Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Banned Books Week 2014 - Most Challenged of 2013

Defend the Freedom to Read. It
The American Library Association have released their list for the most challenged books of 2013. Here are the top ten: 

  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey - Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence
  2. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison - Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence
  3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie - Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James - Reasons: Nudity, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins - Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
  6. A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl, by Tanya Lee Stone - Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green - Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky - Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  9. Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya - Reasons: Occult/Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  10. Bone (series), by Jeff Smith - Reasons: Political viewpoint, racism, violence
The Adventures of Captain Underpants (Captain Underpants, #1) The Bluest Eye The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1) 
A lot of these aren't surprising to me, such as Captain Underpants and The Perks of Being a Wallflower, as I've seen them on banned books lists in previous years; but some of them I am surprised about - who'd have ever thought that a John Green Book could be banned? I mean, come on, it's John. Freaking. Green. Golden boy of YA. Shock and disbelief must have been all over my face - quickly replaced by a very angry scowl of incredulity. 

A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl Looking for Alaska The Perks of Being a Wallflower Bless Me, Ultima
There's only one book on the top ten list that I very heartily agree with - not only should this book be banned, but all physical copies should be found and turned into fuel Fahrenheit 451 style. I haven't figured out what could be done about the ebooks yet - maybe an incurable and deadly virus that only attacks books that are as bad as this one? Hackers of the world - get at me, there's plots to be schemed and schemes to plot. 
I'm pretty sure you can guess which book I am referring to. Yes, that one. And I'm sure you're already aware of the fact that it isn't the content I object to - actually, yes it is, I object to it all. Every last poorly chosen word. To clarify, it isn't necessarily the explicit content to which I am objecting (maybe in schools, but definitely not in public libraries) But rather the complete and utter crap that is the written work itself. I think we all know... 

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)

*Disclaimer: I never actually read Fifty Shades in its entirety, I did, however, skim it a bit and have read several excerpts that made me: snort, roll my eyes, gag, and break out in hives (not in that order). I tried but couldn't force myself my pass the first couple pages. 

***This is a late post - it was scheduled to post last week and I've only just realised that it hasn't happened. I guess I won't be relying on that feature***

What do you think of 2013's frequently challenged and banned books? Have you read and of them? Do you plan to? Inquiring minds (mine) want to know!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Were Difficult For Me To Read

  1. Insurgent - Veronica Roth - I try to finish every book and series I start and this one had a serious case of second book syndrome. I loved Divergent and found this book disappointing.  
  2. Allegiant - Veronica Roth - If second book syndrome is bad, I don't even know what to call this disaster. I struggled through the first half of Allegiant before giving up on it. My first DNF.
  3. The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy - This one was hard for me for a number of reasons. Although it had several lovely passages, I just couldn't get into the story. I did finish it.
  4. City of Bones - Cassandra Clare - I read this book while constantly eye-rolling it's cheesy predictable plot. I do try to finish every series I start, but had zero interest in finishing this one.
  5. Lord of the Flies - William Golding - I read this is high school and I can remember how hard some of the parts were for me to get through, some of the imagery stuck with me for a long time after finishing this one. I had dreams about the pig, it haunted me for weeks.
  6. Thirst - Christopher Pike - This was the series that turned me off from vampire books, possibly permanently. I constantly asked myself while reading, "why am I reading this?" But I finished not only this book, but the whole series. Because I used to force myself to do that sort of thing.
  7. Alias Grace - Margaret Atwood - I loved this book. Not while I was reading it, but after - it just sort of struck me that was really good. It's dense, and deals with a lot of thought provoking issues, but it's not a fun read. It was hard for me to get through and took me a lot longer than I thought it would to finish it.
  8. Before I Go To Sleep - S.J. Watson - I should know better than to read books about abuse and other trigger pulling topics, but I got this one as a gift and I thought I should read it. I did, but it wasn't easy.
  9. The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver - I did love this one. It was heartbreaking and soul crunching, and I cried over this family. It hurt to watch them fall apart at the seems, but I couldn't put it down. This one stayed with me.
  10. The Happiness Project - Gretchen Rubin - I struggle with non-fiction in general and this one was no exception. I used the 12-month project as an excuse to take a year to finish this book. Maybe that's what I was supposed to do? Either way, I didn't enjoy it.
Were there any books that were hard for you to read for any reason?

The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More FunThe Poisonwood BibleBefore I Go To SleepAlias GraceThirst No. 1: The Last Vampire, Black Blood, and Red Dice (Thirst, #1)
Insurgent (Divergent, #2)Allegiant (Divergent, #3)The God of Small ThingsLord of the FliesCity of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)

What's the word, girl?

 quixotic adjective [kwiks-ah-tic]: hopeful or romantic in a way that is not practical; foolishly impractical especially in the pursuit of ideals; especially:  marked by rash lofty romantic ideas or extravagantly chivalrous action. As in Don Quixote. (via)

They had quixotic dreams about the future.

Every year at Christmas my mother gives me a word-of-the-day calendar because she knows I love words. What's the word, girl? Is a word-of-the-week series in which I share some of my favourites with you (and prove to my mother that I actually do love the calendars - thanks mom!) What's the word, girl? happens on Wednesdays, unless I say otherwise ;)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: What's On Your Fall TBR List?

1) Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
I have really been enjoying the Starz series and it's convinced me to finally read the books (something a very dear friend of mine has been trying to get me to do since high school).
2) The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
For some reason, to me The Hobbit always feels like such a cosy book to curl up with, and fall is the perfect time to read about adventures. Something about the way the leaves turn and the air becomes crisp always makes me feel like it's adventuring time. (Also, this week is the Tolkien Blog Party)
3) The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
I really love Neil Gaiman and have been waiting for Horror October to begin so I can start this one. I've heard such great things about this one and I think it'll be a good choice.
4) The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
I'll be doing a read along next month with Hamlette over on The Edge of The Precipice and am really looking forward to it.
5) Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
I've heard rumours that this one isn't really as dark and spooky as it seems, but since it looks pretty gothic, I'm throwing it into my Gothic October TBR Pile. Also my mom recommended it and loaned me her copy, so I really need to read it - thanks mom :)
6) A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Again, I've heard that it's not really a scary book, but the illustrations are dark and quite chilling. Besides, if every book I read this fall is a horror I'll have trouble sleeping, so maybe it's not such a bad thing.
7) Cujo by Stephen King
I've never read anything by Stephen King before, and I think that Halloween is the perfect time to start, who knows - it might even spark a new Halloween tradition for me. King on Halloween anyone?
8) Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
I may have a deep dislike for YA vampire novels, but I have always had a deep love for vampire movies. I thought that this October I would give one of the classic vampire novels (and movies) a shot, this will be my first Anne Rice and I'm hoping for the best.
9) Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong
I love Kelley Armstrong; I love her YA novels, I love Bitten (the book and the show), and I really want to continue reading more of her Women of the Otherworld series. Plus, yay Canadian Authors!
10) The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness
This is the last book in the All Soul's trilogy and I have absolutely loved it so far. I'm a little sad to see it end but I love the story and the characters and I can't wait to see how it all turns out.

Outlander (Outlander, #1)   The Hobbit (Middle-Earth Universe)   The Graveyard Book   
The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sherlock Holmes, #5)   Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #1)   A Monster Calls

Cujo     Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1)   Dime Store Magic  (Women of the Otherworld, #3)

 The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy, #3)

What's on your fall TBR list?