fall 2015 reading list

Reading List | September 2015

Welcome to September – my favorite month of the year!

Not only is this month home to my birthday, it’s the kick off for fall, the holiday season, and a fantastic time to focus on reading and books. September 27th is the start of this year’s Banned Books Week, an event I’m particularly passionate about.

Banned Books Week was created by the American Library Association to draw attention to (and hopefully prevent) literary censorship. Each year, the event encourages you to read books that have been challenged or banned and includes a list of the previous year’s most challenged books. The purpose is to ensure the future of free exchange of ideas, and remind us that censorship can be dangerous.

I fully support your right to read whatever you choose. Reading opens new worlds to you, boosts your creativity, and makes you a more understanding person. There may be books out there that I don’t have any interest in reading because of the content, but that certainly doesn’t mean I should be able to keep others from reading them. Parents should put age-appropriate limits on what their kids read (based on research of the books in question), but they should never have the ability to keep others’ kids from reading whatever they and their families choose.

The challenges to books on the ALA’s list each year include complaints that the books are “anti-family,” not age-appropriate, “satanic/include witchcraft,” and “anti-authority.” Again, if someone doesn’t want to read books of this nature, that’s fine – but it should scare you that people out there want to make sure you can’t read them either. Typically, the challenges seek to remove the books from libraries or schools. Even worse, this list frequently includes books you probably consider classics; the Harry Potter series, Catcher in the Rye, Grapes of Wrath, and To Kill a Mockingbird have all made the list previously.

I challenge you to read a banned book or two this month. Whether it’s Harry Potter, 50 Shades of Grey, or the Anarchist Cookbook (actually a book I plan to read when I’m able to find it), read away! Encourage the youth you know to read and read frequently. Stand up against book challenges in your community, and support your local library. Books represent the voices of all of us, even those we disagree with. My reading list this month includes a few books on the ALA’s list, as well as some new releases (and maybe this will at long last be the month I get to read Girl on a Train!)

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Tuesday Tidbits: Literary Links

Welcome back to Tuesday Tidbits!

As is apparent from my frequent book reviews and reading lists on Intrusions of Beauty, I am an avid reader. My parents helped cultivate this from an early age, and reading has expanded my world, mind, and soul. It has helped turn me into a lifelong learner and introduced me to new and challenging ideas. If the only thing I accomplish in my life is turning a few people into readers, I will be fulfilled.

This week’s Tuesday Tidbits is focused on book news, products and discussion. I’d love to hear what you’re reading, and share what I’m reading with you!

Tuesday Tidbits: Literary Links

If you haven’t set up an account already, I HIGHLY recommend starting a Goodreads account! It’s very helpful to track what you’re reading, start a reading challenge, and get recommendations for new books based on what you’ve liked in the past.

BookRiot, an internet hub for all things books, recently posted this fascinating comparison of US vs. UK editions of book covers.

go set a watchman

Photo courtesy of BookRiot.

Jeff Kinney, the author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, recently opened a bookstore. It saddens me to see more bookstores closing, so I am completely on board with a trend of authors opening their own stores! You can take a look around the store in this video at the New York Times.

John Green, author of many YA books like The Fault in Our Stars, has built a massive internet following over the years. This longer read from The New Yorker looks at how that came to be.

The Millions has a list of the most anticipated books releasing in the second half of 2015. There’s several on here I have definitely added to my list, in particular Not on Fire, But Burning by Greg Hrbek. It comes out in September, so I’ll be looking for it at my local library.

not on fire but burning

Have a fantastic, book-filled week!

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Reading List | April 2015

Welcome to the first monthly reading list at Intrusions of Beauty! One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2015 is to read at least 50 books this year. Unfortunately, with relocating to Portland in February (and choosing now to pick up the A Song of Ice and Fire series – the second book that I recently finished was almost 1,000 pages!), I’ve fallen quite a bit behind on this goal. Now that things are settling down for me, I’m ready to launch back into reading. For April, I’ve got a pretty diverse list of books stacked on my night stand and loaded on my Kindle:

  • 1) The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones | George R.R. Martin

the world of ice and fire coverThis is a companion book to the A Song of Ice and Fire series that looks absolutely beautiful! Interestingly, this was written with the help of two super fans of the series. It’s a large book and just flipping through it shows some of the amazing art pieces that have been included. From glancing through it, it appears to be a history book written “in character” by one of the maesters in Westeros. It will be interesting to see if this affects the narrative and the book’s usability as a true reference book.

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