Judge a book by looking at its cover….

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The Fall Nine
The Memory Police – Yoko Ogawa | Three Women – Lisa Taddeo | Those Who Knew – Idra Novey | Fleishman Is In Trouble – Taffy Brodesser-Akner | On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous – Ocean Vuong | Delayed Rays of A Star – Amanda Lee Koe | Bunny – Mona Awad | Opioid, Indiana – Brian Allen Carr | The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna – Juliet Grames


In honor of Banned Books Week 2019 (September 22-28) I’m ordering my next batch of 9 reads which have been on my 2 B or NOT 2 B Reads list for some time.   I’ve really been wanting to read ‘Three Women’ and ‘Fleishman Is In Trouble’ so maybe I’ll chose one of those to begin.  And while none of these books has been placed on a banned list YET, give it time – one or two have the potential to end up on someone’s ‘do not read’  list before long.

I find it amazing that someone could be threatened by an idea in a book, since reading is knowledge and it’s the lack of knowledge which is truly dangerous, but what do I know.  My philosophy is pretty simple – read and let read. If the book offends close the cover and move on but don’t  prevent me from reading the story if I choose to do so.  I’ve written about banned books before (here) and encourage everyone to send the proverbial bird to the book censors among us by reading a few ‘banned’ books because you – still  – can.

*Can’t Judge a Book By the Cover – Bo Diddley

Before they’re forever banned…

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One of the Funniest AND Most Banned Contender’s

Have you been celebrating Banned Books Week?  I’ve never understood how censorship could be viewed as a positive thing.  If we prohibit the ideas which offend how can we ever have a discourse which leads to common ground?

Are you curious what the most-banned books are?  Since 1990, these books have consistently made it into the top 25 according to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom:

  1. Daddy’s Roommate – Michael Willhoite (published 1991)
  2. And Tango Makes Three Peter Parnell & Justin Richardson (published 2005)
  3. The Chocolate War – Robert Cormier (published 1974)
  4. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark – Alvin Schwartz (published 1981-1991)
  5. His Dark Materials  – Philip Pullman (published 1995-2000)
  6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou (published 1969)
  7. Heather Has Two Mommies Leslea Newman (published 1989)
  8. Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck (published 1937)
  9. Captain Underpants  – Dav Pilkney (published 1997-2015)
  10. Alice – Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (published 1985-2012)
  11. Sex Madonna (published 1992)
  12. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain (published 1884)
  13. Earth’s Children  – Jean M. Auel (published 1980-2011)
  14. King & King – Linda De Haas & Stern Njiland (published 2002)
  15. The Witches – Ronald Dahl (published 1983)
  16. Gossip Girl  – Cecily von Ziegesar (published 2002-2011)
  17. Forever… – Judy Blume (published 1975)
  18. The New Joy of Gay Sex Charles Silverstein, Edmund White & Felice Picano (published 1993)
  19. The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger (published 1951)
  20. Final Exit – Derek Humphrey (published 1991)
  21. Arming America – Michael A. Bellesiles (published 2000)
  22. The Goats – Brock Cole (published 1987)
  23. Annie on My Mind – nancy garden (published 1982)
  24. What My Mother Doesn’t Know – Sonya Sones (published 2001)
  25. Halloween ABC Eve Merriam (published 1987)

Some of the reasons for banning these books include racial stereotypes, violence, nudity, assisted suicide, drugs, religious or political viewpoints, sexism, misogyny, and disobedience – all topics as relevant now as when these books were first published.  I am proud of the banned books I’ve read and will continue to seek out anything deemed offensive simply so I can judge for myself. Just saying…

*Blowing in the Wind – Joan Baez & Bob Dylan