Banned Book Week!

September 26-October 3, 2009 is Banned Book Week, according to the American Library Association. The Banned Book List always amuses me.  As a sophomore in high school, I was in an honors English class.  The instructor, Mrs. Lindbloom, gave us a list of books and asked us what we'd like to read.  When she mentioned which books on the list had, at some point been "banned" (she never said by whom), we, as a class, chose to read those very books.  What I recall of the explanation about these books was that she couldn't make us read the "banned" ones, but we could decide to read them as a class.  So we did.  I'm not entirely certain it wasn't just a brilliant bit of reverse psychology.  After all, what high school student isn't interested in bucking the system and doing what they're not supposed to do?

As I recall, we chose The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, A Separate Peace by John Knowles, Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut, and Catch-22 by Joseph Heller.  We also read Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain and Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper.  I don't think we read Lord of the Flies then, but we might have.  I know I read it in freshman English in a different school (along with A Separate Peace).

Every time I see a Banned Book List, I feel an overwhelming urge to go read them all just to see what the bitching is about.  From what I recall, that's why we decided to read the books in class.  We wanted to see what the fuss was about, to discuss it with  Mrs. Lindbloom and to decide whether or not the fuss was, in our opinions, justified.  As I recall, there was nothing in the books that we found shocking or upsetting or controversial.  At least not any more controversial than what was on prime-time television at the time (the mid-1980s).  We figured if we could see the stuff in the books on TV or at PG-rated movies, it probably wasn't really as bad as the book banners made it out to be.

So, since this is Banned Books week and I am currently without a bedtime reading book, I shall choose one of the Banned Books that I own, but have not yet read.  I pick Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence.  I think An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser shall be after that.  Of the 42 titles on the ALA list, I have read only 16 of them.  I think I might have to fix that.  :-)

Back from Nashville
Just spent two days at a meeting in Nashville.  It was an excellent meeting.  My two presentations went well.  Several people talked to me afterward about them and said they were good.  Next up: catching up on the stuff piled up on my desk.  I had a peek at what was waiting for me in my mailbox.  It's not bad, but it'll take more than just tomorrow to get it whacked down to where I'm not behind again.  On a good note, it was rather rejuvenating to talk to folks from other parts of the state.

And I got another invitation to interview for a job in Nashville.  This would would be more computer-oriented and would involve doing some training for people. Same office, different boss.  I know who is doing the hiring and they are very much interested in having me fill the position.  While at the meeting I chatted a bit with the team hiring for position #1. They should have a decision made "soon".  I've been advised that I'm "really popular" at the Central Office and that people would be very happy to have me join them.  Now it's just a matter of seeing how things fall together.  There are other people in the running for these positions.  While I'd like to think I'm the best person for both jobs, that may not, strictly speaking, be true.  Frankly, I'd rather that they picked the best person for the jobs, even if it ends up not being me.


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