Banned Book Week–The Subtle Knife by Phillip Pullman

I’ve another banned  one for you. I’ve read this one a while back and while I understand why some might not like it…I don’t agree with banning this series as it has been in some places. Especially on the grounds it got banned on.  I take a don’t knock it til you try it approach with most books (I know who’s looking at me going, “what about Fifty Shades of Grey“? Yeah, it’s on my read-eventually list too). Anyway, this is one banned book I really enjoyed and that I wanted to share with y’all. Enjoy!

The Subtle Knife by Phillip PullmanThe Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials #2) by Phillip Pullman

The Subtle Knife is the second volume in Philip Pullman’s controversial YA fantasy/steampunk series His Dark Materials. It’s all a bit complicated to explain in the short space here, but succinctly, our young heroine Lyra has followed her scheming uncle Lord Asriel over the bridge into a new world (I won’t spoil the preceeding volume by telling you the how we get to this point).

Meanwhile in Oxford, a young man, Will Parry, who cares for his mentally ill mother, is constantly harassed by a group of authorities (tied into, of course, Mrs. Coulter’s nasty pals) who want some old folder his father left behind when he disappeared. Will doesn’t know what they’re talking about, and gets into a scuffle with them, accidentally killing one. Oops. Scared, he flees and goes into hiding in an abandoned building where he sees a cat vanish in midair. He follows, to end up in a place called Cittàgazze. Here, he runs into Lyra, who takes him under her wing on her quest to find out more about the elusive substance Dust. To do so, they travel back to Lyra’s world, meet a nun who’s studying the stuff, and run across a man who steals the alethiometer from Lyra. The thief bargains with them for something called the Subtle Knife that can cut doors through time and space. If they can get that for him, he’ll give back the alethiometer. Will has to bargain it away from a crazy old scholar, and keep it out of Lord Asriel’s hands, at the same time, who wants it to help in his quest to confront and defeat the Authority.

It’s been a while since I read this book, but that’s it, in a very loose nutshell. Why was Pullman’s series placed on the banned list? Well, if you remember the controversy surrounding the Golden Compass movie, a few years back, you’ll remember church members got all up in arms about Pullman allowing his rebellious little Lyra (not to mention her uncle) to challenge the shall we say Biblical view of things? Whatever you believe on that score, I won’t discuss here, but just encourage you to give the series, The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass a try.

Banned Book Week

BBW14_Profile_op3Sheesh!  Another banned book week has almost gone. As I was telling a friend the other day, I do try to read at least one banned book every once in awhile. Why? Think about it. If you look at any list of banned books, at one time many, many books we consider classics and must-read books, now are on the “banned” list. How do you feel about that? Do you *really* like someone telling you what you can and can’t read? I don’t! In this day and age, it astounds me (astounds me!) that we’re really still having to defend books.

So, here’s the thing. Banning books is bad, y’all. Don’t let the thought police win. Practice true freedom: Read outside the box, and read whatever the heck you want, when you want.

Banned Book Week–Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass

Juli D. Revezzo:

This is a reblog of my review of The Golden Compass from three years ago… more soon. Stay tuned.

Originally posted on Paranormal dreams and nightmares:

Banned Books Week image; copyright ALA http://www.ala.org/

the golden compass cover art Knopf release

cover art by Eric Rohmann

Philip Pullman’s controversial Fantasy/Steampunk/YA novel The Golden Compass* is the story of Lyra Belacqua, an orphan growing up under the care of the staff of Jordan College, Oxford in a strange, 19th-century-esque world (that is and is not like the London of our world) where humans have companions called daemons (a thing sort of like a witch’s familiar). Despite the best efforts of the scholars, the stubborn Lyra spends as much time as possible with the street kids, and the children of the gyptians, just being a mischievous child. Jordan is open to her, but for one place: the Retiring room.

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Banned Book Week–Mrs. Dalloway

Juli D. Revezzo:

This is a reblog of my Banned Book reading from three (yikes, really?) years ago. More coming soon.

Originally posted on Paranormal dreams and nightmares:

Banned Books Week image; copyright ALA http://www.ala.org/And this is wild… I just learned one of my favorites–Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf–is a banned book. Huh. Learn something new every day. In honor of that…I bring you…Mrs. Dalloway. :)

Cover illustration by Susan Gallagher

Cover illustration by Susan Gallagher

Mrs. Dalloway concerns one day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway, a day in the life of her upper class circle, one day in the life of London, England, circa 1925. It also concerns the war, the end of the war, the aftermath of war. It concerns a man, Septimus Warren Smith, a literate man, a gentle man, an ex-soldier, a man suffering terrible, delayed shell shock. When Mrs. Woolf wrote this novel, her friends questioned her inclusion of Septimus, but I wholeheartedly agree with it. He is the pivotal character, the most poinagnt soul in the novel.

We begin the morning with Clarissa wondering what flowers she is to buy to decorate her lovely home for…

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On Spiritual Emergency, Shamanism, Mental Illness, Therapy, and Anti-Psychiatry Sentiment in the General Pagan/Polytheist Community

Juli D. Revezzo:

Boosting Camilla’s signal because it seems important.

Originally posted on Foxglove & Firmitas:

Alternative Title: I’m Gonna Keep Talking About This Until It’s a Generally Accepted Thing…

It happened again. Someone posted another article on mental illness being a sign of a healer being born on the Local Pagan Facebook Group with the general overarching but not direct message being that all native and ancient cultures saw it as this. Now I don’t deny that mental illness can be the birth of a healer. I’ve known too many people who have struggled with a history of it, myself included, that haven’t found themselves called to help others dealing with similar problems.

However, these articles tend to stress how society is actually the sick one, and how we need to stop shoving pills at people to fix all their problems.

Anyone who has ever been on psychiatric medication will probably tell you that pills don’t solve all the problems and most professionals are pretty…

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Party time (facebook style)

facebookHey all, I’m participating in a Facebook party with paranormal romance author Beth Barany (a really cool lady who–just like me–likes taking pictures of flowers, and of course, writing). We’re having a party for the launch of her new book, A Labyrinth of Love and Roses today (Sept, 19) starting at 4PM PST. There’ll be lots of giveaways, I hear. Don’t miss it!

You can find it on Facebook here. Do come join us!

(Confidentially, I’m totally nervous about it! I hope it goes well!)