More Banned Books

I recently finished two more titles on the ALA’s list of the most Banned Books of 2000-2009:

 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

#10 The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky

 

and

 

The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

#19 Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

 

 

I loved Perks all the way through. From Chbosky’s well drawn, interesting characters to the music he included on his mix tapes I was all in for this book. Had he written the book 10 years earlier I could have been sitting next to Charlie at Rocky Horror, throwing toast and singing along. I was both moved by Charlie’s journey and surprised by the plot twist.

My guess to why it was banned? Offensive language, Drugs, alcohol, smoking, Homosexuality, Sexually explicit, Violence

 

Catcher, on the other hand, BOY! Now that was a novel that I had to warm up to, I tell you. Old Salinger’s language choices were a big factor in my lack of initial enthusiasm. He must have used “and all” about a million times! I’m not kidding you. But I stuck with it and by the time that Holden kid got to New York City I started to get interested. By the last 1/4 of the novel I was invested.

My guess to why it was banned? Offensive language, Drugs, alcohol, smoking, Violence,  Prostitution.

This was my first read for both books (somehow I’d never read Catcher in school… it was probably banned from my all girl’s Catholic school curriculum.) The two novels make nice companion pieces, Charlie even reads Catcher in Perks. (He loved the earlier novel btw.)

 

 


A Year of READING Dangerously — Update

If you are following along you know that I’ve started an on-line book club called A Year of READING Dangerously in an effort to collectively read all 100 books on the ALA’s Top 100 Most Banned or Challenged Books of 2000-2009 list.  I hope you’ll join us in this goal as most banned books are well worth reading! Click HERE to go to the FaceBook page and join in the fun or just leave a message at the end of this post and let us know what you are reading and what you thought of it.

 

 

 

ALA Seal

ALA Seal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

So far I’ve read:

 

 

 

  • To Kill A Mockingbird (#21)
  • And Tango Makes Three (#4)
  • A Handmaid’s Tale (#88)
  • The Earth, My Butt, &  other BIG Round Things (#34)

 

 

 

As you can tell I’m not reading the list in order  and I’m mixing it up as far as literature, children’s books and pop lit. This is largely to do with what is readily available — either currently on my shelves at home or easily attainable at the local library — and do to the fact that I don’t think I could handle too much grim fiction all at once (or too much teen-aged angst all at once for that matter.)   I was going to just post my findings on the FaceBook page, but since some of you don’t DO F.B. I realized that that leaves you out of the loop. So I’m starting fresh here.

 

Mockingbird cropped

 

 

 

To Kill A Mockingbird (#21) — What a lovely, lovely book. I’m a sucker for fiction written in the first person / childhood past. This book has the best elements of a coming of age novel, a courtroom drama, historical fiction, innocence lost, and southern drama. I also like that it is written about the 1930’s but was written in the 1960’s and the two eras keep smashing up against each other with their common themes. It made me want to curl up in Atticus Finch’s lap and read some more.

 

My guess to why it was banned? Violence. Racism. Offensive language (the N word). Rape. Political Viewpoint.

 

 

 

Tango

 

And Tango Makes Three (#4)

 

This warm, sweet, delightful picture book tells the true story of two male chinstrap penguins that formed a family in 1998. They did all the same things as the other families did… bowed to each other, walked together, sang together, swam together… but there was one thing Roy and Silo couldn’t do that the other families could do… they couldn’t produce an egg. So when another penguin family produced two fertilized eggs the zoo keeper put one of them in Roy and Silo’s nest. After days and nights of tending the nest and sitting on the egg Roy and Silo’s family is completed when Tango Make Three. This book is beautifully illustrated by Henry Cole and lovingly written by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell.

 

My guess to why it was banned? Homosexuality. (Yep, I guess that’s enough to get this sweet little book a spot at number 4 on the list.)

 

 

 

Handmaid's square copy

 

A Handmaid’s Tale (#88)

 

I’d read the novel years ago and there were several scenes that stuck with me vividly. I remember the gloom of dystopia from my first go, but what moved me this time was the feminism in the book. Not sure what has changed in me (the words are still the same, so It must be me who’s changed) but this time it was much more about what had happened to womanhood than what had happened to mankind in general. The section towards the middle when Ofglen remembers the sea change in society — when her credit card doesn’t work and she looses her job — kept me up at night (just as it did when I first read the book). [Hello Apple, I think I'll keep my real money and not go with your all-purpose funny money iphone app.] Anyway, GREAT read.

 

My guess to why it was banned? Religious viewpoint. Political viewpoint. Violence. (And if you are being picky: Nudity. Sexism. Drugs, alcohol, smoking. Homosexuality. Sexually explicit.)

 

 

 

The EArth, My Butt...

 

The Earth, My Butt, &  other BIG Round Things (#34)

 

From the title I’d hoped this book would be funny, sarcastic and kind of snappy. Alas it wasn’t really. It was kind of whiny and two dimensional. Written in first person narrative by the ugly duckling of the Shreve family, you are supposed to be on overweight, under appreciated, Virginia’s side. And I was, mostly, but I kept thinking that the cardboard cut outs of her parents and school mates probably had a lot more dimension to them than she was presenting. Same with conflicts in the story (big and small). The only things that ever got fully fleshed out was her diet and her eyebrow piercing.  I’ve read other YA angst novels that are far more successful.

 

My guess to why it was banned? The first sentence probably had the Parent Review Board tossing this one out. Sexually explicit. Date Rape. Unsuited for age group.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Thought of the Day 10.1.12 Julie Andrews

Thought of the Day 10.1.12 Julie Andrews.

 

Reposting and wishing Julie Andrews Happy Birthday!


A Year of READING Dangerously

 

Whatever you do…DON’T READ THIS.

 

If you don’t like subversive literature, like To Kill A Mockingbird or Harry Potter or The Giver, you should definitely just move along.

 

Me? I’m a big fan of banned books, so… this being BANNED BOOK WEEK naturally I checked out all the available lists to see what I should add to my reading shelf.

 

I particularly like The American Library Association’s list of Top 100 Banned/Challenged Book (see below). So I thought why not invite my reading / literary lovin’ friends to a join me in an electronic book club that tackles the list. The goal is to collectively read all 100 books on the list by this time next year, when Banned Book Week rolls around again.  You can read one, ten or all the books if you want. Just jot me a comment letting me know which book you’ve read (or re-read) and what you’ve liked about it. More than one person can read the same book, but I’m hoping we can cover the whole list.

 

If you are on Facebook you can also follow A Year of READING Dangerously there.

 

I’m starting things off by re-reading To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

 

Here’s the list of Top 100 Banned /Challenged Books
1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
5. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
7. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
8. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
11. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
12. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris

13. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey

English: Cover of Adventures of Huckleberry Fi...

English: Cover of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by EW Kemble from the original 1884 edition of the book. Source: Project Gutenberg Category:Mark Twain images (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

14. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
15. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
16. Forever, by Judy Blume
17. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
18. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
19. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
20. King and King, by Linda de Haan
21. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
22. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
23. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
24. In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
25. Killing Mr. Griffen, by Lois Duncan
26. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
27. My Brother Sam Is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier

Bridge to Terabithia (novel)

Bridge to Terabithia (novel) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


28. Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
29. The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney
30. We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier
31. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
32. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
33. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
34. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
35. Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison
36. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
37. It’s So Amazing, by Robie Harris
38. Arming America, by Michael Bellasiles
39. Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane
40. Life is Funny, by E.R. Frank
41. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher
42. The Fighting Ground, by Avi
43. Blubber, by Judy Blume
44. Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher
45. Crazy Lady, by Jane Leslie Conly
46. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
47. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby: The First Graphic Novel by George Beard and Harold Hutchins, the creators of Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey
48. Rainbow Boys, by Alex Sanchez
49. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey

Cover of "The Kite Runner"

Cover of The Kite Runner


50. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
51. Daughters of Eve, by Lois Duncan
52. The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson
53. You Hear Me?, by Betsy Franco
54. The Facts Speak for Themselves, by Brock Cole
55. Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Green
56. When Dad Killed Mom, by Julius Lester
57. Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause
58. Fat Kid Rules the World, by K.L. Going
59. Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
60. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
61. Draw Me A Star, by Eric Carle
62. The Stupids (series), by Harry Allard
63. The Terrorist, by Caroline B. Cooney
64. Mick Harte Was Here, by Barbara Park

The Things They Carried

The Things They Carried (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


65. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien
66. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor
67. A Time to Kill, by John Grisham
68. Always Running, by Luis Rodriguez
69. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
70. Harris and Me, by Gary Paulsen
71. Junie B. Jones (series), by Barbara Park
72. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
73. What’s Happening to My Body Book, by Lynda Madaras
74. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
75. Anastasia (series), by Lois Lowry
76. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
77. Crazy: A Novel, by Benjamin Lebert
78. The Joy of Gay Sex, by Dr. Charles Silverstein
79. The Upstairs Room, by Johanna Reiss

A Day No Pigs Would Die

A Day No Pigs Would Die (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


80. A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck
81. Black Boy, by Richard Wright
82. Deal With It!, by Esther Drill
83. Detour for Emmy, by Marilyn Reynolds
84. So Far From the Bamboo Grove, by Yoko Watkins
85. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, by Chris Crutcher
86. Cut, by Patricia McCormick
87. Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume
88. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
89. Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissenger
90. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle
91. Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George

 

The Boy Who Lost His Face

The Boy Who Lost His Face (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


92. The Boy Who Lost His Face, by Louis Sachar
93. Bumps in the Night, by Harry Allard

94. Goosebumps (series), by R.L. Stine

95. Shade’s Children, by Garth Nix

96. Grendel, by John Gardner
97. The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende
98. I Saw Esau, by Iona Opte
99. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume
100. America: A Novel, by E.R. Frank

 


Muffin “Monday”: Peanut Butter Muffins

Muffin beauty shot
INGREDIENTS:
  • 4  cups Flour
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 4 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/3 cup Powdered Peanut Butter
  • 1/3 cup Almond Butter
  • 2 cups Skim Milk
  • 2 Eggs (beaten)
  • 6 tablespoons Butter, melted
I discovered powdered peanut butter at my local grocery store. It is great for smoothies and baking, and has far less calories than traditional peanut butter.

I discovered powdered peanut butter at my local grocery store. It is great for smoothies and baking, and has far less calories than traditional peanut butter.

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prep 18 muffin cups.

2. In a large bowl mix the Flour, Sugar, Baking Powder, Salt and Powdered Peanut Butter
3. Fold in the Almond Butter
4. In a smaller bowl mix together the Milk, Eggs and melted Butter.
5. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry.
6. Divide evenly into the muffin cups.
Peanut Butter muffin oven ready
7. Bake for 25 minutes, until tops of muffins are golden brown and they pass the toothpick test.
8. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before enjoying.
Muffin solo 2
These muffins were nice and dry (but not crumbly) so they travel well. I used them in two care packages and they seem to have made the journey through the post office well.  (Those sauerkraut muffins from last time, did not make it in time, too moist.)
They pair perfectly with a touch of jelly or a bit of butter. My taster Maggie said that “They were the perfect bite size for breakfast.”
Peanut Butter Muffins baked

Muffin Monday: Sauerkraut Chocolate Muffins

with sauce

Momma always said… when life gives you lemons make lemonade. But how about when life gives you sauerkraut? Well, when you marry a German the odds are good that he or she is going to like the pungent cabbage dish. Mine does. So when a certain local grocery chain had a sale on the stuff I was gifted several unsolicited cans for his sake. I’m gratified that my family loves my husband enough to think of him in the canned vegetable aisle, but I don’t even know how to make sauerkraut. So naturally… I looked up Sauerkraut Muffins on the internet to see if there was a base recipe I could borrow for this blog. AH-HA I’m obviously not the only person with the problem, because I found sever interesting recipes.

Basically my version uses the kraut instead of the grated zucchini that you can usually find in my muffins.

Here goes…

 

INGREDIENTS;

3/4 cups of chopped Sauerkraut

2 cups Flour

1/2 cup Cocoa

2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Cinnamon

1/4 tsp Cardamom

2 Eggs

1/2 cup Olive Oil

2/3 cup Sugar

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

3/4 brewed Coffee (any kinds) room temperature

batter

SAUCE:

1/2 cup Almond Butter

1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Chips

2 Tbsp Maple Syrup

2 Tbsp Butter

ready to bake

DIRECTIONS:

1 Preheat oven to 350. Prep muffin cups.  (This recipe makes a dozen, but I doubled it so I could send some out to unsuspecting college students.)

2. RINSE the Sauerkraut several times to cut the vinegar taste. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl mix the Flour, Cocoa, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt, Cinnamon and Cardamom.

4. In a medium bowl mix the Eggs, Olive Oil, Sugar and Vanilla Extract.

5. Add the wet to the dry and mix until combined (it will be on the dry side.)

6. Alternate adding 1/4 of the Sauerkraut and 1/4 of the Coffee, gently folding with each addition.

7. Divide evenly into the muffin cups.

8. Bake for 30 minutes until the muffins pass the toothpick test.

9. Make the Sauce (yes, these muffins have a sauce, I don’t know why that doesn’t make them cup cakes, just roll with me here.) place the Almond Butter, Dark Chocolate Chips and Maple Syrup in a medium sauce pan. Cook over low heat until the Chocolate starts to melt. Add the butter. Stir continuously.

10. Pour a hefty tablespoon of the sauce over each of the muffins (divide evenly.) Let cool 5 minutes then enjoy.

baked

I tried the muffins with and with out the sauce and they are definitely better WITH the sauce. I liked these muffins. I liked them MUCH better than I like actual Sauerkraut, but, really, just as muffins they were good… not too sweet and the present with interesting flavor profiles (the coffee, cardamom, cinnamon and almond butter help with that.)


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