Thursday, May 21, 2009

I Heart Banned Books

source: 9GAG

Banned books are usually the best ones. Or so has been my literary experience. Check out this list of 50 Banned Books That Everyone Should Read. Most of my favorite novels find themselves on the list. I'm not sure what that says about me.

Of the books I've read on the list (quite a few, actually), these are the ones that have stuck. That still resonate with me. That evoke a pretty powerful reaction whenever I think about them. Or that pop into my head when I have little reason to think about them at all. Some scenes and images just won't leave me alone.
  • Catcher in the Rye. I love Salinger's tone. Makes me want to write.
  • Lord of the Flies. I love Golding's allegory. Even though it makes me a little uncomfortable. And I'm obsessed with stranded-on-an-island folks. Obviously. (Where was Desmond in Lost's finale? Anyone? Bueller?)
  • Bridge to Terabithia. I cried. In class. The whole imaginary-world-collides-with-juvenile-tragedy got to me. I was 11. And will probably make my future children read it at 11, too. And then make them play outside.
  • The Giver. I love this book. Every little magical moment. Every terrifying heart-in-throat page. (Does it endorse killing? Maybe.)
  • Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl. In the most melodramatic days of my youth, I wanted to be her. Maybe that's why I have stacks of journals lying everywhere. (Apparently this was banned for being "sexually charged" and pornographic. What the--?!)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird. I love Atticus. My literary hero. Almost convinced me to study law. I also love Gregory Peck. Another dead boyfriend.
  • Of Mice and Men. I don't love Lenny. Or George. But I can't ignore them. And I've written more essays entitled "Of ___ and ___" than I can count. I owe Steinbeck a lot. Namely, my student loan.
  • Little Women. I. Love. Little. Women. Front-to-back. On my personal top-3-novels-of-all-time list. I would say I want to be Jo, the adventurous independent writer with crazy-big dreams, good intentions and bad hair, but I wouldn't have turned down Laurie. So no, I will never morph into the fictional heroine. Not completely, anyway.
  • In Cold Blood. I love the innovation of the true-crime-meets-novel. And the meticulous research. And Capote's personal obsession with his own material. (Um, 8000 pages of notes?!) And the Harper Lee connection makes me love To Kill a Mockingbird more. The circle of book-life.
I need to finish the list. I'm slightly embarrassed that I've never read A Handmaid's Tale. Perhaps that should be next. After The Great Gatsby.

Books > blogs, as much as I hate to admit it. I think it's time to create a summer reading list. Before bad television and Toronto humidity fry my brain.

Oh, and if I ever write a novel, please ban it. Please.


Beth said...

bridge to terabithia is the first book during which i remember crying.

a handmaid's tale is disturbing and lasting. much like some of these other books...

Anonymous said...

Wow, I didn't realize so many of my favorite books have been banned at one point or another!

Tenzing said...

Hi Nadine, how are you? I read your interview on Jason Boyett's blog and I was pretty amused as my job profile matches with yours. I would say there's not much of a difference on our job profile. I have been thinking of moving to Canada for a while now... It may sound bizarre to you, but could you give me a little more information about other such companies like yours in Canada? Thanks and regards, Tenzing.

nadine said...

Hey, Tenzing! Thanks for stopping by. Is there an email address I can reach you at?

Tenzing said...

Hi Nadine,
Thanks for replying...Its wonderful to hear from you.You can reach me at