Top Ten Tuesday: September 10th

T op Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl 

TW: There is a safety pin on the cover of book number 8. I realize that this can be triggering for those who have struggled with self-harm and wanted to warn you ahead of time.

Books on my TBR that I’m Avoiding and Why

  1. IT- Stephen King

This book is close to 1200 pages. Need I same more about why this book intimidates me and why I’m avoiding it?

2. Ninth House- Leigh Bardugo

Okay, so yes. This book has not been released yet. This one still intimidates me. I know that this book is very very different from the Grishaverse books that she has written. This book has had very mixed reviews and it’s rather controversial in the book community. I will still read this, but I’m going to be nervous beforehand.

3. The Obelisk Gate- N.K Jemisin

This is the second book in the Broken Earth trilogy. While I enjoyed the first book for the most part, it was written in 2nd person, which makes it incredibly difficult to enthrall myself with. I will be reading it at some point, I don’t know when exactly that will be.

4. The Way of Kings (Stormlight Archive 1)- Brandon Sanderson

Okay, so this book is a little over 1000 pages. Not only that, but it is dense high fantasy. I love Brandon Sanderson’s writing, as it is very easy to get into. The words wrap themselves around you and keep you enthralled very easily…. but it’s 1000 pages 🙂

5. Eye of the World-Robert Jordan

This is the first book in a 14 book, high fantasy, very wordy fantasy series. You either love this series or you hate it. The commitment needed to delve into this series stops me short. I will get to this one day, after I have had enough time to prepare myself for it.

6. Judas Unchained- Peter F. Hamilton

This next one is the 2nd book in a space opera series. Now, don’t get me wrong, I -love- space opera. This book has over 1000 pages (do you sense a trend here ;p) The concept of the first book was so incredibly interesting: Humans have beaten aging and death. Humans can pay to have their bodies “rejuvanated” and wake in a body decades younger, while they themselves are in the upwards of 1000 years old. Teleportation across 600 stars and their respective planets is achieved in moments through worm holes that connect humanity together. It’s a lot to take in and is incredibly scary to think about, need I say more?

7. The Children Act -Ian McEwan

This is a story about a judge who gets a case where a minor is refusing a blood transfusion, even though he would die without one. The child is a Jehovah’s Witness and his parents are also pushing for him to reject this life-saving treatment. Being that I grew up one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, this story hits close to home. I can’t tell you how many people I heard about that denied a blood transfusion on the basis of their faith, and they died because of it. I need to be emotionally prepared to enter that kind of world again.

8. Sad Perfect- Stephanie Elliot

This is the story of a girl who struggles with the eating disorder, ARFID (Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder) It is when you severely restrict the kinds of food you like, and stick to the safe foods that you like. The best way to describe it is extremely picky eating (mostly due to the texture or taste of foods) I myself have struggled with ARFID for as long as I could remember. I have, through determination and will, expanded my diet a lot since I was a kid. This matter still hits me right in the heart, and I’m worried that it will bring up rather unpleasant memories and feelings. I’m not sure if I will every be ready to read this, but seeing myself in literature is wonderful.

9. The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly- Stephanie Oakes

This is the story of Minnow Bly, who grew up in a religious cult. She is now suspected of murder of the cult leader and this tells the story of what actually happened. Being that I grew up in a cult, it will bring up some unpleasant memories. While all cults are not the same in their teachings, the practices and methods they use to draw people in and keep them in are very similar. I have done meticulous research on this, and I know that I will draw comparisons. I would also be incredibly sad if it didn’t capture the menance that cults are to our society and the people trapped in them.

10. The Turn of the Key- Ruth Ware

Look, I know this was released last month. I’ve only heard good things about this book, and seeing that I haven’t had much luck with thrillers in the past, I’m worried about going in to this one. I plan on reading it in October (spooky season :D) I just feel that everyone has already read this one.

That’s the ten books I’ve been avoiding! What are some of yours? Are any of them on my list? What are your reasons for putting them off? If you’ve completed TTT today, link yours in the comments below. As always, have a wonderful day, and keep reading ❤

~Cam

My Experiences with Censorship

I have always loved to read. Growing up, I would read any opportunity that I could. I would devour books and visit the library at least 2 or 3 times a month, lugging home around 10-15 books each time. Things changed after my parents joined a religious cult.

This cult, in essence banned the reading of anything that was not published by their publishing branch. While they didn’t EXPLICITLY say that you couldn’t read something, you were seen as “less dedicated” which was the worst way to be seen in an organization like this. Anything that was explicitly against them was forbidden. They allowed for no criticism and anything that disagreed with their teachings was off limits. Some examples are evolution, LGBT rights, the Big Bang, the practice of blood transfusions, associating with those outside the organization and many more. It mattered greatly what you thought on the issues. You were supposed to unquestioningly accept what you were given by “the organization.” You could not question beliefs or ask questions that made it seem like you had doubt.

Once I was out and did some research I came across a model developed by Steven Hassan, a researcher who studies the effects of coercive control, called the BITE Model. Each letter stands for a different aspect of control, B for Behavior, I for Information, T for Thought, and E for Emotional control. All of these work in tandem with one another, but I’m going to focus on the I, or information control. If you would like to read up on the other methods of control please visit Steven Hassan’s site here.

Cults don’t want their members to have access to outside sources, whether this be literature, movies, TV shows, and magazines etc because they don’t want their members to be able to find out the truth about the lies they are telling them. This unsurprising-ly works to keep members inline and unquestioning.

I was 7 or 8 years old when my parents had joined the cult, so I followed the rules. I limited reading about the things I loved: magic, fantasy, LGBTQ+ rep, and scientific topics. From then on, I lost my love of reading. I wasn’t reading as much and I was incredibly unhappy. I would feel immense guilt if I read a book that had any of these topics covered. It wasn’t until at least a decade later that I stumbled across this book:

This book was instrumental in changing my life. Carl Sagan was a scientists in the 1960s and 1970s who changed the way that the public viewed science. He was the Neil Degrasse Tyson of the 60s-90s. He had a love of science and was passionate about teaching others. This particular book, as titled, was about breaking the debunked fallacies of the past, witchcraft, UFOs, faith healing, demons, and many more. It stepped you through all of these different fallacies and critically analyzed them and why exactly they were debunked.

This made me question everything. This made me critically analyze every single thing I had been told and taught. I found many things to be lacking. After that, I found my love for reading again. I began reading voraciously again. I would question and critically analyze everything, and to this day I still do. I try to read widely… mostly science fiction and fantasy, but I also love to read books about science and the world around us. For so long I was raised to believe half-truths and outright lies. It was not all for naught because it has made me a skeptic who analyzes things in a scientific manner. I couldn’t live any other day.

Have a wonderful day and remember to keep reading!

~Cam