It's banned books week

Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2016 01:37 pm
I don't know that I'd call any of the listed books my favorites, however, I've read and enjoyed several. The good reads for me, were, Brave New World, A Farewell To Arms, For Whom The Bell Tolls, Animal Farm, Rabbit Run, The Jungle and As I Lay Dying. Others were read and weren't bad but not the sort of thing I'd ever think about reading again. Then there are a few I couldn't make it through, no matter how I tried. A few others on the list, I haven't read and of those, some I don't have intentions of reading.

Banning books is to me offensive. When the topic arises, I'm reminded of a long ago incident; where, I was summoned to the principal's office. My mistake? As a third grader, I had taken out a book from the school library. It turned out the item was meant only for sixth graders or above (which struck me as odd even then seeing as how the school only went through the sixth grade). I had to read the the text aloud and then explain it. Which showed me that there is no magical right age for reading and comprehending a book, regardless of what the self appointed authorities choose to believe.

On a side note, at age 10 or 11, I took out The Lord of the Rings books from the public library, however I never read them. Returned them on time and that was that. Still haven't read them. Haven't seen any of the movies based on them either.
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Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2016 03:05 pm
You are just looking for a fight. I never mentioned anything that could be construed as brainwashing. In fact I mentioned taking action to prevent brainwashing.
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2016 03:14 pm
I am surprised the "Scarlet Letter" is not part of it. It was considered bad at the time it was written...
Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2016 03:16 pm
I've thought of some that were not included as well. Candy, by Terry Southern, for instance.
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Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2016 03:24 pm
I am looking for a discussion (not a fight). I am suggesting that what constitutes "brainwashing" is subjective. I think this is a valid point when it comes to censorship and is relevant to the topic of banning books.

Censorship is not a good way to protect against brainwashing. I don't know if you agree with this or not, but to me this is an important point. Quite the contrary, the way to protect kids against brainwashing is to present them with various viewpoints including ones that you disagree with. That is the only way they can develop the tools to make up their own minds (rather than just mindlessly accepting what you tell them).

I don't think that censorship is a valid part of education... students should not be protected from any point of view (except for young students before they reach high school... but then it is a matter of preparedness, not of education).
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Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2016 05:17 pm
Wow I'm surprised by how many books I truly enjoyed are on there.
Favorites being:
The Lord of the flies.
The Lord of the rings.
To kill a mockingbird.
The Grapes of wrath.
The call of the wild.
Those are all ones I have read more than once and loved something in them the first time through.
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Reply Mon 26 Sep, 2016 05:32 pm
I scribbled the 19 I've read and will list, for the fun of it.

Possibly will comment. I don't know if 19 is right either, did it fast. Might have read more Hemingway.

The titles are way-shortened:

Grapes - major
Catch 22 - liked it, for sure
Bell Tolls
In Coldbld
Cats Cradle
Sep Peace
Women Love
Naked Dead
Rabbit Run
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Reply Tue 27 Sep, 2016 12:00 am
These are the ones I've read. Kind of amazed about LoR (that was a worldchanger for me at 14 - and in fact I think the Hobbit was on our reading lists at school). I've given the star ratings for personal impact (i.e. how much I remember them - rather than how 'worthy' they were)

2. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger**
4. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee****
12. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck **
15. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller*****
29. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut***
40. The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien*****
49. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess*****
Reply Tue 27 Sep, 2016 03:07 am
I've read these, not all for pleasure mind you.

The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
Animal Farm, by George Orwell
The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway
The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair
A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
Naked Lunch, by William S. Burroughs
Tropic of Cancer, by Henry Miller

I don't remember much of The Jungle, one I had to read, I'd just finished working in a meat packing factory myself, and some things still hadn't changed. The only thing that sticks out is that some meat was labelled 'best' and cost more but was exactly the same as the rest.

My favourite is the Burroughs, (there's a reason my user name is Izzy the Push.) This band gets their name from a dildo in The Naked Lunch.

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Reply Tue 27 Sep, 2016 03:28 am
I have read about 90 of the books - some with more pleasure others less.
Some while "one should read them" and others while I like the authour.
The one I started and never finished was "Ulysses" by James Joyce.
Some I have read in original language - others translated. Some translations were exellent - others had real mistakes, showing the translaters lack of knowledge about the country where the book takes place.
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Reply Tue 27 Sep, 2016 08:23 am
Each book that is banned or censored is done so for the content within the pages. There are a few common reasons that books have been banned or censored in schools, libraries, and book stores. These include:

Racial Issues: About and/or encouraging racism towards one or more group of people.

Encouragement of "Damaging" Lifestyles: Content of book encourages lifestyle choices that are not of the norm or could be considered dangerous or damaging. This could include drug use, co-habitation without marriage, or homosexuality.

Blasphemous Dialog: The author of the book uses words such as "God" or "Jesus" as profanity. This could also include any use of profanity or swear words within the text that any reader might find offensive.

Sexual Situations or Dialog: Many books with content that include sexual situations or dialog are banned or censored.

Violence or Negativity: Books with content that include violence are often banned or censored. Some books have also been deemed too negative or depressing and have been banned or censored as well.

Presence of Witchcraft: Books that include magic or witchcraft themes. A common example of these types of books are J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter Series.

Religious Affiliations (unpopular religions): Books have been banned or censored due to an unpopular religious views or opinions in the content of the book. This is most commonly related to satanic or witchcraft themes found in the book. Although, many books have also been banned or censored for any religious views in general that might not coincide with the public view.

Political Bias: Most Commonly occurs when books support or examine extreme political parties/philosophies such as: fascism, communism, anarchism, etc.

Age Inappropriate: These books have been banned or censored due to their content and the age level at which they are aimed. In some cases children's books are viewed to have "inappropriate" themes for the age level at which they are written for.

Many books have been banned or censored in one or more of these categories due to a misjudgment or misunderstanding about the books contents and message. Although a book may have been banned or labeled a certain way, it is important that the reader makes his/her own judgements on the book. Many books that have been banned or censored later were dropped from banned books lists and were no longer considered controversial. For this reason, banned books week occurs yearly to give readers a chance to revisit past or recently banned books to encourage a fresh look into the controversies the books faced.

Source: "Common Reasons for Banning Books," Fort Lewis College, John F. Reed Library. Banned Books, Censorship & Free Speech. November 15, 2013. Web. March 19, 2014.
Reply Tue 27 Sep, 2016 08:46 am
This is from the Library Journal (a trade publication from librarians).


If there are no books in your library’s collection talking about how awful gay marriage is, then your library isn’t providing materials presenting all points of view.

Librarians tend to be true believers about the banned book nonsense, and it’s pretty hard to reason with them but I’m not giving up just yet. The censorship talk is ridiculous, and librarians would be better off promoting what they do in a smarter way.

Librarians should just own up to the fact that they have a broad political agenda, and one that promotes equality while fighting intolerance.

They don’t defend gay penguin books because they really believe all points of view should be represented in libraries. The defend gay penguin books because they believe that gay penguins should be treated equally to straight penguins, and their constituencies have both gay and straight penguins. Or something like that.

I think it makes the point pretty well. Most people are willing to ban books that that don't like even though they are aghast at the idea of banning books they like and approve of. To claim that advocating your own beliefs while excluding any other beliefs is any sort of freedom nonsensical.

If someone really is against banning books, then even books with viewpoints they find troubling should be available in school libraries.
Reply Tue 27 Sep, 2016 08:50 am
Still trying to twist a person's intent just to pick a fight. Well, nobody is going to censor you for it. Do your damnedest.
Reply Tue 27 Sep, 2016 08:54 am
I am not trying to "pick a fight". I am trying to pick a discussion. You seem to think that questioning your beliefs or challenging your opinion is equal to "picking a fight". It isn't. You say I am "twisting your intent". I am not, I am asking you to clarify your position.

There is an interesting set of issues here that you (perhaps inadvertently) raised by discussing the topic. . Many people, including librarians, understand it is an interesting issue. It is a valid point that many people want to ban certain books they don't like while being upset when books they like are banned by others. You don't seem to be willing to tackle this issue... that doesn't make it any less relevant in a discussion about banned books.

My hope is that you have the intellectual curiosity to explore the issue. And then we can have a discussion... or maybe even a dialog.

If you don't want an intellectual discussion, then just ignore me. This is a public forum, I am going to express my opinion here on a topic that interests me.

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Reply Wed 28 Sep, 2016 04:58 am
From about age 18 I have been drawn to the banned books first. I consider Miller's Tropics books to be genuine classics. Ginsburg's Howl, plus much of Beat literature held my interest for years and I consider Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited album to fit the genre. I tried to love D H Lawrence, but soon lost interest. Terry Southern entertained me. I first attempted Ulysses at a too young age, in the 60s. I started it several times, but I was around fifty before I made it a commitment to actually finish it. It now is among my favorites of all time. Politically repressed books, such as Grapes of Wrath, are also favorites.
Reply Wed 28 Sep, 2016 08:46 am
Have you seen the film version of Howl? It's very good, basically a biopic of Ginsberg's life interspersed with animated readings from the poem.
Reply Wed 28 Sep, 2016 09:03 am
No. I have a record of the Fugs doing it. I will look for the film.
Reply Wed 28 Sep, 2016 09:04 am
It was something I just noticed while flicking through the channels one day. They keep things like this very quiet.
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Reply Wed 28 Sep, 2016 09:07 am


Witness the last days of the Beat poet whose works would capture the very essence of the 1960 counter-cultural movement in an informative documentary featuring Allen Ginsberg's final television interview as well as remarkable deathbed footage shot by underground cinema icon Jonas Mekas. In addition to candid discussions about everything from Ginsberg's personal life to his literary career, home movie footage of the Howl author as a child and archive footage allow contemporary fans to witness such landmark moments as his 1965 reading at Royal Albert Hall and chanting at the 1968 Democratic Convention. Previously unreleased footage of Ginsberg performing with Paul McCartney is also included, as are interviews with Dick Cavett and William Buckley, and the heartfelt memorial service in which Patti Smith bid her old friend a particularly poignant farewell. In the final sequence, Ginsberg invites filmmaker Mekas to his New York loft as he lies on his deathbed and prepares to embark on the ultimate adventure.
Reply Wed 28 Sep, 2016 09:10 am
It's a shame sglass is no longer here. She is an expert on this stuff.

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