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Pick-a-Shelf: Monthly -Archive > 2012-06 - Banned Books - Post June reviews here

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message 1: by Slayermel (new)

Slayermel | 664 comments Can't wait to see what you have read this month


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) | 2826 comments Mod
Man - I better get the quote thread up,huh?


message 3: by Slayermel (new)

Slayermel | 664 comments I'm delayed too, don't feel bad Lyn ;0)


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) | 2826 comments Mod
Man, June just snuck up on me, lol.


message 5: by Krait (new)

Krait | 58 comments 4 stars for H.G. Wells' classic The Invisible Man. Read my review here.


message 6: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3449 comments Mod
I had never read The Lorax before, and was astonished to see it was first published in 1971. Even then, I can't see why it would've been banned. I almost gave it only 2 stars, but finally settled on 3. My review here .


message 7: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3449 comments Mod
I read James and the Giant Peach, and couldn't find much to say about it in my review. Such as it is, it's here . Here's what about.com says about it:

"This book has been frequently challenged and banned for its content, including the abuse that James experiences. Others have claimed that the book promotes alcohol and drug use, that it contains inappropriate language, and that it encourages disobedience to parents."


message 8: by Scott (new)

Scott I read Last Exit To Brooklyn and finished it completely floored. This violent and uncompromising look into 1950's Brooklyn stands in stark contrast to the Saturday Evening Post view of America and I can definitely see why 1964 wasn't ready for it.

My review here


message 9: by D.G. (last edited Jun 06, 2012 08:27AM) (new)

D.G. | 1370 comments Just finished The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. I've tried to read this book several times and I never got past the first chapter. But once I started listening to the wonderful narration of Grover Gardner, I couldn't stop listening and was laughing every other minute.

The situations in this book reminded me a lot of my childhood because I also grew up poor in a rural environment with no toys or regimentation so my cousins and I had to find our own amusements.

See more in my review

In Mark Twain's lifetime, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn were excluded from the juvenile sections of the Brooklyn Public library (among other libraries) because the two characters were "bad examples for ingenuous youth." Today, people object mostly to the use of the 'N' word.


message 10: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3449 comments Mod
D.G. ~Shameless Hussy~ wrote: "In Mark Twain's lifetime, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn were excluded from the juvenile sections of the Brooklyn Public library (among other libraries) because the two characters were "bad examples for ingenuous youth."

Ha! I had to look up "ingenuous" in a dictionary. It sounds too much like so many other words. Why didn't they just say "naive"?


message 11: by D.G. (new)

D.G. | 1370 comments Susan wrote: "Ha! I had to look up "ingenuous" in a dictionary. It sounds too much like so many other words. Why didn't they just say "naive"? "

Well, ingenious means "clever - resourceful - inventive - skilful" so naive wouldn't have been the word to use. :) Also, this was said in the 19th century not recently. :)

And believe it or not, just yesterday my husband was talking about that word. He was objecting to people in the news saying 'That's genius!' He said they should say 'that's ingenious' as genius is the noun and ingenious is the adjective. :)


message 12: by Bea (new)

Bea | 4656 comments Mod
D.G. ~Shameless Hussy~ wrote: "And believe it or not, just yesterday my husband was talking about that word. He was objecting to people in the news saying 'That's genius!' He said they should say 'that's ingenious' as genius is the noun and ingenious is the adjective. :) "

My husband does that too!


message 13: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3449 comments Mod
D.G. ~Shameless Hussy~ wrote: "Well, ingenious means "clever - resourceful - inventive - skilful" so naive wouldn't have been the word to use. :) Also, this was said in the 19th century not recently. :) "

But that's just what I meant about it being confusing. The word they used is NOT "ingenious," but "ingenuous" (which does mean naive).


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) | 2826 comments Mod
Great discussion Susan, Bea, and D.G. I think either ingenuous or ingenious could apply to Tom and Huck, lol.


message 15: by Kristen (new)

Kristen | 38 comments I just finished reading The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. hen I first started reading it I was a bit confused as to why this book was banned. I thought, It's only an alternate future type of story.... Now that I have finiahed I can see why.

There is a lot of controversial topics discussed and the type of future that it paints is certianly not a pretty one. It's one that many people would not want to see happen.

I was completely engrossed in the tale of Offred and wanted to know every detail she had to give about the life she had lived and the life she was currently living.

Beautiful, terrible, worthy of a tear or two at times and a fantastic tale.

I have never been a fan of Margaret Atwood's work before. After reading The Handmaid's Tale I have some hope that there are some pieces of work by her that are truly for souls like mine.


message 16: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3449 comments Mod
I forgot to post a quote from Bridge to Terabithia before I took it back to the library, but I did finally post a review. I gave it 3 stars, which seems lower than most others did. I liked it, but didn't go wild for it. My review here .

There's actually a whole GR discussion about its being banned, at
http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1....


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) | 2826 comments Mod
Thanks for the link, Susan. I loved reading through the discussion.


message 18: by D.G. (new)

D.G. | 1370 comments Susan wrote: "But that's just what I meant about it being confusing. The word they used is NOT "ingenious," but "ingenuous" (which does mean naive). "

LOL, I think I have to check my glasses! I really didn't see that as ingenuous but as ingenious! But I guess it makes sense either way. :)

This was said in the 19th century so maybe ingenuous was more popular. But you rarely see it now, I think most people prefer naive. :)

I'm not sure how it's even pronounced in English (I'll have to ask my husband.) I'm getting it confused with the French (like ingénue) or the Spanish (ingenuo.)


message 19: by D.G. (last edited Jun 14, 2012 06:47AM) (new)

D.G. | 1370 comments I meant to read The Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights but without realizing I picked an abridged audio that wasn't in the shelf. Anyhow, I'll post my review here because I wouldn't have read it otherwise. :)

I listened to Tales from the Arabian Nights edited by Andrew Lang, an abridged version with only 4 of the most known tales (Aladdin, Ali Baba, Sinbad, etc.) I've never read the stories and was a bit surprised that they were not AT ALL like their Disney counterpart (don't know why I should have been!) The characters are not sympathetic but very greedy people mostly concerned with riches. I cannot even say they were morality tales because even when the characters do bad things (like Ali Baba stealing from the thieves), they never reach a bad end. There's a lot of gore too with beheadings, people being boiled in oil, being eaten by ogres, you name it!


message 20: by Amy (new)

Amy | 2144 comments Finished The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian for Snakes and Ladders this week and discovered that it was on the banned list. Here was my review for the book which I gave 3 stars:

The main character is a teenage Indian boy living on a reservation who dreams of a better life. He decides to do the unthinkable--attend an all-white school off the "res" which makes him an outcast. The story was both sad and uplifting in that it dealt with poverty, alcoholism and death while still clinging to hope in the face of all of that misery.


message 21: by Tara (new)

Tara | 742 comments I read Fifty Shades of Grey for my F2F book club and 1 person added it to the shelf so I get to share here.
I was not one of the people who love this book. I had a hard time with the writing and could not find anything to love about Christian.
I could see why someone would want to ban it, but even though I did not like it I would not want to see it banned.


message 22: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3449 comments Mod
I just realized that I posted on the LOST list when I finished I am the Cheese, but forgot to do it here. And it was actually the first one I read this month. I guess that's what happens when you "double-dip." I gave it 3 stars. My review here .


message 23: by Krait (new)

Krait | 58 comments D.G. ~Captain Hussy~ wrote: "I meant to read The Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights but without realizing I picked an abridged audio that wasn't in the shelf."

For a far more realistic Arabian Nights experience than the Burton "translation" (from a French text, no less), I recommend The Arabian Nights by Hysain Haddawy, which is translated from the Arabic. You won't find Sinbad or Ali Baba in this one...


message 24: by D.G. (new)

D.G. | 1370 comments Thanks, Krait. I'll check that one out.


message 25: by Tara (new)

Tara | 742 comments I read Life as We Knew It and I am not sure who banned it or why. I tried to look it up, but never found out how it ended up on this shelf.
I really enjoyed this book. It tells Miranda's story in diary form of her family's survival when the moon is knocked closer to the earth and sets off a variety of natural disasters. There is a religious character that is a bit out there and so I noticed that some people did not like the way religion was presented in the book... so I am guessing that may be the reason it was banned, but that is really only my guess.
I will definitely be checking out some of the companion books at some point.


message 26: by Mindy (new)

Mindy | 87 comments I read The Handmaid's Tale. I gave it four stars. Definitely different than something I usually would read, but I thought it was well-written and interesting.


message 27: by D.G. (last edited Jun 20, 2012 05:54AM) (new)

D.G. | 1370 comments I read Slaughterhouse-Five (3 stars) which I think was too subtle for for an anti-war book. I understood that the 'time traveling' were really the delusions of a man using his imagination to escape the horror of war but there was too much distraction for me to really feel the pain.

One good thing I have to say is that this book made me want to learn more about the fire bombing of Dresden.

ETA: It has been banned "due to its irreverent tone and purportedly obscene content." (according to Wikipedia.)


message 28: by Hayley (new)

Hayley (shnuh) | 10 comments I read Fahrenheit 451 and The Diary of a Young Girl. I was supposed to read A Light in the Attic between them for a bit of lightness, but i couldn't get hold of it then so i'm reading it now.

I only gave Fahrenheit 451 3 stars, but it's the sort of book that i should have read more slowly and will need to reread. I could see it's potential to be a great book, and i get why it's so popular, but on this read-through it just didn't grab me.

I thought The Diary of a Young Girl was amazing, and i gave it 5 stars. I found it suprisingly moving, and i had to keep reminding myself that it was non-fiction and wasn't really written as a book.

I'm finding A Light in the Attic to be pretty funny so far and i can see why it would be a good, witty childrens book. Totally ludicrous that it's been banned, but most of the reasons for banning any of these books seem pretty ridiculous to me.


message 29: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3449 comments Mod
I read Roald Dahl's The Witches, and really enjoyed it. Gave it 4 stars. My review here .

It seems likely it would be banned because of the witches, whose ultimate goal is to kill all the children in the world. But the grandmother has some very unconventional attitudes about raising children that I could see people objecting to as well. And there's some question about how the parents of a second boy in the story will treat him after the witches have turned him into a mouse.

All those things seem to me to be elements of what makes the book outrageously funny. But I guess some people have gotten stuck on the "outrageous" part.


message 30: by Krait (new)

Krait | 58 comments I read The Outsiders / That Was Then This Is Now / Rumblefish by S.E. Hinton as The Outsiders is on the banned books shelf. The book gets 4 stars from me. My review only covers The Outsiders.


message 31: by Mindy (last edited Jun 23, 2012 05:18PM) (new)

Mindy | 87 comments I finished Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade. I give it two and a half stars. It was ok for me. It didn't really break any boundaries. I also found the writing style distracting because it was distanced from the character, which also made it lessen the impact. The writing style itself, and the repetition of "so it goes" whenever something dead was mentioned kept breaking me out of the story. It made for an uncomfortable read that kept me conscious of turning pages rather than immersing me in the character's world.


message 32: by D.G. (new)

D.G. | 1370 comments I read it too and I felt the same way, Mindy.


message 33: by Mindy (new)

Mindy | 87 comments D.G. ~Captain Hussy~ wrote: "I read it too and I felt the same way, Mindy."

Like you too D.G., I would be interested in reading more books about the firebombing of Dresden.


message 34: by Mindy (last edited Jun 24, 2012 12:38PM) (new)

Mindy | 87 comments Well the library was not cooperating, so I finally decided to just buy a copy of Speak. I am glad I did, because it was a really good book. I gave it 4 stars. I enjoyed Melinda's voice, especially her struggles to speak through her art and her descriptions of the people in her world. I also liked how she confronted her fears, step by step and not with a big epiphany like is sometimes the case in young adult (and adult) books.


message 35: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3449 comments Mod
Mindy wrote: "I finished Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children's Crusade. I give it two and a half stars. It was ok for me. It didn't really break any boundaries. I also found the writing style distracting be..."

@ D.G. & Mindy:
I listened to the audio-book while walking (thanks to an earlier challenge here), and hearing it rather than reading it may have kept me from having the same distancing feeling you mentioned.


message 36: by D.G. (new)

D.G. | 1370 comments I listened to the audiobook too, Susan. I was just wasn't interested in the time traveling parts and that's why I thought was distracting.


message 37: by Tien (new)

Tien (tiensblurb) | 8674 comments Mod
I finished mine over the weekend.

Doctor Zhivago was totally not what I expected especially all this hoo-ha about it being so romantic etc...

My full but short review here


message 38: by Vivian (new)

Vivian (_vivian) | 192 comments I technically read Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging at the end of last month, but it's a banned book, so I'm posting here too.

This is pretty much the diary of a 14 year old girl, full of drama and boys. I think it was banned because there is some talk/questions about sex, but to me, the content doesn't seem too mature for teenagers. I thought the book was funny in the over-the-top dramatic way only a teenage girl could provide.


message 39: by J. Travis (new)

J. Travis Moger | 50 comments I just finished reading To Kill a Mockingbird. Here's my review:

Harper Lee's Southern Gothic novel To Kill a Mockingbird paints a picture of life in a small Alabama hamlet during the Great Depression as seen through the eyes of a little girl nicknamed Scout whose lawyer father defends a black man accused of raping a white woman. The topic was shocking enough to get it banned from libraries and schools after its publication in 1960. The author’s narrative prowess is only slightly compromised by the two-dimensionality of the main character Atticus—a cross between Clarence Darrow and Jesus Christ—and the implication that civil rights was a product of enlightened white Southern aristocracy. Besides raising awareness for civil rights there’s another reason the book won the Pulitzer Prize: it’s a darn good read. I only wish Harper Lee had published other books.


message 40: by Susan (new)

Susan | 3449 comments Mod
I'm guessing that Holes made the banned-books list because of the terrible way the boys at the supposed camp were treated by the adults there. I liked it, and gave it 3 stars. My review here .


message 41: by Amy (new)

Amy | 2144 comments Earlier this month I read Looking for Alaska and gave it 2 1/2 stars. I'm guessing it landed on the banned list because it deals with students who party quite a bit and pull some nasty pranks on other classmates. Not exactly role models for young readers. The book didn't move me in any way; I didn't like it as much as other books by John Green.


message 42: by Lauren (new)

Lauren | 247 comments I attempted to read American Psycho but I am officially throwing in the towel. I can definitely see why it was banned as it is quite graphic and I don't think I got to the really graphic parts. There was no story line after over 100 pages so I am giving up on it. In fact I stuck with it for so long since I knew that there had to be a story in there somewhere but alas.


message 43: by Tara (new)

Tara | 742 comments I started Blankets and I heard it was banned because of it's "coming to age" content... meaning sexual exploration. I have not gotten that far yet though.


message 44: by Scott (new)

Scott I also read Lolita.

When I read Lolita I didn't really like it, in fact it took forever and there were spells where I could only do a few pages at a time. It had nothing to do with the subject matter or the characters but I guess it was just way too wordy for me.

Looking back on it now I really like the book and actually moved my rating up from 3 to 4 stars. Like Rolls Andre said this "was a good book to read but not a good book to 'read'".

Not sure what else to say but here is some really fantastic design work i found build around passages from the book. Enjoy


message 45: by Tara (new)

Tara | 742 comments I finished Blankets. I liked this graphic novel/memoir.
I could totally see why someone felt the need to ban it. There were some drawings of genitalia. Of course, I did not find it to be anything worse than pictures seen in a sex ed class and it was totally in context. To me part of coming of age is trying to come to terms with what is lust vs. love and the moral dilemmas that accompany those feelings... and I think he did a great job showing his feelings during his adolescence and his taste of first love.


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