Banned Book Week 2014



For this year’s Banned Book Week, I decided to go with a classes and read John Steinbeck’s East of Eden. Steinbeck is the author of twenty-seven books, including sixteen novels, six non-fiction books, and five collections of short stories; he received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962; but an unfortunate part of his legacy is that the American Library Association lists him as one of the ten most frequently banned authors from 1990-2004. Often synonymous with American literature, he’s considered one of the greatest author of the 20th century. His novels are considered classics and taught from grade school through university graduate courses here and around the world. Nevertheless, his three most notable works- The Grapes of Wrath (1939), Of Mice and Men (1937), and East of Eden- have also been repeatedly banned or challenged.

I hope that many of you are participating in Banned Book Week. I’d love to know what you’re currently reading and what your favorite “banned book” might be. Want to see what new, and old, books make the list? Check out Band Books Week here.


101 Things: 40. Get a Library Card

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the St. Charles Library and got myself and Joseph library cards. Its a great local library that is a five minute drive away from the house. I’m looking forward to taking Joe to some of their story-time programs. He loves to look at books and be read to, so I hope this turns into a love for reading as he gets older.

101 Things: 84. Join or start a book club

Mom started up a book club this winter with some neighbors and friends from school and asked me to become a member. I’ve been participating for the past few months and its been fun. I’ve enjoyed discussing books with others – reading can be such a solitary pursuit – and hearing such similar/different points of view regarding the same material. I’ve also been branching out to different authors and genres that I might have passed over. Some I’ve enjoyed, some not, but either way its been great to stretch out and try new things.

I still hope to start/join a book club that is a little closer to the genres I enjoy. It would be great to be able to discuss and dissect something like Annihilation or The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

Banned Book Week 2012


I committed a crime this year for Banned Book Week. I didn’t read anything off of the list this week. Unless ‘You Are Your Child’s First Teacher, Third Edition: Encouraging Your Child’s Natural Development from Birth to Age Six‘ has been banned somewhere. . . .

RIP Ray Bradbury

I was saddened to hear of the passing of another great writer today. Ray Bradbury passed away at 91. A great American fantasy, horror, and science fiction writer, Bradbury was often credited for bringing the genre into the mainstream.

Fahrenheit 451 is one of my all-time favorites, you know how I love a good dystopian work, and I have to say that the film adaptation of Something Wicked This Way Comes is one of the top five scariest movies from my childhood. I mean talk about nightmare material:

RIP Maurice Sendak

I was so sad to hear about the passing of Maurice Sendak, the author of “Where the Wild Things Are.” This is one of my favorite children’s books and I am so looking forward to reading it to Joe one day. The illustrations are amazing and I love how Sendak captures the emotions of Max and the monsters so artfully with very little text. It is one of the most beloved children’s books of my generation and I know that it will continue to be for those that follow. RIP, Mr. Sendak, I know a wild rumpus awaits you in heaven.

Banned Books Week 2011

This year I am participating in banned book week by re-reading Brave New World hoping that you are standing up against censorship and joining in. More than 11,000 books have been challenged since 1982! For more information on Banned Books Week, click here.

The 10 most challenged titles of 2010 were:

1. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
 Reasons: homosexuality, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group

2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: offensive language, racism, religious viewpoint, sex education, sexually
explicit, violence, unsuited to age group

3. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
 Reasons: insensitivity, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit

4. Crank, by Ellen Hopkins
 Reasons: drugs, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit

5. The Hunger Games (series), by Suzanne Collins
 Reasons: sexually explicit, violence, unsuited to age group

6. Lush, by Natasha Friend
 Reasons: drugs, sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group

7. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
 Reasons: sexism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

8. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America, by Barbara Ehrenreich
 Reasons: drugs, inaccurate, offensive language, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint

9. Revolutionary Voices edited by Amy Sonnie
 Reasons: homosexuality, sexually explicit

10. Twilight (series), by Stephenie Meyer
 Reasons: sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence, unsuited to age group

Penguin Threads

Not sure if anyone has seen this yet, but Oh Lord! Aren’t these beautiful? Jillian Tamaki is an amazing artist and she’s done a collaboration with Penguin Books as part of their Deluxe Classics project. Tamaki created illustrated book covers for The Secret Garden, Emma, and Black Beauty. I love how she contrasts a traditional crafting technique with modern colors and images.

Unfortunately, Penguin will not be producing the covers as individual embroidered objects (I’m not sure how that would be possible without making the books exorbitantly expensive.) They will instead be produced using a printed, sculptural-embossing technique that will emphasize the stitches. They should be available at most major and indie books stores.

Please check out the full post for additional images of these gorgeous covers.

Take Ivy Kit

I saw this on the Jack Spade site and thought that it was a neat take on the Take Ivy phenomenon. For those of you not obsessed with “trad” bible, Take Ivy is a collection of of candid photographs shot on the campuses of America’s elite, Ivy League universities. First published in Japan in 1965, the series focuses on men and their clothes, perfectly encapsulating the unique academic fashion of the era. Now considered a definitive document of this particular style, rare original copies are highly sought after by “trad” devotees worldwide. (Of course, Shawn has one.) This August, a reprinted edition has been released and this time in an English translation.

So, in order to celebrate the occasion, Jack Spade and K-Swiss have partnered up to create a limited edition sweatshirt and book belt to accompany the US release of Take Ivy. They’ve produced a heavy gauge crewneck sweatshirt with orange silk screened elbow patches and is cinched with the book by a custom bridle leather book strap made in NYC.

Banned Books Week 2010

Hope ya’ll are participating in Banned Books Week this year! This time around I’m re-reading The Color Purple by Alice Walker. One of my all-time favorite books and movies. I cry every time. Love, Love, Love. If that’s not up your alley, check out one of the others from the 10 most challenged books of 2009:

1. ttyl; ttgn; l8r, g8r (series) by Lauren Myracle
2. And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
5. Twilight (series) by Stephanie Meyer
6. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
7. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
8. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
9. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
10. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

Also, check out Northcoast Zeitgeist for his awesome banned book posters. (One shown above.) They’re visually fantastic and a great way to get the message out. Not to mention created in Ohio!