May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor

Today is January 1st. Which means my 2016 Reading Challenge is officially underway! I have way more people participating than I thought would, which means one heck of a competition.

But wait, are you sitting there reading this with no idea what I’m talking about? Then let me refer you to this post. You’ll find all the information you need to participate.

Good luck to the rest of you participating! There could be gift cards in your future!

The first book I’ll be reading for the challenge will be The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, but I won’t tell y’all which bullet it’ll be fulfilling. Ha!

Don’t forget to tag me on here or on Instagram whenever you finish a book from the challenge! I’ll be able to Like and comment easier that way.

So without further delay, may the odds be ever in your favor. What’s going to be your first book for the challenge?

The Most Anticipated Week of the Year has Arrived

Which is that? Banned Books Week! Duhh.

First off, I never wrote my post back in April when 2014’s most banned books were initially announced. So here’s the list:

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi.

And Tango Makes Three by Jason Richardson and Peter Parnell.

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison.

It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley.

Saga (comic book series).

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard.

Drama by Raina Telgemeier.

These were the most challenged books last year. And I’m sure you recognize most or all of them. The best part about Banned Books Week is that events are going on all over the country in support of these books and others that have been challenged.

I haven’t been reading lately, so I won’t say I’m going to read one of these this week. But I think it’d be great to show your support for these books and authors in some way this week. Read a book. Tweet something. Write a blog post. Something.

What are you doing for Banned Books Week?

Uh Oh

That uh oh is for two reasons. First, my lack of posting or reading any blogs. Second, because Half Price Books is forcing more books upon me.

When I started working there last month I saw that other workers had a bunch of books on their stash shelves (they’re basically a holding shelf.) It’s where we put books/movies/games we may want to buy in the future. Some of the shelves are overflowing with things. Of course they aren’t all new, but they’re from the store.

I was of the opinion that I wouldn’t hardly use mine at all. Then I saw Mockingjay for $3. Then I saw The Perks of Being a Wallflower for the same price. And Gone Girl. These aren’t necessarily books I was planning on getting soon, but when you see that price you gotta act. I’ve since added several more. And it’s essentially become a weekly thing. Finding some book that I’m interested in or have known about for a long time and then putting it on my shelf.

Half Price Books is forcing me to buy more books when I’m not even reading any. I hate it. And love it at the same time. Ha. No question today because none of y’all are going to see this anyway. Just a slight update.

Read a Banned Book This Week

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Photo Credit: EventKeeper

I think Banned Books Week actually began yesterday, but I was too busy writing about candlelight to remember that I wanted to write a post about it. Whoops.

So, it’s officially Banned Books Week 2014. Don’t you think this week should be a bit more celebrated than it is? I mean, I would be willing to put a whole lot of money on the fact that no one in my family even knows about it. I wish someone would give me that opportunity so I could become an instant millionaire. But no, no one has asked me to bet any money. It’s an unfortunate occurrence. But now you get to hear about it from me.

Each year the American Library Association releases its annual list of most challenged books. These challenges are not astronomical numbers, but they do happen and come from religious groups, parents, and sometimes even teachers. Don’t be misled by the name of the annual list or by the name of the week itself. These books aren’t banned, just challenged. Well I guess technically some books are actually banned in other parts of the world where banned books is a real thing, but that has nothing to do with what I’m writing here.

So the ALA releases its list relatively early in the year and then celebrates Banned Books Week a little later on. Now I know what you’re wondering. How can you celebrate? Simple, read a book from the list. Or two. Or the top ten. Here’s a refresher of the current list of the most banned books.

1. Captain Underpants (series) by Dav Pilkey

2. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian bu Sherman Alexie

4. Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James

5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

6.  A Bad Boy can be Good for a Girl by Tanya Lee Stone

7. Looking for Alaska by John Green

8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

9. Bless me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya

10. Bone (series) by Jeff Smith

So there you have the top ten. And if you’re in a celebratory mood and feel like reading one of the books listed, then I’d suggest tackling #5. But that’s just me.

How are you celebrating Banned Books Week?

Also, if you’re interested in my thoughts about each book on the list, check out this post from earlier this year in which I discuss each book.

And the Most Banned Book of 2013 is…

ImagePhoto Credit: AbeBooks

Actually, I’m not sure if this list is 2013 or 2014, but let’s just say 2013. Eh. Before we delve into the list let me first say that I see no point in banning books at all. Actually, I do have one exception. I apologize beforehand if you happen to be a fan of this author or her writing, but there’s an author on WordPress who writes a series of stories that follow a stepbrother and stepsister who are involved with each other. Sexually. Yeah, ban that. Ban it here. On Amazon. Everywhere. And the titles of the books are so horrible. Ugh. I’m leaving it alone. Other than that, I’d say most everything else is fair game.

10. Bone (series) by Jeff Smith

I honestly have never heard of this series of books. But the reasons listed for its placement on this list were political viewpoint, racism, and violence. I won’t comment because I simply am unaware. I will say that the cover shown in the article I’m referencing looks to be aimed at children. I think it would be understandable for a book aimed toward a younger audience to be included on this list if it has racism and violence.

9. Bless me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya

Another book I’m unfamiliar with. The reasons given were Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, and sexually explicit. Hmm. Okay.

8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

I haven’t read the book, but I have seen the movie. I thought it was great. But I also find its placement on this understandable. I mean, this is geared toward teens, right? Well the nature and things discussed in the book are definitely serious in nature. The reasons given were drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Can’t say I disagree with any of those. Though this is a book I want to read at some point since I’ve seen the movie.

7. Looking for Alaska by John Green

Hasn’t John Green become something of a superstar recently? I’ve never read his books but I hear his name all the time and see blog posts about him just as often. I assume this is a YA book? The reasons given were drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group. And here I thought YA was all about vampires and paranormal romances. Guess not. But then again I have no earthly idea what this about.

6. A Bad Boy Can be Good for a Girl by Tanya Lee Stone

I’m starting to see a patten here. The reasons given were drugs/alcohol/smoking, nudity, explicit language, sexually explicit. Never read this. Never will. Moving on.

5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

WHAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTT?! Last I checked Katniss isn’t running around having sex with everyone or drinking or smoking or anything besides trying to stay alive! This is stupid. Do I agree with this making the list? No. Do I understand it making the list? No. Do I want to find someone who helped come up with the list and punch them in the face? Yes. The reasons given were religious viewpoint and unsuited to age group. Shut up. Before I get angry.

4. Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James

I can honestly say that there was not single tidbit of surprise in me when I saw this book made the list. I mean, it doesn’t get any more self-explanatory than this, right? I’m not going to list the reasons given because you all know them already. If you don’t, good. Stay away from the internet!

3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Never read, Reasons given were drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group. I’m assuming that this is another YA book or geared toward even younger audiences because that seems to always be the case when you see “unsuited to age group.”

2. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

I thought Toni Morrison was one of those authors who everyone loves today? I’ve never read her books, but I swear I’ve read plenty about her. Hm. Reasons: offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence. What’s with all the sex and drugs in these books? I guess someone’s got to write about it all, right?

1. Captain Underpants (series) by Dav Pilkey

Ha. Seriously, this just tells me what a joke this list is. I mean, most of the books are so understandable that explanations aren’t necessary when you see the content you’re dealing with. But this? Really? I remember EVERYONE reading these books when I was in elementary school. I never read one, but everyone else did. Because they were pretty funny, I assume. Reasons: offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence. I’m done. This is no longer relevant. To find this book on the same list as some of the other titles. And I’m seeing here that it’s not the first time it’s made it. Oh well.

So there you have the most banned books of 2013. What do you think? If you’re anything like me, about a third of the list is a laughing stock.

You can read an article about the list on The Huffington Post here.