Friday, September 22, 2006


In honor of Banned Books Week (September 23-30), we're having a contest!

I'm doing a review on a Pulitzer Prize winning book that is on the Radcliffe Publishing list of the 100 best novels of the 20th century. It is one of the 42 books on that list that has been either banned or challenged. To see a list of all 42 books, click here.

What does my review have to do with the contest? EVERYTHING. Here's the deal:

- I will post my review on September 23, 2006.
- You will have ONE WEEK to either a) make a comment OR b) link to your own post/blog in a comment. Your comment/post/blog should tell me why/how one of the 42 books on the list made an impact on your life.
- You MUST comment/review a book from the list of the 42 banned/challenged books. While I know that there are many other very special books out there, this is Banned Book Week, and we're doing our part to promote some of these books that have been dissed over the years.
- One winner will be chosen in a random drawing, from all entries received. Your entry must be posted or linked by 1159pmEST, September 30, 2006. Late entries can not be accepted. If you are having problems posting a link, or commenting, please send me an e-mail ( and I will post your entry for you.

I almost forgot about the prize...

The winner will receive a gift card for $20 from the bookseller of their choice. If you want one from Borders, just tell me. If you want a B&N, let me know. If you gotta have Amazon, clue me in. Really, any national bookseller that you choose will do, as long as it's possible for me to get the GC from them.

Now check that link and tell me how those banned or challenged books made a difference in your life!



Sheri said...

You've GOT to be kidding me! Who ARE these morons who want to ban these books?

I have read several of the books on the list. "The Lord of the Flies" is a particularly disturbing book--I remember vividly how I felt while I read it. There was horror and anger and fear and deep sadness--and so much truth about how human society can be very cruel if the wrong values are worshipped. Awesome book. It is a book that should be read and LEARNED from, not banned!

Another one that really blows me away is Jack London's "The Call of the Wild"!! What on earth could there be in that story that anyone would find objectionable? I probably read that book 50 times when I was a kid! Loved the whole story of Buck and his loyalty to his master, and the wolves... I can still picture the snow and the forest and Buck running through it. There is treachery and cruelty in this book also, but it's what makes the book REAL--without it it's just a story about a dog.

I think what I find to be the most disturbing is that a lot of these books are commentaries about American society from the past. Basically, these people that would like to ban these books are trying to say that this part of history never happened! (How many of our kids have gotten to read Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer?) Slavery was a huge part of America's history and yet we want to act like it never happened. I assume that is why they are trying to ban "Gone With the Wind"--the Civil War was a messy embarassment... My God--I have a friend who is probably spinning in his grave right now at the thought that his beloved GWTW may be banned! That's just wrong. Period.

I am hoping that there is a HUGE public outcry over this topic, but I kind of think there won't be. Maybe someone should write a book about the apathy that pervades American society in the 21st centry. Nah, why bother? Future generations will make sure it bets banned...

Lucy S. said...

From this list, the two books that I will comment on are: "Catch-22" by Joseph Heller, and "Slaughterhouse Five" by Kurt Vonnegut. Both of these books are anti-war books, written back during the time of the Korean and the Vietnam War era - and in so many ways are appropriate to read now, during our own Iraq war-filled times.

C-22 and S.F. use humor and satire, and you will be laughing while reading them - but underneath your laughter you will feel also in your gut level, how deeply irrational man's behaviour can be, and how pointless is some destructive behavior.

I think that reading these two books, help us to reflect on what actually does happen in a war time - on that underlying irrational level; and it helps prevents us from having that automatic type of patriotism that assumes that "all war is glorious". War is not necessarily glorious - there is a lot of destruction and craziness and irrational behavior.
I recommend these two books as good examples of war satire. Excellent reads!