Tag Archives: jenna miscavige hill

july round up

Here’s a round up of everything that I’ve acquired and posted about during the month of July! I spent my first weekend exploring America’s capital, Washington, DC, for America’s Independence Holiday (July 4th), the second weekend attending Random House’s Off the Page event in Hudson, NY, the third weekend listening to music for days at Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, IL, the fourth weekend enjoying the sidewalk book sale at Greenlight bookstore, my favorite local bookstore, and the last Friday/first weekend of August at my friend’s beach house in the Hamptons! I’m very lucky to have such exciting summer experiences and even luckier to have such amazing friends to share these experiences with!

Because of all of the fun I’ve been having, it’s been harder to keep up with blogging at the same rate I’ve been reading. All of the traveling and weekends away mean I’ve been able to read a lot (yay!) but I don’t typically travel with my computer in order to spend more face-to-face time with my friends (yay! for friendship but boo! for my blog).

A sampling of books that I’ve finished recently and have yet to blog about include: The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews, and Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. Hopefully I get my act together and post blogs about these books soon!

I also have some exciting new projects coming to the blog including a conversation about a one of the books above with fellow book blogger Amy at The Literature Life and a cool book swap/share idea that I hope becomes successful! Both of these projects will be posted here when they’ve been fleshed out a bit more!

Book Haul

July’s book haul comes entirely from Greenlight bookstore‘s summer sidewalk sale where I got each of these hardback, gently used books for $5!!!! What a steal!! Which should I read first?

summersidewalksale

The books include: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, Shrinks: The Untold Story of Psychiatry by Jeffrey Lieberman, Not Fade Away by Rebecca Alexander, Gumption by Nick Offerman, and Sick in the Head by Judd Apatow.

Book Reviews

modern romancebeyondbeliefthecirclebrightlines

Posted book reviews include: Modern Romance by Aziz AnsariBeyond Belief by Jenna Miscavige HillThe Circle by Dave Eggers, and Bright Lines by Tanwi Nandini Islam (which was technically published between the end of July and this post…). Of these, I definitely recommend Bright Lines the most! Check it out!

Thanks for reading my round up 🙂 I hope your July was also snazzy!

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beyond belief: my secret life inside scientology and my harrowing escape by jenna miscavige hill and lisa pulitzer

beyondbeliefEver since I was a little kid, I’ve always been interested in different religious practices and the rituals associated with holding certain beliefs. I grew up (and still continue) going to my friends’ places of worship and observing how everyone chooses to practice. It’s always nice to see how openly people display and explain their religious practices when you tell them that you’re curious about their faith. There was one belief system that I knew absolutely nothing about, partly because I don’t think I have any friends who practice it, but mostly because information about the religion is heavily shielded on the internet. Scientology, ever alluring and mysterious as the “religion of members of Hollywood’s elite,” is the latest religion to intrigue me and thus when I learned of Beyond Belief, I immediately requested it from my library.

This memoir, written by Jenna Miscavige Hill and co-written by Lisa Pulitzer, details Miscavige Hill’s experiences being raised within the Church of Scientology. Miscavige Hill’s parents met while they were teenagers in the Church of Scientology and chose to raise their children within the church. Scientologist children are frequently separated from their families for long periods of time and Miscavige Hill details that she was often required to work grueling hours, frequently perform manual labor when she was very young, and act as doctor to all sick children when she was also a child. Miscavige Hill was prevented from seeing her family on a regular basis, initially because her parents were sent on missions that kept them away from the family home and then eventually because her parents left the Church of Scientology when their daughter was a teenager and Miscavige Hill chose to continue being a member of the church. Because of the strict rules related to excommunication of former members, Miscavige Hill didn’t see her family members who had left the church for years. Miscavige Hill, while still a member of the church, was in contact with her aunt, Michele Miscavige, and uncle, David Miscavige, who is the current leader of the Church of Scientology, and this makes Miscavige Hill’s shared insight even more intriguing.

Overall, Beyond Belief is likely a good representation of what it was like to grow up within the Church of Scientology at the time that Miscavige Hill did so. The church seems to be constantly making changes regarding their treatment of children (at one point, Miscavige Hill says that the church discouraged all church members from reproducing) so I’m not certain how generalizable Miscavige Hill’s experiences are to the experiences of the greater Scientology community. Miscavige Hill also states that her experiences differ dramatically from celebrity members of the church as they are treated like royalty, as most celebrities generally are by the public. If you are interested in learning more about Scientology, this first person account places the rules and beliefs of Scientology into a context that I wasn’t able to find from reading extensive articles about the religion online. However, if you’re not curious, this book likely isn’t for you.

Publication Date: 5 February 2013 by William Morrow. Format: Digital Audiobook from HarperAudio.

Author: Jenna Miscavige Hill blog/@twitter/instagram/web

Narrator: Sandy Rustin web/@twitter