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Celebrity (& other) Book Lists > Notorious: Abe Books List

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message 1: by Ruby , Mistress of Chaos (new)

Ruby  Tombstone Lives! (rubytombstone) | 3260 comments Mod
Just saw this from Abe Books & thought I'd share..

Bad Reputation – The Most Notorious Books
"....Regardless of one’s personal feelings about a work, there’s no denying that controversy and curiosity go hand in hand. To demonstrate, we’ve put together a selection of some of the most notorious, controversial, objected-to books the literary world has seen. Bet you’ve heard of all or most."

http://www.abebooks.co.uk/books/contr...

What do people think of the list?

I was surprised to see The Wasp Factory on there. It's one of my all-time favourite books, but I was unaware that there was any controversy about it. "Depraved"? Really?


message 2: by Theo (new)

Theo | 159 comments It seems fairly in line with what I've come to expect. In the US, the American Library Association (ALA) keeps track of challenges and attempted bannings of books in libraries and schools across the country, and these are the kinds of titles that show up year after year. Nine of the titles on the Abe Books List show up on the Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009 published by the ALA's Office of Intellectual Freedom. The ones that overlap are mostly the ones written for children and those that are taught in schools. It seems there is always more controversy when a book has the potential to "warp young minds."


message 3: by Riona (new)

Riona (rionafaith) | 457 comments *immediately adds entire list to TBR*

No, but seriously. I've read (and really enjoyed!) a good chunk of these, and the vast majority of the rest were already on my to-read shelf. I've been meaning to get to The Wasp Factory forever. Generally, when a book is so infamous for being "shocking" or challenged, it just makes me want to read it more. I like controversy.


message 4: by Ruby , Mistress of Chaos (new)

Ruby  Tombstone Lives! (rubytombstone) | 3260 comments Mod
Theo wrote: "It seems fairly in line with what I've come to expect. In the US, the American Library Association (ALA) keeps track of challenges and attempted bannings of books in libraries and schools across th..."

Yeah, I must admit, I didn't look to see where their data was coming from. Being a UK site, I didn't realise they were using ALA data. That would probably skew things a little!

Riona - It has been years since I read The Wasp Factory, but I don;t remember it being that hardcore. You might be disappointed! My interest in it was to do with the use of personal symbols in "magic". I find symbology really intriguing in that context.


message 5: by Theo (new)

Theo | 159 comments A fun reaction by Mark Twain to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn being banned in Omaha, Nebraska: Mark Twain on Huck Finn

"I am tearfully afraid this noise is doing much harm. It has started a number of hitherto spotless people to reading Huck Finn, out of a natural human curiosity to learn what this is all about--people who had not heard of him before; people whose morals will go to wreck and ruin now."


message 6: by Meg (new)

Meg (megbulloch) | 20 comments Theo wrote: "A fun reaction by Mark Twain to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn being banned in Omaha, Nebraska: Mark Twain on Huck Finn

"I am tearfully afraid this noise is doing much harm. It has started a n..."


I love his so much. Thanks Theo!


message 7: by Meg (new)

Meg (megbulloch) | 20 comments As I was reading through the list, I got thinking about one of my fundamental beliefs about books -- they should not be banned, ever. I've been trying to think of what I would require to say a book must be banned (and frankly, banned from what?). I can't come up with anything (and having just finished my first Irving Welsh, I think that's saying quite a bit!). "Anything by Dan Brown," might be my off the cuff answer but I don't think things should be "banned" because they are just terrible. Any requirements?


message 8: by Tammy (new)

Tammy | 9 comments Meg wrote: "As I was reading through the list, I got thinking about one of my fundamental beliefs about books -- they should not be banned, ever. I've been trying to think of what I would require to say a book..."

On the whole "should books be banned" topic, it was interesting and thought-provoking to read a news article (believe it was in April or thereabouts) about the continued banning of Mein Kampf in parts of Germany. I've always been completely against banning any books, but I found my initial gut reaction was to agree with the pro-ban folks, until I realized that an extreme example such as that doesn't change the underlying principle.

Having thought about it off and on since reading the news coverage, my opinion is that no book, no matter how awful, should be banned. The benefits are doubtful (information will be shared, one way or another; banning a book has never stopped someone from being hateful/crude/a waste of space) and the costs are high.

Plus, I can now continue to carry my "I Read Banned Books" tote bag I ordered from the ALA.


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