Go To Search
Click to Home

Blog module icon

Weyenberg Library Blog

Oct 02

Banned Books Week

Posted on October 2, 2015 at 4:12 PM by Craig Jacobson

Untitled Document

Every year, books in schools and libraries across the country are challenged by groups or Cover - Ulysses.pngCover - Most Dangerous Book.jpgindividuals.  From the famous 1933 trial United States v. One Book Called Ulysses to the present day, a range of groups – from parents to political organizations – have attempted to censor various publications. Since 1982, more than 11,300 books have been challenged, according to the American Library Association. In 2014 alone, there were over 300 reported challenges to books across America.

Curious about which books have been on the chopping block? Take a look.

Last year, two parents in Waukesha attempted to have 3 books removed from local schools. All three of those books withstood the challenges levied at them. They were:

Cover - Kite Runner.jpgKhaled Hosseini's New York Times best seller, The Kite Runner
Challenged for: extreme violence
The Kite Runner follows two boys and their friendship – one is the son of a wealthy merchant, the other the son of a family servant – in the last years of the Afghan monarchy, during the Soviet invasion and through the present day. The story addresses bravery and violence, father-son relationships, the conflict between tradition and change, and survivor's guilt.

Also challenged were John Green's Printz Award-winning Looking for Alaska and Chris Crutcher's Chinese Handcuffs, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults.

Cover - Slaughterhouse-Five.jpgFrequently, organizations challenge books already in schools, but in 1982, students in Island Trees, NY banded together to demand that previously removed books be returned to the school library shelves. The students won their case on First Amendment grounds and books including Slaughterhouse-Five and Go Ask Alice were allowed back into the school.

Even classics are challenged. The Great Gatsbyoccupies a place of dubious honor as the most frequently challenged classic novel; To Kill a Mockingbird is #4 on the classics list (for profanity and racism) while 1984 sits at #9 (for, ironically, being "pro-communist”).

Most recently targeted books include Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and Marjane Satrapi’s graphic memoir Persepolis. A full list of 2014’s most challenged books is available online from the American Library Association.

Ulysses cover from: http://freakinsweetbookcovers.tumblr.com/post/68008547538/ulysses-james-joyce
Banned Books banner from American Library Association
All other images courtesy of Easicat

Sep 14

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Posted on September 14, 2015 at 1:54 PM by Craig Jacobson

Untitled Document

Feeling stressed? In need of a pick-me-up? 
We here at the Frank L. Weyenberg Library believe there’s nothing like a little humor to lighten up your day. 
Here are a few new humor/essay books that are sure to tickle your funny-bone this fall:

all 5 books.jpg

Yes, my accent is real: and some other things I haven’t told you –Kunal Nayyar
Are you a fan of CBS’s The Big Bang Theory? Nayyar, best known as ‘Raj’ from the hit comedy series, has just released his first anthology of humorous, autobiographical essays. From growing up in New Delhi, to the dizzying world of celebrity, to the family and friends who inspired him along the way, this book is the heartfelt treat you’ve been looking for.

Why Not Me? –Mindy Kaling
Following up the brilliant, “Is Everyone Hanging Out without me?” Kaling switches gears this time around, setting course on her adult life. Whether its work stress, falling in love, or fighting through various insecurities, you will find yourself both laughing and relating as she muddles through it all with sarcasm and refreshing honesty. A must read.

Selp-Helf–Miranda Sings
With over 6 million social media fans, Sings has become a go-to in the world of YouTube comedy; offering self-help advice on literally every topic under the sun. With her first book, she puts pen to paper in a truly unique way, offering hilarious tips on everything from catching a boyfriend (“wear all black and carry a fishing net”), to fighting off haters. This book will put a hop in your step and a smile on your face.

Unabrow: Misadventures of a Late Bloomer –Una LaMarche
Being a girl is hard in today’s world, especially when you’re a late bloomer. LaMarche, Queen-B of blooming late, serves up a dose of reality that many shy away from. Advice she wishes her mother had bestowed, along with side-splitting tips on managing the unabrow without (and within); make this book the best friend you always wanted.

Daddy, stop talking! : and other things my kids want but won’t be getting –Adam Carolla
As a comedian, actor, and family-man, Carolla has had his fair share of parenting pitfalls. Tapping back into his childhood, he offers up what he has learned thus-far; imparting his wit and wisdom for parents who wish to avoid enabling and raise well-mannered, confident children. Fans of Carolla are sure to devour this.

These and many other humor books are available at Frank L. Weyenberg Library. 
Stop in today and treat yourself to some laughs. You deserve it.

*Images courtesy of Easicat, Amazon.com, and positivehealth.com

Aug 31

Read the Book? Try the TV Show! Seen the Show? Read the Book!

Posted on August 31, 2015 at 3:05 PM by Craig Jacobson

Untitled Document

In recent years there has been an abundance of quality adaptations of books for television. One reason the sheer volume of adaptations is increasing can be attributed to the changing landscape of how we watch television. Streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu, premium and basic cable, on-demand, digital downloads and more are making content continually more accessible. Just as when books are adapted into movies, television adaptations run into various challenges bringing the written word to the screen. Some adaptations are allowed to run with multiple seasons (e.g. Game of Thrones, True Blood) while others are treated as mini-series. Whether you are looking for a show to try or a new book to read here are some suggestions that will satisfy both needs:

  • TVCovers.jpgJonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell – Coming it at over 750 pages, this monster of book written by Susanna Clarke tells the story of two men and their attempts to return magic to nineteenth-century England. 
  • Outlander – The genre-bending first book in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon was adapted first for television last year and begins the story of Claire and Jamie Fraser with elements of adventure, fantasy, history, and romance.
  • Parade’s End – Suited for Downton Abbey fans, the novel by Ford Madox Ford and the mini-series focus on the fictional experiences of Christopher Tietjens during and after World War I.  
  • Sherlock – A modern day interpretation of the classic Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the first season of Sherlock treats viewers to retellings of classic stories such as “A Study in Scarlet.”

Other adaptations to keep an eye for in coming years include American Gods by Neil Gaiman, And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, 11/22/63 by Stephen King, and The Magicians by Lev Grossman.  In the mean time, all of these titles are available at the Frank L. Weyenberg Library!