Banned Books #48- Brave New World

Welcome to the 48th edition of Banned Books. That’s right, today marks the 4th year anniversary of this feature. Awoohoo!

Brave New World

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
First published: 1932
In the Top Ten most frequently challenged books in 2010 (source)
Reasons: insensitivity, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit.

Do you understand or agree with any of the reasons for the book being challenged when it was originally published?

BETH: First of all, I’m so, so surprised that this book was only put on the ALA Banned & Challenged Books List in 2010! Not because I believe it should be banned or challenged, not at all. But Brave New World is counted as quite the classic and is one of the oldest books we’ve read and reviewed, being published in 1932 so I’m wondering if there were so many issues with it, why wasn’t it put on the list earlier? Food for thought. Anyway, I’ve already mentioned that I love trying to figure out the reasons why a book might be problematic (for some) before looking at the reasons and I’m always, ALWAYS surprised by the reasons they end up listing. For example, in Brave New World, they worship Henry Ford (founder of the Ford car company) as their God and in one particular scene at the end, suggest that the people who worshipped Jesus/God in the past were delusional. Aha, I thought! One of the reasons for this book being challenged is that it is anti-religion! Nope. That’s not a reason.

Instead, as with many of the books we’ve looked at so far, the reasons just make me laugh. Even thinking about back in the thirties, I’m struggling to figure out how this story could have been insensitive or offend anyone with the language. Unless they’re considering the whole growing embryos in bottles thing? Or deliberately depriving said embryos of certain vital materials i.e. oxygen to make them a lower class of people? Which of course makes for horrendous reading but at the end of the day, it is just a story and if you’re particularly sensitive to that sort of thing, you just put the book down, right?

CHRISSI: I can’t believe that it wasn’t banned earlier as well. I’ve known about it forever, even though I hadn’t read it earlier.  It was always one that I had known as a controversial read. Some of the reasons do make me roll my eyes. However, I can see that this book would make people uncomfortable. I certainly felt that way with this book.

How about now?

BETH: It’s quite frightening to think that nowadays we live in such a scientifically advanced age that things like this could be possible. Aldous Huxley has chosen a controversial and insightful topic to base his novel around and the culture and world he describes is horrifying of course! Yet when you mention reasons as racism or being sexually explicit as reasons for taking it out of people’s hands, I just don’t get it. The lower classes in Brave New World are treated disgustingly and this made for quite an uncomfortable reading experience at times but I think the author is deliberately trying to push our buttons and realise what living in a world like this could be like. And with the sexual explicitness? I roll my eyes. Our female lead removes her underwear by unzipping it. Saucy! Also, the people living in this world have quite open sexual relationships with a number of partners. Okay. BUT there is no graphic mention of sexual acts at all (which counts as sexually explicit in my opinion). So just by mentioning the word “sex,” it’s too graphic? Please!

CHRISSI: I think there’s much more explicit content out there. I think Aldous Huxley was totally pushing the boundaries, especially the time in which he wrote this book. As I mentioned before, this book made me feel uncomfortable. Perhaps because, as Beth mentioned, things like this could potentially happen now. That scares me.

What did you think of this book?:

BETH: Brave New World is a re-read for me and I seem to get something different out of it every time I read it. The part with the embryos and the way they are modified depending on the social class they are in is horrible and I’m always moved when I read it. This time around, I did find some parts a bit slower and hard to digest but generally, this is a fascinating classic that I think everyone should be exposed to at some point in their lives.

CHRISSI: I feel like I recommended this book because it was a book I ‘had’ to read rather than wanted to read. I felt like it was a hard, heavy-going read that didn’t grip me. I just couldn’t get excited by it. I hate not liking a classic like this but it didn’t work for me.

Would you recommend it?:

BETH: But of course!

CHRISSI: It’s not for me!

 

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This Week In Books #116

I am joining in with the lovely Lipsy from Lipsy’s Lost and Found’s feature which highlights our week in books. I shall be sharing what I’m reading now, then and next! I won’t be showcasing my new books as I do that on a Saturday. I’m really excited by this feature as I loved sharing my recent reads. My book reviews published on my blog are often WAY behind what I’m actually reading, so this is a good feature to keep you up to date!

Book images go to Goodreads!

Persons Unknown (DS Manon, #2)

NOW- Persons UnknownSusie Steiner– I’m currently just over halfway through this book. I don’t find it very remarkable but it’s easy enough to read. This book will be reviewed as part of the ‘Talking About feature’, with my sister Beth!

Goodbye, Perfect

THENGoodbye, PerfectSara Barnard- This didn’t take me long to read at all. It’s about a teacher-student relationship…which always sits strangely with me!

Brave New World

NEXTBrave New World- Aldous Huxley- This is this month’s Banned Book. Look out for the review on the last Monday of the month!

What are you reading this week? Let me know!

Looking Ahead- This Month’s TBR List (June)

I mainly had hits in the month of May with only one book not read from my TBR list. June is a busy month at my work, so I’m not expecting too much from my June reading. Of course, there are some of my usual reads for the regular feature that I do and some June ARCs that I will have out as well.

Here’s my tentative TBR list for June! Thanks to Tina over at Reading Between The Pages for hosting!

(Book images go to Goodreads!)

Days Of Wonder- Keith Stuart

Days of Wonder

Goodreads Synopsis:

Tom, single father to Hannah, is the manager of a tiny local theatre. On the same day each year, he and its colourful cast of part-time actors have staged a fantastical production just for his little girl, a moment of magic to make her childhood unforgettable.

But there is another reason behind these annual shows: the very first production followed Hannah’s diagnosis with a heart condition that will end her life early. And now, with Hannah a funny, tough girl of fifteen, that time is coming.

Hannah’s heart is literally broken – and she can’t bear the idea of her dad’s breaking too. So she resolves to find a partner for Tom, someone else to love, to fill the space beside him.

While all the time Tom plans a final day of magic that might just save them both.

I am really looking forward to reading this book after thoroughly enjoying Keith Stuart’s debut.

The Weight Of A Thousand Feathers- Brian Conaghan

The Weight of a Thousand Feathers

Goodreads Synopsis:

`Child experts will tell you that I’m way too young to carry such a burden of responsibility on my tender shoulders. But really, what do they know?’ Who is Bobby Seed? He’s just your average sixteen-year-old – same wants, same fears, same hang-ups. Dull, dull, dull. But then there’s the Bobby Seed who’s a world away from average. The Bobby Seed who has to wipe his mum’s backside, sponge her clean three times a week, try to soothe her pain. The Bobby Seed whose job it is to provide for his younger brother, Danny, to rub his back when he’s stressed and can only groan and rock instead of speak. That’s Bobby Seed. Same, same, same, yet different, different, different …

I am so intrigued by this book. I have read another by Brian Conaghan and was impressed!

The Dead Ex- Jane Corry

Goodreads Synopsis:

He said in sickness and in health. But after Vicki was attacked at work and left suffering with epilepsy, her husband Daniel left her for his mistress.

So when Vicki gets a call one day to say that he’s gone missing, her first thought is ‘good riddance’. But then the police find evidence suggesting that Daniel is dead. And they think Vicki had something to do with it.

What really happened on the night of Daniel’s disappearance? 
And how can Vicki prove her innocence, when she’s not even sure of it herself?

I enjoy Jane Corry’s writing. I am eagerly anticipating this one!

The Face On The Milk Carton- Caroline B. Cooney

The Face on the Milk Carton (Janie Johnson, #1)

Goodreads Synopsis:

The face on the milk carton looks like an ordinary little girl: hair in tight pigtails, a dress with a narrow white collar, a three-year-old who was kidnapped more than twelve years ago from a shopping mall in New Jersey.

As fifteen-year-old Janie Johnson stares at the milk carton, she feels overcome with shock. She knows that little girl is she. But how could it be true?

Janie can’t believe that her loving parents kidnapped her, until she begins to piece together clues that don’t make sense. Why are there no pictures of Janie before she was four? Her parents have always said they didn’t have a camera. Now that explanation sounds feeble. Something is terribly wrong, and Janie is afraid to find out what happened more than twelve years ago.

In this gripping page-turner, the reader will unravel — as Janie does — the twisted events that changed the lives of two families forever.

I have had this book on my radar for some years now, but I never got around to it. Hence it being on this month’s Beth and Chrissi Do Kid-Lit Challenge. 

Brave New World- Aldous Huxley

Brave New World

Goodreads Synopsis:

Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs, all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harbouring an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations, where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress…

Huxley’s ingenious fantasy of the future sheds a blazing light on the present and is considered to be his most enduring masterpiece.

Can you believe I’ve never read this book? I’m looking forward to it as part of the Banned Books feature that I do with Beth every last Monday of the month.

Have you read any of these books? What did you make of them? Let me know!

Banned Books 2018…REVEALED

Banner made by Luna @ Lunaslittlelibrary

Here are 2018’s books that Beth and I will be reading for our Banned Books feature that has been running since July 2014!

JANUARY: Summer Of My German SoldierBette Greene
FEBRUARY: TwilightStephenie Meyer
MARCH: Fallen AngelsWalter Dean Myers
APRIL: Saga Volume 3Brian K.Vaughan and Fiona Staples
MAY: Blood And ChocolateAnnette Curtis Klause
JUNE: Brave New WorldAldous Huxley
JULY: Julie Of The WolvesJean Craighead George
AUGUST: I Am JazzJessica Herthel
SEPTEMBER: Taming The Star RunnerS.E. Hinton
OCTOBER: BelovedToni Morrison
NOVEMBER: King & KingLinda de Haan
DECEMBER: Flashcards Of My LifeCharise Mericle Harper
I’m looking forward to seeing if I agree with the reasons for these books being banned. If you want to have a look at the previous books (42 of them!) that Beth and I have read for this feature, check out the page for Banned Books here on my blog!

Top Ten Classics I Want To Read

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s list is either Top Ten Favourite Classics or Top Ten Classics I Want To Read. I had to pick the top ten classics I want to read, as I am AWFUL at reading classics. I don’t know what it is about them, I just haven’t read as many as I feel like I should have done.

Some are more modern classics than others, but here is my selection in no particular order:

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David CopperfieldCharles Dickens–  I do like reading Charles Dickens, but this one is has escaped me many times.

Tess Of The D’UrbervillesThomas Hardy– My sister really likes this book. I’m intrigued…

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I Capture The CastleDodie Smith– I’ve heard so many wonderful things about this book. I need to read it!

The Virgin SuicidesJeffrey Eugenides– This book is another one I’ve heard many things about, but I’m yet to read.

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Vanity FairWilliam Makepeace Thackeray– I’m not sure if I’ll ever get around to this book, as the size of it really puts me off. But maybe I can be persuaded to read it?

1984George Orwell– I have been meaning to read this book for such a long time now.

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Brave New WorldAldous Huxley– Another book that I’ve been meaning to read for ages (there are just too many books 😉 ). I really hope to get to this at some point.

Of Mice and MenJohn Steinbeck– I remember another class at school reading this and wishing it was my class! Hopefully, I can read this book soon.

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Wuthering HeightsEmily Bronte– I know a lot of people love this book, so I’m slightly intimidated to read it.

A Streetcar Named DesireTennessee Williams – My sister absolutely adores this book. It makes me want to read it!

Have you read any of these classics? Which would you recommend? Which would you stay away from? Please feel free to leave a link to your Top Ten post and I’ll come and check it out!