Banned Books Week

Thanks to friend Nomi for a reminder that once again, it’s Banned Books Week!

There’s a cool map of censorship actions, with blue balloons marking the locations. I thought Rhode Island was a beacon of freedom, and, with the exception of some school officials who got cranky in Cumberland, we are.

Here’s the top ten banned books for 2010–

2010: 1) And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson; 2) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie; 3) Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley; 4) Crank, by Ellen Hopkins; 5) The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins; 6) Lush, by Natasha Friend; 7) What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones; 8) Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich; 9) Revolutionary Voices, edited by Amy Sonnie; 10) Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer

Are any of your favorites on this list? I vote for ‘Nickel and Dimed’ as most dangerous, because it frankly exposes what goes on at work. Talk about too much knowledge to lay on high-school, or even college kids. Better a nice, diverting vampire fantasy like Twilight.

Some of my favorite books these days are graphic novels. Art Speigelman has just published a book on the making of ‘Maus’, his classic story of his parent’s survival and escape from Nazi Germany. That’s next on my list. I also plan to buy Pope Benedict’s book, ‘My Life in Hitler Youth’ as soon as he writes it.

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5 thoughts on “Banned Books Week

  1. I have read some wonderful reviews of the book by Sherman Alexie, and of his earlier works….

    I have been wanting to read it since it was first published…

    Yes, that memoir of the Pope looks fascinating.

  2. “Nickel and Dimed”?It’s just a contemporary version of Upton Sinclair,Lincoln Steffens,etc.Where was this banned and by what idiot?
    I understand age appropriateness,but book banning?
    my wife was subbing at a high school and was very offended by “Maus”-it,of course,as written by a Jew whose family were Holocaust survivors,but my wife(who is not Jewish background)thought it actually could encourage anti-Semitism.
    Why?Because it presents different people as different kinds of animals-Jews as mice,for instance.The stereotyping of this nature can very easily be turned from its original purpose.
    In any event,no one (not me anyway)is saying it or any other book should be banned,but why make it requirement?
    As someone who grew up Jewish the “mouse”thing is disgusting-sure,there were Holocaust survivors in my neighborhood,but many more Jews were WW2 and even WW1 veterans and hardly mice.
    The characterizations of Germans and Poles were likewise offensive.The value of the individual is negated by a book like Maus.
    BTW there have been worse holocausts than the Nazi one(Russia,China)and some comparable(Armenians,Cambodia,Rwanda)so which one do we make special?The one with the best literary and film resources available?
    The only material which should be banned is child pornography,whether real or “virtual”-the real stuff is an ongoing crime involving the exploitation of real children nd even the “virtual”type,defended by the ACLU encourages crimes by pedophiles.
    Anything else should be available.

  3. Keeley Thomson: Demon Girl By K.L. Byron

    Any book that Christians are trying to ban before it even comes out has to be good.

    It’s some giant internet movement. Because pestering the local library isn’t enough for some people any more.

    Their trying to shut down Orange Cat Publishing, which is a harmless little e-book thing that let’s you get free new books and donate to the authors if you like them. That makes sense though, we can’t have free speech or anything, can we?

    • It seems we have pretty free speech compared to some other “civilized” countries and it’s not necessarily the right wing trying to shut people up.

    • I checked it out, and apparently Orange Cat is publishing sci-fi and fantasy that has not been given the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur. How presumptuous of them. How dare they just make up stories?

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