Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Celebrating fREADom of speech

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." -- First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America

September 26th - October 2nd is National Banned Books Week! Organized by the American Library Association, Banned Books Week celebrates citizens' right to read and to be free of censorship. While I believe that there are books that individuals may find harmful or offensive, I believe that every individual should retain their right to read. Especially within the sphere of literature and art, I believe that no one's rights should be infringed upon...if I am offended by something, I hold dear my right to abstain. And if I am seeking after knowledge, I hold dear my right not to have it withheld.

So to celebrate, I'll be reading one of the top 100 most banned books! There's a more extensive list here, but since the week is half over, here are a few suggestions of books that are a little shorter or not as challenging.*

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
The Lord of the Flies, William Golding
1984, George Orwell
Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
Charlotte's Web, E.B. White
Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
Animal Farm, George Orwell
Winnie-the-Pooh, A.A. Milne
Their Eyes were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ken Kesey
The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Frank L. Baum
My Antonia, Willa Cather
In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
Franny and Zooey, JD Salinger
Passage to India, EM Forster
Death Comes for the Archbishop, Willa Cather
The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
This Side of Paradise, F. Scott Fitzgerald

* "challenging" -- pun intended


Brandilyn said...

FIVE of these books were on my book lists this semester! yeeah! i like that you know about things like banned book week and talk like a pirate day.

Anonymous said...

It would be a very interesting review of American culture to read a history of when and why these books were banned. The list includes books that one can't believe would be banned! Thanks for the inspiration; I'll find one I haven't read yet and curl up on the couch ...

Love you!


Jules said...

Banning books is so silly. Just makes me want to read them!

Beckah said...

Woah! I thought I wouldn't have time to read a banned book, but I'm already reading "My Antonia" right now! And it's amazing! Why was it banned?

Andrew and Kristi said...

I would never think of myself as rebel, but my 3 favorite books are on here. So who knows.

Liz-a-nator said...

I have no idea why "My Antonia" was banned. Maybe because Willa Cather was gay, and someone freaked out over a Queer Studies interpretation. I can honestly not think of anything actually IN the book that would make it ban-able.

Word verification: "caphaphy." I like that.

Beckah said...

Well, I guess Antonia did run off with a guy to get married, didn't get married, and then came home and had a baby. Scandalous!

But yeah. Banning books is dumb.

And my word verification is "torsties." I can't decide if that sounds more like a disease or a breakfast cereal.

Liz-a-nator said...

Freud would have plenty to say about it, but I think "torsties" sounds dirty.