1. Let’s Celebrate Banned Books Week By Banning Some Books


    Round up the usual suspects! Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain was one of seven books suspended from the curriculum of the Highland Park, Texas public school district. You don’t have to guess pretty hard on  the titles of the other six books.

  2. classicpenguin:


    In honor of Banned Books Week, we’ve put together a list of now-Classics that were once—or are still—contested, censored, or banned. So below, check out a few historically hackles-raising Penguin Classics that came to mind around the office. And never forget that reading classics can be rebellious. 

    The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
    John Steinbeck’s legendary depiction of Americans struggling for survival during the Great Depression has been burned, banned, and the topic of numerous censorship trials since its publication in 1939. Though the book’s purpose was to illuminate the plight of migrant families, many authorities felt they’d been depicted in an unfair light. The battles over censoring The Grapes of Wrath have been international, including a Turkish trial in which publishers faced up to six months imprisonment for “spreading propaganda unfavorable to the state.”

    Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
    No stranger to ruffled feathers, John Steinbeck’s 1937 novel Of Mice and Men has managed to amass quite an interesting list of enemies. Along with plenty of school curriculum battles, Of Mice and Men was banned in Ireland in 1953 and condemned by a South Carolina chapter of the Klu Klux Klan. Censorship battles over the novel continue even today. 

    On The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
    Among the most controversial works of modern time, Charles Darwin’s revolutionary work in the natural sciences has been banned on numerous occasions. Dramatized in the 1955 play “Inherent the Wind”, Darwin’s theory of evolution was banned from Tennessee schools for 42 years after the infamous Scopes Trial. And the work continues to be an inflammatory topic in many parts of the world, including the United States. 

    The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
    A title synonymous with investigative journalism, Upton Sinclair turned the meatpacking industry of the early 1900s on its head with his seminal work The Jungle, in which he exposed the mistreatment of immigrant workers and blatant disregard of consumer health. Surprisingly, The Jungle was never suppressed in the United States, but was banned in Yugoslavia and burned by both the Nazis in 1933 and East German communists in 1956. 

    Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
    It should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the psychedelic fantasy depicted in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland that many parents have found it a questionable story for children, despite its popularity. However, the book’s oddest opponent surfaced in China, when in 1931 a provincial governor was wildly concerned about the effects of animals being depicted speaking human language, describing it as “disastrous.” 

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
    Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was making waves in public school districts throughout the country when it first published in 1962. The story of rebellious Randle Patrick Murray as he butts heads with the powerful and manipulative Nurse Ratched in an Oregon mental hospital displayed a scathing critique of institutionalism and the prominent psychology of the time. Fearing the impact the book might have on their children, parents in Colorado attempted to ban the novel from public schools, claiming it “glorifies criminal activity, [and] has a tendency to corrupt juveniles.” In 1986, the book was banned from curricula in Aberdeen, Washington, simply because of its secular humanistic values.

    Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
    As a cautionary tale of science and man’s role in the creation of life, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has for the past two centuries found itself at the center of debates over religion and science, its work with these themes resulting in protest from many various Christian groups. Though never governmentally censored in the United States, South Africa banned the novel in 1955 for obscenity. 

    The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
    William Golding’s 1954 novel The Lord of the Flies has been in the censorship cross-hairs of American parents for decades. Those attempting to ban the book have done so on the grounds that it is excessively violent, racist, and “implies that man is little more than an animal.” But Golding, a schoolteacher himself, wrote the book in response to an 1858 novel by R. M. Ballantyne, TheCoral Island, in which a group of young boys stranded on a desert island get along quite swimmingly. Though Golding enjoyed the book, his experience with schoolchildren led him to take the morality of the situation in…a different direction. 

    Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
    When is a word just a word, and when is it something more? Considered the Great American Novel by many, Mark Twain’s use of racially loaded slurs in his novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been the topic of dozens of censorship battles. A disparaging picture of the antebellum South, Twain’s tale of a young man barreling down the Mississippi with an escaped slave has been among the most polarizing works of literature. First published in 1885, the novel has sparked heated debate over the publication and wider cultural effects of racist slurs. Though many cite context and Twain’s aim of revealing Southern racism as justification of the slang’s use, many advocates of censoring the work have called for select slurs to be replaced with simply “The N-Word.”

    Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
    Possibly the most unusual banning of a book on our list, Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty was prohibited in Apartheid South Africa based on a misunderstanding. Though Anna Sewell’s novel champions compassion for all living things, its title was misinterpreted by the white National Party as a novel about a black woman and hence deemed not fit for the public. Naturally, the officials were far too busy to actually read the literature considered unacceptable.

    Classic Fridays | The world is full of classics. Every Friday, we close the week with one of our favorites.

  3. pantheonbooks:

Hey readers! Some of our amazing artists gave us their thoughts on banned books and the power of the written (and drawn!) word. We will post one image every day this week in honor of Banned Books Week. Special thanks to Art Spiegelman for drawing this for us.
Fight evil. Read books.


    Hey readers! Some of our amazing artists gave us their thoughts on banned books and the power of the written (and drawn!) word. We will post one image every day this week in honor of Banned Books Week. Special thanks to Art Spiegelman for drawing this for us.

    Fight evil. Read books.

  4. Ken Burns, Curated | Touch and Go →

    Yes, there’s an app for Ken Burns.

  5. diancie:


    she’s so well mosturized i love it 

    This makes me want to wash my face. Actually I’m gonna go do that, brb

    A Beyonce-beautiful good morning to our Tumblarian friends. Gorgeous even in rollers!

    (Source: honeybeys)

  6. Ninja knitters 'yarn bomb' Fairfield Woods Library for coming celebrations →

    Have you yarn bombed your local library branch today?

  7. erikkwakkel:

    The splendor of Strahov Library

    I am typing this while looking at the building where these images were taken: the library of Strahov Abbey, towering high above Prague. While the monastery was established in 1143, the library dates from 1720. It is one of the most impressive I have visited: thousands of books placed in what looks more like a museum than a library. I hope you get a sense of the atmosphere from these images.

    Pics (my own): Strahov Abbey Library, Prague.

  8. Brooklyn Book Festival Reception for Librarians | Brooklyn Book Festival →

    How cool is this? Jonathan Lethem in conversation with his fourth-grade teacher, now the New York City Schools Chancellor.

  9. Free of bed bugs, Lawrence library book sale set to return / LJWorld.com →

    After a year of dormancy at the hands of bed bugs, the book sales from the Friends of the Lawrence Public Library are finally back.

    The Friends, a nonprofit that raises funds for the library, was forced to cancel its last two book sales, in the spring and fall, after a donation of books infested with bed bugs threw all or most of the several thousand books being prepared for sale under suspicion (they were never mixed with the library’s collection).

    The book-living bugs spent the past year in a semi-trailer, cast off to starve to death under quarantine. Now, the books are fit for sale.

    I must admit this headline gave me pause.

  10. neil-gaiman:

Do we all know what week it is? Weird Al and George do. #BannedBooksWeek
View more Neil Gaiman on WhoSay


    Do we all know what week it is? Weird Al and George do. #BannedBooksWeek

    View more Neil Gaiman on WhoSay

  11. End of a long week. Have a great weekend, everybody!

    End of a long week. Have a great weekend, everybody!

  12. Cocaine found in Vatican librarian's car →

    Best headline of the week!

  13. Alain Locke, Whose Ashes Were Found In University Archives, Is Buried →


    This story unfortunately doesn’t talk about why someone’s ashes might have been stored archivally in the first place. Who wrote the scope and content on that one?

    WTF? I assume the ashes were in an acid-free container!

  14. Special Collections Librarian Job at The University of Iowa →



    A special job for a special librarian!

  15. imagineabooksf:


    These are the winning entries from our third annual Banned Book Trading Card entries! Thanks to all the artists who submitted works and helped us celebrate the freedom to read! See the full gallery on our website

    The winners!

    Start collecting them now!