Banned Books, by DK. Pub 2022
This was an impulse purchase while Christmas shopping, inspired by last year’s quest for a banned book. I was hoping this might provide some better suggestions than Googling does, and it did achieve that along with some learning about the hows and whys of banning through the ages.
There are 87 books covered here (clearly an incomplete list), and there is a brief blurb and then some history about where and how the banning occurred. It starts in the 1370s, with The Decameron and moves through the ages to the 21st century. While I learned some interesting things about books I’m familiar with, and about some books I’d not heard of and now would like to read, overall this was a very superficial analysis and an incomplete list. Several of the books were not actually banned, just challenged or questioned as part of school curricula, which to me doesn’t reach the threshold of banning and burning.
Based on the descriptions, there is a few I’ll be seeking out: The Awakening, by Kate Chopin (which I heard reviewed on the Backlisted podcast and so was already interested in it), Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (heard of it but never read), The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall, As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner (a copy is in my tsundoku already), and Are you There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume (which I have never read).
This is one of those strange books that appears to be of the style you’d buy as a gift for someone, but I cannot imagine a scenario where that would make any sense with this subject matter. It was an interesting enough read, but once done, it’s done.
Fate: little free library
I doubt this one will survive the year on the official list, but just in case:
4 – published in 2022
10 – a book of essays (kind of)
25 – a new author to me
31 – history/politics
32 – a book about art (kind of)