Thursday, September 30, 2010

Most Frequently Challenged Books Written by Authors of Color 1990-1999

My goodness. I didn’t see most of these books as titillating as the challenge reasons imply.  Well … maybe The Color Purple. I didn’t read the book. The movie was kind of racy, but not ban-worthy. Toni Morrison is on this list a couple of times. Nefarious creature or crafty social commentator? The number is the rank within the list of the  100 most frequently challenged books, 1990-1999. 1

3 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Reason for challenges: racism, homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group

17 The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Reason for challenges: sexually explicit, offensive language, violence

31 Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
Reason for challenges: homosexuality, sexually explicit

34 The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Reason for challenges: sexually explicit, offensive language

36 Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
Reason for challenges: racism, offensive language, violence

45 Beloved by Toni Morrison
Reason for challenges: sexually explicit, violence

69 Native Son by Richard Wright
Reason for challenges: sexually explicit, offensive language, violence

73  The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
Reason for challenges: sexually explicit, offensive language

78 Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
Reason for challenges: sexually explicit, offensive language, occult

84 Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
Reason for challenges: racism, sexually explicit, offensive language

85 Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
Reason for challenges: sexually explicit, offensive language

1Out of 5,711 challenges reported to or recorded by the Office for Intellectual Freedom, as compiled by the Office for Intellectual Freedom, American Library Association.

“Authors of Color,” American Library Association, July 24, 2006. (Accessed September 30, 2010)
Document ID: 127379

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Jane was a whore? [Tarzan]

I was really surprised to see the variety of books on the banned lists and the reasons why they were banned. Some I can understand (but not agree with) and others … I was like, “What the heck?” I never thought of Tarzan and Jane even having “relations” until I saw the comment below. Pehaps my impressionable mind does need protecting. I am going to add Tarzan to my read list just to check. This list from the American Library Association is hilarious!
Ten most farfetched (silliest, irrational, illogical) reasons to ban a book.
  1. “Encourages children to break dishes so they won’t have to dry them.” (A Light in the Attic, by Shel Silverstien)
  2. “It caused a wave of rapes.” (Arabian Nights, or Thousand and One Nights, anonymous)
  3. “If there is a possibility that something might be controversial, then why not eliminate it?” (Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown)
  4. “Tarzan was ‘living in sin’ with Jane.” (Tarzan, by Edgar Rice Burroughs)
  5. “It is a real ‘downer.’” (Diary of Anne Frank, by Anne Frank)
  6. “The basket carried by Little Red Riding Hood contained a bottle of wine, which condones the use of alcohol.” (Little Red Riding Hood, by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm K. Grimm)
  7. “One bunny is white and the other is black and this ‘brainwashes’ readers into accepting miscegenation.” (The Rabbit’s Wedding, by Garth Williams)
  8. “It is a religious book and public funds should not be used to purchase religious books.” (Evangelical Commentary on the Bible, by Walter A. Elwell, ed.)
  9. “A female dog is called a bitch.” (My Friend Flicka, by Mary O’Hara) 
  10. “An unofficial version of the story of Noah’s Ark will confuse children.” ( Many Waters, by Madeleine C. L’Engle)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Banned Books Week Proclamation

WHEREAS, the freedom to read is essential to our democracy, and reading is among our greatest freedoms; and

WHEREAS, privacy is essential to the exercise of that freedom, and the right to privacy is the right to open inquiry without having the subject of one’s interest examined or scrutinized by others; and

WHEREAS, the freedom to read is protected by our Constitution; and

WHEREAS some individuals, groups, and public authorities work to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label “controversial” views, to distribute lists of “objectionable” books or authors, and to purge libraries of materials reflecting the diversity of society; and

WHEREAS, both governmental intimidation and the fear of censorship cause authors who seek to avoid controversy to practice self-censorship, thus limiting our access to new ideas; and

WHEREAS, every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of American society and leaves it less able to deal with controversy and difference; and

WHEREAS, Americans still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression, and can be trusted to exercise critical judgment, to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe, and to exercise the responsibilities that accompany this freedom; and

WHEREAS, intellectual freedom is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture; and

WHEREAS, conformity limits the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend; and

WHEREAS, the American Library Association‘s Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year as a reminder to Americans not to take their precious freedom for granted; and

WHEREAS, Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that Una Scribbles celebrates the American Librry Association’s Banned Books Week, (September 25 – October 2, 2010), and be it further

RESOLVED, that Una Scribbles encourages all libraries and bookstores to acquire and make available materials representative of all the people in our society; and be it further

RESOLVED, that Una Scribbles encourages free people to read freely, now and forever.

Adopted by Una Scribbles
September 25, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

If you were Tita, would you choose – Pedro or John? [Like Water for Chocolate]

This question reminds me of the Big vs. Aiden fan debate from Sex in the City. Of course, I was pulling for Aiden. Big was fun, but steady Aiden won the race (in my mind).

Any who … back to LWFC. My preference would be to run away with Pedro. For the passion. For the adventure. To get away from Mama Elena. However, Pedro took the dweeb route. Yuck! John Brown all the way, baby.

RELATED POSTS (may contain spoilers)

  • Nibble: Quail in Rose Petal Sauce 

  • Side Notes for Like Water for Chocolate

  • Monday, September 13, 2010

    Happy Birthday Bella Swan! (The Twilight Saga)

    Bella is 22 years old today. And it looks like Eclipse is coming back to theaters for a limited time.

    Check out “Twihards Wish Bella Swan a Happy Birthday” on omg! from Yahoo!

    Sunday, September 12, 2010

    Nibble: Quail in Rose Petal Sauce [Like Water for Chocolate]

    ~ Have you ever had a meal that moved you? 

    I found the Quail in Rose Petal Sauce to be the most interesting recipe in Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments, with Recipes, Romances and Home Remedies by Laura Esquivel. While I have never experienced anything quite like the characters did when eating it, I have had meals that moved me. A meal that comes to my mind immediately is the Kobe beef dinner that I had on vacation with my aunt (I am not a big steak eater). It was a simple meal with smaller than expected portions -  steak, grilled vegetables, and a little scoop of sorbet.

    When I finished eating, I was speechless, surprisingly pleased and completely satisfied. I think that it was a combination of watching it being prepared with such care, fresh ingredients, and embracing the spirit of the moment. We sat in silence for a long time after eating. Perfection.

    In the spirit of the book, I decided to give the recipes below a try.

    Here’s the “Quail in Rose Petal Sauce” scene from the flick:

    RELATED POSTS (may contain spoilers)

    Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    Edward Edward Everywhere

    I am chugging through an array of books – currently reading TwilightLike Water for Chocolate, and The Jane Austen Book Club. And kinda sorta Their Eyes Were Watching God.  I have noticed a number of connections to Jane Austen’s works that I had not expected. One of the benefits of reading multiple books at once.

    In Twilight, Bella Swan mentions that her favorite Austen books were Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. Bella tries to read to avoid thinking about her soon-to-be love, Edward Cullen. Once she gets  into Sense and Sensibility, Bella gets annoyed because one of the main characters is named Edward. She switches to Mansfield Park only to realize that there is an Edward in it too.

    It seems like Jane Austen uses the same first names in a number of her books. While looking up information on Austen and her books (because of The Jane Austen Book Club), I came across Katherine Cox’s blog November’s Autumn. Katherine is hosting a series called Jane Austen’s Paradox of Names. Join her every other Thursday as she compares and analyzes Jane Austen’s characters who share first names.

    Check out The Story Behind Twilight to read more about how Stephenie Meyers chose her characters’ names.

    Monday, September 6, 2010

    In the Spirit - Twilight

    I decided to go with an obvious blood theme for this scribble’s nibble. Soups are one of my favorite meals to cook.  I chose to make the Bucket of Blood soup by Canned Food Fan on It is a tomato-based vegetarian soup with pasta body parts. Very easy to make. Although I didn’t notice it in the Twilight book, Bella appears to be a vegetarian in the movie. Sounds like the choice was a good call.
    Did you try the recipe? What did you think?

    Sunday, September 5, 2010

    Sad. Sad. Sad. My “Twilight” confession.

    To know me is to know that I don’t do vampires. Movies, books, nada. Outside of the movie Interview with the Vampire and the television series Angel, you can pretty much bet that I haven’t seen or read it if it involves vamps.  So of course, I had no interest in the Twilight Saga franchise. On a vampire interest scale between Twihard and Miley Cyrus/Vampires Suck (the movie), I was closer to the latter. I am not a massinhater. Teenage vampire love just didn’t sound appealing.

    Fast forward a couple of years and two more Twilight Saga books/movies releases later … I was still not interested. Ha! But then this summer, Burger King launched a big promotional push for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. The push included an in-restaurant game, online extensions, exclusive merchandise, and  national TV advertisements – yada, yada, yada. What finally sucked me in (no pun intended)? The TV commercials!! It seemed like they were on constantly. Unfortunately for Burger King, they didn’t make me want to participate in their promotion. However, they did make me want to try the books out.  It’s sad … I know.

    When I told some of my friends that I was going to read the books, they all laughed and said “yeah right.” I am reading Twilight right now AND I got a Twilight t-shirt (75% off at Barnes and Noble – sweet!) to get into the spirit. Who am I down with  … Team Edward, Team Jacob or Team Bella? I’ll let you know when I finish Eclipse.

    Saturday, September 4, 2010

    USA Today’s Top 10 Books of the Decade

    USA Today created its list of the top ten best-selling books of the decade (2000s). These best-selling scribbles (books) were made into flicks (movies). How cool! I was shocked to see that the Twilight Saga and the Harry Potter series dominated the list.  The literary decade was marked by two youth market books that crossed over into the adult market. What must the aliens think? The Da Vinci Code is the only “grown up” book on the list. It is the only book on the list that I have actually read. BTW - I do read youth books – just haven’t read these. Clearly, I am behind the times and need to get with it. Massinhater, I am not. On to Twilight.

    What do you think of the list?

    Check out related pages:
    Get reviews and shop for the books below on

    1. Twilight, Stephenie Meyer
    2. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown
    3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book 5), J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPre
    4. New Moon (The Twilight Saga), Stephenie Meyer
    5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Book 1), J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPre
    6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6), J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPre
    7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7), J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPre
    8. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4), J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPre
    9. Eclipse (The Twilight Saga), Stephenie Meyer
    10. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2), J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPre

    Friday, September 3, 2010

    Jane Austen Is My Homegirl Reading Challenge

    Jane Austen is not my homegirl, but perhaps she should be.
    After reading The Jane Austen Book Club, I thought that it would be good to read the actual Austen books too. I read some of them so long ago that it shouldn’t even count. I have decided to join the “Jane Austen Is My Homegirl Reading Challenge” issued by The Book Buff.

    Jane Austen is my Homegirl Reading Challenge

    You can find all the details including a suggested reading list on the site. There is a truckload of books.  The challenge is going on for one year (1 Aug 2010 – 31 July 2011).  By the end, you’ll have gotten your Austen fix or developed a new addiction (ha!). The Book Buff is giving participants who enter a chance to win books. Reads like win-win to me!

    Follow my progress on Una's Reading Challenges page.

    Thursday, September 2, 2010

    Who would you have cast as Stephanie Plum?

    One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

    Stephanie Plum is coming the big screen. Much to my chagrin, she is coming in the form of Katherine Heigl. Don’t get me wrong. I like Heigl. I think that she will probably do well in the part. It’s just that … like many readers, I have a vision of Stephanie in my head and Katherine ain’t it (even with brown hair and all Jersey’ed up). Who would you have cast?

    Check out, “Katherine Heigl to play Stephanie Plum in ‘One for the Money,’ Janet Evanovich best-seller” by Issie Lapowsky from on

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010

    September 2010

    SO many books. SO little time.
    • I am officially kicking off this blog.
    • The Big Read, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts kicks off a new season (from September 2010 through June 2011) with Edgar Allen Poe. Are you a fan of Poe?
      • Start reading The Works of Edgar Allan Poe on your Kindle in under a minute. Don’t have a Kindle? Get free Kindle Reading Apps for your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, and Android phone.