Today is the start of Banned Books Week, an event which has always called attention to the books that are challenged and banned in school and public libraries across the country. It’s an event that has become increasingly both important and fraught with meaning in this moment, as the number of challenges has increased exponentially in the last few years while the themes of those challenges have emerged as being ever more chilling as, no matter what the challenges may claim, the overall desire that emerges is the need of some to erase the voices of those who are different from themselves, with the goal of not merely erasing those voices, but ultimately, the people behind those voices.
This has all happened before. Banned Books Week does its very best to drag the issue out of the shadows and into the light, so that it doesn’t happen again.
I usually read a book from the Banned and Challenged list this week, but I decided to try something different this year. The 272: The Families Who Were Enslaved and Sold to Build the American Catholic Church by Rachel L. Swarns is not on the Banned and Challenged list YET because it was just published this summer. However, it is exactly the kind of book that will find itself on the list in years to come, because it challenges the traditional perceptions of people and institutions that are considered to be great which got to where they are by abusing the labor and the very persons of people of color. It reminds me a bit of The 1619 Project, which I absolutely considered for this week but wanted to listen to because I’ve heard great things about the audiobook version. So, I bought it instead and plan to plan a little better next year.
Fall Seasons of Books 2023 Giveaway Hop
A Review: A Duke’s Introduction to Courtship by Sophie Barnes
B Review: The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch by Melinda Taub
A Review: Bad Blood by Lauren Dane
A+ Review: Osprey by M.L. Buchman
Stacking the Shelves (568)
Coming This Week:
The Hunter’s Apprentice by Lindsay Schopfer (review)
Shadow Speaker by Nnedi Okorafor (audio review)
The Circumference of the World by Lavie Tidhar (review)
Howl-O-Ween Giveaway Hop
The 272 by Rachel L. Swarns (review)