Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sex in a Library, A Challenge

I swear on all that is holy that MySpace blogs are long overdue for a "Literature" category.

Okay, kids, you have one month (and one day, to be precise) until National Banned Book Week, as designated by the American Library Association.

You can read all about it over there, but the purpose of Banned Book Week is to bring awareness to challenges to books in school libraries and curriculum.

Censorship is not an effective way to "protect" children.

I've directed your attention to Banned Book Week before but this year, I'd be positively tickled if you would all look at this map. It's a graphic of books that have been challenged in schools since 2007, and those are only the reported cases of attempts to have books banned.

Most go unreported.

I know, I sound dramatic. Get over it.

I challenge you: in this month leading up to Banned Book Week (to be clear, this takes place September 26-October 3), choose a book on the above-linked map to read. Write a blog about the book, how you liked it, why you think it was challenged and if you would want your kids to read it. Publish your blog during Banned Book Week and I'll post a link to your blog.

Naturally, I'll remind you about this and, if you participate, ask you to change your avatar on 9/26 in recognition of Banned Book Week:

I will give you extra credit if you get it on in a library in the next month, we'll have to set up some kind of non-incriminating code so you can report about it in your blog. I'm open to suggestions for this. :-)

P.S. If none of the books on the map strike your fancy, choose from this list of the top 100 challenged classics of the 20th century.

P.P.S. I have chosen Ernest Gaines' A Lesson Before Dying, challenged for its sexual content and profanity.

Because the thing below isn't working, I'm currently reading Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

"Summer 2009"

I keep seeing that on friends' photo albums over on Facebook. I still prefer MySpace because of the blogging and don't update my photos as often over on FB. Alas, since my summer isn't even half over, you won't be seeing any "Summer 2009" albums for a bit.

I haven't done a stew in awhile so I'll keep up the summer theme.

I've been very busy and have had little time for keeping up with my letter writing and blog reading (also Maranda pointed out that I'm slacking in the blog-writing dept.) but I have been reading books, so that's always good. My favorite so far this summer was Cat's Cradle by Vonnegut.

If you ever need book suggestions, this blog rocks.

Boys, shield your eyes.
I've become suceptible to UTIs in my old age. Never had them in my life until a year and a half ago and have since had three. I can't pin down any single cause. Since I have devoted my summer to accepting compensation from the Unemployment Insurance Agency, I have a pretty good system of sleeping in when my kids aren't here. This UTI bs has me up in the morning a good hour and a half before I want to be. Boo.

Speaking of the kids.
They're in IN for a month with their dad and I hate it. I thought it would be easier this year, I thought wrong. I talk to them nearly everyday and have been writing to them. My, my. I can't imagine what it would be like for a parent with children who do not want to spend time with the ex-spouse. At least my kids are happy when they're with their dad and I can take a tiny bit of solace in that. While they've been gone, Alex lost a toenail (it was on its way before he left due to an unfortunate stubbing incident) and Jenna is reading Twilight.

I suppose it's time I come out with my review of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Previously, I have been lucky enough to divorce my opinion of the movies from the books. The movies have had their fair share of deletions and embellishments as is necessary in these sort of adaptations and I have loved every single one of them as their own franchise, separate from the books. Not so with this last one. The deletions and embellishments detracted from the story too much for me and I left the theater thinking the franchise had strayed and the unique characterization that was previously maintained has been compromised. I don't like to say these things, I am a hardcore HP fan, after all. I'm going to take the kids to see it when it leaves the theater and hits our local $3 theater to give it another shot. Until then, as always, I remain loyal to the house of Ravenclaw.

I love my new Blackberry Tour more than life itself. Aside from being a mama, falling in love, and having a kick ass Asian, it's the best thing going for me right now. Thanks, bitchy sister for getting me a better phone to replace the one that sucked. My Blackberry is smarter than Einstein!

My friend Leslie sent me a great article about a teen who is suing Amazon because he was using his Kindle while writing a report in which he made extensive electronic notations to Nineteen Eighty-Four. Amazon deleted the book from his Kindle over a copywrite issue and his notes became meaningless as they pointed to a book that no longer existed. There really is a great deal of irony in the situation. Anyhoot, this is one of the bigger complaints against Kindle, an issue I have not had. I still love my Kindle. More than my Blackberry, even.

Like I said, the summer isn't over yet. I'm off to an adult only (I like saying that, makes me feel like not having my kids with me is a choice) canoe trip this weekend. The following weekend, I'm heading to LA with my boyfriend and his parents for a family wedding. We'll be there for a few days and then will be spending a few in Kansas City. We're wrapping up the summer with a bonfire. After that, you'll see my "Summer 2009" photo album. In the meantime, here's one of some guy I don't know from the "Boat Night 2009" album. (Boat Night, as you may remember from last year, is the night before the Port Huron to Mackinac sailboat race in which all who are sailing and all who aren't come from miles around to drink themselves silly in our downtown area.)

Okay, I have to go sloth on the beach with my sister-out-law and my Asian. Have a nice day.