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Book Crush #8: Banned Books Week

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Last week was Banned Books Week. You knew about that right? Of course you did.

And, of course, you understand why it's important- that whole First Amendment stuff- so I won't go into that.

But, seriously, if you don't know either of those things, feel free to ask! I love talking about books and I fully support the U.S. Constitution, but be aware that I do not believe in banning books and have zero desire to argue about it or debate it.

Any-whoooo. I found this list from the American Library Association that lists all of the banned or challenged books and it's awesome. Actually, there are several lists on that page and I went through a couple of them (there have been a LOT of banned books) and realized that I've read many of them- admittedly, mostly in school. Yay for challenging teachers, AP English, and college lit classes! In the spirit of full disclosure, there are several I was supposed to read but didn't and just BS'd my way through the test instead... and still passed with A's. I was very good at playing school.

So in honor of these thought-provoking books that scare some people, I thought I'd share my Top Favorites and a few that are going on my Must Read List.

Note: Not all of these have been banned, some have only been challenged and some have been banned and then had their banning revoked. 

The Great Gatsby

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

To Kill a Mockingbird



The Sun Also Rises

A Child Called "It"

The Kite Runner

Water for Elephants

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Ok, ok. It was so hard to narrow down to only 10 favorites and I tried to stick to those books that are outside of my norm. I mean, ALL Harry Potter books have been challenged or banned somewhere. The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman; Judy Blume's Are You There God? It's Me, MargaretA Time to Kill(John Grisham); THE OUTSIDERS?!?! For crying out loud, do you know how big a crush I had on Pony Boy through most of my childhood? And we're talking BEFORE I saw the movie.

But enough of my favorites. Here are a few that I promise to read at some point in the not so distant future:

I chose those five for various reasons. Ender's Game because I know several people who've enjoyed it and it's not something I would normally choose for myself. The Handmaid's Tale because it sounds interesting. The Catcher in the Rye just because it seems like I should have read it. I mean, it's a classic, right? The Agony of Alice because the entire series made the Most Challenged list over the last decade and I'm curious why. (So did the Junie B. Jones series, which is super funny IMHO.) Women in Love, again, it sounded interesting. 

I feel like I should add some Kurt Vonnegut or Aldous Huxley, too, but I've tried reading Vonnegut and found him tedious; I just didn't enjoy it. I'm convinced - without reason, mind you- that I'll feel the same way about Huxley. I'm likely wrong, but that's the great thing about freedom- we're all free to be wrong sometimes. 

I also noticed that I really need to update my Goodreads feed and I have no idea why I didn't do that while adding these books. That would have made too much sense, I suppose.