Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday Round-Up

The American Library Association's annual Banned Books Week is going on right now, September 26 - October 3. I encourage you to visit the ALA web site, where you can find oodles of information concerning banned and challenged books. My personal feelings on the topic of censorship is that it sucks, and that every "good" public library should have something on the shelf to offend everybody. I also think everybody should "honor" the occasion of Banned Books Week by reading something that someone, somewhere would (or did) find offensive. Which honestly, isn't all that hard since people have a tendency to be ass-hats.

And for the record? Wendy's personal favorite challenged books are Of Mice And Men by John Steinbeck, Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes and the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.


One thing I forgot to mention that happened this weekend (beside the blogger meet 'n greet and Lil' Sis announcing she's knocked up) is that the Bat Cave has gone wireless! While I was out having fun on Saturday, My Man plunked down the cash for a wireless router. Which means yours truly can now surf the Interwebs while lying in bed, sitting in the living room, on the toilet (OK, even I wouldn't do that), from anywhere in the Bat Cave. Heaven! Joy! Oh happy day!


As previously mentioned the agency I work for as decided to filter the Interwebs. The library got an "exemption" from this, but turns out the software isn't playing nice with Firefox. Since our IT department doesn't "support" Firefox, and frankly has bigger fish to fry than just catering to lil' ol' me, I've sucked it up and switched to Internet Explorer. Gotta say, I pretty much hate it. Oh well. Suck it up Wendy. I'll likely get used to it. Eventually. Blah.


Beverly Jenkins has done a guest post over at the Borders TrueRomance blog. I adore Jenkins. 1) She's a Michigan girl 2) She puts such wonderful historical tidbits in her books and 3) She's just an all-around smart, awesome chick. Her latest book, Captured, is set during the American Revolution and is a sea-faring tale featuring pirates! Laydown date is tomorrow, September 29.


My gal Rosie has an interesting post up over at Access Romance Reader's Gab about whether or not wading into online debate can or should be viewed as apathy.
"Depending on the day, week or month there is always some wave making itself felt throughout the blogs and author websites that comprise Romancelandia. While many people, myself included, will make the effort to comment that they either don’t care or can’t be bothered to get involved, that opinion is sometimes observed as being a wimpy or fence sitting. The perception seems to be that someone who can’t be bothered is really waiting to see where the hand of righteousness will fall and then the wimp/fence sitter will tumble to the side of popular opinion."
Go forth and make your own opinion known.


Victoria Janssen said...

Beverly! Jenkins! Wrote! Pirates!!!

Katie Mack said...

Hmmm. Looks like my previous comment didn't take for some reason, so here goes again:

My favorite banned/challenged book is "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee. I love "Of Mice and Men" too.

It's not hard for me to find a book that offends someone, since I read romance. So in honor of banned book week, I'm taking it a step further and reading an Erotic Romance ("Daring Time" by Beth Kery). Take that, prudes!

P.S. I think IE sucks, and Firefox rocks. You have my sympathies.

Janet Webb said...

So that was interesting, what Rosie said: "The perception seems to be that someone who can’t be bothered is really waiting to see where the hand of righteousness will fall and then the wimp/fence sitter will tumble to the side of popular opinion."

I think I'm wired to have more than a passing interest in a zillion things (that ADD gene) but in reality, e-books/e-readers/e-presses don't interest me that much since I'm not a consumer of such yet. I do like following knowledgeable insiders, frankly, because they're interesting people and link to all sorts of fascinating things.

I wish I could dial back my tendency to hop on "it's the best book EVER" bandwagon because I often feel like I've oversold myself. Like Julie James's first, The Sexiest Man Ever ... I liked it for sure but I probably would have waited to stumble across it rather than order it if I hadn't read so many very favourable reviews. Not their fault, my fault!

Where I never go wrong: reading reviews of long out of print books: I'm always glad to read and then acquire such gems.

Gail said...

My college is celebrating banned books week by having a bunch of students (myself included) read from our favorite banned books at an event. The books we requested to read from are going to given away after the reading.
I picked Shel Silverstein- all hail subversive children's poetry.

Liz said...

I'm a bit confused.
Isn't there a big difference between challenging a book and banning a book? And if you object to people challenging a book, isn't that cutting off free speech (i.e., censorship)?

nath said...

LOL, now you get to see all the small imperfections in my blogs with Explorer! Lucky you Wendy! LOL :)

Yay for wireless! I still haven't figured it out in my house :(

Wendy said...

Liz: Absolutely not. When a person "challenges" a book - they generally want the library to remove the book from the shelf - thereby effectively making the choice for every single resident that uses that library. So by "challenging" the title they are in fact infringing on every other person's "right" in that community to have access to the title.

The short answer? You don't like something - don't read it. Don't let your kids read it. Nobody is holding a gun to your head saying you (or your kids) have to read something. But that does not give anybody the right to tell other members of the community what they can and cannot read.

Lynn Spencer said...

I actually like most of the books I've read on the ALA challenged list. Wacky true censorship story: When I was a kid, my school district had banned the Narnia books for religious content. They came back briefly around 5th grade or so, only to be banned again at the request of a fairly extreme church group who objected to the use of magic. I guess the whole allegory bit missed them.

sam said...

Our library is also observing Banned Books Week. We have 3 tables set up displaying books that have been challenged- one is devoted to the top 10 of last year-and a short quiz patrons can take with a chance of winning a gift card to Hastings. One sad note- when I was setting everything up a coworker said "Oh, I don't think anyone cares about that anymore."
I like the idea of reading steamy stuff this week! I was looking over the challenged books lists to decide what to read in honor of BBW and realized it's pretty much stuff I read all year long.

Wendy said...

Lynn: That's not only wacky, it's sad! The church I attended growing up was fairly conservative, and even they had the Narnia books in the church library!

Sam: As you know, people find all kinds of books objectionable. Since I like mysteries and romances, I tend to read something with violence and/or sex in it for BBW ;-)

sula said...

pirate story! beverly jenkins! ok you got me. when can i get it? :)

Wendy said...

Sula: Right now! Laydown date was September 29.

JamiSings said...

I don't think the library where I work has ever officially done anything for banned books week. But that could just be a space issue. The building was built in the 1960s and I hold to my conviction that the arcetect(sp?) was smoking pot at the time. Cause it's so poorly designed inside. It would be fine if it was a restraunt, but not a library.

While there are books that offend me, I don't understand why people want them banned. After all, how can people chose their own way when there's only one path given to them? I would, however, love to see books banned because the author has absolutely no writing talent and a monkey strung out on coke could do a better job. (Winston Groom comes to mind....)