Saturday, September 24, 2011

Banned Books Week Begins

One of my recurring nightmares.

“Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us."
- William O. Douglas

Here are a few bookish events going on for BBW:

Hosted by Bookjourney

Get on the BANNED WAGON!

Giveaways, a scavenger hunt and links to participating blog's BBW reviews are some of what's happening at Sheila's BookJourney this week.  Along with her own reviews of banned or challenged books and of course her daily Morning Meanerings post.

Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop

Banned Books Week Hop

Giveaways galore and lots of participating blog's to visit and comment on.

Banned Book Week Virtual Read Out

Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out

The annual BBW readout traditionally conducted in public at bookstores and libraries where individuals read aloud form a banned book has now gone digital. Now you can video record yourself reading a banned book and upload to a YouTube channel

Books in my possession this week (including a couple online editions)

When I was gathering together possible reads for the Read Your Own Books read-a-thon last weekend, I already knew I wanted to participate in Banned Book Week this week so I made it a point to make a list of the titles of banned and challenged books that I knew I owned, currently had out of the library or could access online.  So this is the list from which I'll choose books to read from this week:

John Milton's Areopagitica is a classic that helped establish a free press both by cogent arguments in its favor but also by being published without permission (license) in defiance of the British laws at the time requiring official state sanction for every publication.
--included in my Britannica Great Books Set

Lysistrata - by Aristophanes
A Greek Tragedy written circa 400 BC there was a U.S. import ban until 1930
--included in my Britannica Great Books Set

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle
frequently banned in schools for objectionable religious content ie references to crystal balls and witches
--I'm in possession of a copy my sister mailed to me several years ago after she had finished reading it to her son. This was one of my favorite novels as a preteen and L'Engle remains one of my favorite authors to this day

Ulysses - James Joyce
--I used to own a physical copy but currently have only an electronic one.

The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm,
 1994 - restricted to sixth through eighth graders at Kyrene, Arizona elementary schools for “excessive violence,
negative portrayals of female characters, and anti-semitic references.”
--as part of my current myth/fable obsession I have the Modern Library edition checked out of my public library

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
2009 - a parent object to language and portrayal of sexuality resulting the removal from the summer reading list for the Pelham, Massachusetts school district.
--I have a copy being held for me at the library which will be picked up on Monday.  I watched the movie, Simon Birch, based on this novel just last night.

Twilight series by Stephenie H. Meyer
2009 banned in Austrailian primary and junior schools for sexual and religious content
--I have had all four volumes on my shelf for nearly a year loaned to me by my niece.

Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
--I have a copy thanks to my sister who picked one up at a yard sale for me

Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
banned for decades in the U.S. under the Comstock
Law of 1873, also known as the Federal Anti-Obscenity Act, which banned the mailing of
“lewd,” “indecent,” “filthy,” or “obscene” materials.
--I had this checked out of the library awhile back and when I had to return it I searched out links for reading online.  This is another one I would like to download in a format I can read while off line.  Maybe this week?

Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
frequently banned for objectionable sexual content
--included in my Britannica Great Books set

East of Eden by John Steinbeck
--I just recently watched the movie staring James Dean and then sent for the novel via my public library and currently have it at home.  I've been dying to start it but other books have earlier due dates.  Maybe BBW is a good excuse to move it up in line.

Books I'm planning to post or re-post reviews for in the next week:

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
--I will repost my review later today.  And by repost here and for the next several, I mean I will post an excerpt from my review, linking to the original so that comments and discussion can be kept in one place.

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
--I used to own a copy, a much loved paperback lost in our last move, but now resort to either library copies or online copies like the one the one linked above.  It is one I've long intended to download so I can read when not online.  Maybe I'll make that a task for this week.

I will be reposting my review Sunday

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
--I will be reposting my review Monday

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
--I will be reposting my review Tuesday

Impulse by Ellen Hopkins
--I read this when my niece loaned me her copy.  I will be reposting my review Wednesday

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich
2010 challenged but retained in a Easton, Pennsylvania school district after a parent complained it promoted "economic fallacies" and socialist ideas, advocated use of illegal drugs and belittled Christians
--I read this several years ago and if the economic realities she portrayed in here were 'fallacies' that makes my life since 1978 just a bad dream.  I had a review in progress at the time I had to return this to the library and I'm going to see if I can whip it into shape without having the book in hand bur if not a formal review I ought to have something to say about it on Thursday

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
--I just read this this month and am working on a review to post for Friday

Ooops! I guess not:

The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls
2009 challenged in Saugus, California's William S. Hart Union High School's honor's English required summer reading for profanity, criticism of Christianity and depictions of sexual abuse and prostitution.
--This was on my list to read and hopefully review for this week as I was in queue at the library and thought my turn was coming in time for BBW but alas, I'll have to wait a bit longer.

Many Resources are gathered here at sponsored by Half Priced Books

Among them lists of banned and challenged books both modern and classic, a collection of quotes by notable people, articles and author interviews, and the following list of organizations who dedicate all or part of their resources to the cause of freedom of thought and speech.  Many sponsor Banned Books Week:

ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom
American Booksellers Association (ABA)
American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE)
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
American Library Association (ALA)
American Society of Journalists and Authors
Amnesty International USA
Association of American Publishers
Freedom to Read Foundation
Freedom to Read Week (Canada)
First Amendment Center
The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions’ Committee on Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression (FAIFE)
National Coalition Against Censorship
National Council of Teachers of English Anti-Censorship Center
People for the American Way

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