Banned Books Club discussion

Books in Queue

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message 1: by Will (new)

Will O'the Wisp (willothewisp) | 17 comments Mod
There are hundreds, nay, thousands of works of literature that have raised the hackles of some group or another who fear the effect that truth or inquiry have on their belief systems.

It's our job to support those questioners, those warriors, who dare challenge the status quo and allow society to evolve by doing so, allow our institutions to be analyzed and improved, and allow free thought to rule.

What books would you like added to our shelf for future reading?

message 2: by Satia (new)

Satia Ulysses by James Joyce
Maurice by E M Forster
Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
Death Be Not Proud by John Gunter
Being There by Jerzy Kosinski
The Education of Harriet Hatfield by May Sarton
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksander Solzhenitsyn
Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut Jr

Just a few off the top of my head. If I had included books I've already read this list would be much longer but I limited myself to a very few of the books I have not yet read. I also focused more on adult literature than young adult but there is a long list of young adult banned books I wouldn't mind reading.

message 3: by Jamie (new)

Jamie (jamie_leigh) | 43 comments A Day No Pigs Will Die -Robert Newton Peck
The Witches _ Roald Dahl
Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett
As I lay Dying - Wm. Faulkner

I am very interested in rereading banned books I've read and also, new ones that I can't believe have been banned! I love Pillars of the Earth and had no idea it had been banned, so that would be a reread for me. There are so many to choose from, I'd be interested in whatever.

message 4: by Will (new)

Will O'the Wisp (willothewisp) | 17 comments Mod
Thanks for the input Jamie and Satia! We'll choose one from your lists after we finish The Golden Compass.

message 5: by Satia (new)

Satia I just found out that The Freedom Writer's Diaries was banned and a teacher fired because she had dared to use it in her classroom against her school board's wishes. I find this incredibly ironic.

Also, The Marriage of Figaro and Barber of Seville (operas) were banned from being performed in France for a while.

Here are some other books:

The Letters of Abelard & Heloise by Pierre Abelard
The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison
Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
Arabian Nights or The Thousand and One Nights
Advancement of Learning by Francis Bacon
Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
The Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire

message 6: by Satia (new)

Satia Some more banned books I haven't read and am curious to read.

Naked Lunch by William Burroughs
The Yage Letter by Burroughs and Ginsberg
God’s Little Acre by Erskine Caldwell
Tobacco Road by Erskine Caldwell
Civil and Canonical Law by John Calvin
Memoires (History of My Life) by Casanova de Seingalt
Don Quixote by Cervantes
Dance on My Grave by Aidan Chambers
Fanny Hill by John Cleland
Analects by Confucius
Lords of Discipline by Pat Conroy
The Great Santini by Robert Conroy
Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
Roxana by Daniel Defoe
Deliverance by James Dickey
An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
Genius by Theodore Dreiser
Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
Camille by Alexandre Dumas

message 7: by Will (new)

Will O'the Wisp (willothewisp) | 17 comments Mod
As we wind down on The Golden Compass, it's time to pick a new book!

Here are my three - let me know what you want to go with:

Don Quixote
Breakfast of Champions
Pillars of the Earth.

Vote now!

message 8: by Satia (new)

Satia I'm going with either Breakfast of Champions or Don Quixote. I started the latter but never finished because I misplaced the book and it took too long to find it. By the time I did, I was immersed in other books. The former I've always wanted to read but never got around to reading. As for Pillars of the Earth, I've read it twice--once on my own and once as part of a group so I am not really chomping at the bit to read it a third time.

message 9: by Jamie (new)

Jamie (jamie_leigh) | 43 comments Don Quixote would be interesting.

message 10: by Serena (new)

Serena Huang (marrykatebush) | 259 comments Breakfast of Champions! Personally I think it's one of Vonnegut's top 3. The others being Slaughter House 5 and God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater.

message 11: by Will (new)

Will O'the Wisp (willothewisp) | 17 comments Mod
Alright - the next book is BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS!
Start reading, start discussing...we'll have this one be the book of the month...

message 12: by Satia (new)

Satia Since we haven't chosen a new book for May, should we just choose from either Don Quixote or Pillars of the Earth? I'm still disinclined to read the latter but I'm game to read the former. Or we could start a whole new vote for May.

Any thoughts?

message 13: by Serena (new)

Serena Huang (marrykatebush) | 259 comments I am all for Don Quixote!

message 14: by Will (new)

Will O'the Wisp (willothewisp) | 17 comments Mod
Hi guys - was totally going to ask for a new book tomorrow.
Let's definitely go with Don Quixote.

message 15: by Serena (new)

Serena Huang (marrykatebush) | 259 comments hey Will, just curious, what's your thought on Breakfast of Champions?

message 16: by Jamie (new)

Jamie (jamie_leigh) | 43 comments i bought a copy today. it will be interesting to see how the different translations match up. i got the edith grossman translation.

i'm excited since even as an english major i've only ever read excerpts.

message 17: by Satia (new)

Satia Jamie, I hadn't even thought about that--different translations. I found this article online that compares the opening of the novel in translations by Motteux, Starkie, and Grossman:

Of course, now I have to wait for my library to cooperate and give me the copy I requested. My translation is by Smollett. And I'm first in the queue although I was first for BoC too and we all know how that turned out.

(I am preemptively complaining in hopes of getting my copy sooner, testing the theory I posted in the other thread that my complaining about how long it took the library to follow through resulted in my getting the book immediately thereafter.)

message 18: by Will (new)

Will O'the Wisp (willothewisp) | 17 comments Mod
Serena wrote: "hey Will, just curious, what's your thought on Breakfast of Champions?"

Hey Serena - still working on it. (shamefully.) I'll comment on both BOC and Don Quixote as soon as I have an opinion!

In the meantime...Shooter Jennings has added more tourdates. Make sure to check em out and get your tickets on myspace, facebook, or ilike.


message 19: by Serena (new)

Serena Huang (marrykatebush) | 259 comments Jamie and Satia, I have a copy of Don Quixote with J. M. Cohen as the translator, I can also get my hands on an edition that has Dali's illustrations (but I do not know the translator), do you know anything about these two editions? Any suggestions?

thank you!!

message 20: by Serena (new)

Serena Huang (marrykatebush) | 259 comments Will, excellent! Please take your time... Curious to see what you think.

Certainly will check out the tour dates! But why won't he come to NYC??

message 21: by Will (new)

Will O'the Wisp (willothewisp) | 17 comments Mod
Working on it - new dates are being added every day so i'll let you know when we do an east coast leg for sure...

message 22: by Satia (last edited May 17, 2010 07:01PM) (new)

Satia I found this list of worst books ever and was surprised to find Don Quixote on there. Then again, there are a lot of books there, many of which I loved (and a few I loathed).

My copy was at the library but Rob was out of town so I had to re-request it. Has anyone else started? Are we going to start the thread devoted to the book now or when we've finished?

message 23: by Will (new)

Will O'the Wisp (willothewisp) | 17 comments Mod
I think if people want to discuss as we go along, that's a good way to do it.

Where is everyone in the story? I know people were busy this month...

message 24: by Serena (new)

Serena Huang (marrykatebush) | 259 comments The "worst books" list appears strange and not well put together to me. Not sure if I can take it seriously. I don't see how Catch-22 and Animal Farm can even be anywhere near the list, but yet, they are. Hmm...

I just started Don Quixote, literally at Chapter 1 right now. It IS a busy month and I wanted to finish The Idiot first. I like the idea of discussing as we go along.

message 25: by Jamie (new)

Jamie (jamie_leigh) | 43 comments i've not really started, but i will this week when i get back to Pa.

that worst book list is terrible- it has tons of books that whether you like them or not are literary achievements and don't deserve to be on there. also, there are books on there that i really like. :)

message 26: by Serena (new)

Serena Huang (marrykatebush) | 259 comments Jamie wrote: "i've not really started, but i will this week when i get back to Pa.

that worst book list is terrible- it has tons of books that whether you like them or not are literary achievements and don't d..."

Jamie, I totally agree with you about that list. I think the title of the list should be "Books people love to hate". :)

message 27: by Jamie (new)

Jamie (jamie_leigh) | 43 comments so true! i try really hard not to say i hate a book. i might not get it (breakfast of champions) but that doesn't mean it has no literary worth. even some of the trashiest romance novels can have some value.

message 28: by Serena (new)

Serena Huang (marrykatebush) | 259 comments Ahh.. yes. I also try hard not to hate a book, although there are 2 on my list but I will not name them for that precise reason you have mentioned!
Vonnegut. Couple friends of mine were very happy when I told them about your comment of Breakfast of Champion being the bathroom book. :) I found it very funny as well. I think the feeling of being tricked by Vonnegut often happens in his books... Perhaps one day you will come across one of his you might enjoy better!

message 29: by Satia (new)

Satia I can think of quite a few books I loathed and I have no trouble saying, "I hate this book and this is why I hated it."

However, I also appreciate the fact that if everyone liked the same things then we wouldn't have so many choices. Given that most people barely read even one book a year, even if you allow for only one book since the written word came into being, some of us would be desperately reading the one book written hundreds of years ago or rereading last year's book desperately waiting for next year's one wonderful book to be published.

What I don't understand is how anyone can hate any book I love. I guess there's no accounting for taste. (LOL!)

message 30: by Jamie (new)

Jamie (jamie_leigh) | 43 comments LOL - i too get disappointed when ppl say they hate a book that i love. that said, i've totally turned some ppl and convinced them to give certain books another try. (cough. twilight.) LOL.

message 31: by Satia (new)

Satia *cough*never ever ever*cough*

message 32: by Serena (new)

Serena Huang (marrykatebush) | 259 comments Can we add this book to the list as well?

"I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou. It's been banned for ... Its depictions of sex, racism, homosexuality and violence. The American Library Association ranks it as No. 3 on their list of most-challenged books.

message 33: by Satia (new)

Satia This is a great book. I would definitely like to discuss it. I probably wouldn't reread it because I've read it more than once already but that wouldn't preclude my discussing it.

I wonder if there's a way we could create a master list . . .

Oh wait. We can. Why don't we add these books to the bookshelf and when it comes time to choose our next book someone could create a poll. Serena, you're in charge of choosing our book after Quixote so how does that sound to you? Why not create a poll?

message 34: by Serena (new)

Serena Huang (marrykatebush) | 259 comments Sure! Give me a few hours, will do the list and poll during downtime at work... Will let you guys know if I have questions..

message 35: by Serena (new)

Serena Huang (marrykatebush) | 259 comments Ok. Master list is up (to-read) and poll created for July! I threw in "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" to make it selections of 3...

message 36: by Satia (new)

Satia Awesome! I think this is a great way to keep things easy on everyone, especially the person who is cornered into making the selections.

I appreciate your narrowing down the choices for us. I know I would have been hard pressed to do it. :)

message 37: by Serena (new)

Serena Huang (marrykatebush) | 259 comments Did you see me panicking yesterday when Will said I should pick for July? ;)

I hope it's ok I narrowed it down. Figured this way we won't spent too much time deciding on which book. And since we are taking turns. everyone will get a chance for his/her choices.

message 38: by Satia (new)

Satia Well, if you weren't panicking then I was doing so for you. LOL!

I think it's a great idea though. Narrowing the choices down, as you say, will give everyone a chance to put their preferences out there and we're less likely to create a list that's so long that we can't see the forest for the trees.

message 39: by Serena (new)

Serena Huang (marrykatebush) | 259 comments Yes! Precisely. I like that: "we can't see the forest for the trees." Nice!

Will, is this all right with you? Having a master list that everyone can add to, and each will take turns to create a poll for the next book?

message 40: by Jamie (new)

Jamie (jamie_leigh) | 43 comments i like narrowing the scope. so many to choose from. can't wait for july!

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