No More Poems (Because They Were Censored)

ShaunaSeeks

A Facebook post went viral recently because a woman came across a book at Costco and was offended by the poems in it- specifically one poem, Brotherly Love:

The post was clearly written to provoke outrage, which it did achieve. The thousands of comments are filled with calls to pull the book, questioning the store for selling it, the authors for writing it, and the publishers for supporting it.

I understand if this poem isn’t appealing to everyone – it’s definitely dark in its humour, and filled with imagined instances of hyperbolic violence. Some kids might find it frightening, but others will surely find it hilarious. In the comments of the post parents are also asserting that kids couldn’t possibly understand the dark humour for what it is and will take the poem literally; to this I say no two kids are the same, and kids in general are…

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What to Read When You’re Convinced The World Is Going to Shit

ShaunaSeeks

If, like me, you’ve been feeling more than your share of political exhaustion, existential dread, climate-change anxiety, and general fear about the way the world seems to be headed, you may want to consider perusing the following book suggestions.

These books won’t let us turn back time and prevent the election of ignorant egomaniacs. They probably also won’t help us when our coastlines become submerged, and they won’t protect us from artificially intelligent dictators or wildfires or aliens, but hey — at least they’ll make us feel better in the meantime.


Okay, maybe i’m feeling cynical, leaning nihilistic, but I really don’t think that I’m alone in my exasperation. These books aim to inspire hope, which I imagine most of us could use a bit more of these days.

And so, I present:

What to Read
When You’re Convinced
The World
Is Going to Shit.


(Quotes used are taken from…

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International Women’s Day 2019: 101 Books To Check Out!

ShaunaSeeks

BOOK-LIST TIME! This time for International Women’s Day!

I’ve kept track of 101 books that have been released recently (approximately within this past year) featuring intersectional feminist writings, women’s stories and histories, and empowering reads from diverse voices.

The quoted descriptions I’ve used are from the book jackets and/or their promo materials.

Scroll down for biographies, non-fiction, graphic novels, YA titles, and books for younger readers, too!

Happy, inspired reading!

Biography

Minority Leader: How to Build your Future and Make real Change– Stacey Abrams

A personal and empowering blueprint—from one of America’s rising Democratic stars—for outsiders who seek to become the ones in charge

Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers her Superpower- Brittney Cooper

So what if it’s true that Black women are mad as hell? They have the right to be. In the Black feminist tradition of Audre Lorde, Brittney Cooper reminds us that anger is a powerful…

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I READ BANNED BOOKS- Freedom To Read Week Picks

Post about censorship and Freedom to Read Week in Canada from my sister-site, Shaunaseeks!

ShaunaSeeks

This week in Canada we recognize our intellectual freedom in celebrating the 35th annual Freedom to Read Week (Feb 24-March 2).

Freedom to read can never be taken for granted. Even in Canada, a free country by world standards, books and magazines are banned at the border. Schools and libraries are regularly asked to remove books and magazines from their shelves. Free expression on the Internet is under attack. Few of these stories make headlines, but they affect the right of Canadians to decide for themselves what they choose to read. – freedomtoread.ca

These are just a small handful of some of the titles that have been challenged in Canada.

The Freedom to Read Website keeps track of submitted challenges here (I’ll be quoting some passages below). A challenge indicates that someone sought to limit public access to the title, whether in a school, a library, or elsewhere. Sometimes…

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Letting Go: On KonMari & Books

ShaunaSeeks

You must have been living under a mountain of joyless t-shirts for the last month if you haven’t seen the memes, or at least heard about Marie Kondo’s new Netflix show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, which was released on New Year’s Day.

netflixkondo

I’m a fan of Marie Kondo- I’ve read all of her books and I just finished the Netflix series yesterday. Marie has three bestselling books about her KonMari method of tidying and decluttering, which involves sorting your possessions into categories and confronting every item individually with the question “does this spark joy”?

Her method is spreading fast since the show came out, with legions of new fans tidying up everywhere and thrift stores rejoicing.  However, one category in the tidying advice given by KonMari is getting more consternation than others: books.

My Twitter and Facebook feeds have been inundated with memes like these, as well as the…

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The Drama about Drama

ShaunaSeeks

Drama, a popular graphic novel by Raina Telgemeier, was recently ordered removed from Catholic elementary schools in Ottawa. The decision was swiftly reversed amidst much criticism.

The removal of Drama came after complaints from parents about LGBT content; Drama, which centers around a middle-school theatre production, features a panel where two boys kiss onstage.

on-stage-kiss-drama

The School Board had asserted that the choice was made to remove the book not necessarily because of LGBT content, but because of relationship content:

“It is not a book we really need younger kids reading without guidance.”– Robert Long, Ottawa Catholic School Board

I’ve read Drama, and I feel confident that if the LGBT characters were instead presented as a boy-girl coupling there would have been no perceived “issue” and no censorship of this title by the School Board.

Drama features young students, some of which have crushes on other…

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