Thursday, September 29, 2022

Cat Thursday - It's funny 'cause it's true


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and often hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Share the link to your post with your comment below.






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Thursday, September 22, 2022

Cat Thursday - Happy Fall!!


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and often hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Share the link to your post with your comment below.

Yes! Autumn is here! In honor of it, today's post is dedicated entirely to Pusheen fall memes.







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Banned Books Week 2022 - Some challenged favorites


The National Council of Teachers of English has compiled an eight page list of the works it has defended from 2002 - 2018. The sheer number of works...books, comics, films...on this list is astounding!

You can check out the link here.

Below is a list of some of my favorite books and the reason(s) they were banned/challenged.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Burned in Alamagordo, NM (2001) outside Christ Community Church along with other Tolkien novels as satanic.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Challenged in Eden Valley, MN (1977) and temporarily banned due to words "damn" and "whore lady" used in the novel.
  • Challenged in the Vernon Verona Sherill, NY School District (1980) as a "filthy, trashy novel."
  • Challenged at the Warren, IN Township schools (1981) because the book does "psychological damage to the positive integration process" and "represents institutionalized racism under the guise of good literature." After unsuccessfully trying to ban Lee's novel, three black parents resigned from the township human relations advisory council.
  • Challenged in the Waukegan, IL School District (1984) because the novel uses the word "nigger."
  • Challenged in the Kansas City, MO junior high schools (1985). Challenged at the Park Hill, MO Junior High School (1985) because the novel "contains profanity and racial slurs." Retained on a supplemental eighth grade reading list in the Casa Grande, AZ Elementary School District (1985), despite the protests by black parents and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People who charged the book was unfit for junior high use.
  • Challenged at the Santa Cruz, CA Schools (1995) because of its racial themes. Removed from the Southwood High School Library in Caddo Parish, LA (1995) because the book's language and content were objectionable.
  • Challenged at the Moss Point, MS School District (1996) because the novel contains a racial epithet.
  • Banned from the Lindale, TX advanced placement English reading list (1996) because the book "conflicted with the values of the community."
  • Challenged by a Glynn County, GA (2001) School Board member because of profanity. The novel was retained. Returned to the freshman reading list at Muskogee, OK High School (2001) despite complaints over the years from black students and parents about racial slurs in the text.
  • Challenged in the Normal, IL Community High School's sophomore literature class (2003) as being degrading to African Americans.
  • Challenged at the Stanford Middle School in Durham, NC (2004) because the 1961 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel uses the word "nigger."
  • Challenged at the Brentwood, TN Middle School (2006) because the book contains “profanity” and “contains adult themes such as sexual intercourse, rape, and incest.” The complainants also contend that the book’s use of racial slurs promotes “racial hatred, racial division, racial separation, and promotes white supremacy.”
  • Retained in the English curriculum by the Cherry Hill, NJ Board of Education (2007). A resident had objected to the novel’s depiction of how blacks are treated by members of a racist white community in an Alabama town during the Depression. The resident feared the book would upset black children reading it.
  • Removed (2009) from the St. Edmund Campion Secondary School classrooms in Brampton Ontario, Canada because a parent objected to language used in the novel, including the word “nigger."
The Stand by Stephen King
  • Reason: "sexual language, casual sex, and violence"2002-2003 
  • The Brookeland ISD reported that all Stephen King books were banned in all district schools.
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  • Cleburne High School - Parents say novel pornographic
Earth's Children series, The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel
  • Most common reason: Banned for sexual references, which were described vividly.
  • A specific instance: Challenged, but retained from the Moorpark High School recommended reading list in Simi Valley, Calif. (1993) despite objections that it contains "hardcore graphic sexual content." Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, Mar. 1994, p. 70; May 1994, p. 99.
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
  • Challenged at the Arrowhead High School in Merton, Wis. (2004) as an elective reading list assignment by a parent because the book contains “sexually explicit and inappropriate material.”


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Sunday, September 18, 2022

Banned Books Week 2022 - Books Unite Us...Censorship Divides Us


Now more than ever, my coverage of Banned Books Week is crucial. I've been an advocate of this movement for 15 years, when I learned about it, upon joining the online book community. I began coverage on this blog in 2009 and continued every year after that, in some shape or form. Go here to browse my Banned Books Week content from previous years. 

“This is a dangerous time for readers and the public servants who provide access to reading materials. Readers, particularly students, are losing access to critical information, and librarians and teachers are under attack for doing their jobs.”
- Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom

(Read one Texas teacher's story here.)

In a time of intense political polarization, library staff in every state are facing an unprecedented number of attempts to ban books. ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 729 challenges to library, school and university materials and services in 2021, resulting in more than 1,597 individual book challenges or removals. Most targeted books were by or about Black or LGBTQIA+ persons.

The theme for Banned Books Week 2022 is "Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us." Sharing stories important to us means sharing a part of ourselves. Books reach across boundaries and build connections between readers. Censorship, on the other hand, creates barriers. Banned Books Week is both a reminder of the unifying power of stories and the divisiveness of censorship, and a call to action for readers across the country to push back against censorship attempts in their communities. 

About Book Bans and Challenges

Books are still being banned and challenged today. A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials.

While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.


Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2021

The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 729 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2021. Of the 1597 books that were targeted, here are the most challenged, along with the reasons cited for censoring the books:
  1. Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe
    Reasons: Banned, challenged, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, and because it was considered to have sexually explicit images
  2. Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to be sexually explicit
  3. All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content, profanity, and because it was considered to be sexually explicit
  4. Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez
    Reasons: Banned, challenged, and restricted for depictions of abuse and because it was considered to be sexually explicit
  5. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, violence, and because it was thought to promote an anti-police message and indoctrination of a social agenda
  6. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references and use of a derogatory term
  7. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
    Reasons: Banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and degrading to women
  8. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Banned and challenged because it depicts child sexual abuse and was considered sexually explicit
  9. This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson
    Reasons: Banned, challenged, relocated, and restricted for providing sexual education and LGBTQIA+ content.
  10. Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to be sexually explicit.
I have a lot on my reading plate this month, but I would like to read at least one book that has been banned/challenged. I went with a shorter book, and/or an easier read of poetry (I love Shel Silverstein's books). So, it's either going to be...

A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
Challenged in 1985 at Cunningham Elementary School in Beloit, Wisc., because it "encourages children to break dishes so they won't have to dry them."

Banned by a Florida elementary school in 1993 because it "promotes disrespect, horror, and violence".

Questioned because author Shel Silverstein's career included having drawn cartoons for Playboy, leading some to claim that the book contained "suggestive illustrations."

OR

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Challenged or banned several times since publication for various reasons including: "using God's name in vain," profanity, racial slurs, treatment of the mentally challenged, and violence.

Challenged or banned dozens of times; challenges continue to this day.

Ranked fifth of the top 100 banned or challenged books in America between 2000 and 2009.

Source: ACLU infographic (hover over each book spine to learn its history)

Last, but not least...


Unite Against Book Bans is a national initiative to empower readers everywhere to stand together in the fight against censorship. Take action and defend the right to read for all Americans.

Join the Movement

Source for all information in this post (unless otherwise noted): ala.org


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Thursday, September 15, 2022

Cat Thursday - They're the boss


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and often hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Share the link to your post with your comment below.






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Thursday, September 8, 2022

Cat Thursday: Authors and Cats (114) Elizabeth McCracken


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come acros s, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Share the link to your post with your comment below.

The second Cat Thursday of each month is Authors and Cats Thursday. Each time I will feature an author (with a birthday during the month), pictured with their/a cat(s), or guest posts by cat loving authors who also (sometimes) write about cats.

Elizabeth McCracken (born September 16, 1966) is an American author. She is married to the novelist Edward Carey, with whom she has two children - August George Carey Harvey and Matilda Libby Mary Harvey. An earlier child died before birth, an experience which formed the basis for McCracken's memoir, An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination.

McCracken, a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, graduated from Newton North High School in Newton, Massachusetts, and holds a degree in library science from Simmons College, a women's college in Boston. McCracken currently lives in Saratoga Springs, New York, where she is an artist-in-residence at Skidmore College. She is the sister of PC World magazine editor-in-chief Harry McCracken. (Goodreads)

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Thursday, September 1, 2022

Cat Thursday - Be yourself


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and often hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Share the link to your post with your comment below.






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Thursday, August 25, 2022

Cat Thursday - Up close


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and often hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Share the link to your post with your comment below.

This first image...Merida has taken to doing this to me in the mornings. She likes my CPAP mask. It has a little hole that blows out air. 






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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Cat Thursday - Black cats deserve only love


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Share the link to your post with your comment below.

In honor of yesterday's National Black Cat Appreciation Day...


Merida's most recent photo 💜


Baby Merida ❤





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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Cat Thursday: Authors and Cats (113) Robert Holdstock


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come acros s, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Share the link to your post with your comment below.

The second Cat Thursday of each month is Authors and Cats Thursday. Each time I will feature an author (with a birthday during the month), pictured with their/a cat(s), or guest posts by cat loving authors who also (sometimes) write about cats.

First off, here I am again with an apology. I completely forgot to post last week! I'm so forgetful nowadays, I've pretty much decided to set reminders for EVERYTHING. Thanks for bearing with me and my forgetfulness. ❤


Robert Paul Holdstock (b. August 02, 1948, d. November 29, 2009) was an English novelist and author who is best known for his works of fantasy literature, predominantly in the fantasy subgenre of mythic fiction.

Holdstock's writing was first published in 1968. His science fiction and fantasy works explore philosophical, psychological, anthropological, spiritual, and woodland themes. He has received three BSFA awards and won the World Fantasy Award in the category of Best Novel in 1985.

Pseudonyms are Chris Carlsen, Robert Faulcon,Robert Black, Steven Eisler and Richard Kirk.


Source: Goodreads


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Friday, August 5, 2022

13 Years of True Book Addict!


As of today, this blog has been active for 13 years! Wow! Though things have slowed down a bit around here, there have been 2074 posts of bookish, and cat loving, fun since its inception. The bookish community online is where I found my tribe. What I have built in the community since opening this blog 13 years ago has been so rewarding...a readathon community at Seasons of Reading hosting six (sometimes seven) readathons yearly, hosting reading challenges and read-alongs which have lead to a bookish community over at Gather Together and Read, a book group on Goodreads, True Book Talk, with weekly discussions on Slack, a year-round Christmas blog to celebrate my love of Christmas, and a horror blog, Castle Macabre, to embrace the wondrous thing that is horror in books and movies (CM will also be celebrating a blog anniversary, 11 years on August 16!). Oh, and social media groups/pages accompanying the places mentioned above.

I'm not sure what direction this blog is going, but I fully intend to stay active, and I hope to share more content on a regular basis again. Thank you to those of you who have stuck with me through the years. Book blogging truly changed my life and I will be forever grateful for that. 


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Thursday, July 28, 2022

Cat Thursday - Writing woes


Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite lolcat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Share the link to your post with your comment below.

You guessed it. I'm currently in writing mode. In honor of that...







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