03 October 2008

Armageddon In Retrospect

Killing time at the library while waiting for someone the other night, I perused their display for Banned Books Week (September 27–October 4, 2008). I was pleased to see that I'd read nearly all of the books in the case.

I've got stuff at home that I'm reading so I wasn't really looking for anything, but then among the new books I saw one by Kurt Vonnegut. Ah, serendipity! The author of Slaughterhouse Five made an excellent choice for Banned Books Week.

38. Armageddon In Retrospect by Kurt Vonnegut (4/5)

Armageddon In Retrospect is a collection of 12 previously unpublished non-fiction and fiction writings about war and peace by Kurt Vonnegut with a very good introduction by his son Mark. The non-fiction portions, including a letter he wrote to his family after he was freed from being a POW during World War 2, provide so much insight into the author and his fiction stories. The destruction of Dresden by American bombers, which he witnessed from the ground as a POW, clearly had a profound effect on him and his writing. The story "The Commandant's Desk" is as relevant to today as it is to WWII.

It's a quick read, definitely worth checking out.

According to the American Library Association (ALA),
The 10 most challenged books of 2007 reflect a range of themes, and are:

1. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-Ethnic, Sexism, Homosexuality, Anti-Family, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group
2. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Violence
3. Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
Reasons: Sexually Explicit and Offensive Language
4. The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman
Reasons: Religious Viewpoint
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
Reasons: Racism
6. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language,
7. TTYL, by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group
8. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
Reasons: Sexually Explicit
9. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
Reasons: Sex Education, Sexually Explicit
10. The Perks of Being A Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

The most frequently challenged authors of 2007

1. Robert Cormier
2. Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
3. Mark Twain
4. Toni Morrison
5. Philip Pullman
6. Kevin Henkes
7. Lois Lowry
8. Chris Crutcher
9. Lauren Myracle
10. Joann Sfar
Now get out there and read some banned books!

3 years ago on TTaT: The top of the hill, tip of the week- electricity, Nerves a-twitter

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