The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing. @SeattleDan, along with his wife, @SeattleTammy, are operators of both an on-line bookstore here, as well as a brick and mortar storefront mini-store in Hoquiam, WA at 706 Simpson Ave (Route 101 South). Both have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.
During the last week of September the American Library Association sponsors Banned Books Week. Our local library has a great display set up and I would not be surprised if your local independent bookseller has one as well. It is a good time to reflect on our first amendment rights as well fight back against the forces of censorship. The ALA has a list of activites and other assorted goodies here.
And it is probably not too late to get some posters and other resources as offered from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Posters
Banning and censoring books has a long history that extends well past the Index of the Church. But more recently, say 1930, it was still well-entrenched here in the USA. The New Republic inteviewed one censor here, and, no, this is not an Onion parody.
And the tradition continues. Nearly every week I hear of some lame attempt to ban certain works, especially in schools, because, you know, the minds of children and teens can get warped. MentalFloss weighs in with a top ten list of books currently under attack.
I've always wondered what banned book I was. Well, always is the wrong word. But I did wonder earlier in the week when I saw this quiz from PlayBuzz and developed by the Columbus State Library. Turns out I'm the Tropic of Cancer, which was a surprise to me as I'm not the biggest Henry Miller fan.
Banning books always arouses controversy. And Hollywood, when it is brave (or it can make them a few bucks), will adapt and film those books. Word and Film listed its top ten list of banned books adapted into celluloid.
From the if you can't lick 'em, re-write 'em Department comes this odd attempt to make Harry Potter more palatable to "Christian" values. Harry does make a lot of banned lists, and I don't think Republican Jesus makes an appearance in any of the books. In any event, here is one woman's stab at revising Harry Potter; if you can read more than three paragraphs of some really bad writing, you have a lot more patience than I do. (And thanks to our own Lucian for finding this.)
Harry Potter as a Christian (and no, this is not an Onion story either!)
I don't think that there is any way to clean up these passages from Children's literature though.
You probably wont find Harry Potter or rewrites of it on any list featuring experimental novels. But writers love to experiment with narratives and style. Emily Temple has such a list of some very interesting experimental novels here at Flavorwire.
Over at BoingBoing, Ella Frances Sanders recently illustrated some words from foreign languages which are thought to be untranslatable. Some of these are clever. And I admit to suffering from Tsundoku syndrome. Untranslatable words translated (or sorta).
And finally some good news for those of us who still enjoy actually thumbing through and turning the pages of a book. H/T to old friend George Carroll for finding this article from Mic.com
Great news for people who actually read books.
Have a great weekend folks. Go find yourself a banned book to read and let us know how much you are enjoying it.