Book Beat: Phillip Pullman, J.K Rowling and Warsan Shire’s Genius

Hi book lovers! I am back! Did you miss me? I missed you. I needed to talk a bit of a break last week because school and work got a bit overwhelming. Even the most put together and organized people crumble sometimes; last week was one of those times for me.

When I was younger, I loved the His Dark Materials series by Phillip Pullman. Something about a young girl going out against an oppressive church fascinated me. The polar bear warriors, witches and best of all, the daemons! I always wanted one. When I got older and re-read the series I could see the themes of religion, innocence, and abuses of power. So when I found out that Pullman would be writing a follow up trilogy in the same world I almost squealed! You can read more about the trilogy here.

I spent Valentine’s Day eating sushi with my mom and instead of focusing on the fact that I was single this year. I chose to focus on the different kinds of love in my life. My enduring, unconditional love for my mother, my friends, and co-workers. Why do we separate romantic love and companionship love? Have you ever lost a best friend? That is a hell of a breakup let me tell you. Here are some books about female friendships if you’re still in the love-y mood.

J.K Rowling has a habit of speaking up against Twitter trolls and hate speech so when I saw that she was feuding with Piers Morgan (every time he speaks, I cringe), I knew it’d be something good. The whole thing started when Rowling expressed her satisfaction with Morgan being told to fuck off on television. Naturally, Piers Morgan cannot let a woman or anyone he believes to be beneath him criticize him, so it launched a Twitter spat. The kicker is that Morgan had previously named Rowling one of the top 100 British people who matter. Piers’ son is also a huge fan of the books and even has a Deathly Hallows tattoo! That must’ve been an awkward dinner that evening! You can read more about the spat and Pier’s arrogance here.

This weekend, Beyonce graced us with an amazing Grammy’s performance. Lemonade was highly influenced by the poems of Warsan Shire. Shire is a Kenyan born, British Somali poet who is often compared to Audre Lorde and bell hooks. Her words are raw and my favourite parts of Lemonade the visual album were the lines of poetry read by Beyonce. Shire’s poems started circulating again when the Trump travel ban was announced, specifically the poem Home that speaks to the refugee experience. You can read more about Warsan Shire here. Be sure to follow them on twitter at @warsan_shire.

Elizabeth Warren made headlines earlier this week with the silencing of her reading of Corretta Scott King’s letter against Jeff Sessions. She inspired the feminist slogan, “nevertheless, she persisted.” The Senator will be releasing a book mid-April titled This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class. It’ll be on my list to read!

Happy Thursday!

Ashley Ash

Ashley Ash

Ashley is a proud Torontonian, third year social worker student, full time child advocate and national award winning writer. She will defend Anakin Skywalker and Jon Snow till she dies.