Sunday, September 24, 2006

Banned Books Week

Actually, I am amazed that there IS such a thing as Banned Book Week! Considering that our culture is struggling with issues like same-sex marriage, abortion, Green Peace, crooked politicians, and the war in Iraq, the last thing I would think that we would have a problem with is books that have some questionable content!! Hello? Has anyone been watching those Movie of the Week lately? Talk about something that should be banned!!

There is a list of 42 books that have been banned or challenged, some as recently as 2004, that are also on Radcliffe Publishing's list of the 100 All Tme Greatest Books list. How is that possible? The Great Gatsby is on both of those lists. So is To Kill A Mockingbird. Gone With The Wind. For Whom The Bell Tolls. A Farewell To Arms. The Call Of The Wild. The Grapes of Wrath. Catcher In The Rye. Beloved. The Lord Of The Flies. Shall I go on?!

How many of these books have YOU read? Many on on the required reading lists of high school and college lit classes around the country. I myself haven't read a lot of them--required reading wasn't an issue for me since I read anything I could get my hands on while in school, and we didn't have a list to follow. But I have read a few, and the ones that I have read are great books! What is WRONG with these people anyway?!

Basically, if you look at the content of many of these books, you will find racism, treachery, violence against women and other people, prejudiuce, bigotry, and a lot of other ugly human emotions that many people are uncomfortable with. But the truth is these books are REAL! They talk about REAL things and they explore REAL emotions and how they make us feel and what they make us do. And we don't always like to look into a mirror because then we see ourselves as we truly are and THAT is what these people who want to ban these books are objecting to!! REALITY. The ugliness in their own souls.

The authors of these books had wonderful insights into the human condition. They didn't back away from it--they explored it, felt it, shared it, wrote it. They saw the warts and wrinkles and instead of hiding them they brought them out so everyone could see and maybe learn from them. How can this be a bad thing? I would rather my children read about such things in a book and then talk with me about it than to hear these same things out on the street and not understand the reasons behind the ugliness. Because all of this stuff in these books? Still out there, still happening. Banning books won't get rid of the racism and violence, the hate that permeates American society even today. Books just bring it out into the open where we can deal with it and understand it better.

So check out that list. I think it is over on Google--sorry, should have looked at the link before I posted this! What do YOU think about it? Don't be afraid to speak your mind--what am I going to do about it? BAN you?! I think not...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Bodyguard of Lies....

I just finished reading "Bodyguard of Lies" by Robert Doherty and frankly I am a little pissed off. The book was so good it was hard to put down--I have been reading it at work on little breaks, but I was so hooked into the story that I sat down today after work and just finished the darn thing! But Bob ended the story without ending the story, hence my pissed-offness!

Bodyguard of Lies is the story of Neeley, a woman who discovers that all is not as it seems in her world. As a teenager, her lover gives her a package to take on a plane and she realizes that it is actually a bomb. Enter Gant, a mysterious dark man who very calmly disarms the bomb and takes Neeley to live with him. Ten years later he is dead and Neeley is left holding the clues that will keep her alive--that is, if she is smart enough and resourceful enough to figure them out.

Hannah Masterson's entire life disappeared, along with her husband and all of their money, and she has no clue why. She is left with nothing but memories, and she is even questioning them as to whether or not they were real. Gant's death and Masterson's disappearance start a chain of events that brings the two women together in a fight for their lives. They have to learn to work together and trust each other, even though they come from very different backgrounds, if they want to survive. And always in the background is the mysterious Nero, pulling strings and watching how things ravel...

I highly recommend this book if you love mystery, intrigue, and some ass-kicking heroines! I loved the fact that Mr. Doherty chose to write a book about strong women who can take care of themselves without having to rely on a man to do the dirty work. I am hoping that the way the story ended means that Mr. Doherty is planning on continuing the story in another book.... I know that he is working on a book called "Lost Girls". I hope this is the sequel!! But either way, go out and grab this book as soon as you get a chance. It is well-worth reading!