Monday, September 27, 2010

Banned Books Week

As the spouse of a school librarian that has faced book challenges, I don't think I can be impartial. But even if I wasn't, as a free-thinking American that appreciates his inalienable freedom of expression, I don't think I could be impartial in the arena of people who don't want art to be seen. And as a film archivist, whose experience has shown over the years that you can never predict what will become important in the future, I cannot abide by those who deem it their duty to decide for others what has meaning and significance, and what is or isn't appropriate to feel or think.

As such, I support the American Library Association, and you should too, in this week (Sept. 25-Oct. 2) as they celebrate the annual Banned Books Week. There are activities scheduled all around the country, but if you don't want to, or can't make one of the events, just try one of these:

1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
3. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
5. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
6. Ulysses by James Joyce
7. Beloved by Toni Morrison
8. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
9. 1984 by George Orwell
10. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
11. Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov
12. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
13. Charlotte's Web by E. B. White
14. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
15. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
16. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
17. Animal Farm by George Orwell
18. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
19. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
20. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
21. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
22. Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne
23. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
24. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
25. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

These are the top 25 challenged classic books. The list goes to 100. Give your support to the freedom of ideas and laugh in the face of censorship. Read a book!

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