Yourself from Biblical Womanhood and Becoming All God Means for You to Be by Kendra Weddle Irons & Melanie Springer Mock (Review Copy)
- The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (Review Copy)
June in Review
Books & Audiobooks
A note: The books section of The Inkwell is going to be a little bit different from now on. Writing up full book reviews makes these posts way to long, so from now on I’m only going to be giving a brief overview of what I’ve been reading during the past month. I will still publish reviews, but they will have their own blog posts.
I read a lot this month. I finished six books and three audiobooks. One of the audiobooks I listened to is Chitra Banjeree’s The Palace of Illusions, a retelling of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. It’s the story of Draupadi, wife of the five Pandavas, who helps her husbands reclaim their lost birthright. Based on the premise, I thought I would enjoy the book more than I did. I also read Protection for Hire by Camy Tang, a Christian suspense novel about a former female Yakuza enforcer who takes a job as a bodyguard for a women whose husband is trying to kill her. Again, the premise has so much promise, but in this case it’s sabotaged by poor writing.
I read two memoirs–Bite Me by Ally Hilfiger and Lab Girl by Hope Jahren. Bite Me is fashion designer Ally Hilfiger’s account of her 10+ year struggle with Lyme disease. As a Lyme patient myself, I desperately wanted to like this book, but was ultimately disappointed. Lab Girl chronicles the author’s life as a scientist in astonishingly literary prose. Let’s just say that there’s a reason Amazon picked it as their #1 book of 2016 so far. Read it!
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My “hardcore” nonfiction book this month was Infectious Madness by Harriet A. Washington, which explores the infectious causes of mental illness. This book makes me want to read everything Washington has written. She demonstrates the rare ability of being able to draw logical conclusions from a large body of scientific studies, a skill that is notably lacking in the medical community itself. It’s a wonder what one can accomplish when not under the influence of pharmaceutical companies and the insurance industry. A book like this might sound a bit boring, but it’s actually very engaging. I highly recommend it.
The two Christian books I read this month are The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective by Richard Rohr and Andreas Ebert, and Seven Days That Divide the World by John C. Lennox. Lennox is a professor of mathematics at Oxford and all-around intelligent guy who espouses the idea that modern science and the God of the the Bible are not incompatible. I found the book rather dry, but Lennox presents one of the most compelling arguments for creationism that I’ve heard. The Enneagram is an excellent read for those who have an interest in that particular personality typing system.
Movies & Television
I had high expectations for Zootopia and it absolutely met them. It’s funny, well-paced, has a great message, and the animation is stunning. If you’re looking for something fun, clean, and light to watch, this is an excellent choice.
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Death at a Funeral (2007)
I grew up watching British comedy and have a heartfelt appreciation for it to this day. Death at a Funeral is a situational comedy. It certainly doesn’t stand up to the greats like Fawlty Towers or Keeping Up Appearances, but I really enjoyed it.
The Americans (Season 4)
Much like the seasons preceding it, the fourth season of The Americans was flawless. It’s on of those rare shows that are thoughtful, beautifully acted, and produced with care and attention to detail. The season ended in a good place and I heard that it will be renewed for two final seasons. Most shows that rush to the finish line end up floundering at the end, so I’m relieved that the writers have time to plan the ending in advance. I think it’s going to be great.
News from the World of Books
- Literary journalist Gay Talese renounced his forthcoming book, The Voyeur’s Motel, following a revelation that called his source’s credibility into question. In a statement he said, “I’m not going to promote this book. How dare I promote it when its credibility is down the toilet?” This just two months after Talese faced backlash for making sexist comments about female writers.
- Browser, a beloved cat, was fired from his job at a public library in Fort Worth, Texas. The library adopted him six years ago, but on June 14th, the city council voted to remove him from the library. Browser’s primary job at the library is rodent control, but he is also a mascot and companion for the children who like to read to him.
He has thirty days to find a new home.UPDATE: Following outrage from the local and international community, the city council unanimously voted that Bowser can keep his job and home at the library. Justice!
- Amazon announced that it will open its third brick-and-mortar bookstore in Portland, OR. There is concern that this move will drive Powell’s out of business.
- Netflix is set to adapt Margaret Atwood’s historical crime novel, Alias Grace, into a six-part miniseries. This just months after Hulu announced that it will adapt Atwood’s feminist dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale. In other news, Atwood was awarded the PEN Pinter Prize for championing free speech. She will receive the award in October.
- Cosmo recently reported that Donald Trump’s 27-year-old press secretary, Hope Hicks, once modeled for the cover of the first book in The It Girl series, an offshoot of the Gossip Girl series.
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Best of the Bookosphere
- 7 Harry Potter Jobs You Can Actually Have – Bustle
- The Best Books of 2016, So Far – Book Riot
- 10 Books to Read This Election Season – The Daily Beast
- 25 Books to Read If You’re California Dreamin’ – Penguin Random House
- Why Books Are a Love Magnet – The Guardian
- 49 Underrated Books You Really Need to Read – BuzzFeed
- 100 Must-Read Books About Libraries & Bookstores – Book Riot
- Here Are the Best Books of 2016 So Far – TIME
- The Ultimate 2016 Summer Book Guide – PureWow
- 21 Songs Every Bookworm Will Love – Bustle
Most Popular Posts of the Month
Jane Austen created some of the brightest and most progressive heroines of her day–women with wisdom and fortitude that belied the female stereotypes rife in 19th century England. Which Austen heroine is the greatest? I’ll leave that to you to decide, but here are all of Jane’s heroines, ranked from my least to most favorite, along with their winning characteristics and greatest faults.
Love Pinterest? Check out these ten beautiful bookish boards!
Save for the occasional encounter with magic rings, supernatural warlords, and orcs in need of a tan, Middle-earth is a pretty swanky realm. Here are eight things to love about Middle-earth, and, so that you’re not too sad about not being able to visit, three not-so-great things.
Best of the Archives
Looking for ways to make money book blogging? Check out this handy guide!
Books to Watch for in July
- Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn
- The Heavenly Table by Donald Ray Pollock
- Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters
- The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer by Kate Summerscale
- The Voyeur’s Motel by Gay Talese (See the news section of this post for a note on the controversy that arose last week.)
- Bipolar Faith: A Black Woman’s Journey with Depression and Faith by Monica A. Coleman
What are you reading right now?
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