Arts’ Watch

Published 3:00 pm Saturday, January 28, 2023

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Mason’s on Main in Winchester is celebrating its eighth birthday by making censored books available for examination, including “Gender Queer” and “Angels in America.” So stop in, congratulate Mason, buy something, and consider which of his growing collection of censored books he has you want to go out and purchase. Alternatively, drop off a censored book you’re willing to let Mason share as part of his collection.

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If the selection of censored books is too small at Mason’s, here are some of the most popular censored books you might want to check out of the Clark County Public Library. If what you have chosen is already checked out, visit a bookstore and purchase it.

• “The Bluest Eyes” by Toni Morrison

• “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee

• “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck

• “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood

• “Harry Potter (series)” by J. K. Rowling

• “Thirteen Reasons Why” by Jay Asher

• “Fifty Shades of Grey“ by E. L. James

• “The Holy Bible“

• “The Kite Runner“ by Khaled Hosseini

• “Two Boys Kissing“ by David Levithan

• “The Hunger Games“ by Suzanne Collins

• “Captain Underpants (series)“ by Dave Pilkey

• “The Glass Castle“ by Jeanette Walls

• “Beloved“ by Toni Morrison

• “Brave New World“ by Aldous Huxley

• “Nickel and Dimed“ by Barbara Ehrenreich

• “Twilight (series)“ by Stephanie Meyer

• “The Catcher in the Rye“ by J. D. Salinger

• “My Sister’s Keeper“ by Jodi Picoult

• “The Color Purple“ by Alice Walker

• “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn“ by Mark Twain

• “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings“ by Maya Angelou

• “Gossip Girls (series)“ by Cecily Von Ziegesar

• “The Perks of Being a Wallflower“ by Stephen Chbosky

• “Asking About Sex and Growing Up“ by Joanna Cole

• “Forever“ by Judy Blume

• “James and the Giant Peach“ by Roald Dahl

• “Bridge to Terabithia“ by Katherine Paterson

• “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry“ by Mildred D. Taylor

• “Summer of My German Soldier“ by Bette Greene

• “Mein Kampf“ by Adolf Hitler

• “Catch-22“ by Joseph Heller

• “The Canterbury Tales“ by Geoffrey Chaucer

• “Naked Lunch“ by William Burroughs

• “Uncle Tom’s Cabin“ by Harriet Beecher Stowe

• “Candide“ by Voltaire

• “Goosebumps (series)“ by R. L. Stine

• “Sex“ by Madonna

• “Flowers for Algernon“ by Daniel Keyes

• “Light in the Attic“ by Shel Silverstein

• “Ordinary People“ by Judith Guest

• “Curses, Hexes, and Spells“ by Daniel Cohen

• “Native Son“ by Richard Wright

• “Lord of the Flies“ by William Golding

• “Slaughterhouse-Five“ by Kurt Vonnegut

• “Carrie” by Stephen King

• “Tiger” Eyes by Judy Blume

• “Jumper” by Stephen Gould

• “Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov

• “The Outsiders” by S. E. Hinton

The list, which is not comprehensive by any means, contains 52 books written between 1387 (“The Canterbury Tales”) and the present day. Many are children’s books (“Goosebumps,” “Light in the Attic”), some are sex education books (It’s Perfectly Normal), and a great many are fiction (“Carrie,” “The Color Purple,” “Lord of the Flies”), and some are non-fiction (“Mein Kampf”; “Arming America”; “Curses, Hexes, and Spells”; “Nickel and Dimed”). There are also memoirs (“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”). Almost every genre is represented on this list.

Topically the list runs from religious content (“The Holy Bible”) to suicide (“13 Reasons Why”, “Ordinary People”) to racism (“The Color Purple,” “Native Son,” “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”) to witchcraft and magic (“Harry Potter,” “Twilight”), and violence (“The Hunger Games,” “Lord of the Flies”) sex and gender issues/identification (“Sex,” “Two Boys Kissing,” “Fifty Shades of Grey,” “Lolita”). Whatever may interest you may well be on the list.

One last thing, I have not listed reasons why books were banned. That should be up to you. Read the books listed. Start a book club to discuss them. Recommend them to friends. Be an active and prohibit your children from reading ones you have read and feel are inappropriate. Or better yet, read and discuss these books with your child. Open up yourself to new ideas, and your children to the wide range that is great literature.