Friday, June 29, 2007

Banned Book Challenge wrap-up

Since today is the last day of June, it's time to report in on the Banned Book Challenge that was sponsored by Elaine at Fahrenheit 451.

I set out to read 5 books, and while I'm technically not quite finished, I'm still considering this one successful.

From my original list I read: (clicking on the title will take you to my review)

Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
The Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition - Anne Frank
Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
and I'm about half-way through Zen Buddhism: Selected Writings - D.T. Suzuki

The last one is not the type of book I want to try to rush through just to finish today, but I will finish it. My other justification for successfully completing the challenge is that the Harry Potter books are also often on banned/challenged lists and since I've read 3 so far and will be reading the rest very soon, they surely count too! :P

Favourite? The Diary of Anne Frank. I'm not sure why I had never read it before but I'm so glad I finally did. While I didn't always like Anne, she's pretty precocious at times, she really grows up during her time in the secret annex, and it's a moving piece of history.
The Handmaid's Tale was also very memorable. It's one that I'd been avoiding for years and it has left me with some vivid images.

Least favourite? I didn't quite like Nineteen Eighty-Four or Love in the Time of Cholera as much as I'd perhaps hoped, but neither of these were a waste of time to read. All of these books are often referred to so I'm happy to have read them regardless.

New author? Gabriel Garcia Marquez was new for me, as was Anne Frank. I've already read some further writings of Anne's and someday I'll probably try another by Marquez.

Were there any books I didn't finish? As already mentioned, I'm not finished Zen Buddhism but that is purely from lack of time, not interest. And I do plan to continue reading it.

What did I learn from this challenge? That books I've avoided, for whatever reason, are worth reading, and even enjoyable!

Best part of the challenge? It encouraged me to finally read some books that I have been putting off literally for years. So thank you very much Elaine!


  1. I know im a little late here, but I'd like to recommend Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I went through a big magic realism period that really changed the colours in my world and dreams, and it was fed by Marquez, Isabelle Allende and Ben Okri. Give him another go!

  2. j-ster,
    It's never too late to comment! I haven't given up on Marquez, and I have 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' here to try some other day. I read a book by Allende years ago, I should try another, and I've heard of Ben Okri but haven't read anything by him. Thanks for the recommendations.


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