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 hope you had a terrific summer. It flew by too quickly this year! Here’s what I’ve been up to this past month…
Here are the books I bought/received in August:
- The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (Book of the Month)
- The Story of a Brief Marriage by Anuk Arudpragasam (Review Copy)
- Mischling by Affinity Konar (Review Copy)
- The Givenness of Things by Marilynne Robinson (Purchased)
- The Complete Stories by Flannery O’Connor (Purchased)
- Nutshell by Ian McEwan (Review Copy)
- The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang (Review Copy)
August in Review
Books + Audiobooks
August was a very productive reading month for me. I’m not sure why, but I find it easier to accomplish large amounts of reading in the summer, as supposed to the colder months when I usually just want to curl up and watch BBC dramas on Netflix.
- We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson – I’ve been wanting to read more classic/mild horror and started with this book blogger favorite. The narrative voice is incredibly unique and I’m looking forward to the film adaptation that’s coming soon.
- The Vegetarian by Han Kang – This was a bit of a letdown. The writing and imagery is amazing, but the story left me feeling flat.
- Gilead by Marilynne Robinson – My first Marilynne Robinson book and I am HOOKED. Home, Lila, and one of her essay collections are on my shelf waiting to be read.
- Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler (audiobook) – This is a charming little book and I really think listening to the audiobook made all the difference for me. The narrator’s Russian accent Pyotr is amazing and hilarious.
- Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi – A multi-generational saga that totally blew me away. It’s a draw with Gilead for best novel I read this month.
- The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter – A collection of sumptuous, gothic retellings of classic fairytales with a feminist/erotic twist. There were a handful I loved and the rest was a mixed bag. Review coming soon.
- The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware – A fun, fast-paced thriller with a strong feminist message. A great piece was written on this at Electric Lit.
- Dracula by Bram Stoker (audiobook) – I listened to the all-star Audible reading with Alan Cumming, Tim Curry, and co. While the reading was excellent, I think I need to read the physical book to really appreciate this one. It also could be improved if the listener could actually see Cumming’s dramatic eyebrow action in real time.
- The Witches by Stacy Schiff – I read this as part of some ongoing research I’m doing into my family history. I enjoyed it, but I felt like it was too heavy on narrative and not heavy enough on historical scholarship for my taste.
- Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli – A tiny (really tiny) book on physics for laypeople. It was interesting, but I’m not sure what all the hype is about. It’s not exceptional.
- Rising Strong by Brené Brown (audiobook) – This is a book I should have read in paperback. Audio just doesn’t work as well for the format (lots of subheadings within chapters, etc.). It was good, but there was some catchy phraseology that sounded too much like business-speak for my taste.
- The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge, M.D. – An amazing piece of medical journalism on the science of neuroplasticity. If you own a brain or parent someone who does, you need to read this book.
- Silence and Beauty by Makoto Fujimura – A reflection on Endō’s Silence by an acclaimed Japanese-American artist. Definitely a great book to read as a follow-up to Silence.
- In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park – An amazing memoir about the author’s escape from North Korea, enslavement in China, and integration into South Korean society. I highly recommend it.
- Grunt by Mary Roach – This book gives readers a peek into the world of military science and covers such diverse topics such as heat stroke prevention, genital reconstruction, the history of stink bombs, sleep deprivation aboard submarines, failed shark repellants, and more. It’s my first Mary Roach book, and I enjoyed what I presume to be her signature wit and wicked sense of humor.
Movies + Television
13 Hours is a fictionalized account of the Benghazi fiasco starring John Krasinski as one of the private security personnel tasked to protect ambassador Chris Stevens and the local secret CIA base. With everything that’s been going on with the election and the news cycle, I really wasn’t in the mood to watch anything overtly political. Thankfully, this film generally steers clear of the political arena. The message is simply that the whole thing was a royal screwup. That, I think, is something everyone can agree on.
I binge-watched the first seven seasons of Inspector Lewis in June/July in preparation for the eight and final season that aired in August. I’ve watched the show very sporadically over the last few years and most of the episodes were new to me. I love this show and I’m sad it’s over, but they ended it really well. I’m totally down for Inspector Hathaway…
[bctt tweet=”‘Grunt’ by Mary Roach, ‘Homegoing’ by Yaa Gyasi, + More in The Inkwell | @parchmentgirl” via=”no”]
News from the World of Books
- Gene Wilder, the beloved actor known for his bookish roles in Young Frankenstein and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory died earlier this week from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. He was 83.
- Donald Trump’s campaign paid $55k to purchase 3,500 copies of his own book from Barnes & Noble, instead of purchasing them from the publisher like they were supposed to. Purchasing them from the retailer artificially inflated sales figures, pushing it onto the Neilson BookScan bestseller list.
- Tanya Yanagihara’s runaway hit A Little Life has been optioned as a limited series by producer Scott Rudin. The adaptation will be directed by Joe Mantello.
- Aldous Huxley’s 1932 dystopian classic A Brave New World is being made into a SyFy tv series. Grant Morrison will be writing the script, with Brian Taylor taking over the role of producer.
- Shirley Jackson’s creepy classic We Have Always Lived in the Castle is set to hit the big screen sometime in the near future. Sebastian Stan (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) will play Charles Blackwood, Alexandra Daddario (Percy Jackson & the Olympians) will play Constance, and Taissa Farminga (American Horror Story) will play Mary Katherine.
Best of the Bookosphere
- 10 Weird and Wonderful Guinness World Records Titles About Books – Flavorwire
- 9 Love Stories for People Who Aren’t Into Romance Novels – Bustle
- 25 Books to Help You Understand America in 2016 – Penguin Random House
- 21 Incredible New Books You Need to Read This Fall – BuzzFeed
- 100 Must-Read Lesser-Known Classics – Book Riot
- All the US Presidents’ Reading Lists – The Guardian
- 10 Requirements of Being a Book Blogger – Paper Fury
- 17 Films You Didn’t Know Were Adapted from Books – Electric Lit
- Who Are the World’s Highest Paid Authors? – Goodreads
- 19 Things Every Book Lover Understands – PureWow
[bctt tweet=”Book News, Links, + More in The Inkwell: Volume 2, Issue 8 | @parchmentgirl” via=”no”]
Most Popular Posts of the 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!
Need a little inspiration? Whether you’re a blogger, author, or screenwriter, there’s a writing podcast for you on this list!
I have been blessed with an abundance of INTPs in my life over the years. With Ti (introverted thinking) at the top of their function stack, they are premier logicians. Debating and conversing with an INTP is always an invigorating intellectual challenge. They often have quirky personalities and an offbeat sense of humor that doesn’t quite fit mainstream social expectations.
Best of the Archives
Not sure how to approach publisher’s for review copies? Check out this handy guide!
Books to Watch for in September
- The Story of a Brief Marriage by Anuk Arudpragasam
- Mischling by Affinity Konar
- Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d (Flavia de Luce #9) by Alan Bradley
[bctt tweet=”6 Books to Get Excited About in September 2016 + More in The Inkwell! | @parchmentgirl37″ via=”no”]
- Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical by Timothy Keller
- Between Life and Death by Yoram Kaniuk
- Sad Animal Facts by Brooke Barker
What have you been reading this past month?