December is fast approaching. And if I want to finish the rewrites/edits to my YA supernatural work in progress by then, I better hop to it. And get it done.
But if you’ve ever read my blog post, “Why Reading is My Starting Point,” you’d know that I love to read. There was a time that I’d devour books whole, sometimes reading two books in one day. And grabbing two new books from the library the next day. Remember the cookie monster? Well I was the book monster!
Banned Books Week is coming up and I can’t just let it pass without doing something to celebrate. Last year I posted an open thread about banned books. But this year, although I’m pressed for time, I want to do something different.
Nowadays, with work, kids, bills, writing, trying to write, etc. I don’t have as much reading time as I’d like. Thanks to the holidays I was able to re-read Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I’m almost done with the Gothic horror novel (88 pages to go) and then comes the hunt for the next book to read, which always eludes me. That was when the idea came to me, that the next book I choose to read, should be a banned book.
I’ve read many, many, many books. Often they were class assignments and other times is because I wanted to. But it always came as a surprise to find out later, that they were actually banned and or challenged. So this year, I’m going to read a banned book on purpose.
The American Library Association has a list of frequently banned and challenged books. By decade, among the classics, and a top ten in previous years. And as I have my reading preferences, I’m on the hunt for a YA (young adult), NA (new adult) or adult book. Maybe even MG (middle grade). It definitely has to be an adventure and fantasy genre. And I’m open to contemporary and literary fiction. With a side of mystery/thriller.
Hands down, I want a book featuring women as flawed, strong heroines. Who are not victims or damsels in distress. Or caricatures of their race and gender. Also looking for diverse books written by diverse writers.
So far, I’m interested in reading Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya. The Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller because it was the result of taking a “which banned book are you?” quiz. And The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I admit that I watched the movies before ever reading the books. I know, I know, I was weak. But as there’s no way a movie adaptation can truly capture everything, I’m now curious to read it.
Hopefully by next week, I’d have made my decision (and by then I’d finish Dracula). And I’m also open to a few suggestions.
Have you ever read a book and was surprised to learn it’d been banned or challenged? What are your thoughts about banning books?
Here are some lists compiled by the American Library Association of frequently banned/challenged books. Have you read any of the books on the list?:
PSS Want to support Banned Books Week on Facebook or Twitter? Then follow the link to add the “I Read Banned Books” twibbon to your picture profile!
PSSS? My work in progress novel, Nadia the Fire Witch, won the blurb contest I entered on Wattpad!