We owe it to each other to tell stories - Neil Gaiman

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Tuesdays with Morrie

As I said yesterday, today I am starting with Tuesdays with Morrie. A brilliant book, which aside from giving great insight, is a truly fast read.

I shall have various sections in my blogging on Tuesdays with Morrie. These will be:

  • Who was Morrie?

  • About the Author - Mitch Albom

  • Tuesdays with Morrie

It's been a while since I read anything that made me ponder on death and the way that I am living my life and whether I am doing what I truly want to do, or am I simply doing what it is that I am supposed to do. It is true what a great quote says, it goes something like this 'in order to get the true value of life you need to start with death'.

When you evaluate your life from the vantage point of death, you realise how pointless some things are and how you are wasting your time with silly things instead of focussing on the really important stuff. But then I suppose that is the pitfall of human existance, we don't see what is really important until it is too late.

Let's get to know Morrie the inspiration and content giver of Tuesday's with Morrie.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

“A man is known by the books he reads.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

This quote is especially significant to me, because during the latter half of the second semester this year in Sociology we did Identity and Popular Culture. Books form a great chunk of popular culture. A lot can be deduced about you based on the books that you read. So perhaps through reading the posts about the books that I choose to read you will gain great insight about me?

I think that the first book I shall start my return to blogging with, shall be Tuesdays with Morrie. So look out for posts on Tuesdays with Morrie which I will be starting on a Wednesday i.e. tomorrow and not a Tuesday (silly I know)

“The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest men of the past centuries.”
- Descartes

My return to blogging

So after a ridiculously long absence, I am back to blogging. I have read quite a few books in my absence, and I plan to read many more during the coming months.

I think I should give you a list of the books that you can look forward to reading about during the next few months (in no particular order ofcourse!)...

Remembering Anne Frank
White Oleander
The Reader
Tuesdays with Morrie
Boy: Tales of Childhood
Going Solo
Anna Karenina
Dr Zhivago
Love in the time of Cholera
The hours
Memoirs of a Geisha
Angela's Ashes
The Catcher in the Rye
The Audacity of Hope
Franny and Zooey
The Bell Jar
Fight club
The Old man and the sea
The Cider House Rules
One Hundred Years of Solitude
The Colour Purple
The Great Gatsby
The Jane Austen Book Club
Daphnis and Chloe
Animal Farm
Alice in Wonderland

and soooooooooooooooooooo many more!!!!!!

So look out for some really great posts about some really fantastic books, and lets all have some fun :)

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”
- Dr. Seuss, "I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!"

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Recently banned/challenged books (in America)

In 2007, Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” was challenged in Manheim Township, Penn., because of sexual references. However, it remained in the ninth grade curriculum although it was taught later in the year. Some parents believed that this book, along with five others, should require parental permission.

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman was removed from library shelves (but later returned) at a Catholic School in Ontario, Canada, for being anti-God, anti-Catholic, and written by an atheist. In 2007 and 2008, middle schools in Kentucky, Colorado, Wisconsin and others pulled the book from library shelves for reasons ranging from “wine ingestion” and “anti-Christian message”.

All Harry Potter books have been strongly and persistently challenged by parents and sometimes actually removed from school libraries for promoting witchcraft and disobedience to adults. A case in Georgia went as far as Superior Court, where Judge Ronnie Batchelor upheld local school officials’ decision that the books are good tools for encouraging children to read.

In 2007, a resident of Cherry Hill, N.J., challenged Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” because she feared it would upset black children due to the depiction of how blacks were treated in a racist white community in Alabama during the Depression. The school decided to retain the book in its English curriculum.

In 2007, a patron refused to return “It’s Perfectly Normal: A Book about Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health” to her public library in Maine, stating she was “horrified by the illustrations and sexually graphic, amoral, abnormal contents.” The patron who removed the book will stand trial for theft, after a police investigation found the library innocent of obscenity charges.

The following books have been banned or challenged somewhere in the United States in the last 15 years.

* Alvarez, Julia. “How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents.”
* Conroy, Pat. “The Prince of Tides.”
* DeLillo, Don. “White Noise.”
* Grahame, Kenneth. “The Wind in the Willows.”
* Hurston, Zora Neale. “Their Eyes Were Watching God.”
* Mathabane, Mark. “Kaffir Boy.”
* Milne, A.A. “Winnie-the-Pooh.”
* Myracle, Laura. “TTYL.”
* Sebold, Alice. “The Lovely Bones.”
* Stroud, Jonathan. “The Golem’s Eye.”
* Taylor, Mildred. “The Land.”
* Vonnegut, Kurt. “Slaughterhouse Five.”

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Celebrate your freedom to choose

Read a banned book, it could just be exhilarating doing something doing something that you know that once upon a time you were not allowed to do!!!! Go on be crazy and live on the edge a bit...

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Books that have been banned

"For only when free men write and speak truth will the exercise of arbitrary power be exposed and opposed"

I find it interesting that numerous books that have been considered to be the best books written are those that have been banned. Here are some of the books that have been banned:

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
The Color Purple, Alice Walker
Ulysses, James Joyce
Song of Solomon, Toni Morrison
Beloved, Toni Morrison
The Lord of the Flies, William Golding
1984, George Orwell
Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
Lolita, Vladmir Nabokov
Catch-22, Joseph Heller
The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway
A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway
As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner
Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
Their Eyes were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
Native Son, Richard Wright
Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ken Kesey
Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut
Cat's Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut
The Call of the Wild, Jack London
Go Tell it on the Mountain, James Baldwin
All the King's Men, Robert Penn Warren
The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
The Jungle, Upton Sinclair
Lady Chatterley's Lover, DH Lawrence
Sons and Lovers, DH Lawrence
Women in Love, DH Lawrence
A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess
In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie
A Separate Peace, John Knowles
Naked Lunch, William S. Burroughs
The Naked and the Dead, Norman Mailer
Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller
An American Tragedy, Theodore Dreiser
Rabbit, Run, John Updike

Monday, 28 September 2009

Banned Book Week

So today I went on to Sparknotes as I sporadically do, and discovered that we are in the middle of Banned Book Week. Very exciting. I have read a few of the books that have been banned such as The Catcher in The Rye, James and the Giant Peach and The Diary of Anne Frank. Of course it is ridiculous that books get banned, but people are stupid and think that by banning a book they can stop you thinking about something in a certain way, well they can't so Rock On to all authors who have been banned.

Some of the authors that have been banned are...
Lewis Carrol, Maya Angelou, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Milan Kundera, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemmingway, Joseph Heller, James Joyce, William Shakespeare et al.

Clearly there was not much freedom when these books were banned, but I am glad that I can read whatever I want to and at present I am reading Jeffrey Eugenides' Middlesex which incidentally is one of the books that were banned. Will write a post about it as soon as I have finished, but viva la revolution of honesty in banned books!!!

Sunday, 27 September 2009


Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

This is by far my favourite quote from all the literature I have read. It is so profound, and I thought it would just be fitting for my newest blog. So books I have read and loved or hated and authors I admire will be mentioned her. Lets have some fun...