Archive | January 2014

The Play’s the Thing

A few days ago, I told you about the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s play, “The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged)”, being banned from Newtownabbey in Northern Ireland before the theatre council reversed its decision and allowed the two canceled performances to go on. Well, it seems, as per usual, banning something is a great way of getting people to do it. Read More…


A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Newtownabbey

Hello, readers! I hope you enjoyed our last review from the lovely and talented Victoria. I’ve been discussing supernatural/paranormal literature with her since long before vampires sparkled, so I was thrilled to have her come discuss it with all of you here on the blog.

Today I bring you an interesting story of censorship from Northern Ireland. The Reduced Shakespeare Company (the people behind “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)” and numerous other irreverently brilliant or brilliantly irreverent works) ran into some trouble on the first leg of their UK tour of “The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged)”. Despite being approved several months ago, it seems the show (not surprisingly) attracted controversy from people who have not seen or read the play, but believed it to be anti-Christian and openly mocking of the Bible and Christianity. This led to the theatre council banning the performance and canceling the two shows in Newtownabbey before politicians banned it for them.

Read More…

The Vampires that Started It All


The Defendant: Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice

The Case:

Nowadays, one cannot go to a bookstore (or Amazon or the Kindle store or wherever you happen to buy books now) without seeing a book written in the perspective of a vampire or another supernatural creature, especially in the young adult sections. But in 1976, Interview with the Vampire, when it was released, was the first of its kind. It was one of the first books written from the vampire’s point of view rather than the victim’s, which was far more commonplace. This perspective forces the reader to see the “monster” as an individual rather than the “Other”. Read More…

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Things on My Reading Wishlist

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This is my first time participating in it, but I’ve been following them for quite a while and definitely recommend checking them out. This week’s list is things I, as a reader, would like to see (or see more of). Authors take note.



1. Genre-bending, or period pieces that aren’t so period piecy Read More…

Blume and Grow Forever

Whether you love them or hate them, few writers consistently stir up controversy like Judy Blume and Lena Dunham, at least without a heaping helping of political intrigue or blasphemy. No, these ladies tend to stick to slices of life and coming of age stories, but somehow their relatively mundane topics don’t spare them any ire. Read More…

I See Fire

So, January is the most depressing time of the year, according to science (The Sciencey Book of Science, Page Science, Science Press, coauthored by Science and Science). It’s dark; it’s been bloody cold (is Polar Vortex a SyFy movie yet?); and, I don’t know about you, but things have been hard for me and a lot of my friends.
This cover of Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire” from The Hobbit 2: The Desolation of Smaug, performed by Peter Hollens made me feel just a little bit better. (Totes related to this blog btw because The Hobbit is a banned book. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.) Peter Hollens is fabulous and has done epic videos with dubstep violinist Lindsey Stirling. His cover of the Skyrim theme is what I play when I need to kick ass and take names. Usually this involves cleaning or writing or jumping around my room pretending to kill dragons.
Anyway, I thought maybe it might bring a little cheer to some of you lovely people too. For the night is dark and full of terrors, but the fire burns them all away…

Fire Beats Iron, Ice Beats… Lion?

I know some of you may be sick of talking about women in the media or The Hunger Games, but, hey, the default picture on this blog is me in period dress holding Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince aloft like the Holy Grail so you knew what you were getting into.

You’ve probably seen more than a few articles about Catching Fire and Frozen’s domination of the box office.  However, according to this article from The Mary Sue, Frozen’s success has continued, having the best box office weekend of any film in its sixth week. It’s even poised to overtake The Lion King for highest grossing Disney animated film of all time. Read More…

A Song of Ice and Fire: Politics, Performance, and PTSD in Catching Fire

REPEAT OFFENDER: Catching Fire (2013)

THE REVIEW: While I’ve already talked a lot about it here on the blog, I finally got around to seeing Catching Fire (you can find my review of the book here and a shorter review here). All I can say is Damn. Dayum. This is one movie not to be missed. Even in the age of Netlfix and increasingly large televisions, seeing Catching Fire on the big screen is worth the price of admission. Read More…

Top Manuscript News of 2013

Hey, folks. I bring you another article from medievalfragments. It’s a round up of the year in manuscripts. While we’ve touched on illuminated manuscripts and the dangers they’ve faced some on this blog, it has largely been in a historical context. The first story here, about Medieval Islamic manuscripts thought destroyed by rebel troops in Northern Mali reminds us that things like the destruction of the Library of Alexandria, the censorship of non-Christian texts during the Spanish Inquisition, or Nazi book burnings are not the atrocities of some older age, they are happening right now. Luckily, in a twist right out of Geraldine Brooks’s People of the Book, many of the manuscripts were later revealed to have been secreted away. The other stories here about digitizing manuscript collections, while not as dramatic, are attempts to further increase our access to information, as well as safeguarding our world heritage and literary/historical treasures from the fate of too many books burned, lost, or stolen through the years. Censorship (and knowledge lost to time and decay) is a global problem and all world history is our history. Efforts to protect, preserve, and restore our ancient texts and written works should not be the concern of one country, one museum, or one manuscript preservationist. We are all responsible for the safekeeping of our past, thus ensuring access to that information in our future.


By Jenneka Janzen

First, a very Happy New Year to all our readers from the Turning Over a New Leaf Project!

2013 was an exciting year for manuscripts! New technologies and growing digitization programmes enhanced avenues of access and exploration for researchers, while an interested non-expert public kept exhibitions, blogs, and the latest manuscript news in the limelight. Let’s take a quick look back at some of (what I think were) the best manuscript news items of 2013.

Escape of the Timbuktu Manuscripts

In early 2013, violence erupted in Northern Mali, where rebel troops burned two institutes said to house thousands of Islamic manuscripts dating as far back as the twelfth century. Shortly after the calamity, it was revealed that most of the manuscripts had been earlier secreted away to protect them from the looming conflict. Reported widely by international media, this story highlighted the threat that military conflicts pose…

View original post 529 more words

Baby, I’m a Firework

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 8,900 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.