Banned Books Week. Let’s get my read on.

Yesterday I discovered something new about books. Every year the grand people of the US of A celebrate freedom of speech.

As a book lover the idea of not being able to read something because someone says I shouldn’t is awful for me. I find literature, poetry, social commentary; writing of all kinds so personal, inspirational and wholesome.

Banned Books Week is the US national book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read and it bring attention to the problem of censorship around the country. According to their website more than 11,300 books have been challenged since its launch in 1982.

The follow books were the most challenged pieces of writing in the States in 2012.

  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  3. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James.
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  5. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.
    Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group
  6. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.
    Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green.
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  8. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
    Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence
  9. The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  10. Beloved, by Toni Morrison

Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence

In the spirit of supporting people to express themselves and people’s right to read, the next ten books I will be reading will be these ten. From ten to one.

Then I’m going to tackle this list

Having always been a reader (I remember at roughly age seven having eight or so books on the go at once) I think this is an issue that needs to be highlighted (even if that means I’m going to read Fifty Shades of low key porn).

Writing is such an amazing way of expressing yourself and not only for the writer. As a reader I gain so much for a book, a poem, an article. Words have shaped me to be who I am today and over the next months I will be reading the most contested books of the last year and writing about it. Because a good book sparks conversation, and a good conversation changes who someone is.

Book #1 Beloved, by Toni Morrison.

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