I’ve been tagged with ‘Have you read these banned books?’

Over the weekend, I posted about a young woman – known only as ‘Kat Atreides‘ – who has turned her locker into an ‘underground library’, lending out books banned by her high school (presumably in the USA).

It seems that people are wondering about which of these banned books others have read – or why they have not read some of them.  And, it would appear that ‘tagging’ people with this question is ‘today’s internet meme’…and I’ve been tagged (The Landed Underclass ):

“Have you read these banned books?  If not, why not?”

  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower
    • This is the first time I ever heard of this book by Steven Chobsky… but, as Wikipedia claims it is ‘inspired’ by ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ – a book I REALLY tried to read, but could not wade through all the useless whining – I doubt I will pick this one up
  • His Dark Materials trilogy
    • My son owns the trilogy and gave it a 3/5, so I picked the first one up and started to read it.  I could not ‘buy into’ the ‘world’ the author tried to create….and I did not like the WAY the archetypes were being messed with.  So, to avoid frustration, I put the book down…
  • Sabriel
    • This is the first time I have heard of this book by Garth Nix.  I’m not much into the ‘fantasy’ world of this type: I have a hard time buying into it…
  • The Canterbury Tales
    • Of course – I read it in high-school… so, it’s been a while!  This is a good reminder to let my older son read it this summer.
  • Candide
    • I have some books by Voltaire, but ‘Candide’ is not one of them…
  • The Divine Comedy
    • Yes, of course – again, I’ve read this in my early teens.
  • Paradise Lost
    • I read bits… as part of a high-school curriculum…
  • The Godfather
    • Yes, I’ve read it.  I still have a copy – but it’s falling apart…so I don’t re-read it much.
  • Mort
    • I’m not big on Terry Pratchett… I find his writing too preachy and manipulative to be enjoyable.  Instead of reading something by Pratchett, why not read a GOOD book?
  • Interview with the Vampire
    • Nor an Ann Rice fan – really, I don’t get her books.  People cannot ‘buy into’ a mythological world when the mythology is so blatantly wrong…
  • The Hunger Games
    • This is the first time I’ve heard of this book – sounds like an interesting take on the old archetype.  I just might pick this one up…
  • The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
    • YES!!!
    • My hubby has the complete original radio series – taped off the radio
    • We have the complete original TV series on DVD
    • We still have the computer game – though we no longer have the Atari to run it on
    • We have the movie on DVD (that one’s really just for ‘completeness’)
    • When my hubby and I got married, we each had a complete set of the books…
    • Then we bought the hardcover copies – and got Douglas Adams to autograph them – and he got a great kick out of hearing we had met when we both took a physics course at University named for one of his books – and taught by a ‘Dr. Watson’!
    • Should I go on?  OK – I will!
    • I am also rather partial to the Dirk Gently series – I rather see myself in Svlad Cjelli (without the more clever, witty bits)… and I have no doubt that had ‘that school’ been familiar with them, they would have banned them….
  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
    • I read this one when I was very young… and not in the original English.  My memory of it is VERY sketchy….I think I’ll pick up a copy in English now.
  • Animal Farm
    • Of course…
  • The Witches
    • Presumably, this is the Dahl book (though there are other books with that title)…  No, I did not read it nor do I plan to.  I saw part of the movie – if you want to see hate-speech, the movie is a perfect fit.  I walked out.  Then again, what do you expect from a writer who thinks that twisted, creepy dystopia of ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ is somehow a story for kids….  I tried to read THAT book.  What is that saying?  ‘Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me….’
  • Shade’s Children
    • Sounds like this school really does not like Garth Nix and his books… I think I’ll pick this one up and give it a try.
  • The Evolution of Man
    • Which book is this?  There are a number with this title…  and, yes, I have read a bit about the evolution of humans….but, I don’t know if this book is one of the ones I read or not.
  • the Holy Qu’ran
    • While I do not know enough Arabic to read THE ‘Holy Qu’ran’, I do own a copy.  I also own a couple of translations of it into English – from the ‘official’ Saudi translation to a scholarly one which explains the ‘linguistic twists’ and their significance.  The translations, I have read – so, perhaps I’m pushing the envelope a little, but I turned the letters green to show I read it, even if only in translations.
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
    • Did not know it was also a book…
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray
    • Yes.
  • Slaughterhouse-5
    • Just not worth the time…  Kurt Vonnegut is a skilled writer who can make his worlds and characters come to life.  Too bad his ideas don’t live up to his writing skills…
  • Lord of the Flies
    • I wanted to read it – and bought the book.  But, my hubby and older son read it first, and then convinced me that I should NOT read it, because if I did, they’d have to put up with me ranting on and on about it for weeks…they thought I’d get too much ‘into’ the book.  But, I am familiar with the contents, having helped a few people write book reports on it (obviously, I helped with the ‘mechanics’ of writing the report, not the content…but was exposed to it nonetheless).
  • Bridge to Terabithia
    • Yes. (Did not see the movie…)
  • Catch-22
    • Yes.
  • East of Eden
    • Sort of….  Steinbeck is ‘sort of’ the opposite of Vonnegut:  great ideas (plot) and sense of humour, even his ‘plot timing’ is great.  It’s just the writing that sucks!  I don’t know if it is the degree to which he attempts to inject ideology into his books (something translators can negate through the means in which they translate ‘imagery’) or if it is just a complete inability to write.  However, a good translator can do wonders:  I have greatly enjoyed reading Steinbeck’s works when translated into other languages.  But in English – sorry, I just could not slog through it… even re-reading books I LOVED in the original English poisoned the books for me for ever…
  • The Brothers Grimm Unabridged Fairytales.
    • Yes.  A MUST read!

All right – YOUR turn!

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One Response to “I’ve been tagged with ‘Have you read these banned books?’”

  1. juggernaut Says:

    I’ve only read one of the fiction books that you had mentioned: Animal Farm, which wasn’t bad at all, but was not nearly as good as his essays.

    Some of them you listed I am interested in reading, but most of what I read is nonfiction.

    I do feel a sense of irony that many of the books which were banned in libraries resurfaced as classics of American literature.

    Xanthippa says:

    I, too, prefer non-fiction books to fiction ones… with some serious exceptions!

    There are some books which are important to know, because they are part of the ‘cultural common knowledge’: ‘Animal Farm’ is one of them, as are ‘Dune’, ‘Hitch Hikers Guide’ series, and a whole slew of others. And, a lot of them are actually really good at using fiction in order to bring attention to real, non-fictional problems in our society…

    I particularly like Mark Twain, Frank Herbert and Douglas Adams… and, from historical novelists, I REALLY like Mika Waltari.

    Mika Waltari was a Finish writer, who became famous despite writing in a language very few people understood or cared about…he was brilliant at describing real historical events (with a lot of the ‘root causes’ that lead to them) through the eyes of a main character that was so naive and honest and intelligent-yet-not-street-smart… his main characters could all be diagnosed as ‘Aspies’, I am sure!

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