More on Banned Book Week…

…and I’m not done yet.  Tomorrow I’ll be joining two czars of the writing blogosphere and blogging about one of my favorite banned books,  but for today, I’ll just give you all some questions to ponder, and share my new favorite button:

I'm sorry, were you trying to say something here?

Question One: Per a recent post by Nathan Bransford, do you think it is actually helpful to have the internet explode with angry responses when a wing-nut like Scroggins calls a moving YA book about rape “soft core porn”?  While I love the outpouring of support for Laurie Halse Anderson’s book Speak, the number of times I saw this referenced made the dork who said it a household name (hello, Joe the Plumber, how’s your book deal treating you?)  So should we ignore the crazies or beat them to a (verbal) pulp?  Thoughts???

Question 2: Have you ever read a book, as a kid or an adult, that made you feel so uncomfortable or bad you wish you hadn’t read it? That you in fact, wish you had censored yourself?  What book was it?  Why?  Did it give you nightmares, make you think of things you can’t get out of your head, was it just gross?

Discuss amongst yourselves…

xxoxox

4 comments to More on Banned Book Week…

  • Question One: Per a recent post by Nathan Bransford, do you think it is actually helpful to have the internet explode with angry responses when a wing-nut like Scroggins calls a moving YA book about rape “soft core porn”? While I love the outpouring of support for Laurie Halse Anderson’s book Speak, the number of times I saw this referenced made the dork who said it a household name (hello, Joe the Plumber, how’s your book deal treating you?) So should we ignore the crazies or beat them to a (verbal) pulp? Thoughts??? I think it’s a double edged sword. It helps the author out not only mentally (what an amazing boost to self-esteem after a hater bashes you to have the world speak up and say that they support you), but it also gives the hater a ton of exposure that might not have happened if so many people didn’t speak up. I am all for speaking up. If the hater gets publicity too then they do. We have the right to voice our opinions and no one has to agree.

    Question 2: Have you ever read a book, as a kid or an adult, that made you feel so uncomfortable or bad you wish you hadn’t read it? That you in fact, wish you had censored yourself? What book was it? Why? Did it give you nightmares, make you think of things you can’t get out of your head, was it just gross? I actually wished I had never read The Lord of the Flies. I might have been able to handle it if I had been older. It was required in school in like the 5th or 6th grade. I think that 8th or 9th might have been a bit more appropriate.

  • On #1, while I dislike giving more publicity to the person I disagree with, I have to speak up. How will the world change if we all sit by and allow crazy things to pass without saying something? If Hitler existed now, would people speak up? I hope so. I know the Holocaust and banning books are wildly different, but I think the end result is the same: if you see an injustice in the world, do something. Sure the “bad guy” will get some attention, but so will the cause you’re speaking against.

    On #2, nothing comes to mind. I’d put books down if they didn’t feel right to me.

  • The only book I can think of that I read as a teen that disturbed me was… Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein – I was TERRIFIED!

  • Thanks all – I tend to agree – there is more danger in keeping silent than speaking up. But sometimes it feels like the kind of idiots who would once not have a pulpit beyond their tiny town wind up on national news (aham, Fox, I am talking to you), and somehow the exposure gives their whack-job position a legitimacy that is undeserved. But…yes. We must keep talking when we hear of such things.

    As for books, well, I think I must have been around eight when my big sister and cousins found the Judith Kranz book Scruples in a rental house. Well. That was an eye-opener, I assure you. Not sure that was the right moment to learn quite so much about sex…

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