Anniversary of a banned American classic

This week marked the 75th anniversary of the publication of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. Normally, what comes to mind is the book’s portrayal of the plight created by the Dust Bowl years of the Depression. Yet it stands for another object lesson about America. It was banned — and burned — in the [...]

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What kind of library user are you?

Libraries and the role they play in people’s lives and their communities is an area the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life project has been studying. Earlier this month, it released a report on what it calls “a typology of library engagement in American.” The report is based on Americans 16 years old and [...]

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2013 in books by the numbers

One word best sums up my reading in 2013 — ebooks. Two-thirds of the books I read this year were ebooks, up from under 50 percent the year before. In fact, even though I read 30 fewer books in 2013, I read seven more ebooks than in 2012. And although I read more than 41,000 [...]

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Abstaining from best books mania

For some reason this year’s onslaught of “best of the year” lists really wore on me. As a result, I’m not going to do one of those posts for 2013. Instead, I will note that, based on books listed in both of two different compilations of this year’s book lists, it’s again clear I am [...]

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Other people’s lives

“Live your own life.” How many times have we heard or said that? But yesterday I was reminded of an exception to that rule, albeit in a nonliteral sense.

When I was picking up a couple books from the library, I realized both were biographies. That in and of itself is not unusual. What got [...]

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Banned Books That Shaped America: Part 2

Yesterday we looked at almost a century of American classic books that have been banned or challenged, all on the list compiled by the Library of Congress of “Books That Shaped America.” Today we’ll complete the 20th Century and take a step into the 21st.

Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, Alfred C. Kinsey (1948) [...]

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