This week is Banned Book Week, a week where we celebrate the freedom to read here in the United States. Actually, this celebration has gone international ever since Amnesty International began celebrating it to help raise awareness for individuals who are persecuted for writing and reading books that governments and other organizations want to censor.
Banning books is a step down a very dangerous path. NMX is all about the media revolution…but some things will never change. Wherever there are people voicing their opinions about the world, whether that is in books or on your blog/podcast/videos or on social networks, there are people who want to keep them quiet. This is an issue that affects all of us.
To help celebrate our freedom to read, I asked NMX speakers, attendees, and staff to share their favorite banned books. Their answers (along with my own) are listed below, and you can get involved too: just tweet about your favorite banned book, and make sure to use the hashtag #NMX (and follow this hashtag to see what others are recommending you read). You can also leave a comment below to join the conversation! You can see a list of just some of the books that have been banned here.
Without further ado, here are some of the book the NMX community wants to encourage you to read:
|“The Bible and Canterbury Tales”
– Rick Calvert, NMX CEO, @blogworld and @NewMediaExpo
|“Are You There, God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume – I can’t believe this book was banned!!! This was a pivotal book in my teens! And since I am unable to choose ONLY one (avid book lover) I’m also choosing I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. In SHOCK this was also banned. W-T-F?!” – Deb Cole, NMX Media Marketing Director, @CoachDeb|
|“Arabian Nights. I love it because it reminds me somewhat of my grandma’s stories, because I am middle eastern. Its a medieval Middle-Eastern literary epic which tells the story of Scheherazade, who tells stories to her husband, the King, to delay her execution. The stories are told over a period of 1001 nights, and every night she ends the story with a suspenseful situation, forcing the King to keep her alive for another day.” – Tina Baljian, NMX Travel Manager/Executive Assistant, @Tina_Baljian|
|“Call of the Wild will always hold a special place in my heart. That and Tom Sawyer were the first books that filled me with the wanderlust that I still have to this day. I have yet to get up to the Yukon, but it is a life long dream of mine and I can trace it back to reading that book.” – C.C. Chapman, Storyteller, Explorer & Humanitarian, @cc_chapman|
|“Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut!! Being a US Army Veteran of the Iraqi War, I have always thought it important to remember the suffering soldiers go through during war. War is an easy thing to glorify when you are not experiencing it, and books like Slaughterhouse-Five bring to light the true colors of war.” – John Lee Dumas, EntrepreneurOnFire.com, @johnleedumas|
|“My favorite banned book: Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. The book focuses on the psychosis experienced by Billy Pilgrim, an inexperienced American soldier, who was captured and imprisoned at the famous “Slaughterhouse number 5” by the Germans. The American government and educational institutions believed the explicit story about the hallucinations and visions he experienced while held prisoner, including a vision of his own death, was too much for the general public. In a time where war is so highly politicized and quickly called upon to right the world’s wrongs, it is important to have more personal accounts of the cost to those who actually fight the wars.” – Sam Fiorella, Sensei Inc, @samfiorella|
|“Looking through the list of books, I was surprised to see Black Beauty. I read it as a young girl while I was going through my horse phase. Before homework overtook my life, I loved crawling into bed, with a dog or cat or both beside me, and get lost in book. Black Beauty was enjoyed by this uber animal lover.” – Glenda Watson Hyatt, Motivational Speaker, @GlendaWH|
|“My favorite banned books are: Goosebumps – definitely important because kids need to read fiction. The choose your own adventures were the best ones 😉 And Where’s Waldo – kids and adults alike need to be able to keep their memory sharp. Finding Waldo allows the time to pass quickly as well as helps to keep your brain active.” – Dustin Hartzler, Your Website Engineer, @dustinhartzler|
|“Favorite banned book: Fahrenheit 451. It’s the ultimate book-burning book. ‘Nuff said.” – Jonathan Raines, ForeignFilmcast.com, @foreignfilmcast|
|“Satanic Verses. As I went through the list of banned books on Wikipedia, I was thrown into an inner conflict. I’m horrible at making choices and here were several books that are near and dear to me. Finally, I settled on Satanic Verses. The turmoil around Salman Rushdie figured largely in the news of the late 80’s, and besides the death threats to the author, did result in the death of Hitoshi Igarashi, the Japanese translator. When I finally read the book, I was mesmerized by the wonderful storytelling.” – Ric Dragon, DragonSearch, @ricdragon|
|And here are my picks (yes, I have two favorites!): Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and A Wrinkle in Time. I think these books share something in common; they are both about exploring a whole new world that you never thought existed. That’s what books have always been to me, and I try to allow that to spill over into my everyday life as well. We can only grow if we’re willing to learn and explore.Also, they’re just plain fun!|
Okay, your turn! Don’t forget to TWEET about your favorite banned book using the hashtag #NMX! We’ve even made a handy click to tweet link – just make sure you fill in your favorite title!
Or, comment below to join the conversation!
(And if you want to be involved with more community questions just like this, make sure you sign up for our email list on the sidebar! That way, you can answer the question ahead of time and be featured here like the above NMX community members!)