September 24-October 1st is Banned Books Week, the week when bookstores, libraries and teachers encourage people to explore a “frequently challenged” or banned book. Some of my favorite books – everything from the Little House series, to Huckleberry Finn and the Harry Potter books to The Color Purple and The Catcher in the Rye have been banned or challenged by people who believe that protecting their kids from free thought and different ideas is somehow good.
I’m fortunate. I was born into a family of avid readers and free thinkers, and taught to make my own decisions. Books – banned and not – taught me much about life, love, and the inherent goodness of people.
So, go read a banned book this week. Even better, if you’re a parent or caregiver, read one with your child, and discuss the themes that caused it to be challenged by censors.
Celebrate your freedom to read.
Colleen Gleason is offering an ARC of the last book in the Gardella Vampire Chronicles to one lucky commenter at the ALL THINGS GIRL blog.
Leave a note on this post by October 31st.
Ms. Gleason will be choosing the winner.
Six years ago, I had Lasik surgery on my eyes, and went from not being able to see the big E at the top of the chart to 20:20 vision, though it wasn’t instant – it takes time for eyes to settle.
People always ask what having the surgery impacted the most, and they generally expect grand answers like, “I can scuba dive without a special mask,” but the reality is, it’s the little things that you really notice, things like being able to see to shave your legs in the shower, or put on make-up, being able to read the numbers on the alarm clock when you wake in the middle of the night, and being able to read in bed without fear of rolling over on your glasses, or forgetting to remove your contacts and harming your eyes. (Ditto falling asleep on planes)
It is with this in mind that I present the following meme, in honor of the first 48 hours after surgery, in which I was forbidden to read anything at all.
These are the top 106 books most often marked as unread by LibraryThing’s users. As in, they sit on the shelf to make you look smart or well-rounded. Bold the ones you’ve read, italicize the ones you own but have not read.
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Life of Pi
The Name of the Rose
Pride and Prejudice
A Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian : a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
Angels & Demons
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake : a novel
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
The Three Musketeers