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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Banned Books Week

We're in the midst of banned books week, sponsored each year by the American Library Association. Read a "banned" book this week! You can choose from many authors -- including Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, DH Lawrence, James Joyce, Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, Salinger, Shaw, Twain, Marquez, Faulkner, Hemingway, James Joyce, Jack London, Zora Neale Hurston, Vonnegut, Lewis Carroll, Roald Dahl, Anne Rice, Anne Frank, Thomas Paine, Stephen King, Shakespeare -- the list goes on and on. Most religious texts have been banned somewhere by somebody. Even dictionaries have been banned for containing "dirty" words!

Here are a few well-known titles that have been often banned or "challenged" (in no particular order): To Kill a Mockingbird, Gone With the Wind, Lady Chatterley's Lover, The Lord of the Rings, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Alice in Wonderland, Little Red Riding Hood, The Color Purple, The Bridge to Terabithia, The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men, The Great Gatsby, Lolita, The Call of the Wild, As I Lay Dying, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Invisible Man, Native Son, Slaughterhouse Five, Heart of Darkness, All Quiet on the Western Front, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, All the King's Men, The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, In Cold Blood, Catcher in the Rye, Catch-22, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, 1984, Heart of Darkness, Naked Lunch, Tropic of Cancer, Women in Love, The Decameron (written in the 14th century), Lysistrata (written in ancient Greece), Portnoy's Complaint, Rabbit Run, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, James and the Giant Peach, In the Night Kitchen, A Wrinkle in Time, The Handmaid's Tale, Henry and June, Ulysses, The Satanic Verses, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Song of Solomon, Beloved, The Bluest Eye, Howl by Allen Ginsberg, Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451. If you've never read Fahrenheit 451, it's about burning books. The author, Ray Bradbury, said his novel wasn't about censorship but rather about how television destroys interest in literature, which leads to a perception of knowledge as factoids without context or critical thought. So get off the internet and go read a book!

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