Sunday, September 25, 2011

Banned Books Week

Are you looking for something interesting, and perhaps controversial, to read this week?

This year marks the 30th Banned Books Week in the United States. It runs from Sept. 24 to Oct. 1. Its mission is to promote the "freedom to read and First Amendment" as well as "free and open access to information."

Through the years quite a few books have been banned and/or challenged by individuals and groups. Among them are "Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl," by Anne Frank; "Slaughterhouse-Five," by Kurt Vonnegut; "The Catcher in the Rye," by  J.D. Salinger; "Brave New World," by Aldous Huxley; and "Push," by Sapphire.

According to the American Library Association, the primary reasons for objection include sex, profanity, and racism.

Recent titles include Sara Gruen's "Water for Elephants"; "Will Be Here for the Rest of Our Lives," by Paul Shaffer (the conductor from the David Letterman Show); and "Speak," by Laurie Anderson.

Here is a list of the top 10 books of 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; and
10, "Twilight," by Stephanie Meyer.

Check here for the top 10 by year for the past decade. And click here to find out the reasons the 2010 books were challenged.

This might also be a good time to read Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451," about a future society where reading is banned and books are burned.

Until the next time...

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