It’s that time of the year again where Americans celebrate the freedom to read whatever we want to, when we want to, and how we want to! It’s the start of Banned Books Week and I’m celebrating by reading as many banned books as I can this week. I’ve just started reading The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells for the first time. It’s a book that has been banned and/or challenged but I haven’t been able to find any information about why. The American Library Association (ALA) has a ton of great resources to help readers find books that have been banned and/or challenged. At the end of this post, you’ll find a few links on banned books.
Looking at the lists, I’ve found a ton of great books that I’ve read that have been challenged or banned in some libraries. One example is Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian which I read for the first time this year. It’s been challenged by parents for references of masturbation and has been called vulgar and racist. Obviously the parents who challenged it hadn’t read it. It just proves that if a book is challenged/banned, it must be a great read. . .
About that stack of books I’m in the middle of. It started out innocently enough with Plenitude by Juliet B. Schor. Then I started reading The Flat World and Education by Linda Darling-Hammond. Both books are dense non-fiction with tons of statistics. I needed something “lighter” so I read other books in the meanwhile like Life of Pi by Yann Martel and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender (love both). Then I started on West of Everything by Jane Tompkins which is readable non-fiction that analyses the western genre. Add The Best American Short Stories 2010 edited by Richard Russo, Reinventing Comics by Scott McCloud, along with Monsters, Muses & Monsters edited by Elizabeth Benedict, and you see I have my hands full! I have to say that I’m enjoying every book though my reading pace has slowed dramatically. Maybe I should try to finish one or two of the books this week and continue the rest another time. What do you think?
Have you ever had the problem of being in the middle of too many books at one time? Are you celebrating Banned Books Week? How?