Morning Meanderings…. Banned Book Week Kick Off!

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Sunday.  COFFEE.  The first day of life beginning to simmer again.  With today being the first day of Banned Book Week (YAY!) and tomorrow starts the fall book sale set up leading to the book sale later in the week and then a big board meeting a week from Monday and Tuesday a meeting and Thursday of that week the Minnesota Library Association meeting and a day out-of-town….

lets just say things are about to get bookish.

And really – they have.  Welcome to Banned Book Week a week I LOVE being a part of and try to read books during that week that have been banned or challenged.

So today I am still listening to…

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Not only is this our October classic read for book club… it is also a Banned Book.

The Civil War epic which is often cited as one of the most beloved novels of all time was banned by a California school district for the book’s portrayal of slaves in the antebellum South and for the immoral behavior of its heroine, Scarlett O’Hara.

 

Just Google “Gone With The Wind Banned” and you will find a plethora of information on potential Gone With The Wind bannings – in book form AND in movie format as well.

But what does it say about us as a nation if we continue to embrace a movie that, in the final analysis, stands for many of the same things as the Confederate flag that flutters so dramatically over the dead and wounded soldiers at the Atlanta train station just before the “GWTW’’ intermission? ~  New York Post June 24th 2015

 

Yes – Gone With The Wind DOES use many words and references to African Americans that is not correct – not b a long shot.  Even I admit to cringing at parts – HOWEVER, while this is by no means acceptable now.  It was at the time.  AND like it or not… we can not change history.

So… I continue to read/listen to Gone With The Wind and I will watch the movie afterwards to get the fully rounded effect of a bucket list book – AND look forward to our book discussion.

 

Each year I offer other book reviewers, authors, etc to join me in reading a banned book during Banned Book Week.  I love the surprise that people have when they realize a beloved childhood read, or a favorite classic, or even a modern-day YA is on this list.  Banning is flatly – censorship.  And while I do not choose to read all banned books *cough cough 50 Shades of Gray cough cough*  I do not have any right to say that YOU can not read it.

See how that works?

So today – I have a few bloggers joining me to chat up Banned Books.  I do hope you will check out their posts as someone this week will have a picture within their post and if you find that post and email me (journeythroughbooks@gmail.com) to tell me who’s post you found it on you will go into a special drawing for…

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This mug will be shipped directly to one of our commenters on the Banned Book Post you find THIS picture on:

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A second mug will be given away from all the comments on banned book post participants posts this week including mine.

SO enough said…

Here are today’s participants.   Stop by.  check them out.  LEARN about banned books and READ them.

Brooke from Brooke Blogs:  The Right To Think For Ourselves and a Giveaway!

(There are a couple more but I do not see their posts up yet so will add them if they put them up)  🙂

 

A quote from a banned book page on Gone With The Wind:

To the book burners; to those who hide from the truth of history; to those who oppress out of ignorance and fear I can only say this: Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

 

Enjoy your Sunday.  I am linking this to the Sunday Post as this is what I am up to today.  Listening to Gone With The Wind, canning a little bit, and maybe mowing this afternoon.  Here is a list to other banned classic reads.  I bet you cant read just one.

Morning Meanderings… Storms, Canning, and Miss Scarlett

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I am amazed how I can fill up my time.. so much that days go by and I realize I have not posted a thing.  So determined I am to keep my mind busy that I plan to post, and then before I know it, it is 5 pm and I need to plan dinner.  There is good and bad in this… the good is I am busy for sure. The bad is I know I fear a time when I am not.

For busy now – canning has preoccupied my time.  I have been busy processing tomatoes and enjoying it.  Yesterday I canned spaghetti sauce, salsa, pizza sauce, and 7 jars of pickles.

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Today I plan to do the same.

It is a stormy day outside – the good old thunder and lots of rain type.  It cramps my style a bit as I like to use my deck for the cutting of the tomatoes, but I can make do.  I am listening to Gone With The Wind now, having to set the book aside as I have no time to read, so have switched to audio and find I am really enjoying it as well as accomplishing my book club read while canning at the same time.

So… a quick update on my relationship with Scarlett, and Tara, and well.. the clan.

Currently, I have made my way into part 3.  Scarlett is still fretting around in her “Scarlett Scarlett Scarlett” attitude… ooh, a more self centered woman I do not think I have met.

I am finding however, in all the petty worrying about the lack of pretty clothes, judging all other women as homely or unkempt, her (still) attempts at winning Ashley’s heart and her belief that any man that pays her a lick of attention *cough cough Rhett cough* must surely want her passionately for marriage.  AND for that, I give Rhett credit for laughing in her face every time she inquires about it.  Oh Scarlett… still trying to add notches to her marriage proposal list while she complains about the down side of war (stinky wounded, needy people, having to work in the hospital, and a child that she admits she often forgets she has). I have to give author Margaret Mitchell credit… I am finding Gone With The Wind to be brilliantly witty and a take on the war that I have never heard before and admittedly…

enjoying it.

Tonight I have a city Library Board Meeting and prior to that I will change the window at the library to Banned Book Week, because yes, Banned Book Week is almost here!  If you have not already, please check out my Annual Banned Book Week Meme – it is fun, there are giveaways, and I am thoroughly looking forward to it.  Join in!

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Join In For Banned Book Week! Great Discussion! Fun Prizes!

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One of my FAVORITE bookish weeks of the year is Banned Book Week.  Not only does it give me an excuse to dig into some excellent books… but it also is good to discuss censorship in our reading.  Who has the right to say that a book that is not for one person may not be the book another person absolutely needs to read?

Every year I find people who have not heard of banned books – OR have heard of them but did not think it was any longer ” a thing.”  Here is the definition of a banned/challenged book:

A book banning is the removal of those materials that someone protested. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, or stores,thereby restricting the access of others.

And yes…. it still happens.

You may be surprised by titles that have been banned or challenged…. most of the classics (Huck Finn controversy ring a bell?), Charlotte’s Web, The Lorax (yes… Suess),Hunger Games, Twilight, The Harry Potter series AND the Chronicles of Narnia books…. all things Hobbit… hopefully that is enough to peak your interest. 

So….. this will be my 5th year of hosting the Banned Book Week Event.  Please consider joining me in spending the week of September 27 – October 3, reading banned/challenged books.  You can find an excellent list to choose from here and here.  Certainly, there is something for everyone!

Banning books takes away our rights to read the books we wish to read.  As a banned book promoter I do not want to read every banned book.  For instance, I have no desire to read 50 Shades Of Grey.  However, that does not give me the right to say that you can not read it either.  See?  It is that simple. 🙂

Please Join Me!

As in the past years, I am looking for awesome people like YOU to join me during September 27 – October 3 to either:  share a favorite banned book post, read and review a banned book, write a post about why banning is wrong or a personal experience with a banned book in your area, post an interview with an author of a banned book, etc…  Sign up below and I will connect with you on the day that you are willing to post.  Banned Book Awareness is a great way to explore amazing reads and remind us that we have the freedom to read what we choose.

I will have posts here ever day Banned Book Week talking and reviewing banned books and yes there will be cool giveaways.  Grab the meme pic at the top of this post and tell others to come sign up here too!  I hope you consider joining in – it’s easy to do and you may just find a new book that you love!

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Banned Book – True Crime)

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In November of 1959 a family who lived in Holcomb Kansas was brutally attacked, killed and left.  The murders of the Clutter family were senseless. The family was well-respected humble farmers and had no enemies as far as anyone knew.

It turned out it was two ex convicts from the Kansas State Penitentiary had heard from another inmate who had worked for the Clutters at one time that the farmer had a safe of money.  As it turned out, this was untrue and the convicts left with $43 after they killed the family.

One thing went wrong after another.  The foiled crime did not give the two men the money they thought they would have to escape and start new lives.  Instead they stayed in hiding, writing out bad checks to survive until they were captured and tried for the murders.

Author Truman Capote heard about the crimes and traveled with his fellow author friend Harper Lee to investigate the crimes.  This book is the true account of the murders.

Richard Hitchcock (left) and Perry Smith were executed on April 14th, 1965 for the slaying of a Kansas family.
Richard Hitchcock (left) and Perry Smith were executed on April 14th, 1965 for the slaying of a Kansas family.

 

Initially this book was chosen by our book club to read for our October Classic.  To me, it was also a bonus that it is a banned book.  While I am not sure how a true crime book will go over in book club (it has been many years since we have read one as a group), I however enjoy a true crime now and then.  Enjoy?  That sounds awful.

I listened to In Cold Blood on audio mainly because I was not sure when I would get to it in book format.  Narrator Scott Brick was a good voice for this style of read.  Informative and crisp in his words, he read like a detective novel unfolding its story page by page.  I While this is a true crime book, it reads as fiction.  Truman Capote wrote this book in a story format where it is easy to slip into a fiction state of mind and forget that you are reading about horrible senseless murders.

I did enjoy (there’s that word again!) the book and learning about the crime novel that made it to a classic.  There is a lot of information about the two killers before, during, and after the crime.  At 14 hours and 27 minutes on audio, it felt a little drug out.

Over all… happy to say that I have read this one, but will more than likely not be revisiting it.

 

Why was In Cold Blood Banned?

2012

Some Glendale (CA) Unified School District officials and parents attempted to block a request by a high school English teacher to add the text to the district’s advanced English curriculum because the nonfiction book was “too violent for a young audience;” the school board voted 4-0 to approve the book for Advanced Placement students.

2001

Banned, but reinstated in an English Advanced Placement class in Savannah (GA) after a parent complained that it contained sex, violence, and profanity.

 

You will hear from the Bookies Book Group in October about their thoughts on the book.

 

 

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 14 hours and 27 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Random House Audio
  • Audible.com Release Date: January 3, 2006

 

Go Ask Alice by Anonymous (Banned Book… BUT Was It Real?)

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Being a teenager is not easy now… and it wasn’t then.

Told in the first person perspective of an unnamed teenage girl, who is just trying to fit in.  When she is invited to a popular girls party she can not believe her luck!  They play a game called “Who’s Got The Button”, which our narrator later learns that several of the cokes they are served at the party are laced with LSD… the question is who will get them?  Our narrator of course is one that does, and she experiences her first high.

As time goes on, she becomes more willing to try other drugs to find out what they will feel like.  She becomes not only popular in her school, but also a drug dealer to pay for her habits.

Written in diary form, Go Ask Alice walks you through the drug use and the terrible happenings associated with her highs such as sex, leaving home, in with the wrong so-called “friends” and then leads to her trying to come clean and be the girl she knows deep down inside she is.

 

 

WOW.  I picked up this book at our recent Friends Of The Library sale.  I am always on the look out for classics and banned books (often one and the same) when I seen a copy of this book. Go Ask Alice is small, 224 under size pages and written in diary format so is a quick read.  My plan was to read this for banned book week, and although I did not finish it during the week I meant to, I did finish it.

Go Ask Alice, written originally in 1971 is still relevant today.  I am not sure why it is called Go Ask Alice, there is a small encounter with a girl named Alice… but nothing worthy of naming the book after her (although I did momentarily wonder if the “Alice” she seen in the book, was indeed our narrator thinking of herself as another person…)

The book is sad.  You find our narrator trying to break free of the circle of drugs and those involved, but it is a struggle in many ways.  Even when she does get clean, she is pursued by the users as well as nightmares and well… read the book.  There is more to this story.

Go Ask Alice is said in the front of the book that is the actual diary of a teenage girl.  If you look on-line, you will find there is much discrepancy about this claim.  Snopes.com calls it out as fiction.  Merely a cautionary tale.  It also calls out that the book is not really anonymous, although this is pretty common knowledge now – the author is actually Beatrice Sparks who had written a number of teen books dealing with topics such as AIDS, teen pregnancy, cults, drugs, and eating disorders.

True story or not, it made for an interesting read and truly can put the fear of drugs and the dangers of hanging with the wrong people in you.

Recommended.  So you too can say you read it.

 

Go Ask Alice… WHY Was It Banned?

Since it’s publishing in 1971, Go Ask Alice has become one of the most challenged and banned books of all time. Due to its frequent and strong references to sex, heavy drug usage, and teen pregnancy, libraries and schools across the country have banned the novel as it sits at number 23 on the American Library Association (ALA) “100 Most Frequently Challenged Books” from 1990-2001.  In Charleston, South Carolina, Dr.Chester Floyd, Berkeley County school district’s superintendent, pulled the novel off the shelves of all public schools within the district.

 

 

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; Reprint edition (January 1, 2006)

 

Have you read this book?  What are your thoughts?

 

 

Morning Meanderings… Book Hangover

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Egads.  Sunday.  Survivor of the fall book sale for the library.  Yesterday was our bag sale… $2 for as many books as you can put in a bag.  We were a little nervous because we found out on Friday that the Homecoming parade would shut down our sale for a little over an hour as they passed by our road.

Never fear – we made a little square flyer and went and handed them out to participants… you know… like people do in parades… it was… well…

look for yourself:

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There was a good 30 to 40 in the room for most of the day.  Our sales went over $6,000. I am so excited about that but OH SO TIRED!  Even my arms ache!

That all said… as you can imagine this craziness going on this past week really put a damper on my Banned Book Week plans.  Thank goodness for all of you who linked your own banned book posts up to the week plans.  Not only did I read each of your posts, you inspired me to look for a couple more titles that I was unaware of.

If you have not had a chance to look at the banned book posts, please do.  There are some amazing posts and giveaways… and you may learn something new about a book that you love!  🙂

As for me… I was just too tired to read.  I am in the middle of two banned books that I should be able to finish up today, and an audio book which is not only a banned book but also our book club read for October.

Here are the books that came into my home this week (not including book sale books – those I will post later)

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The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare – audio (ooh right????  Two amazing authors!)

 

Five Days Left by Julie Lawson Timmer– audio (oh this is one I am so looking forward to!)

 

Somewhere Safe with Someone Good by Jan Karon – audio (new Mitford Series!)

 

ASTRAY by Amy Christine Parker – audio

 

The Vineyard by Michael Hurley

 

Dr. Mutters Marvels by Christin O Keefe Aptowicz

 

Nightmares! by Jason Segal – audio

 

On A Clear Day by Walter Dean Meyers – audio

 

Broken Monsters by Lauren Beuke – audio

 

BURN by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge -audio (I LOVE this series!)

 

Get Even by Gretchen McNeil – purchased after reading about this on another blog.

 

The Lodger by Louisa Treger

 

Tracks Count by Steve Engel

 

Cocktails for Book Lovers by Tessa Smith McGovern – purchased

 

Yeah… I think I am going to need another cabin weekend by myself to have a reading BLITZ.  🙂  Now off to finish the Weekend Cooking post I started yesterday and never was able to get back to 🙂

Morning Meanderings… Bringing It To A Close

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Saturday!  The final day of the Official Banned Book Week and for myself, I am a little bummed.  My week could not have been busier.  I worked Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and had something each of those evenings I was committed to.  Thursday, Friday, and Today have been the fall book sale and I have been there at least 12 hours a day.  My reading time has been close to not.  I am however in the middle of:  Go Ask Alice, Brave New World, and In Cold Blood (audio for book club).  My banned book week apparently will trickle over into next week a bit.

We have a couple more blogs connecting their banned book posts today:

 

Guy Vestal from Counter Culture Critic writes a passionate post of where censorship starts.

 

Heather at Based On a True Story writes about “Is Book Banning Ever Ok?

 

All the other amazing posts that went up this week on banned books, banned book reviews, and giveaways are found here.

Note:  Commenting on any of my banned book related posts this week will enter you into my giveaway.  (one entry per relevant comment)

 

I hope you enjoyed Banned Book Week and I really hope that you read some of these great posts that went up this week.  I have read every one and added a couple “must reads” to my list by seeing what they are talking about.

 

As for me – I am back to the book sale this morning.  It is the last day and it is the bag sale – $2 for a brown paper bag that you fill with books.  Always a good time 🙂