Wednesday, September 30, 2009

banned books week!

Support the First Amendment, Read a Banned Book
according to presidential proclamation, next month we can celebrate National School Lunch Week and National Forest Products Week. i really can't restrain myself; the excitement is just too much.

but perhaps more relevantly to my passions and career aspirations, apparently we're right smack-dab in the middle of Banned Books Week, a time when Amnesty International, the American Library Association, and the publishing world seek to remind us of the power language and literature, even--perhaps especially--books we may perceive as dangerous, to awaken us and transform us for the better.

check out the First Amendment First Aid Kit at Random House
here, which includes suggestions for dialoging about free speech and a list of "banned" books. in the United States, these books aren't banned in a technical sense--you can still purchase them on Amazon or find them in many libraries--but they are banned in a regional sense; there are some libraries where these books are intentionally not stocked, where librarians lose their jobs over the decision to fight for shelf-space. and here are some examples of banned books: house of spirits (isabel allende), fahrenheit 451 (ray bradbury), da vinci code (dan brown), the things they carried (tim o'brien), a prayer for owen meany (john irving)...

PS per anna alter at, Random House will send a free banned or challenged book (while supplies last) to anyone who posts the graphic or blogs about Banned Books Week. tell them about it at