Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Challenged by challenged books

I got tagged with a "book meme" by Lindsay at Majikthise, and while ordinarily I don't mind, this one is really, really embarrassing. Here's the challenge:

How many of the American Library Association's top 100 most frequently challenged books have you read? The list of 100 comes from the 6,364 challenges reported to the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom in the years 1990 - 2000. Kevin Drum (Washington Monthly) read 14. Lindsay read 29. Before I tell you how many few I've read, let me defend myself against the charge that either I don't read or I read only tame books.

I am currently reading Spin Resonance Analysis, so I do read. I think the book is challenging, but I haven't notified the ALA to that effect. I have too much respect for intellectual freedom and nuclear magnetic resonance. Moreover, a lot of the books on this list are children's books and in the 1990s my kids were grown up already (although two of the books I did read to them in the 70s). I'm not sure I've even heard of most of the books on the list. Goes to show you how effective the right wing repression has been. I now have two grandchildren and when they are old enough I am planning to read them Volume 1 of Das Kapital. It's not on the list.

So there. (Unfortunately many of the books are also what are sometimes referred to as "classics" and I haven't read them. Sigh.)

Here's my total: 4.

They are:
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
So here's a new challenge: I challenge anyone to do worse than I did. I dare you Melanie Mattson of Just a Bump in the Beltway (payback time for the last meme), DemFromCT of The Next Hurrah (to pry him away from the Flu Wiki for a few minutes) and Cervantes of Stayin' Alive (because I always seem to be imposing on him, so what's one more).