Thursday, October 1, 2009

Reading List


October 1st  is “Banned Books Day”.  The American Library Association maintains lists of by year of the ten most frequently challenged books.
On the most recent list (2008) I find:
The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
The Kite Runner along with Hosseini’s equally masterful A Thousand Splendid Suns are two of the greatest books I have read in recent yearsThe description of “unsuited to age group” leads me to realize that those protesting books have most likely not ever read more than the description on the jacket.  The central character is a young boy in Afghanistan in parts of the story, but the intended “age group” is adults.  For those who wish to learn what life is like in other countries and clutures: read.   And for a view of what life can be like for Afghan women in a repressive society, read A Thousand Splendid Suns.
Other favorites of mine that have appeared on recent lists:
2007
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
Reason: racism
The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
Reasons: homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit
2006
The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicity, and unsuited to age group
Beloved, by Toni Morrison
Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group
I should make it a point to read every book on the list.

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