We Read Banned Books


Happy Sunday, everyone! I am here to announce the arrival of Banned Books Week, a marvelous time of year when we revel in our freedom to read.

It may surprise you to learn how many banned or challenged books you’ve already read. Take the Harry Potter and Hunger Games series, The Kite RunnerFifty Shades of Grey, and John Green’s Looking for Alaska, for starters. Not to mention classics such as The Great GatsbyTo Kill a MockingbirdThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Grapes of Wrath, and virtually anything by Vonnegut. One of my favorite authors, Sherman Alexie, holds a permanent place on the ALA’s list of Frequently Challenged Books with The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Particularly with young adult literature, it’s difficult to find a title that someone has not found fault with at one time or another.

In honor of this momentous occasion, here are some of the silliest reasons for book banning I discovered whilst preparing for the week:

In closing, we encourage you to celebrate your First Amendment rights by checking out a banned or challenged book. If you need suggestions, be sure to ask a staff member or check out our Banned Book displays. I’ll be reading Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale; how about you?



Ghost_FieldsWhen a construction site on an old “ghost field” is being prepped in Norfolk, England, a downed WWII airplane is dug up.  This buried airplane has a body in it.  Elly Griffiths’ mystery The Ghost Fields tells the story of the “ghost fields” which are long abandoned WWII airfields of England.  When forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway is called in, it is revealed that the body had been placed in the plane recently.  The body is identified as Fred Blackstock who supposedly was lost in a plane crash over the ocean.  Why is his family so upset by the place that his body was discovered?  Why are other members of the Blackstock family murdered or attacked?  The story has complicated roots in past family history and richly uses the landscape of flood prone Norfolk, England.get book button


KitchensI’m reading Kitchens of the Great Midwest which is a debut novel by J. Ryan Standal.  The novel celebrates some of the unique Midwest foods and also the strong bonds of family.  Eva Thorvald isn’t aware that the people she knows as her parents are really her aunt and uncle.  How they came to care for her came about through tragedy, but it worked.  Eva has an intense ability to recognize flavors and a very experimental palate.  The book has heartbreak, humor, and good food.  Do you know you can make money on side bets if you have the ability to eat platters of food heavily laced with hot peppers?  Have you ever wondered what the baking competition can be like at a county fair?  This is a book filled with venison, walleye, Caesar salad, bar cookies, and the most important ingredient—love.

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Helen Davis Featured Book: Paris a Love Story

parisIn my opinion, journalists often write the best books.  Kati Marton has written an enjoyable memoir, Paris a Love Story, which focuses mainly on the periods of her life which were spent in Paris.  During the sixties she was an American student at the Sorbonne.  Paris was a time of wonder and enjoyment, and then the student riots began.  After she went home she drifted into reporting, eventually becoming a TV news reporter.  When she was transferred to Bonn, Germany she met and married ABC news anchor Peter Jennings.  Time in Paris was always a part of the background.  A second marriage was to renowned diplomat Richard Holbrooke and they were frequently in Paris together.  The book is a window on an exciting, absorbing life and a beautiful and charming city.

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