05 September 2013

the. book. chat. {Controversy}

This week's book chat topic is controversial subjects and/or books.


Honestly, I love hearing that the fundies have their panties all in a bunch over some book for kids/teens/YA.  Gets me every time!  It's why I picked up Harry Potter.  

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I completely missed the first book coming out but when Book 2 was due to be released I heard 2 stories: the first about how kids were lining up outside bookstores for a midnight release (of a BOOK! Not a video game or a movie but a BOOK!) and the 2nd about how the fundies were all a flutter about how dangerous and satanic, or whatever they were claiming these books to be, were. Combine kids lining up with religious wackos and it MUST be a good book!  So, as soon as I finished grad school (because there was no elective reading at that point in my studies) a few months later I went to the library and got the first book. I've read all of them now and I can't say I see one potentially-damaging thing about them. I don't see them teaching witchcraft or devil worship or...whatever...I see them focusing on the power of friendship and the triumph of good over evil.  Oh my what terrible lessons for a young person to learn! 

The next time I remember picking up a book specifically because some religious group was calling for its ban was The Golden Compas from the His Dark Materials series (I read that entire series as well).  

His Dark Materials Boxed Set: The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass
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I believe the outrage over these books had to do with them supposedly being anti-catholic-church or some such nonsense.  Again, what I got from them was the same as from the HP series...power of friendship, good over evil.

Maybe it's because I don't spend my time looking for subversive messages in books or maybe it's because I don't think the world is out to persecute me or my beliefs by way of literature but I never seem to see the controversy in these (and other) books. I'm glad when the religio-fascists go all crazy over a book because it usually leads to me finding good reading material :)

What controversial books or books about controversial topics have you read?


  1. I always forget that the Harry Potter books were controversial! I love them :)

  2. I agree with Ashley, I always forgot that HP is controversial because I'm just so used to having them in my life! I read The Golden Compass for the first time this year and enjoyed it so much. It didn't even strike me how controversial it could be, although I did realize that religion played a big part in it.

  3. I remember hearing all the controversy about The Da Vinci Code but when I read it I didn't see what all the fuss was about!

  4. I started the first book when it came out, as my nephew left it with me when I recuperating from surgery. It was magical! I read them all. I think that the religious crowd always hates new things that challenge the old order. Tyndale was burned alive for publishing the Bible in the English vernacular. By whom? Good church people. One of the greatest classics in English literature, Pilgrim's Progress, was written by a man who who was persecuted most of his life by the church leaders of his day. I imagine the hypocrites didn't realize that they were causing more Englishmen to read the Bible and read Pilgrim's Progress due to their persecution of these saints.

  5. I really do not get the controversy over those books either. It seems so unnecessary to get so defensive and upset about something like that, if it truly bothers someone, they are only giving it more power.