50 Thoughts: Embrace Your Subversive Side - Read a Banned Book

50 Thoughts: Embrace Your Subversive Side - Read a Banned Book

In my fantasy, parallel, everything-is-cupcakes-and-butterflies universe, this week would have long since been archived as an unecessary holiday.

But these days, it feels more important than ever.

It’s Banned Books Week.

In its 36th year, Banned Books Week celebrates the literature that has been most divisive in communities across the United States. In most cases, the books in question deal with subject matter that, for any number of reasons, people don’t want readily available at the local library or the school classroom. We’re talking about sex and sex-related topics like LGBT issues, sexual and domestic violence, suicide and did I mention gay people?

I try to make note of this week every year, and I always feel it’s important to point out that at least from my perspective, I am not suggesting parents abdicate their right to determine what’s best for their kids. If a mom or a dad or a caregiver doesn’t think his or her own child is ready for topics like these, which can get pretty heady, that’s understandable.

What’s not OK is going so far as to impose that view on everyone in the community. And given the current temperature of our social environment, I think this year is especially important to support the freedom with which we write, both in fiction and non-fiction form. Stories like those listed below engage people in thoughtful, spirited conversation. They also shine a light in the dark for those struggling with issues like their own sexuality or mental health.

It’s so important these voices are included in the atmosphere. They may be different than yours, but they make a difference for someone else.

This year’s Top 10 includes:

  1. Thirteen Reasons Why
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
  3. Drama
  4. The Kite Runner
  5. George
  6. Sex is a Funny Word
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird
  8. The Hate U Give
  9. And Tango Makes Three
  10. I Am Jazz

Day 1: 50 Days, 50 Thoughts, 50 Books. Book recommendation: The Bitch is Back

Day 2: There Aren’t Any Do-Overs, Are There? Book Recommendation: A Place for Us

Day 3: Is Pop Culture Circling the Drain? Book recommendation: Live from New York

Day 4: Perimenopause in the Age of Trump Book Recommendation: Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Day 5: Take A Knee at the Altar of Common Sense Book Recommendation: How Not to Be a Dick

Day 6: Perspective is the Gift That Keeps on Giving Book Recommendation: A Fine Balance

Day 7: The Accidental Editor Book Recommendation: Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977 – 2002)

Day 8: The First Last of the Firsts Book Recommendation: The Little Book of Hygge

Day 9: All Kinds of Tired Book Recommendation: Believer

Day 10: Overthinking is Anxiety’s Bitchy Best Friend Book Recommendation: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

Day 11: Where Would You go with a Wayback Machine? Book Recommendation: A Little Life

Day 12: Fall in my Favorite Chicago

Day 13: On Having It All Book Recommendation: Lean In

Day 14: Where Were You When … Book Recommendation: The Nix

Day 15: 5 Things to Purge Before you Turn 50 Book Recommendation: The Art of Tidying Up

Day 16: A Labor Day Salute to Bad Bosses Everywhere Book Recommendation: Steve Jobs

Day 17: Do You Validate?  Book Recommendation: Less 

Day 18: Identity Crisis Code Purple Book Recommendation: Amp’d

Day 19: Character Really Does Count Book Recommendation: Believer

Day 20: Death Before Public Speaking Book Recommendation: The Gifts of Imperfection

Day 21: 15 Things You Should Do Before You Turn 50 Book Recommendation: Drop Dead Healthy

Day 22: Calling BS on “Sticks and Stones” Book Recommendation: Love Warrior

Day 23: My Feet Are My Favorite Part of Me Book Recommendation: Born to Run

Day 24: Self-Help Books Aren’t Half Bad  Book Recommendation: The Book of Joy

Day 25: Going for Gratitude Book Recommendation: The Gratitude Diaries

Day 26: Past Self Meets Future Self Book Recommendation: A Wrinkle in Time

Day 27: The Book is Always Better Book Recommendation: Big Little Lies

Day 28: Three Cheers for Volunteers Book Recommendation: A Secret Gift

Day 29: The Social Network Book Recommendation: The Circle

Day 30: 50 People Who Can Text Me Before Trump Does Book Recommendation: Purity 

Day 31: I’ll Take My Joy Where I Can Find It Book Recommendation: The Book of Joy

Day 32: Humor is My Sixth Sense Book Recommendation: Sick in the Head

Day 33: Anger Comes Second Book Recommendation: The Leftovers

Day 34: Hypocrisy, Much? Book Recommendation: The Favorite Sister

Day 35: Girl Power Book Recommendation:Girls

Day 36: The Kids are All Right Book Recommendation: Ohio

Today’s recommendation: anything on the Banned Books list — and there’s so much to choose from. Embrace the subversive!

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