Have you ever heard of "The Canon"?
I was taught that "The Canon" was a list of books that had long ago been deemed must reads. From the onset of its inception there has been criticism of what was and wasn't on the list, and there still is discontent. Since my days in the classroom have finished, I read for pleasure, and yet "The Canon" haunts me. I wonder if I've missed anything important and in my search for the list, I came across a website that notes the Western Canon by Harold Bloom The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages"].
Now, because it's Banned Books Week, I looked at the list not to see what I should read, but to see if anyone had challeneged any of these books. No surprise to find that they had. Here is a very small sampling of what I found:
Beowolf: A New Telling, by Robert Nye [challenged 1998]
The Cantebury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer [challenged 1995]
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain [challenged 2008]
The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger 
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Have you ever heard of "The Canon"?
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I'm not entirely sure what makes a book "a classic", but I know that I enjoy reading many books that have been given this title. They often put me in a different place or time, and that is what a good read should do.
When I first heard about Banned Books Week, I looked at the list, and was shocked to see "To Kill a Mockingbird " was challeneged that year for profanity and racial slurs. Well, you shouldn't be surprised that I picked up a fresh copy of that book, and read it again. This is where I started to pick a book from the yearly challenged list to read during this week.
Here are the top ten Classics* - where 1-9 have been challenged/banned:
1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
3. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
5. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
6. Ulysses by James Joyce
7. Beloved by Toni Morrison
8. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
9. 1984 by George Orwell
10. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
The entire list of Classics* can be found here on the ALA and the details for some of their challenges can be found here.
*=Radcliffe Publishing Course, now at Columbia, compiled a list of the top 100 novels from the 20th century.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Banned Books Week is the perfect time to learn and embrace the First Amendment.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
— The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
The Online University has a load of information to help you know and understand The First Amendment - they use layperson terms.*
Picture of the Bill of Rights made available by the National Archives and Records Administration through Wikipedia.
*This paragraph was amended on August 15 2012 in response to Jennifer Jenkins very kindly pointing out a broken link and suggesting another for guidance - thank you!
Sunday, September 27, 2009
I love pie charts. They make statistics more interesting than raw numbers do - at least for me they do.
What does that have to do with Banned Books Week?
Easy, the ALA has published a few pie charts that depict important information about book challenges in easy to grasp details. Reason, Institution, and Initiator are laid out in bright beautiful colors.
Number #1 reason books are challenged is for being "sexually explicit", followed by "language" and "unsuited for age". Putting those three together, it makes sense that "parents" are the largest group who initiate challenges. Again, it won't surprise anyone that, putting the reason for challenges given and who is doing it the most, that the "school library" and "public library" hold the dubious honor of being the institutions with the most challenges.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
September 26 - October 3 is Banned Books Week.
Visit the American Library Association to read about the Who, What, and Why of Banned/Challenged Books. After that, check your personal shelves, head to a library, or purchase an ebook/book of one that intrigues you, then realize how lucky you are to be able to make your own choices. A new site to me, the Illinois Library Association, has a great brochure up [free pdf download] of the 2008-2009 challenged/banned books. After going through it and noting the various reasons for their being on the list, I chose to read Mark Bowden's "Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War", removed from a Louisiana High School for cursing.
Did you know Erich Maria Remarque's "All Quiet On The Western Front" was banned by Hitler and burned, banned for Austrian soldiers, Czech military libraries, in Italy for ani-war propoganda, and during this time in the US, what did they do? Banned it in Massachusettes for obscenity and in Chicago seized by US Customs. All this happened from 1929 to 1933.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Okay, what I did was write down My eReader Thoughts [and no, it wasn't perfect because concentration is not an ability I have right now], and submitted the link to the lovely people who put on the contest: Book Blogger Appareciation Week.
How freakin' cool is this!?!
Thank you BBAW gang and iRex Technologies - my odyssey [sorry, as someone who studied Classical Greek for so long, I couldn't let the opportunity for some fun pass me bye] for an ereader has ended.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Both "Call Me Lucifer" and "My Angel", the Good, Bad, and Kinky duet, have been accepted by Whiskey Creek Press Torrid, and the contracts signed!
I'll pass on the details when they're available, until then: prepare yourself for Lucifer, a Guardian Angel, love, and bondage! Oh my!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
I'm getting closer to delving into purchasing a dedicated eReader! As an author/reader who really enjoys the ebook format, it may shock many people to realize I've never owned a eReader. Nope. I firsted started reading ebooks on a laptop, then went to the Pocket PC, and am currently on the iTouch.
The reason I haven't bought a dedicated eReader is because I haven't found a device that will do everything I want, which isn't all that much. What exactly am I looking for?
1. I want it to be capable of carrying copious amounts of ebooks. Who knows what I'll be in the mood for when I get a chance to read.
2. I want it to be wifi so I can shop wherever I want. This is where business and pleasure mix for me. Being someone who receives royalty checks, I prefer to make my purchases through the publisher first. After that, it's either All Romance eBooks] or Barnes & Noble [the latter now has both my ebooks and paperbacks sitting side-by-side.
3. I want to be able to hold it easily in one hand and turn pages without it being a big production.
4. I want to be able to read an ebook in the format of my choice - PDF. Having been reading ebooks for almost ten years, I have a huge library in this format, and like having the opportunity to read them all.
See, I'm not asking for much. So, who have I had my eyes on that will do all this?
IREX Technologies iLiad.
Since I first stumbled upon the iLiad [which, as a Classic Greek major, immediately drew my attention], I've been moving that much closer to taking the last step to owning a device purely for reading ebooks, and now I'm there. It has everything I want and much more.
Thank you, Kevin Hamilton, CEO IREX, for sticking with it and giving us readers [and authors who truly enjoy the ebook format] a great eReader!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Featuring many HOT and EXCITING Prizes from many Wick'd Participants!
Entries Accepted September 15th - October 15th and the Drawings begin October 16th - One Winner Per Day!
Enter now at Wick'd Reads!
(Entry Rules and Details here)
Drawing # 1, October 16
Flicker Fusion Candle from Wick'd Reads, in association with FLICKER WARRIORS and Author William Maltese, scented in Berry Spice Fusion
Drawing # 2, October 17
Autographed Copy of SUCKS! From Internationally Best Selling Author William Maltese and a pair of SUCK! Boxer Shorts!
Drawing #3, October 18
DEATH by Author Dorlana Vann on Disk and a DEATH Bookmark
Drawing #4, October 19
The Artist Challenge T-Shirt from The Artist Challenge
Drawing #5, October 20
Book of Reader's Choice from Author Karen Michelle Nutt [PDF Copy]
Drawing #6, October 21
Sexy Tote filled with Goodies from Author Tilly Greene
Drawing # 7, October 22
3 Hot Pdf copies from Author Jasper McCutcheon: I WAS TORTURED BY A PYGMY LOVE QUEEEN, THE BLACK POUCH CRUSADER, and SCREW HIM
Drawing #8, October 23
Tartan Interlude Candle from Author Selena Illyria, scented in Spiced Cherry
Drawing #9, October 24
Pdf copy of The Vampire Collection, by Author BellaDonna Drakul
Drawing #10, October 25
3 Autographed Books from Internationally Best Selling Author William Maltese! TUSKS, SNAKES, and A SLIP TO DIE FOR
Drawing #11, October 26
ABRAXAS Vampire Gift Set from Author Mistress Rae
Drawing #12, October 27
2 Pdf book copies from Author Kate Hill: DOING THYME, and HUNGER
Drawing #13, October 28
Sex Bomb Candle and Scent Chips from Candle Artist Jfay, Studio 3B, scented in Strawberries and Champagne
Drawing #14, October 29
2 Autographed books from Author Jardonn Smith: THE TORTURED SECUTOR, and DANUBE DIVIDE
Drawing #15, October 30
Build Your Own Pendulum! From Parawomen Scream Radio
Drawing #16, October 31
Blood Vial Gift Set and BITE ME Thong from Vampire Wear!
Shall be a seriously HOT lead up to November!
The picture above was created by Amy, from Parawomen Scream Radio - thank you!
Monday, September 14, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Due to a glitch with the hotel, we were able to reopen registration till Sept, 20th! And I know you guys have been thinking about coming to the Authors After Dark Paranormal weekend, and now is your chance to come and hangout with me for this first years event. So many fantastic authors have signed up to come, give away goodies and sign on saturday that you are going to miss out on something amazing if you don't attend.
Registration is 175$ and includes 4 meals, 2 parties(a candy shoppe PJ party and a Masquerade ball), a cocktail hour, a slew of reader focused events, Author lead mini events and tons of free books and goodies! And we are even doing a charity raffle to benefit the ACN and a local no kill shelter, Pets Alive! we have over 25$ gift baskets too!
Your room is 99$ a night, double occupancy, and can be booked through the info on the AAD website on the Registration page.
So who is going to be there? Well...
Jacquelyn Frank, Sunny, Joey W. Hill,Stella and Audra Price, Bianca D'Arc, Rosemary Laurey, Jennifer Armintrout, Madeline Oh, Georgia Evans, Mechele Armstrong, Samantha Sommersby, Cat Johnson, Cathy Clamp, Eliza Gayle, Diana Castilleja, Leigh Ellwood, Tilly Greene, Selena Illyria, Stephanie Julian, Judi Fennell, Kayleigh Jamison, Donna Grant, Robin T. Popp, Linda Mooney, Mima, Teresa Noelle Roberts, and JoLynne Valerie
The authors are fantastic, the goodies are fantastic, the books are beyond a doubt amazing. We got the Authors, and the books, and the amazing events. All we need is YOU!
To register, join us at http://www.authorsafterdark.net/register.html. We are looking forward to having you hangout with us this year and hope to see you there!