I have been in a major book rut lately. Ever since The Help, anything new I pick up doesn’t seem nearly as exciting, even though people have given me some seriously awesome suggestions! I have read a few “self-help” type selections, like the Intuitive Eating text I have written about in the last few weeks, but as far as personal enjoyment, or a light-hearted choice, none have measured up.
Today, while I was at the library checking out materials for the kids, I picked up The Book of Air and Shadows, by Michael Gruber. One of the perks of my job is dibs at any book within our secondary card catalogues, so if something looks remotely interesting; it seems silly to not take advantage of the privilege. Surprisingly, the school has some better choices than our community library, so I always look forward to the academic year when I am conveniently located a short walk from multiple stacks of literature. Hopefully I will start reading this tonight, and be able to give you a positive report in the next few days, to provide you with something new to curl up with as the weather turns to fall.
But aside from finding a new piece of fiction, I also stumbled upon something else on my book hunt; The Top 100 Blacklisted Books of the Last Century.
Just take a peak at some of these titles…
*Judy Blue books (um, hello, Are You There God, its Me Margaret?! Totally got me through some awkward adolescent years!)
*Junie B. Jones Novels
There are obviously a ton more listed, but these were just a few that totally shocked me! Some titles I can understand; I remember reading The Chocolate War in 6th grade and having to get a permission slip signed because it discusses masturbation, which honestly at that age I don’t even know if I knew what that was. But seriously, Harry Potter being controversial because it promotes witchcraft? Come on!
In fact, I’m not sure if I like this list. To Kill a Mocking Bird and Huckleberry Finn are classics that teach lessons I feel are necessary for kids to develop into tolerant, better-rounded human-beings, and I fear that having a directory like this, might discourage politicians, educators and parents, from exposing our youth to these essential writings.
Perhaps I am looking too much into this, but it just irritates me how politically correct our society has become, and how we have to tip-toe around certain subjects as to not offend anyone. I am obviously not in favor of hurting feelings, or making people ultra-uncomfortable, but do we need a label that provides a negative stigma before an individual even makes a choice, or determines what he or she thinks on their own? By having a list like this, it makes me think people will start reading with a pre-conceived notion that will clouds any open-mindedness they may have once had, and diminishes the opportunity to analyze the metaphors and messages the author intended.
I realize this is a random morning post, but I am wondering what you all think? Have we, as a country, gotten too critical of “less censored” materials? Is this a good or bad thing?