Banned Books Week 2013: Strange Challenges

There’s nothing quite as exciting to a librarian as Banned Books Week. As sad as I am that books are still being challenged having a week dedicated to banned books allows us to have a dialogue. Most people don’t realize that last month someone tried to get The Handmaid’s Tale removed from schools, or that Eleanor and Park is being challenged in another school district right now.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

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Author Event: Charlie Lovett

I already reviewed The Bookman’s Tale a few weeks ago but now for something completely different…a video! I had the good fortune of attending a book reading over the weekend and it was so incredible that I had to share some footage. Though my camera is a little old and grainy, I promise the talk is worth it.


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Just a reminder that if you are an email subscriber you’ll need to click through to see the full video.


There’s nothing I hate more than sitting down with a book and finding out that it’s just not right. For me this happens when I try to read something too deep on a rainy day or try to read a fluffy novel when I’m in a serious mood. Goldilocks, much? Most often, I pick the book up later that week and things are honky dory, but on rare occasions there’s just on helping the situation. Here are a few books that I abandoned recently and why

Bill and Hillary

Bill and Hillary: The Politics of the Personal by William Chafe

Bill and Hillary: The Politics of the Personal

I started reading this one at an internship and really loved it! Since I was so young during the Clinton years it was interesting to learn about the President’s background. I had no idea he was a Rhodes scholar! This one was so much fun until I got about half-way through. Around then, it became apparent that far more weight was being given to Bill’s life; understandable ten years ago but unacceptable now that she’s served as Secretary of State. The Children's Book

The Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt

The Children's Book


I tried so hard to get into this one! Byatt writes so beautifully and the story was so compelling. The biggest drawback for me was that I chose to listen to it through Audible. The book is just too long and too complicated for an audiobook. As soon as I can get my hands on a library copy I’ll try again and report back.

What have you read recently that you had to set aside?

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Note: Even though I abandoned these books, they may be really awesome! I’m not saying they aren’t perfectly lovely, just that they weren’t right for me at the time. 

Book Review: Sybil Exposed

Sybil Exposed: The Extraordinary Story Behind the Famous Multiple Personality Case by Debbie Nathan

Sybil Exposed by Debbie Nathan

It’s no secret that I love psychology — pop or otherwise. After Professor Levine‘s abnormal psychology class I began to thing more critically about the books I had once love (Girl, Interrupted, Prozac Nation). Chief among the offenders was Sybil. A classic story of Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) it sparked a craze that led the American Psychological Association to add the diagnosis to the DSM.

In Sybil Exposed Debbie Nathan looks into the science behind the book and makes some shocking discoveries. The real story of abuse may be more violent and underhanded than the story presented in Sybil. Dr. Wilbur injected Shirley (the real name of Sybil) with “truth serum” many times a week. The substance is shown to cause hallucinations, nausea, excessive sleep and is only recommended for a maximum of three doses. This drug in combination with the others Dr. Wilbur prescribed for Shirley kept her from pursuing any life independent from therapy.

Nathan presents the story from three different perspectives: Shirley, Dr. Wilbur and Flora Rheta Schreiber. By doing so she is able to create a story that parallels the fragmentation of Sybil’s creation.

Rating: 4/5

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