Banned Books Book Club

Meetings are at the Library every 4th Tuesday of the month.

This year's banned books book club will be reading materials that have been historically challenged or are on the American Library Association's current challenge list. All suggestions are taken from a list compiled by current and past participants of our book club. 

We will discuss reasons for the item being banned or challenged, and the importance of access in upholding intellectual freedom. This is a safe place for hard discussions. Please join us for what will be our best session yet!

Sign-Up for Banned Books Book Club

Contact Senior Librarian, Shannon Foster (970) 429-1943, shannon.foster@pitkincounty.com.

Audience

Past Selections

painted image of an older man in the style of the seventeen hundreds. text reads candide by voltaire.
 

The story of a gentle man who, though pummeled and slapped in every direction by fate, clings desperately to the belief that he lives in "the best of all possible worlds." On the surface a witty, bantering tale, this eighteenth-century classic is actually a savage, satiric thrust at the philosophical optimism that proclaims that all disaster and human suffering is part of a benevolent cosmic plan.

white background with multicolored words that read hood feminism. following text reads notes from the women that a movement forgot.
 

Today's feminist movement has a glaring blind spot, and paradoxically, it is women. Mainstream feminists rarely talk about meeting basic needs as a feminist issue, argues Mikki Kendall, but food insecurity, access to quality education, safe neighborhoods, a living wage, and medical care are all feminist issues. All too often, however, the focus is not on basic survival for the many, but on increasing privilege for the few. That feminists refuse to prioritize these issues has only exacerbated the age-old problem of both internecine discord, and women who rebuff at carrying the title. Moreover, prominent white feminists broadly suffer from their own myopia with regard to how things like race, class, sexual orientation, and ability intersect with gender. How can we stand in solidarity as a movement, Kendall asks, when there is the distinct likelihood that some women are oppressing others? In her searing collection of essays, Mikki Kendall takes aim at the legitimacy of the modern feminist movement arguing that it has chronically failed to address the needs of all but a few women. Drawing on her own experiences with hunger, violence, and hypersexualization, along with incisive commentary on politics, pop culture, the stigma of mental health, and more, Hood Feminism delivers an irrefutable indictment of a movement in flux. An unforgettable debut, Kendall has written a ferocious clarion call to all would-be feminists to live out the true mandate of the movement in thought and in deed.

red book cover with yellow skull and bones. text reads kurt vonnegut slaughterhouse five
 

Kurt Vonnegut's absurdist classic Slaughterhouse-Five introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes 'unstuck in time' after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. In a plot-scrambling display of virtuosity, we follow Pilgrim simultaneously through all phases of his life, concentrating on his (and Vonnegut's) shattering experience as an American prisoner of war who witnesses the firebombing of Dresden. Slaughterhouse-Five is not only Vonnegut's most powerful book, it is also as important as any written since 1945. Like Catch-22, it fashions the author's experiences in the Second World War into an eloquent and deeply funny plea against butchery in the service of authority. Slaughterhouse-Five boasts the same imagination, humanity, and gleeful appreciation of the absurd found in Vonnegut's other works, but the book's basis in rock-hard, tragic fact gives it unique poignancy-and humor.

A drawing of two teen girls jumping in the ocean. Title reads this one summer. Book is a graphic novel.
 

Every summer, Rose goes with her mom and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. It's their getaway, their refuge. Rosie's friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different. Rose's mom and dad won't stop fighting, and when Rose and Windy seek a distraction from the drama, they find themselves with a whole new set of problems. One of the local teens - just a couple of years older than Rose and Windy - is caught up in something bad ... Something life threatening. It's a summer of secrets, and sorrow, and growing up, and it's a good thing Rose and Windy have each other. This One Summer is a tremendously exciting new teen graphic novel from two creators with true literary clout. Cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, the team behind Skim, have collaborated on this gorgeous, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful story about a girl on the cusp of childhood - a story of renewal and revelation.

Black background with a tree branch shooting up through the middle and orange leaves shooting out to the sides. Title reads shout.
 

This month we will read both Speak and Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson.

Speak: From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication. In Laurie Halse Anderson's powerful novel, an utterly believable heroine with a bitterly ironic voice delivers a blow to the hypocritical world of high school. She speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while demonstrating the importance of speaking up for oneself.

Shout: In free verse, Anderson shares reflections, rants, and calls to action woven between deeply personal stories from her life that she's never written about before. Searing and soul-searching, this important memoir is a denouncement of our society's failures and a love letter to all the people with the courage to say #MeToo and #TimesUp, whether aloud, online, or only in their own hearts. Shout speaks truth to power in a loud, clear voice-- and once you hear it, it is impossible to ignore.

a collection of softcover Goosebumps books
 

Goosebumps is a children's horror book franchise published by Scholastic Corporation. The books are written by author and creator R.L. Stine. It is currently the second best selling book series of all time, selling 400 million books worldwide in over thirty-two languages.

Beginning with the eponymous Goosebumps series in 1992, the Goosebumps franchise has spawned numerous follow-up and spin-off series. The franchise's other forms of media include a television series and feature films.

The series is named after R.L. Stine had seen an ad for "Goose Bumps Week," a television horror event. The name is also based on the skin condition goose bumps, which is a common symptom of fright. (Information from Goosebumps Wiki).

This month each member of the book club will choose one of the Goosebumps books to read and discuss. 

Drawing of a white bunny in a rainbow checked bow tie in front of the white house. The text reads a day in the life of Marlon Bundo.
 

Meet Marlon Bundo, a lonely bunny who lives at the Naval Observatory with his Grandpa, the Vice President of the United States. But on this Very Special Day, Marlon's life is about to change forever...

book cover of women in a corset taking down her hair. She faces away and you see the back of her head and back. Title reads Lady Chatterley's Lover by D H Lawerence.
 

When first published privately in Italy, in 1928, "Lady Chatterly's Lover" was too risque for readers and was considered unprintable. It wasn't until three decades later, in 1960, that the novel could be printed openly in the United Kingdom. Much debate has gone into what constitutes erotic literature; but whether the novel was about a scandalous affair or a quest for purity, or about the class system and social conflict, one needs to read it for oneself to find the message that lies within.

teen boy in pink shirt and rainbow belt and jeans with a black bow tie smiles and runs hand through his hair
 

For April's Banned Books Book Club we are reading Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin. This book was banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to be sexually explicit.  (Learn more at Banned Books Week and American Library Association).

Meet at Explore Booksellersjust two blocks from the library.

cover is the new LGBTQIA plus flag
 

For March's Banned Books Book Club we are reading This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson. This book was banned, challenged, relocated, and restricted for providing sexual education and LGBTQIA+ content.(Learn more at Banned Books Week and American Library Association).

Meet at Explore Booksellersjust two blocks from the library.