Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Banned Books?

It's Banned Books Week in the U.S.  How do I know?  Quilting blogger and pod-caster extraordinaire, Sandy Hasenauer and fellow quilting podcaster, Tanesha (Crafty Garden Mom) have once again embarked on a BBW quilting challenge (photos posted on Flickr) and give-away.

Once again I haven't entered.  I don't relate.  Apparently it's because I'm Canadian, eh?  And...up here we just don't tend to ban books.  Maybe it's our long winters; likely we need all the reading material we can get.  I dunno.

It's not to say we've never banned books in Canada; it's just that we don't tend to do so.  I'm not sure any of the books we once banned are still banned.  I'd guess not.  According to Wikipedia, there is at least a short list of books that were once banned in Canada, but I know that my mom read one years ago with her Book Club (and she died in 2004), so you can imagine it's not likely banned now.

There is a list of "Books That Have Shaped America", compiled by the U.S. Library of Congress.  The ones identified as once banned or challenged is lengthy, but if you're Canadian, and studied English Lit in junior and/or senior high, I'll bet you read some of these titles.

Here are some I've read (whether in school or out):

  • The Call of the Wild, Jack London, 1903 (in junior high lit class; perhaps Grade 8?);
  • Catch-22, Joseph Heller, 1961 (on my own, after I saw the movie, sometime early in university);
  • The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger, 1951 (on my own, in high school);
  • Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell, 1936 (again, after seeing the movie in my early teens);
  • The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925 (ditto -- after seeing the movie starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow);
  • Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman, 1855 (excerpts taught in high school English, as I recall); and
  • Our Bodies, Ourselves, Boston Women’s Health Book Collective, 1971 (owned a copy while in university.  It was essential reading for every young woman in those years).
Nowadays there are undoubtedly books I'd not want my children reading (if they weren't already adults living on their own).  The Fifty Shades series and just about anything glorifying vampires would be included in that number.  I don't believe that exposure to gratuitous sex, violence, or demonic personages is edifying or uplifting -- but now that my children are adults, if they choose to pollute their minds, so be it. 

I do believe that you are not only what you eat, but also what you think about (dwell on). any banned books lately?  


Jenny K. Lyon said...

Yes! What you read is very important! I didn't know they didn't ban books in Canada.

Kathie Briggs said...

Good grief, I real all of the books you listed. I read all but the last in high school. And when I went to the website I found I had read most of those on the short list.

Some of the banning are pretty comical. Here in the US local school districts can ban books if the school board thinks there is a reason. And a lot of idiots run for school board, namely because they are sports boosters and want to protect their interest in teams.

I am trying to remember the names of the books that I was assigned to read in my Catholic high school that I need my parents' permission to check out of our public library in the 1960s. Made my parents laugh that our community bent to some of these reactionaries.

besshaile said...

It may even be you're more what you read than what you eat. Reading sticks inside longer.

Sending you October Love, dear heart and frosty stitches.