Banned Books...Adult Edition!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

September is the month Libraries go CRAZY over Banned Books! I have decided to do a 3 part series...my BEST OF BANNED BOOKS to remind everyone of the small mindedness of folks the world over.  This is my Adult Edition!

First perhaps I should tell you my own very strong opinion regarding banned and challenged books.
It's as simple as that. As a grown ass woman, I don't want anyone telling me what I can or cannot read. I am perfectly capable of picking up a book and deciding whether I find it's content offensive or not. And if it's offensive to my morals or my sensibilities...I can put it back down. Afterwards, I may tell you that I didn't like it...that it wasn't a good fit...but I don't think because of that I should be able to tell you that you can't read it. I may not like a book that you loved. You may not like a book I loved. I may find some content perfectly fine, and you would blush, be shocked, and never DARE to pick up a book like that again...and vice versa. But this is a personal decision. Objectionable topics tend to make the best discussion fodder...and you know how I feel about discussion fodder! (Y'all are probably sick of that word by now!)

So here is a list of a few banned and challenged Adult books. It's my list and I haven't decided yet if they will all be ones I love...or ones I just am shocked by...or ones I disliked enough to make note of. I will try and let you know why it was banned or challenged though.
The Bible...came in 6th place on the Top 10 List of Most Challenged books for 2015. It's the first time it has landed on the top 10 list in the United States.  It has been challenged for "religious viewpoints" along with "incitement to violence" and "sexual content inappropriate to minors". I'm not pushing a Christian agenda here, but I don't think anyone should be kept from reading the Bible if they want to.
Black Hawk Down was challenged for it's cursing. This book moved me, the wife of a military member, to tears. I think it did a phenomenal job of portraying a horrible event in our nation's history.
The Da Vinci Code did nothing to change my thoughts on Jesus, artwork or conspiracy theories...but it definitely kept me flipping pages when it came out. My favorite edition is the one that includes artwork and maps. It was banned for being "offensive to Christianity".
Water for Elephants was a book club selection for me when I lived in  Missouri. I gave it 4 stars back then, and it is now mingled in my brain with the movie (which I remember to be fairly faithful to the book). It was banned for sexual content...the likes of which I have no recollection.
The Kite Runner was another book club selection back in Missouri that I seem to remember liking quite a bit...although the subject matter can best be described as depressing. It was challenged for "desensitizing children to violence" at a high school. I know this was required reading for my daughter in high school, and brought about plenty of vibrant conversation.
I think my North Dakota friends would agree with me when I say, this was one messed up "classic" book. Brave New World has been banned for it's casual sex and deemed "pornography" over the years. But it was very good. And it made for some seriously fabulous conversation.
Nineteen Minutes was another of my book club books. This book was challenged for sexual references, profanity, violence and incidents of bullying. Which is exactly why it is a good book. It deals with a school shooting...and is a great way to discuss the horrifying reality and complexity of these sort of violent events.

And before this post gets so long I have lost all of my readers, I will end with the trifecta of my daughter's favorite books. I will remind everyone that she is 18...
                              

Now that is some serious literature right there! We have All Quiet on the Western Front, The Divine Comedy and The Prince.  Degenerate and Anti-German, offensive and discriminatory, and a direct threat to Roman Catholic authority.

So, pick up a banned or challenged book this month. Let me know what you're reading. I am reading Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs. Do you agree with my thoughts on Banned or Challenged books? I will post my teen and older children editions soon!! I'll leave you with the American Library Association's graphic on the top reasons books have been challenged this year.

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