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I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Banned Book Week, Being Thankful

It's Banned Book Week. In honor of this hallowed time, I'm going to offer up a few of my favorite books that have been challenge or banned somewhere in the world. I have taken the descriptions for why these books were targeted from THIS SITE.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain, 1884
The first ban of Mark Twain’s American classic in Concord, MA in 1885 called it “trash and suitable only for the slums.” Objections to the book have evolved, but only marginally. Twain’s book is one of the most-challenged of all time and is frequently challenged even today because of its frequent use of the word “nigger.” Otherwise it is alleged the book is “racially insensitive,” “oppressive,” and “perpetuates racism.”


The Call of the Wild, Jack London, 1903
Generally hailed as Jack London’s best work, The Call of the Wild is commonly challenged for its dark tone and bloody violence. Because it is seen as a man-and-his-dog story, it is sometimes read by adolescents and subsequently challenged for age-inappropriateness. Not only have objections been raised here, the book was banned in Italy, Yugoslavia and burned in bonfires in Nazi Germany in the late 1920s and early 30s because it was considered “too radical.”


To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee, 1960
Harper Lee’s great American tome stands as proof positive that the censorious impulse is alive and well in our country, even today. For some educators, the Pulitzer-prize winning book is one of the greatest texts teens can study in an American literature class. Others have called it a degrading, profane and racist work that “promotes white supremacy.”

Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury, 1953
Rather than ban the book about book-banning outright, Venado Middle school in Irvine, CA utilized an expurgated version of the text in which all the “hells” and “damns” were blacked out. Other complaints have said the book went against objectors religious beliefs. The book’s author, Ray Bradbury, died this year.


Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman, 1855
If they don’t understand you, sometimes they ban you. This was the case when the great American poem Leaves of Grass was first published and the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice found the sensuality of the text disturbing. Caving to pressure, booksellers in New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania conceded to advising their patrons not to buy the “filthy” book.

For exploring books that have been banned or challenged, go HERE and HERE. For a very extensive list go HERE. It's mindboggling.

Even the Wizard of Oz has been banned!! Read a banned book, it might just fool you.

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Being Thankful
Today I'm thankful to books, banned or not. 
I may not read or like all genres.
I may not like all styles of writing. 
(I never cared for *gasp* Hemingway, but love Steinbeck)
But I would never tell another what he or she cannot read.

***
You still have until the 30th to win a copy of The Bowl and the Stone: A Haunting Tale from the Virgin Island. Check in at Goodreads!

What are you thankful for? Got a favorite banned book? 

30 comments:

  1. That is so interesting, Bish. I had no idea the books you mention had been banned in some form or another. The only one that springs to mind is the famous: Lady Chatterley's Lover that was banned in the 1920's. :)

    Susan at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

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    1. The list is long, Susan. Books like The Great Gatsby, Alice in Wonderland, and Animal Farm.

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  2. Call of the Wild? I read that when I was 10 and loved it.

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    1. I know, right? I read it when I was young too. First book that made me cry at the end which led to my understanding the power of the written word. An important book in my life.

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  3. Sensual verses? Have they not read Song of Solomon in the Bible?

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  4. Banned book week is always good for a giggle. Surely the ‘powers that be’ realise if something is banned someone will want to read it, smoke it, drink it or do goodness knows what with it! There are some excellent books in your ‘banned list’. Some I’ve read, some I must read and one (Leaves of Grass) I know nothing about.
    I’m thankful for all the wonderful book bloggers (like you) who keep me entertained and enlightened.

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    1. I agree. It seems as soon as you say no the child in you says yes!

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  5. It's scary what people find objectionable!

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    1. True. I know there are things I find objectionable, but heck! I'm free to not read the book or watch the movie or whatever. But I'm not going to keep another from that which is objectionable to me.

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  6. Sometimes I wonder what people of the past would have thought of the wondrous and beautiful assortment of books available today. They probably would have fallen over at some of them! But we all have our own taste and I'm so grateful to get to read what I want!

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    1. Indeed! Was a time when a home with 5 or 6 books was considered wealthy! It was a library!

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  7. I always scratch my head when I read the list of banned books!

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  8. In my experience, banned books are always the best.

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    1. Well, I don't know about always being the best, but they are usually thought provoking.

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  9. So many classics were originally banned. Funny, but one of the most famous banned books is the Bible. lol

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  10. Glad to see I've read all on your list. Reading is a little piece of Heaven to me...

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    1. Me too, Liza. No matter how late it is, I always read before I go to sleep. Every night.

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  11. Hi Bish - times have changed haven't they ... books, as a whole, were banned centuries ago ... thankfully some escaped and taught us much. It is fascinating the reasons books, films, tv etc were banned - and now life has moved on so much - they're considered behind the times. Thanks for letting us know about these ... Lady Chatterley was the most talked about here when I was a sapling in life! Cheers Hilary

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    1. I remember when Portnoy's Complaint was being passed around in high school, the cover *subtly* disguised in a brown paper bag.

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  12. All these sound wonderful. I've already read To Kill a Mockingbird, but none of the others, surprisingly. (I did read The Wizard of Oz). It's all a bit silly. It seems anything that frightens or challenges people is vulnerable to this "banning". Books are the best place to be exposed to such things. It's how we learn.

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    1. The few I listed are all worth reading. Whitman's poetry is beautiful.

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  13. Banned books have always seems crazy to me. I have read all the books on the list you post, except Leaves of Grass. Now I am curious about it! :)
    ~Jess

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  14. Leaves of Grass? Whatever!

    Love,
    Janie

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  15. Hey, I've read most those. Crazy people and their banning. I don't get it. But even as I type this, I'm thinking of some neighbors who decided their kids couldn't associate with Harry Potter because the magic system encourages devil worship. *shrugs* Different strokes for different folks.

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  16. Hi, Bish! Long time, no see . . . I took a break from blogging to finish my book, and now I am reconnecting. SO GLAD I found your blog again!! :)

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  17. I read most from this list, how can they all be banned. I don't think there are valid reasons to ban these books.

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  18. I've read a lot of banned books with great interest. In my young days, I used the Vatican's "Index Librorum Prohibitorum" as my bookstore shopping list >:)

    Cold As Heaven

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Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!